My Madness

Somewhere on this earth I have an implacable enemy.  His task is to destroy me.  To succeed, he has at his disposal an army of cunning and malicious assistants.  Only when my willpower is totally crushed, will he stop.

* * * THE EGGS * * *

I have a feeling these shiny egg-like objects that hover around my head come from some sinister place in outer space.  My enemy is ingenious enough to summons even aliens to his command.  It is he, I am sure, who has sent them here.  Unless I am somehow dreaming, I can see no other explanation.  Three of them — I shall call them ‘eggs’ for want of a better word — have accompanied me for weeks now, floating round and round my head like planets orbiting a sun.  They have an ambience about them, as if they are secreting a nauseating sense of negativity.  Occasionally they disappear, zooming off at high speed, but they always come back.  I have noticed, though, that when they return their this disposition is ever more malignant.

* * * THE DREAM * * *

The rocket landed and the sliding doors that separated us from the new world slowly opened.  An alarm bell rang as the door slid back, warning the crew not to stand too close and to prepare them for any danger that may lurk outside.  Waiting for the vacuum seals to fully disengage, I was the first crew member to be stepping from the ship.  Suddenly a voice behind me began to shout, “Michael!”  For a split second I was confused: the piercing ring of the alarm and the chaotic shouting had muddled my brain.  “Michael, for God’s sake,” the voice screamed.  Then I felt a hand on my shoulder, tugging me back.  Once again I heard the earnest cry, “Michael, Michael!”  My eyes gradually opened wide.  The space ship faded into the mist and I became aware of my mother standing over me, her hand tugging at my shoulder and shouting, “Michael, Michael wake up … I need your help.”

* * * MY MOTHER * * *

I pulled the duvet down and stepped from the bed.  My eyes felt sore.  Rubbing them with the back of my hand, I had a distinct feeling there was something different about this day — something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  It came with a rush, like a chill wind.  My back prickled and I shivered.  Mother’s bleak mood pervaded everything.  She even made the house sulk, her terrible misery taking the shine from the polished ornaments in the front room and making even the silver look dull.  Every room, every wall, every curtain — which were invariable closed — absorbed her desolation, soaked up her moods and then radiated them back.  The depressive atmosphere was inescapable.  I can’t remember when she last uttered an encouraging word and she certainly never showed any affection.  Did she love me?  Does a child love the shadows of the night? 

* * * MY SUSPICIONS * * *

I am sure the eggs are reporting my behaviour.  Some higher authority is recording my every move.  Why else would they be here?  I mentioned it to mother but she said I was talking nonsense.  I think it’s rather strange that she cannot see them.  I daren’t raise the issue again though, for she made it clear that she didn’t want to hear any more about it.  “Eggs?  What profound rubbish …”  One never repeats oneself when mother disapproves.  She’s been very snappy these past few weeks, and I’ve noticed a certain sinister edge to the ever-pervading gloom of the house.  What’s going on?

* * * MY ENEMY * * *

One of the most disturbing things about my enemy is I have no idea who he is.  Because he’s anonymous, I find myself scrutinising everyone I meet, secretly examining them for some tell-tale sign that might betray their true identity.  But he is clever.  Wherever I go, whatever I do, I know he is there, watching, waiting.  I deduce from these facts that he is probably someone I know, perhaps someone from this locality?  How else would he have a detailed account of my whereabouts?  Not knowing where or when he will strike, if that’s what he intends to do, fills me with horror.

* * * MODUS OPERANDI OF THE EGGS * * *

How can something that is non-biological have a mood?  Observing the eggs over a period of time, I’ve noticed that they’re able to absorb peoples’ emotions and then emit the same emotions themselves.  This became apparent when they disappeared for a couple of days.  When they returned, they brought back with them a doom-laden sense of misfortune.  The weight of negative emotion that flooded out of them made me swoon.  It was so powerful I felt like committing suicide.  Suicide?  This isn’t me?  God, how I hate it in this house steeped with my mother’s sadness, alone as I am with her depression and the still, gloomy shadows of the dark rooms.  I used to be happy, a person who looked on the bright side of life.  But here I am with my head in my hands and an intense feeling of trepidation in my mind.  I’m beginning to feel violent, too.

* * * THE FEAR * * *

The BBC newsreader keeps looking at me.  I am positive he is spying on me.  Yes, by some mysterious means — probably a form of telepathy — he is monitoring my every movement.  Yesterday I distinctly heard him say: “We’re watching you. … there’s no escape.”

* * * THE EGGS AND THE PRISON * * *

Only when I turned on the radio and tuned it in to a local news station did I discover what the eggs had been up to.  They had been in the company of criminals (I should mention here that I live quite close to top security prison).  The reporter was talking about a strange phenomenon that had occurred in the jail.  Three metallic egg-like projectiles had been seen in the prison.  Officers tried to corner one of them in a psychiatric wing that housed violent murderers.  But they whizzed from the block, threading their way between the startled guards and narrowly missing two civilian painters who were up a ladder and painting the ceiling.  Later, they disappeared over the perimeter wall.  As I listened, the penny dropped.  ‘So the little blighters had been hovering around the cells of sadistic murders?  No wonder I feel suicidal …’  Disillusioned, I slumped into an armchair and fell into a deep but troubled sleep.

* * * THE DREAM * * *

Finally the rocket doors lay open.  Despite the warning cries of my crew-mates, I stepped out and onto the alien ground.  The souls of my boots sank into the soft, red sand.  I paused to scan the horizon.  Suddenly a huge cloud billowed up in the distance.  It was writhing and swirling as it snaked towards me.  The cloud was accompanied by a horrible buzzing noise that grew loader and louder.  Sensing that something terrible was going to happen, I turned and tried to run. But my legs wouldn’t move — I was paralysed, frozen to the ground with fear.  The cloud rapidly approached.  There was something unbearably familiar about it.  I shuddered.  With mounting horror, I could see that it was made up of millions upon million of eggs.

* * * THE END * * *

Awake now, I found myself walking towards my mother’s bedroom.  The eggs were whizzing around my head, but I was no longer concerned.  All I could think about was murder.  Voices were telling me that I had no other choice.  As they orbited around my head, radiating their own terrible sense of depression, I could see no alternative.  Mother had to go.  Where to dump the body was the only uncertainty.  My enemy was now my friend.  I had submitted myself to his wishes, completely.