Life With My Dark Shadow
Walls. That’s all Jarard Rori could see. Just white padded walls, surrounding him in a padded cell. This cell only had a cot for a bed and a window for light, but it was the only thing Jarard had that was even remotely close to a home. He didn’t mind the sight of them, as there was at least one good thing about them. They meant that he wasn’t being toyed by him for the time being. It was May 10th, 2019. That meant that it had been a year since Jarard was committed to Whitehurst Asylum For The Insane, and a year and a half since “He” started playing with him. Jarard would naturally stroke his brown hair to pass the time, but he was afraid of what “He” would make him do. Jarard turned his brown eyes to his left to see if that maniac was still there. He wasn’t surprised to see Jack sitting in the corner sneering at him. Jack had always found pleasure in seeing Jarard suffer. Jarard could still remember the day he met Jack. He was about 18 years old when they first met. Jarard didn’t have many friends growing up, so it was a warm surprise when someone offered to be his friend. However, his 18 year old self didn’t know just how twisted that thing was inside. It started off nice at first with Jack being a swell guy who would be off every once in a while. But 17 years later, Jack became demented, wanting to see how many ways he could break Jarard. Jack would usually play tricks on Jarard, somehow bending reality to make Jarard do what he wanted. That was how Jarard ended up here. It was a normal summer’s night, but it would soon become the worst day of Jarard’s life. Jack had been more crueler than usual and made Jarard suffer every second. Jarard was fed up with Jack at that point, and thought that there was only one way to end it. Jarard had stumbled through what seemed like a dark hallway until he found a desk. He opened up a compartment and found what he was looking for, a scalpel. He then started calling for Jack, telling him to come out. After a few minutes of shouting, the fiendish man was before him. He saw the black haired devil step out and stare at him. His body hung like a ragdoll’s, and his black hair hung down to shoulders. He saw what Jarard was holding but still smiled and laughed. Jarard had had enough, he rushed forward and brought the scalpel up. He brought it down on Jack, sinking it into his neck, and then reality came back. Jarard couldn’t believe his eyes. Before him wasn’t Jack’s body, but it was the body of Jarard’s wife. Jarard looked around and found himself in his own kitchen, a drawer open, and a now bloodied knife in his hand. The trial didn’t last long, Jarard was deemed insane for all his ramblings about Jack. He was still here a year later, and Jack had never left. “What do you want?” asked Jarard, “You’ve ruined my life, you took all those I love, what else do you want?”
“Still don’t get it, do you?” tsked Jack, giggling with every word, “I said I’d be with you wherever you go. Even though you’re confined here, I can still have a lot of fun. We’re best friends for life, right?”
“YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!!!” screamed Jarard, “You’re just a demon that’s set to ruin my life. A real friend wouldn’t toy with my head. A real friend would leave me alone instead of toying with my life.” Jack just giggled, pleased with the reaction he got. Jarard began to calm down when he heard the door open. An orderly stepped into the room.
“Jarard Lancaster Rori?” addressed the orderly, “It’s time for you’re weekly meeting. Would you please come with me?” Jarard got up and followed the orderly through the asylum. They traversed many halls until they got to a door with a name on it. Jarard entered the room to find himself in an office. In the far left corner of the room sat a big desk, and sitting behind the desk was a man Jarard met with every week. His name was Gordon Lawrenceson, and he was a doctor that worked at the asylum. Gordon looked up from his work and saw Jarard.
“Oh, Jarard.” said Gordon, smiling at the sight of him, “Please sit down. I’ll be with you in a minute.” Jarard took his seat in front of the desk. As Jarard waited for Gordon to finish, he scanned the room that he had grown accustomed to. Above Gordon’s head was his PHDs and license that proved he was a professional in his line of work. Jarard could respect that, seeing as he was a professional engineer before all this happened. He liked Gordon because Gordon listened to him, and it was these meetings that Jarard looked forward to. Gordon seemed to understand what Jarard was going through, and even though he still hadn’t found a way to make Jack go away, he hadn’t given up on Jarard. “Okay, I’m ready.” said Gordon, pushing some papers aside, “Now let’s start with going over our last meeting. You say Jack is getting worse?”
“Yes.” answered Jarard, “He won’t leave. No matter what I try, he’s still there smiling at me.”
