What Lies Behind Unconscious Doors

Dr. Terranova Elbourne was just a normal psychologist until she found her husband brutally murdered by a serial killer. Along with finding the killer, she must also face her own demons that have been tormenting her far before this tragic event.

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1. Chapter 1

    She couldn’t resist.  She just had to.  It was compelling her.  Sooner or later it had to be done.  She had to reach inside that head and see what gears were turning.  That mind was the one thing that made her question her own sanity.  It’s own sanity questioned her own.  What that mind was made her a slave to her own curiosity.  She couldn’t resist.  She couldn’t--

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    It was a cold winter night when Dr. Terranova Elbourne found her husband dead in the bedroom of their small country-side house.  The old shirtless corpse of her husband sat up against the backboard of their bed.  His eyes were gouged out which gave him the appearance that the darkness within was always watching your movements.  A large sage smudging stick that was previously burned was dismantled and stuffed down his throat and mouth that left it slightly open as if in shock.  Surprisingly the only pre-mortem injury of the whole ordeal was none of thee above.  That injury was the one in which murderer ripped open the man’s rib cage and tore out the heart while it was still pumping blood.  The act and the murderer’s theatrics splattered blood that stained the whole room in the color.  Above the body, the murderer wrote one simple word in blood; Condemned.  

    Although distraught, Terra, who sat on the steps leading to a hallway that led to the bedroom, could still hear every word the coroner said to the detectives on the scene.  Their words treated her as though she was not there, like a ghost observing the tragic event.  As she sat on the stairs, one of the detectives gently rested his hand on her shoulder and asked her to come with him.  Without looking up, she went without a word.

    Lights of an ambulance and police cars echoed through the woods surrounding the house as if to ward off an unexpected predator.  Terra looked around only to absorb what has happened.  She felt as though it could have all been a dream.  The detective sat her on the picnic bench outside of the house.  

    “Hello... I’m William Golding.  I know this is hard, but can you tell me what happened?” the detective asked with a calmness in his voice.  It wasn’t a sympathetic calm, but a fed-up calm like he’s been through this too many times to count.  Terra could smell the stale booze seep from his breath.  He sat down beside her and put his hand on her knee in reassurance, but his effort was useless.  Terra’s attempts to speak were hopeless for a while, but she finally let out what she was trying to say.

    “I... I was coming home from the library when I discovered him... lying there...”  The shock became too much.  She tensed up and refused to say another word.  The memory of discovering the body flooded her mind.  

    “It’s ok...  It’s only natural.” the detective insisted.  Terra looked up from the ground to get a look of the man.  He was younger than Terra expected, around 35 years old.  He was well dressed with a dark blue suit and vest and a button-up shirt that had the top few buttons undone; the strong smell of a chain-smoker filled the air around him that Terra did not notice until then.  His brown-black hair curled slightly against his head as it tried to resist the slight winds of that night.  His green eyes told of heartbreak and misfortune.  Terra couldn’t help but feel sorry for the man.  She looked back at the ground once again.  “If you ever need anything or think of anything new that can help in the case, please call,” the detective held out a business card which Terra, with shaking hands, took from him and put it into her pocket.  He rubbed her shoulder and joined his partner and the coroner who were now outside.  This time, Terra couldn’t hear what they were saying.  

    Out of the corner of her eye she saw a car drive up to the house.  It was an old car, but attractive nonetheless.  As it parked near the other automobiles, the coroner and detectives let out a silent sigh of relief that Terra didn’t understand.  A man arose from the car, one that caught Terra’s eye in a heartbeat.  He was older than the detective, maybe around 40 to 45, but much more handsome in his own way.  His dark blonde hair extended to the nip of his neck and swayed gently in the breeze.  His face told of a lonely tiredness while his blue eyes exclaimed opportunity and power.  His suit was a navy blue color and his button-up shirt a white.  Unlike William, he had a tie that was neatly pressed against his body. He scoured the area for anything that may have been of use for him, but shielded his eyes from the blinding lights of the emergency vehicles.  He walked with poise and power that intimidated even the brutish-looking detective.  The detectives and coroner led him up to the crime scene without a word.  Terra waited for it to all be over.  

    After a few minutes, the mysterious man emerged from the house alone and looked around for something.  His eyes locked onto Terra and proceeded towards her.  She kept her gaze down in fear of what was to come.  His approach seemed to become more warming as he came closer and closer.

