Devil You Know
“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” --Oscar Wilde
Many times I had told the others that getting out would be easy then made some excuse as to why it wasn't a good idea at the time, why they'd simply find us and bring us back. The truth was: I was scared, scared that a failed attempt would lead to one or more of us being carried away in a straightjacket to one of those wings from which there was no return. Scared that perhaps getting out wasn't really all that easy after all. Scared that I wasn't the man everyone looked to me to be.
That's why, when Tom was placed among our midst I was such a skeptic. You see, all Tom talked about was getting out and how we were subjects of some sort of mind control experiments being warehoused in the asylum until the next experiment or the next time they needed us to do something for them that normal people wouldn't do.
Tom was about the same age as myself, seemed rational in most respects, claimed to have several advanced degrees in engineering and seemed to have the smarts to back it up but the fact that he showed up so soon after I'd had my experience with going back home seemed somehow uncanny.
Tom seemed to know that I knew that things weren't what they seemed to be but I avoided talking with him about it, preferring instead to change the subject every time he brought it up. "So how long you been here?" Tom asked.
"Who knows," I replied, "Years I guess."
"Yeah," he said, "They don't let you keep track of time in these places."
"Places?" I asked. "You talk like there's more than one."
"I've been in several," Tom said. "They're all over the country. In time you'll start remembering the others you've been in as well."
"Yeah, really," Tom said, "Just don't tell the shrinks you remember anything other than what happens right here."
"I'll remember that," I said as I walked away wanting to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible.
It was like I had been programmed to do it. There was no thoughts, no fears and no concerns, I just did it as if I were a machine designed and built to do exactly that and no more. Suddenly I found myself in the Korean Central Intelligence Agency safe-house inside the Blue House presidential compound in South Korea. I raised my weapon and fired killing six people including South Korean President Park Chung-hee. Then I awoke to find myself lying in my bed in Asylumland with Irene, Janice, Joe, Sabrina and Sara all in my room with me. "They told us you has a stroke," Irene said, "A TIA, they called it. They said you'll be alright soon."
"I didn't have a stroke," I answered.
"You didn't?" Irene asked. "Then what was wrong with you?"
"There was nothing wrong with me," I replied. "They used me to kill someone and I'm not supposed to remember but I do."
"But how?" she asked.
"That's what we've got to find out." I answered.
The others just looked on, shocked at what they had just heard, unsure if I was sane or not.