“Well, has Jack simmered down for a bit?” asked Gordon.
“Yes.” answered Jarard, “But, when he’s calm, it means he has something big planned.”
“Was he calm a few days prior to May 10th, 2018?” asked Gordon, “Has he ever shown any signs of malice?”
“He was calm for two days before the night of the murder, yes.” answered Jarard, “But no, he always seems to hide his delight when he’s got something big planned.”
“Do you really think he can help you?” giggled Jack, “He doesn’t believe you. He’ll soon see it’s helpless and leave you all alone with me. Oh what fun we’ll have. Trust me, it’ll be a real knee slapper …… for me.” Jarard just ignored Jack. He couldn’t let Jack get to him.
“Well, maybe he does give off signs, signs you don’t notice.” said Gordon, “I’ll be honest with you, this past year has had little to no progress. I’ve been trying hard, but you need to start accepting that this Jack character is false. He’s just something you think you can put the blame on. I won’t lose hope Jarard, but I need you to work with me.” Jarard was getting a bit angered, but held it down and continued to keep calm.
“Do you have any more ideas that could keep Jack at bay?” asked Jarard, on the verge of tears, “I can’t let him win again. I don’t want to hurt anyone again.”
“Now there’s a start.” remarked Gordon, “You admit that it was you. You know Jack can’t be responsible. You feel remorse. We may just be getting somewhere. As for any tricks, I have two. First off, if “Jack” is playing tricks on you, just try to find a way to really remind yourself what’s real, pinch yourself really hard if you need to. Another thing you could do is to try to be the opposite of Jack. If Jack really is chaos, try to respond with order. Don’t give him what he wants.” Those words were simple and hardly made sense, but they still filled Jarard with hope. “Well, I believe that concludes our session.” said Gordon, “We’ll pick this up next week. Please, return to your room.” An orderly escorted Jarard from the office back to his room. Jarard went back to sitting on his cot.
“Geez, what a load of rubbish” giggled Jack. Jarard didn’t respond, he didn’t even look at Jack. Jack took notice and quickly became annoyed. “Do you really think that the tricks he gives you will work?” asked Jack, “You’re just a marionette, dancing to my puppet strings. The doc can’t change that. No matter how hard either of you swing, my puppet strings won’t break. You’re mine, don’t forget that.” Jarard didn’t answer. “Okay then.” said Jack, now starting to get mad, “If I’m not real, then how come I can do this?” Jack took a swing at Jarard. Jarard’s eyes widened at the sudden realization that he could feel the blow connect with his head. Very soon, Jarard was down and out. He seemed to have been concussed by the blow. Jarard woke up about an hour later, waking to see a triumphant Jack standing over him. “So, next time you think I’m not real, buckko, just remember that.” giggled Jack. The rest of the day passed, and Jarard trying to make heads or tails out of the incident. Soon, night came and it became lights out after a few hours. Jarard layed down on his cot, and began to close his eyes. “Well, this has been fun.” exclaimed Jack, “I expect tomorrow to be the same. Get some shut eye buddy. We’ve got lots of games tomorrow, first thing in the morning.” Jarard closed his eyes and drifted off into a deep sleep. He sometimes dreaded dreaming because Jack would sometimes follow him, and torment him for what felt like days. This was, thankfully, not one of these occasions. Jarard looked around, he couldn’t quite tell where he was. It was as if he was outside an airplane that was already high in the sky. Clouds rested beneath his feet but had somehow remained solid. He could breathe normally, as if he were on the ground.
“I can help.” said a voice. Jarard looked around, wondering where the voice came from. It was a short sentence, but it was calm and soothing, exactly the opposite of Jack’s voice. “Don’t let him get to you.” said the voice once again, “He can’t do a thing to you unless you think he can, and that’s exactly what he wants you to think. It’s how you were able to feel his punch. I’ll see you after you wake, just remember this. If he really hit you, wouldn’t your head hurt?” Jarard woke up with a start. For the first time in a year, he had felt calm, relaxed, and confident.