    “Hello,” His voice broke through to her, “My name is Dr. Clyde Brooker.  I’m here to help you along with this misfortunate event.”  His voice was truly sympathetic, but Terra couldn’t speak a word.  “I know this is hard for you...” Dr. Clyde Brooker stated, “but I need you to tell me what happened once more.  It’s the only way I can help.”  He proceeded to sit next to her on the bench, leaning slightly into her.

    “I... I...” Terra tried to mutter words, but she could only get out sharps breaths that grasped for air.  Dr. Clyde Brooker cautiously put his hand on her shoulder.  Terra flinched only slightly, but instantly felt a soothing calm fill her body.  She resumed, “I... was coming home from the library when I came upstairs and saw... saw...”  Her voice drowned out as it came closer to the end.  

    “It’s alright, you’re doing fine,” Dr. Clyde Brooker rubbed his hand on her shoulder, “When did you get home exactly?”

    “Around 9... I think... It’s just,” she stopped to think, “It’s all just a blurr...”

    “You’re doing fine,” Dr. Clyde Brooker reassured her, “Just take me through your whole day and try to include every detail you can remember, no matter how small.”  He gave a small smirk.

    “I uh...” Terra paused, “I woke up at 6:00 this morning, took a shower, got ready for work, and made breakfast at 7:00.  He was already at the table...”

    “Your husband you mean?”

    “Yes,” Terra quickly said.  “Uh... Tim was already downstairs and I made breakfast...”  She trailed off once again but picked up where she let off.  “We ate breakfast and he left for work at 8:00.  I didn’t leave for work until 8:30 since my office is closer.”

    “What does your husband do exactly?” Dr. Clyde Brooker asked.

    “He... He’s a medical doctor.  He’s a neurologist...  That’s actually how we met...”  The pause seemed shorter than the ones before.  “A year ago when I was an experimental psychologist I was working on a correlation between how we perceive certain events and which parts of the brain process them and one’s relation to and perception of the event and Tim was one of the neurologists I worked with.”  She gave an empty smile.  “We moved in together only a month later and 5 months after that we got married...”  She once again drifted.

    “Was all of this his idea or yours?”  Dr. Clyde Brooker inquired.

    “His.”  She quickly answered.  “It’s always his...”

    “Are you saying he was... a bit controlling?”

    “No!” She snapped.  Dr. Clyde Brooker lifted his hand slightly from her shoulder but let it gravitate towards Terra’s back.  Terra calmed down, “No... Not at all...”

    “It’s alright Terranova,” Dr. Clyde Brooker responded, “Please continue with what happened today.”

    Terra took a breath, “I went to work and got there at 9.  My secretary was already there and so was my first patient.  I saw 7 patients today.  I am no longer an experimental psychologist if that clears anything up...”

    “It helps,” Dr. Clyde Brooker stated but then asked, “Why did you become a psychotherapist?”

    “It was his idea...  It’s always his...”

    “Tim made you become a psychotherapist?”

    “Yes.”

    “Why?”

    “So that he could overpower me.  The truth is that I was better at my job than him.  I had more respect, more... power.  And he took that from me.  It was the last thing he did to demean me in the public eye.  He ripped it from my own flesh.”  Her words became cold and harsh.

    “I understand-”

    “No you don’t!  You don’t understand a goddamn thing!”  Her words lashed at him as she sprang up to look him in the eye.  The lights of the emergency vehicles gave the illusion that fire burned within her.  “You don’t get what he did to me.  He beat me practically everyday since we moved in.  And I didn’t do a single thing about it.”  Tears fled from her eyes.  “He took everything from me and you know what?”  She gave a twisted smile that lasted only for a second.  “I would like to personally thank the person that killed him because that’s the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me!”  

    Dr. Clyde Brooker looked up to her with only sympathy in his eyes.  Once again, he calmed her down.  She had no idea how he did it, but it worked.  “I was about to say that I understand your pain.”  He stood up and slowly approached her.  Terra took a step back but something about him told her to stay still.  “It’s ok to feel the way you feel.”  He put his hands on her shoulders.  “It’s only natural.”  His arms gently wrapped around her back.  His warmth seeped through to Terra’s shattered heart.  She closed her eyes and embraced the friendly hug.  She felt her heartbeat slow down to a normal pace.  For a split second she could hear their hearts beating in harmony.  Dr. Clyde Brooker let go and put his hands on her shoulders to sit Terra down back onto the bench. “Please go on.”

