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The turbines go in swirls around him, spinning, spinning, spinning. He's been there for about an hour, but they won't let him out. Not just yet. So he lays in the padded board underneath him and watch as the turbines continue to spin, spin, spin, and watch as the words drift up into the air, just as coherent as the blazing light above him.
He tries not to notice that even though they're injecting him with all different kinds of unknown chemicals, they still care about what's been happening to him. He knows when push comes to shove, he'll let it all spill out, shattering the barrier he's put up thus far.
They're supposed to be professionals, people that will help cure his particular...sensitivities. And that's just putting it lightly. His near death experience with following the words' instructions have really put a damper on his plans. And theirs.
“Can you hear me, Daniel?”
He scans his surroundings, his gaze set on the words in front of him before he realizes. It's only the doctors that have spoken to him. The words haven't magically sprouted a voice. And he's definitely glad for that. He doesn't want to confess that he's also hearing voices. That would definitely put a damper on his plans.
“Yes, Doc. I hear ya.” He says. He tries to see past the machine they've put him in, but that's nearly impossible with the words lining up into sentences in front of him. They really want him to do something right now. But he can't. Not after his mom was convinced that he needed to go some mental hospital.
“Are you...” there's a long pause, “experiencing the words right now?”
He wants to lie, to say that the words have magically disappeared, but he knows that they won't believe him. Or they'll do some more tests to ensure that they won't come back. And he can't allow that to happen. But he's not sure what to do, so he looks to the words for guidance. Short and simple.
“Yes.” He responds because the words haven't failed him yet.
He rolls his eyes and for the first time since he's been there, he tries to figure out what the words are trying to do this time. They drop in front of him, and as he reads each word, they drip to the bottom in spurts, splashing as if they're raindrops. But he knows that's just his imagination taking over again. Because there shouldn't be words out in the open like this.
Turn the turbines off and leave the hospital.
Daniel sighs, because even though he would love to do what they say, they almost killed him, and his mom would throw a fit. Especially since she's right next door. Waiting for an answer.
The words rearrange themselves accordingly. Then let us do it for you.
He admits, it's a tempting offer. He hates feeling like a lab rat, all cooped up like this in their tiny machine, but he can't. Not this time.
Let us do it for you, they say again, and it almost worries Daniel this time. Because the last time they'd insisted on doing something like this, he found blood all over his hands and his best friend on the floor.
“No.” He whispers, but the words aren't listening.
The familiar buzzing returns to his ears, and for a split second, he feels them coercing him. He feels as his eyes begin to shut so that they can guide his mind, but then a voice interrupts them, and they've been shut out of his mind. At least for now.
“We're going to take you out of there now, Daniel. Hold still.”
And then he hears as a door slams shut and they begin to pull him out of the machine.
“See anything?” He asks, but he's sure he already knows the answer.
The main doctor shakes his head as he appears. Daniel knew the chances of the doctors finding anything out on the words, but he can't help but feel disappointed at this. The words had controlled him for so long. And he was ready to part from them.
“Not anything that we can diagnose off of, though there were some interesting points.” He replies before helping Daniel up.
“And what were the interesting points?” He asks.
The doctor smirks, “I think it's best if we discuss this with your mother, no?”
Daniel frowns, but he knows the doctor is right. His mother would kill him if he heard the news without her. So he wasn't going to press the matter. Not without his mom.
“Then let's get to her.” He says. And then they leave, the words trailing behind Daniel as he tries to shake them away.
His eyes scan the area before they land on a lanky woman sitting on the chair before him. Right where he left her when he went in. Only, she's not crying this time.
He runs to her with his arms open and the doctor trails behind him. Because he knows that Daniel and she need a moment of peace before he tells them whatever he's thinking.
His mom looks up from her magazine just in time to see as he's wrapped his arms around her. Even though he's in pretty bad shape, he's still able to lift her, and she doesn't stop him because she's been worried about him since he left two hours ago.
He closes his eyes, and for a moment, he can slightly feel at peace, because the words can't force themselves under his eyelids. He's free when can't see, but he knows that he can't keep his eyes closed forever. So he sucks it up and opens them.
The doctor is hanging in the back, allowing for them to have time to converse, but Daniel knows that they must get on with it. The words won't hang on forever. And he'd like to figure something out before they became really insistent.
“What'd you find out?” His mom asks, and he smiles. Because his mother knows just when he wants to get on with his life.
The doctor squints his eyes as he glances down at a file he's just pulled out from his coat.
“We took two brain scans when we were testing you. Once with your eyes closed and you were unconscious, and another when you were awake and fully aware.” He starts before passing a sheet of paper to his mother.
“That's the first scan, which is relatively normal. But this is the second.” He hands her another sheet, and for a moment, her eyes widen.
“Now, I know that you're experienced in the brain patterns because you're a doctor yourself, but let's explain it to your son.” He says to her reaction.
Daniel gazes at the two scans, scrutinizing every detail. He notices that the colors have either shrunk or enlarged, but he's not sure what any of it means. Or where any of the parts of the brain are located.
“It's like he's dreaming.” She whispers, and the doctor nods.
“Or that he's in high meditation. But it's odd, isn't it? He was awake the entire time when we took the second and he was completely coherent, which brings up the question. Why does it seem like you're dreaming?” The doctor finishes.
Daniel frowns, mostly because he doesn't understand how it seems like he's dreaming, but also because he knows that they must've taken this scan when he was fighting with the words. So what does that mean for him exactly? That every time he sees the words he's dreaming? And if that's the case, the only time he's awake is when his eyes are closed.
“So what do we do about this then?” His mom asks.
The doctor purses his lips as he sees Daniel's expression, and pulls his mother aside, “Why don't we give him some time to figure this out?”