“Well, you’re up early.” exclaimed Jack, “Don’t tell me, you couldn’t help but imagine the fun we’ll have today?” Jarard ignored Jack and felt around his head. As the voice said, there was no pain. It was as if Jack didn’t hit him at all. “HEY!” yelled Jack, startling Jarard out of his trance, “You’ll look and answer me when I’m talkin’ to you. Got it?” Jarard went back to ignoring Jack, not giving Jack any satisfaction. “Well, if you’re gonna be like that, then let’s begin.” giggled Jack. He got up and started to wave his hands around, as if he were trying to rearrange the room. Jarard tried to close his eyes or cover his ears, but it was as if Jack had a mental hold on him, preventing him from doing so. A smile crept across Jack’s face as knew he had full control, but that quickly faded. Jarard was confused, Jack had never stopped before. “Who are you?” asked Jack. Jarard pointed at himself as a way to ask if Jack was talking to him. “Not you.” said Jack, a hint of annoyance in his voice, “I’m talking to the man behind you.” Jarard spun around to see what Jack was talking about. Jarard couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Behind him was a blonde haired, caucasian man who couldn’t be any older than Jarard.
“I told you not to let his tricks get to you.” said the man.
“Wh-Who are you?” asked Jarard, locked in a state of confusion.
“Sorry, I should have introduced myself earlier.” said the man, “My name is David, and I’m here to set you free.” Jarard couldn’t believe what he was hearing. This man just appeared out of nowhere, and now he claims he’s going to set him free. Thoughts raced through Jarard’s mind. He wondered if David was really there to help, was he just like Jack, or if this was just another one of Jack’s tricks. David took notice of Jarard’s confusion/concern. “Peace, new friend.” said David, “I mean what I say. I’m here to help you, and if you follow me on the path, you’ll be free of that little devil that torments you.”
“Are you sure?” asked Jarard. He wanted to believe him, but he didn’t know if he could be sure or not.
“Yes.” stated David, “I’m here to help. With my guidance, you shall be free of this creatin. Then, you will no longer be tormen-.”
“Blah blah blah.” interrupted Jack, “You really think you can stop me? Sorry buddy, but here, it’s my show. And since it’s my show it’s my rules.” Jack then turned his head from David, and focused on Jarard. “And, don’t you go following him.” Jack ordered, “Remember, I can ruin your life even more with the snap of my fingers. You’re my puppet, and I’m your puppet master. If you dare try-.”
“You’ll do nothing!” shouted David, holding a bold expression, “You can’t do any real harm to him. That’s what you’re trying to keep him from finding out. You have no power over him. You’re scared because you know it’s only a matter of time before you vanish.” Jarard couldn’t believe what he was hearing. If what David said was true, then he finally had a chance to be free of Jack. Jack then began to giggle. His giggles turned to laughs, and then the laughs turned to cackles, but his attention never deviated from both David and Jarard.
“Afraid?” cackled Jack, “What do I have to be afraid of? You really think you two can make me go away? Tell you what, If I do vanish, I won’t even think about coming back. You’ll have your happy life ahead of you.” He then turned his attention from both of them and focused on Jarard. “But, this game will never end.” giggled Jack, sinking his fingers into his eyes, then pulling them away to reveal to empty black sockets staring at Jarard, “I’ll hold hope in front of you, and then tear it away when it’s within your grasp. I’m basically your king, maybe even your god, and I’ll do what it takes to make sure I never disappear. Will you still try, or will you give up now because you know it’s hopeless?”
“No.” said Jarard.
“What was that?” asked Jack, resting his hand behind his ear as to hear him better.
“I SAID NO!!” yelled Jarard, “You’re wrong. It’s not hopeless. He and I will get rid of you, and then I can finally have a happy life.”
“You’re right.” said David, “He is wrong. Just follow me and never fall for his tricks.” A look of genuine shock flashed across Jack’s face, but he quickly hid it behind a look of false confidence.
“Then, let the games begin.” said Jack, “Just know that it was you who chose this, and when I’m done with this new toy, you’re next. And, if you thought your life bad now, prepare for a living hell.” Jack began laughing once again, then he began to wave his arms once again. Jarard looked all around him as his world began to spin. Everything happened so fast: walls crumbled and rearranged, colors faded in and out, noises buzzed and hummed. Jarard looked all around him. He was in a padded cell, but it looked like it was old and in ruin. The door panel had been blasted off, the walls were torn, the remaining padding was ripped, and slashed, and Jack was nowhere to be seen but Jarard knew he must’ve been hiding nearby.
