Hell in the head

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wrestle with yourself over what is right and is wrong, with someone to fight against you swirling around in your head. Trust me, you don't want to know, but if you must - read on.

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1. Hell in the head

Hell in the head

 

   The sink shattered with such force that shards of pottery embedded themselves in the wooden floorboards of the bathroom. The blow had come from a large hammer, which had been bought crashing down onto the basin in a blind strike of anger and now hung at the side of a young man no older than fifteen whose face was shiny with the sweat which had matted his hair and whose chest rose and fell heavily. His eyes were wild and primal, their pupils barely visible in the striking blue of the iris which had swamped into them, leaving only a ragged pinprick of black in the centre of the eye.

   Though he said nothing, his mind was roiling, the mad hellishness of himself fighting to break free. Why did I do that? his mind screamed at him, why did I pick the hammer up in the first place? Put it down, walk away. This’ll all blow over when mum and dad get back.

   His breathing began to become shallower, but then, from the deepest, darkest pits of his mind came another voice – chillingly devoid of humanity and frighteningly clear. But you’re not going to walk away are you? Do you want to know why? It is because you’re weak – you can’t stop me forever. I’m you. You can’t make me go anywhere; you can’t get rid of me. And now its my turn to drive. A chilling laugh ripped through his skull, cold and evil before the hammer was up once again and he swung with all his might against the wall, caving it in. Dust rained down from the ceiling as brick and mortar tumbled down the staircase before the hammer splintered the banister with such force its own momentum carried it through the opposite wall and yanked the boy over the banister and tumbling down the steps.

   With a sickening crack, he hit the floor and his snapped spinal cord sliced upwards from his back. All was silent for a moment before the corpse twitched and then the spine slid back into the skin and with a click, seamed itself back together again. The boy lifted his head. The blue had gone from his eyes and he blinked in terror. What had just happened? Had he fell straight down the stairs and survived or was that warm feeling spreading across his back what he thought it was?

   His arm went round to his back and then drew it to his face; he noticed the shine of the blood on it. Oddly, he was not scared, but instead disappointed – he’d survived. Now he had to live with the creature inside his head again. But it wasn’t a creature it was him. But who am I? he thought. What is my name? I have forgotten. J… J… J… Joe? No that wasn’t it. Jake? No. Jim? No. That was it – James.

   That’s right James, came that awful voice again, and guess who is still here? Yep – hell. That’s who is still here. Hell in your head. You thought you’d got rid of me – ha! I’M THE REASON YOU SURVIVED THAT YOU FOOL! YOU THINK I’M GONNA LEAVE YOU AT PEACE! The pain inside James’ skull as the voice bellowed was unbearable, like a blade was being slowly driven through his brain and somehow he was still conscious to feel it. Then the voice dropped into its friendly, whispering tone again. No, I won’t leave you, because I was made to do exactly the opposite. Don’t ask me why, but someone wants you to go through living hell. You’ve seen the films – where someone gets possessed and they lose the entire knowledge of right and wrong. Except this is the total opposite isn’t it? Because you haven’t gone anywhere, and when I’ve beaten your worthless kind side into the recesses of your mind, I’ll make you watch as I kill. I’ll make you watch as I destroy your life around you.

   Why me? he thought to himself, blood leaking from the wound in his back and soaking into the carpet he was kneeling on.

   I’ve already said I don’t know why you. But I recall you telling somebody about me, didn’t you? What was it you called me? Ah yes, Hyde. Robert Louis-Stevenson didn’t have a clue about the real me, but I suppose it’s a suitable name. And what was it they said to you? Ah, I remember “What happens when Hyde takes you over?”

   Yes, James thought, hearing the chuckle in the back of his mind, that’s what he said. And they’re my friend! Those I told were all my friends! And they're better than me - they'd be able to handle this. I just can't. Suddenly anger rose unabated in James and he stood up and a mighty scream ripped from his lungs. He heard Hyde in the back of his mind before the monstrous side of himself’s voice returned.

   Oh! Well aren’t we getting ambitious, think you can take me on, do you? Bring it you worthless piece of meat. I’m gonna enjoy this. Suddenly the blue of his irises flooded his pupils again and for a moment a malicious smile spread across his face before the colour receded from his eyes and James’ ‘Jekyll’ side returned. He chuckled before he felt Hyde ripping at his mind and the colour flashed in and out of his eyes as each side to him fought for control.

   Without realising, Jame slammed his fist into the wall and it went straight through bringing dust tumbling down. Travelling slowly down the corridor, he tore it up, ripping pictures from the wall, smashing mirrors and kicking the legs from beneath a small table before stamping it into a million splinters.

   Bursting through into the front room he grabbed the door and twisted it with all his might and one hinge snapped leaving the other badly bent and the door hanging awkwardly off of it. Lifting the small table next to the sofa he smashed it against the wall, blue flashing into his pupils for a moment before ‘Jekyll’ returned and he stared at his shaking hands before rage burst through him at Hyde and he smashed the clock on the fireplace.

   The destruction he was causing may not have been doing anything about Hyde externally, but it was doing plenty within. Forever he had fought against Hyde by trying to be very upbeat to counteract the murderous – and worse – thoughts that swept through his mind, which he had never been able to hinder. Now though he realised that his own rage was a match enough for Hyde and so every bit of destruction he caused was another attack on the monster in his mind. At the same time, Hyde was using the same tactic and James could feel ‘Jekyll’ weakening within him, his mind beginning to give in to the malice at its centre.

   Suddenly Hyde overtook ‘Jekyll’ and blue flooded James' pupils. He dropped to the floor, his mind breaking beneath the pummelling Hyde was giving it. Years he’d taken this, and he was so tired of it all. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if he gave in, if he just let Hyde have his mind and use it for his own purposes; at least then he wouldn’t have to fight anymore. Then, with a final, excruciating mental blow Hyde smashed ‘Jekyll’ into the darkest recesses of James' mind.

   Staring at the ground a malicious smile spread across James face before he raised his head and stood up. The Hyde part of James peered about at the carnage he and ‘Jekyll’ had caused. Then, for the first time the boy spoke. It was in a voice that was chillingly devoid of emotion and dripping with malice.

   ‘Time to have some fun. And James, I hope you’re sitting comfortably in there ‘cause I’m gonna give you front row seats.’

   With that he strode into the kitchen with a overly-confident, cocky swagger and rifled through the drawers. The blood that had soaked his shirt had begun to stop leaking from the wound but the red still showed brightly up against the white of the cloth in the harsh light of the kitchen. Finding what he wanted, James’s Hyde side lifted a large knife which glinted under the light.

   He grinned, ‘Let’s see who we can make ghosts out of tonight.’ He chuckled with pure evil, looking at the calendar, ‘And how appropriate, it’s All Hallows’ Eve.’ Without another word he slashed the calendar and stepped out of the back door, going through the gate onto the street. A girl about his age passed him by and threw him a quick smile, not noticing the terrible eyes he had or the hands held behind his back which held the knife out of view.

   Sliding the knife up his sleeve he dropped into step beside her, though not before muttering under his breath, ‘Sit back and enjoy the show my friend.’

   ‘Hey,’ she said.

   ‘Hey, so what brings you out on this of all nights?’…

 

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