He lay in the muggy darkness of the night, trying to center himself to no avail. Sighing deeply, he swung his legs over the side of the uncomfortable bed and sat, in silence, waiting for the waves of disorientation to pass.
A trembling hand snagged the brown prescription bottle off the nightstand and he shook it, listening to the rattle of the shiny capsules contained therein. Whatever surcease he might find from his internal unrest, he knew the pills were, most definitely, incapable of providing such. They placed him into a false, contrived state of mind where he was incapable of forming original or coherent thoughts. Most disturbing of all was the manner by which they denied him the ability to hear Her voice.
She had first spoken to him while he was still a prisoner of the State. Though he was required to participate in counselling and submit to the doctors and psychologists, they could not accomplish what only She could. Her’s was the voice of hope, of encouragement, of self-worth and purpose. She was the bastion of stability and sanity he so desperately needed.
He was convinced She was an angel. Whether a servant of Allah, or the Almighty, of the Buddha or of Vishnu he could not say, for She spoke from all of their precepts. She whispered he must do as the doctors required, must say that which they wished to hear, and must act as they intended if he were to ever be free to pursue any sort of life. Thus, he had done as She asked when he felt no compunction to comply with the voice of any other.
His freedom had been achieved and perhaps that was worse than his physical imprisonment, he mused. Friendless, adrift, devoid of focus, he despaired. It was during those first dark days, when he needed her most, his angel had not spoken to him. He discovered it was the damnable pills that silenced her and so, despite his promises to the contrary, he had ceased to take them. Four long and agonizing days later, his system was purged enough of the medicinal poisons for him to again hear Her.
In the intervening weeks, he listened to Her every word, hanging on the concepts and ideas she spun forth for him. Enthralled…enraptured by the truth and the clarity of her words, he could do little else. She had spoken to him of the purpose only alluded to during his imprisonment and tonight he was to achieve that purpose. She crooned comforting words into his jumbled mind that set him to rights at last. An hour later, he walked the gritty streets on a quest of enlightenment and fulfillment to make Her proud of his progress towards perfection.
The bar was crowded on this particular night. Soulful music emanated from the stage as the band played to the masses. Taking a seat in the darkened comfort of the corner, he set his backpack on the floor beneath the table. Drinking from the beer he was constrained to purchase, his eyes scanned the motley assemblage of humanity that filled the room. They were every bit as damaged, imperfect and unsound as the world told him he was and yet, they had companionship, acceptance, and approbation. It was…wrong for things to be so.
Their souls were dark. Their souls were grimy and their minds filled with evil and unwholesome influences. Their abhorrent natures might be concealed by toned and tattooed flesh encased in designer clothing and contrived costumes but the truth could not be so easily disguised. These were the pretenders…the defilers…the diseased and discordant. She spoke in his mind of what he must do to free them…to empower them to be more than they were.
Nodding in agreement to Her, he reached into his backpack and depressed the large button on the side of the device he had constructed with her guidance. The timer lit up and began to count backwards from 300. Sitting in that noisesome place, surrounded by that repellant mass of flawed beings, he heard nothing but Her voice singing to him as he awaited the end of their lives and the beginning of whatever came after….this.