“Don’t let this fool you.” said David, “If you want to get rid of him, you’ll have to expect a lot worse. I can help you, but to do that you must follow my instructions to the letter. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” answered Jarard nodding his head, “So what do we do now? How do I make this go away?”
“Simple” answered David, “Just remember that you’re really still in-.” David was cut off by a wall suddenly jutting between them. Jarard listened but heard nothing.
“David?” called Jarard, trying to reach him, “David? I have to remember what?”
“Tsk tsk tsk.” tsked Jack, “No cheating. If the aim is for you to get rid of me, then you should be expected to do it without pretty boy’s help. I’ll let him encourage you, but I don’t think advice is valid. I mean, whose helping me?” Jarard looked around and saw Jack leaning against the door frame, smiling at him.
“If you think that I’m gonna let that happen, then you’re-.” said Jarard before Jack silenced him with a punch to the stomach.
“This is my world, so it’s my rules.” growled Jack, a smile quickly creeping across his face, “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the cell.” Jack then snapped his fingers. Just as the snap sounded, flames erupted around Jarard. Jarard kept turning, trying to find a way out as the flames drew nearer. Jarard then started to think about what David was saying. He played those few words over and over, trying to figure out what the end of the sentence was. Then it dawned on him. Jarard looked at Jack, and then began to focus. He tried to imagine that this wasn’t real, that there was no fire, that he was back in the clean, intact, padded cell. As he focused more and more, the flames died down. A look of disbelief appeared on Jack’s face. The room then seemed to spin as it put itself back together. “WH-WH-WHAT?!!” shouted Jack, clearly shocked at what had just happened, “Y-y-y-you couldn’t have. What did you just do?”
“What’s wrong? Scared?” asked Jarard, feeling pleased at the sight of Jack’s fear, “You’re scared. You now know that your tricks don’t work anymore. What now? Huh?” Jack’s lips curled into a smile.
“Don’t get cocky my little friend.” giggled Jack, “That was the simplest of my tricks. A baby could figure that one out. This is only the beginning. Also, if you don’t want to look crazy, I recommend that you don’t talk to either me or David while someone else is in the room.” Jack finished his sentence while lifting his hand and continuously pointing to Jarard’s left. Jarard looked to where Jack was pointing and saw an orderly standing in the doorway.
“Ummm, Mister Rori?” asked the orderly, “If you’re done, would you please come with me? Dr. Lawrenceson wants to speak with you.” Jarard nodded and proceeded to follow the orderly to Gordon’s office. Once they got there, the orderly opened the door to let Jarard in also announcing Jarard’s arrival to get Gordon’s attention.
“Oh, hello Jarard.” greeted Gordon, “Please, take a seat. Then we can begin.” Jarard went and sat down in front of Gordon’s desk. “Now, I know you must be confused.” started Gordon, “Due to complaints from the staff, I’ve decided that we should make our sessions daily. Now, I want to start off with the fact that you have been communing with this Jack a lot more. Could you please explain?”
“Sorry, he was unbearable at first.” apologized Jarard, “But now, I feel like I’ve made some progress.”
“Oh?” said Gordon, intrigued by the statement, “Please do tell. What kind of progress have you made?”
“Today, he tried another one of his tricks.” started Jarard, “But, he suddenly stopped. I also met someone else. He’s called David, and he says he’s here to help me. He also says he can help get my life back on track, but for now I’m more concerned with getting rid of Jack.”
“Interesting.” said Gordon, writing something down on his keyboard, “Would you please tell me a little more about this David character. Does he look similar to Jack? Is he really here to help?”
“Oh who cares about boring, old David.” exclaimed Jack, “You should really be telling him about me. I’m a lot more interesting. Tell him how I almost cooked you in a destroyed cell.”
“Quiet.” ordered David, “Leave this between him and the doctor, thank you.”
“Don’t tell me what to do, snot face.” snapped Jack. The two then went on bickering at each other, leaving Jarard to talk with Gordon.