His mother glances over at him with a look of concern as he stares in the distance and nods. She can't bear to see him like this. Not when he was completely fine just a few years ago.
“Okay, let's talk about what you're thinking then.” She whispers.
Daniel clenches his jaw as the tingling returns to his palms. The buzzing is getting worse, and he knows that if he doesn't leave right now, the words are going to do it for him.
“Just give me a minute.” He whispers under his breath, but the words aren't having it.
His breathing becomes ragged, and he fears that he's going to collapse, but the words are inching their way into his mind. He's barely able to contain himself for another second before they've finally taken over. And he can't do a thing. Just watches from afar.
Daniel's mom releases a shaky breath as the doctor pulls her into a hug. What the doctor is suggesting...it might mean that she won't be able to see her son for months. Maybe years.
“What's the other option?” She asks, even though the first would probably be the best.
The doctor frowns, “Well...we could give him Ritalin and see how that goes. But...I really think that he'd be better off with full supervision, 24/7.”
She frowns this time and rubs the back of her neck. The In-residence hospital would probably be the best, but she doesn't want to lose him. She's already lost her husband from cancer.
“How far away would this place be? And when could I visit?” She questions.
The doctor forces a smile. Because he knows that she's going to do the right thing. Even if it does hurt her.
“You would see Daniel at least every month, and I promise, it's not too far. Only about sixteen miles from here. And I have a friend there who will take great care of him.” He explains.
She nods, and for the first time, peers over to see how Daniel's doing. But he's gone.
“Daniel?” She calls out. But she knows that he's already gone and he's in no condition to go anywhere by himself.
The doctor scans the area in confusion before he returns his gaze to his mother.
“He's gone.” He says. And she nods at this, but fear overwhelms her. The last time he wandered off like that, he was run over by a truck.
The doctor seems to just realize and slams his hand on a button on the wall. An alarm springs to life, alerting all the staff that a patient is on the loose. And is highly dangerous to himself.
He springs into action and runs for the nurses' station. Leaving Daniel's mother alone wallowing in fear.
“Daniel Richmond is considered highly dangerous to himself and should be intercepted immediately if run across.”
Daniel frowns, at least, inside his head because the words won't allow him to take over yet.
He isn't dangerous to himself. Not without the words, but that's not what he's frowning about. If anyone stumbles across him, the words will attack, and they won't do it mercilessly.
The words take him down the stairs because they both know it'd be least likely to run into anyone. His bare feet slap the concrete stairs, making noises that are echoing throughout the room, and it churns his stomach. He doesn't want to hurt anyone, especially since they're only trying to help.
“Let me take over,” he begs, “I'll take us outta here.”
They push open the door on the second floor and for a split second, he feels lightheaded. The words have stopped, and Daniel realizes why as soon as he opens his eyes again.
The doctor is there. And his mother is with him.
“Where are you going, Daniel? What is so important that you must leave?” The doctor questions.
Daniel wants to yell, to say that it's not him that's doing all this, but he can't. And the words won't answer him. They just don't run that way. So they stand there, fists clenched and head tilted.
The doctor takes a cautious step towards them, clearly afraid that Daniel's going to do something. But Daniel would never do anything to hurt anyone. It's the words that do it for him.
“You need to rest, okay? Your body is in no condition to take off like this.” The doctor says, reaching out for Daniel.
But they won't move. Not yet. And he hopes that they never do.
The doctor looks perplexed and reaches out for Daniel's hand, but they pull back.
“Why are your eyes dilated?” The doctor mutters under his breath and turns to his mother.
“Has your son taken any prescription drugs since he was brought here?” He asks her.
She blinks a few times in surprise before shaking her head. What does that have to do with anything?
The doctor turns back to Daniel his hands outstretched and feels his arm rise. And his heart speeds up. The words are defensive now, and they won't hold back if the doctor tries to take him down.
“Please, just let me do this. Please! I will ensure that we're outta here!” He exclaims. His ears are buzzing worse now. He gulps, because he knows exactly what that means. The words are about to attack.
The doctor raises a brow, but he keeps going. He's tempting them. He knows that he's ready to punch. But he can't let them.
He forces his eyes shut, his heart pounding, and trying with all his might to pull his arm back. To make the words go away. He won't hurt another person. Especially not a person that's trying to help him.
His eyes open again and the doctor has ahold of his wrist, he's pulling Daniel away from the doors and his mother is beside him, staring at Daniel in horror. He looks cold, as though there's nothing left inside his soul. And when he looks at her, his eyes darken.
“We're going to figure this out. I promise you, Daniel,” The doctor says, turning away from him, “but I need you to relax.”
The doctor pulls a needle out of his pocket and points it in Daniel's direction. He's getting ready to plunge it into his vein, but the words won't let him. They pull Daniel's arm away from the doctor and lash out, catching the doctor on the cheek with his nails. The doctor screeches and drops the needle instantly, but is able to keep his balance and calls out for help. It's pretty clear that he's not going to get Daniel to stay here without force.
Meanwhile, Daniel's nearly tearing himself apart trying to gain control over his body, and when the words attack the doctor, he's able to gain some control over his legs. They fall over, slamming his head against the floor, and by the time Daniel finally takes control, the doctors are pinning him to the ground, holding his arm down as the doctor plunges the needle into his arm.
His body relaxes as his mother drops down to him, cradling his head in her lap as tears drip down her face. She knows that she must let him go to the mental hospital, but she doesn't want to. He's her only family.
Daniel lets out a gasp as pain resides from his head, and opens his eyes, meeting his mother's. But when she sees his eyes this time, they're not cold and hardened. Nor are they dilated.
She can see that he's really tired, and that he's going to become unconscious soon, but he pulls her closer with tears in his eyes.
“I didn't mean to hurt him. I didn't. It was the words.”