    One last time, Terra proceeded as she looked off into the wilderness before her, “I was the last one to leave work at 6.  Tim called me at noon to tell me he wouldn’t be home until around 8 so I went out for coffee.  After that I went to the library.  And then... I went home.”  She looked up to Dr. Clyde Brooker waiting for an answer.

    “Was there anyone who would want to hurt your husband?” Dr. Clyde Brooker let out.  

    “Not that I know of...” Terra answered.  “This doesn’t seem like just some angry patient... This is the work of a serial killer, isn’t it?”  Her eyes began to glisten as the lights danced on her glassy eyes.  

    “I can’t disclose too much, but I can say that there are murders that have the same M.O. as a few others in the area,” Dr. Clyde Brooker revealed, “but it will all be ok, we’ll catch the person responsible.”  He warmly smiled.  Terra couldn’t help but shyly smile slightly in response.  “Do you have any friends or family nearby that you can stay with until we catch the person who committed the crime?”

    Terra sighed, “No... Everyone in my family is either dead or on the other side of the country and when I got married, Tim made sure that my friends would be pushed as far aways from me as possible...”  Terra bathed in the loneliness until Dr. Clyde Brooker spoke.

    “Are you sure there’s no one you can stay with?”  Dr. Clyde Brooker asked once more.  Terra shook her head slightly.  “Well, I have an extra room in my house not too far from here that you can stay in.  Just until we catch the person who did this.”

    “I couldn’t accept,”  Terra graciously declined.  “You’ve already done so much, I couldn’t impose-”

    “No, no, you’re not imposing,” Dr. Clyde Brooker interjected with kind words, “I just want you to be somewhere safe.  I can promise you that you will be safe there.  And besides, I wouldn’t want you sleeping on a couch at the police station.  Those couches are very uncomfortable.”  His face warmed in a modest way.

    Terra pondered the preposition and reluctantly replied, “Ok, if it’s not a problem to you, I will accept.”  

    “Excellent,”  Dr. Clyde Brooker silently rejoiced.  “I will tell my associates of the new plans.”  The two detectives came outside.  William was lighting up a cigarette when Dr. Clyde Brooker spoke to them.  The more muscular detective seemed to be scanning for anything suspicious.  He was much more professional looking than William.  He also had a black suit and button-up shirt but it looked much more maintained and was completed with a tie.  As he adjusted the cuff of his suit, an unidentifiable tattoo was seen to extend from his lower wrist to another point on his forearm.  Terra tried to make it seem like she wasn’t paying any attention to them.  

    Dr. Clyde Brooker left the detectives after a minute and headed towards Terra, who was currently looking at the ground.  “Come,”  he said as he took her hand cautiously.  She looked up to him as he smiled, “The detectives said that we can leave now if that’s ok with you.”  Terra nodded and stood up without a word.  Dr. Clyde Brooker let go of her hand and motioned to her to follow him.  When they got to his car, he opened the passenger side door for her.  Terra thanked him with a small smile and got into the car.  It was well maintained for a car as old as it was, very sharp and clean; just like the owner.   

    Dr. Clyde Brooker got into the driver’s side fairly quickly.   He adjusted in his seat  and proceeded to turn the ignition on.  Both Terra and he put on their seatbelts and Dr. Clyde Brooker started driving.

    There was silence for a few minutes until Dr. Clyde Brooker began to speak.  

    “Tell me,” Dr. Clyde Brooker started, “Until what time did you stay at the library?”

    “Until 8.  That’s when they close,”  Terra said as she looked out the window.  “They close late on Fridays as well as Saturdays.”

    “Why did it take you so long to come home?”  Dr. Clyde Brooker inquired.

    “The library I go to is all the way across town.  When I was younger I used to go there...”  Happy memories started to appear in her head, but were soon replaced by horrific nightmares.  “I need... I...” She started to grow confused.  “I... need...” She struggled for words.  “I need to get out...”  Dr. Clyde Brooker quickly pulled the car over.  Right when the car stopped, Terra got out and leaned against the car to catch her breath.  

    “What did you remember?”  Dr. Clyde Brooker questioned.

    “I...”  She was still trying to catch her breath.

    “It’s ok.  Take your time.”

    “It’s... from my past.  All of this...”  She hesitated.  “It reminds me of when I was younger...  Every.. Single... Part...”  She tried to keep back all the memories.  Ever since she got out of that hell hole she’s put up an iron wall in between who she was now and what happened in her past, but all of that came crashing down.  She screamed in response to the psychological pain and fell to her knees.  Dr. Clyde Brooker helped her to feet, but she was already passed out from exhaustion.

 

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