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Thread: A Puff of Madness.

  1. #1
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    A Puff of Madness.

    Have recently started putting fingers to keys, after years of thinking about it and this is one of the things that fell out.

    It is impossible for me to pinpoint the exact moment at which I began to lose my mind. After all that's the idea really, your brain has just had enough, it shuts up shop, it goes fishing, sianara, and tatty bye.

    No more worry, no more memories.

    I think going mad may be an ejector seat for the psyche, bailing out is the only way it can save itself from.... what?
    If we didn't go mad would we physically blow a gasket? Would the gears that are slipping a little actually jump right off and go bouncing down the street leaving the body to fall lifeless to the ground?
    I hope to never know.

    Friends and neighbours tell you little stories of "The moment they started to worry about you". That day they saw you hanging out the washing in your undies, the afternoon they called round and you muttered to them about someone in the cupboard .

    ''Shhh they might be listening !''

    Sometimes bits of it float back as they talk, it all strikes you as odd because at the time you thought you were dealing with it ok. And maybe you laugh a little, after all someone hanging out the washing in their pants is kind of funny. But what frightens you is knowing that that wasn't it. There were times when no one could see what you were doing and what would they think if they knew about those times. At what point did things change so that people in the cupboard seemed reasonable and it was just too hot to wear clothes despite it being October.

    Sometimes I have flashes that float through the static.

    The first delusion I clearly remember starts with finding the object, it looked like a shiny penny at first so I picked it up "And all that day you'll have good luck''. But once in my pocket, under my fingers, it seemed round and smooth like a marble and strangely I sensed it was trying to become a part of me. No longer inanimate I felt it was waiting for me to do something and wondering why I hadn't done it yet. By the time I got home it seemed too big for my pocket, a strange sphere that felt cold against the palms of my hands as I cradled it. There was a weird hum about it, not heard exactly but felt by my whole being which made me feel peculiar and flushed like a too hot bath.
    I realised that I was experiencing some kind of psychosis so I bowled it away from me and it went under the couch. I felt better then but I could still sense it vibrating gently, as if it was waiting for me under there with the fluff and lost remotes.

    I don't know how long after that the voices began. I remember several sleepless nights and confused days, but how many I can't be sure. Nights spent twisted and fretting in bed as if it were the height of summer, even though it was autumn. To get some sleep I read a lot of books, tried warm baths and soothing essential oils to no avail. I even forced down mugs of steaming milk despite the sweat that was dripping from me. I tried to soothe my skin with cooling balms, wear a cold flannel on my head and became obsessed with checking my temperature, which was perfectly normal by the way, but nothing helped. So when the voices started to be honest I wasn't that surprised.
    That's all part of loosing the plot I thought, voices in the head and sleepless nights.
    Luckily the doctors have pills for that.

    One night I remember being sat on a stool in the kitchen in front of the fridge with the door open. I was rubbing ice cubes over my blazing skin which was behaving particularly badly. I studiously ignored the pull of the object under the couch, which seemed to be calling to me in pulsing vibrations making my skin both burn and crawl. When I sensed the whisperings behind me I tried to ignore them too, at first.
    They came to me in the same kind of vibrating hum that the object gave off and added even more to the feverishness I felt. Eventually the draw became too much and I steeled myself to open the kitchen cupboard door. I turned the handle cautiously, expecting to see nothing except a mop, ironing board and broom in there. But as the door opened I could see through the crack that something was wrong. I could almost feel my mind turning inside out as it tried to process what my eyes were viewing. The household clutter was there but somehow occupying the same space, like a photo that has been overexposed with another image, was an alien world.

    Though the image before me was very clear and in 3D, it was evidently only a projection of some kind. The beings , and the craft they were in ,were not physically in my cupboard of course but I somehow sensed that what I was looking at could be used as a portal.
    The walls of the craft were smooth and made of the same iridescent material as the object. It was a solid yet seemed to ebb and swirl like oil on water. However it was the creatures them selves which held my gaze. They were humanoid, smooth and hairless. They seemed to be constructed from shifting green plates which made the vibrating noise of their communication. Strangely it was not a harsh insect sound but a beautiful singing hum, however it pierced through my skin and vibrated my bones to a degree that was now painful.

    My poor confused brain imagined that they were trying to communicate with me. The sounds seeming to come not through my ears but through my skin. The strange creatures pointed at the object, which now mysteriously sat in the middle of the kitchen and looked even bigger. They sang on in their wondrous way. I turned up the TV and switched on the radio to drown them out. Turning my back on the strange hallucination , I ate tub after tub of ice-cream as my fevered skin burned and crawled with the vibrations of their voices.

    They began to get frustrated with me, the tone of their hum changed as the vibrating of their plates became more violent. Oddly this made it easier to bear and I turned to look at them once more. The colour of their skin had darkened and the gentle faces had become like snarling dogs. They were pointing furiously at the object and I realised that it and me were stopping them from coming through.
    Like a dream within a dream I saw the objects scattered through our galaxy like seeds, as a quick way to find new life. I had to join with it somehow to give them a link to this planet or coordinates maybe. I didn't even know if human physiology would be able to do that, but looking at their faces made me choose not to even try.
    I was very frightened now and began to back away, then even more alarmed as I realised I was beginning to take these delusions seriously. In a rush I slammed the door and went in to the garden, giggling wildly at this point not sure of what was real and what was madness. I lay on the grass, it was cold and the dampness soaked me through, it was wonderful. I lay there all night drifting and dreaming with my eyes open staring blindly at the stars.

    There were a few more confused days, but eventually I braved opening the cupboard to find it was just that again. The strange double image had gone. In a sigh I thanked a God I hadn't spoken to in years. I was so relieved that finally the hallucinations had stopped and I could think a lot clearer. Maybe I was getting better.
    I spent a bit of time cleaning the house and got rid of the strange scorch marks on the kitchen cupboard door. I had no more delusions about the object either, the vibrating hum of my bones had ceased and the fog in my brain was beginning to clear.

    I am just fine now, no strange episodes for months, the doctor has taken me off the tablets and my psychiatrist says he has never seen anyone recover so quickly from such a major episode.

    Yes everything is ok, no more insomnia or feverishness.
    So I have the occasional bit of sleep walking but that doesn't worry me.
    Sometimes, just sometimes, I find my self sat on the kitchen floor, knees bent, arms wrapped tightly around them.
    Rocking slightly, I find myself looking at the kitchen cupboard as if waiting, with no idea how I got there.
    But it's ok, I am not going mad again....It's ok ....everything will be...
    Last edited by Bluehound; 02-16-2011 at 07:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    I enjoyed the story. It drew you into a frightening abyss, with a touch of irony at first, and then the depths, followed by evolvement into "the light." Depression is one thing, but mental illness evokes helplessness in those close to the one that is going through it. You handled the material well with just the right amount of sensitivity.


  3. #3
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    A very lucid description of psychotic behaviour.

    You did a good job of getting beneath the skin of the condition - the aberrant behaviour and the belief that things are normal even though certain obsessive thoughts linger at the fringes of your consciousness.

    I felt the penultimate paragraph was rather weak - as if you were in a rush to neatly tie every loose end (note 'loose' and 'lose' are two different words - typo in opening sentence). Because the paragraph that follows suggests things are still far from normal making for a much more interesting finale.


  4. #4
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    Haha thanks, I am terrible at spelling and the spell check only flags wrongly spelt ones, not always wrongly placed.
    Maybe letting a mind "loose" can be for my next story.

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