“Well, for starters, he actually looks like the exact opposite of Jack.” began Jarard, “His personality also seems to be the opposite. In fact, the only thing I see that those two have in common is that they both are easily flustered. As for if I think he’s really here to help, I truly do. Prior to this meeting, Jack had tried some trick on me, but David had given me some advice. When I figured out what he was trying to say, I was able to break free of Jack’s illusion.”
“Interesting.” exclaimed Gordon, “Now, you know that this character is false too, right?”
“That was one thing that ran through my mind, but not false as in not real.” replied Jarard, “When he first introduced himself, I was suspicious at first. I thought he was like Jack and that he only came to torment me, but as events transpired, I grew to believe him.”
“Okay.” replied Gordon, “But do you know he’s not real? You do know that he’s just a figment of your imagination, right?”
“I was going to save that for later, but I can tell you now.” giggled Jack, “I know that you may do it in a heartbeat, but to get rid of me means getting rid of sir goody two shoes. Hope you didn’t get too attached.” A wave of fear washed over Jarard. He did get attached to David. Sure, they he had only known him for a few hours at most, but David had offered him help, and now Jarard would have to make him disappear if he wanted to be free of Jack.
“Sorry, Jarard.” said Gordon, “But, our time has run out. Let’s pick this up tomorrow, shall we?” Jarard got up and made his way for the door. “Oh, wait a moment.” said Gordon, stopping Jarard, “I need to inform you of something. We have decided to put you on some new medicine that should help you get rid of “Jack”. You don’t need to worry, this medicine has been tested on others like you, and they seemed to have escaped their trouble too. As for any side effects, it only seems to make you sleepy, and relaxes the brain. Your first dosage will be given to you before lights out. You may return to your cell.”
“Well, isn’t that unfortunate. I guess I’m done for.” said Jack, putting on a fake sadness, “Well, I can’t believe I’ve been bested. It’s curtains for me. If only I was in your head. Oh wait, I am in your head. Can’t wait for tonight, because now I know you’re vulnerable.” A huge wave of fear washed over Jarard. Now Jack would have a huge advantage in his dreams.
“Please, don’t! begged Jarard, trying to convince Gordon, “You have no idea what you’re doing. If you do this, Jack wins. Please don’t do this.”
“I’m sorry, Jarard.” said Gordon, “But this is the only option left. Now will you leave willingly, or will I have to have the orderlies drag you out?” Jarard hung his head low. He turned around and left the office. He was escorted back to his cell, and left to dread what was to come. Jarard looked at David, wondering what he was going to do.
“If I win, do you really just vanish?” asked Jarard.
“Yes.” answered David, “I know it must be hard to accept, but it’s the only way you can get rid of Jack. Don’t worry about me. I knew from the start that I wouldn’t be around to see the end. Besides, it’s just like Gordan said, I’m just a figment of your imagination. You created me, just like your past self’s lonely mind created Jack. Just forget about me when I’m gone and lead a happy life. Please, for both of us.”
“We all know that won’t happen.” giggled Jack, “He’s too soft. If you really wanted him to not feel bad about getting rid of you, you shouldn’t have been so nice to him. Because you were, he’ll hesitate. He’ll hesitate, and then he’ll be mine.”
“Just shut up.” said Jarard, “You’re just trying to put doubt inside us both. If it really means you’re gone, then I guess David will have to disappear too.”
“Well, good luck then.” giggled Jack, “Because time is ticking, and soon we’ll have one devil of a time.” The next few hours were full of silence, with Jack throwing a jabbing comment every once and awhile. Soon, night came and Jarard gazed at the panel where the door would be. As he expected, two orderlies came in with a bottle and a small cup.
“Are you ready to take your medicine?” asked one of them.
“Do I have a choice?” asked Jarard. Both shook their head no. Jarard held out his hand, and one of the orderlies dropped a single pill into his hand. “This is supposed to help me get better?” asked Jarard, holding up the pill while he took the water. Both orderlies nodded. Jarard gazed at the pill as if it were a cyanide capsule. Then after looking at it for a few seconds, he begrudgingly put it in his mouth then used the water to swallow it. Both orderlies then left the room, leaving Jarard alone in the dark room. Jarard rested on his cot, gazing at the ceiling as if it was his last time. Then, he slowly drifted off to sleep, but not before hearing Jack whisper something into his ear.
“Get ready for my special hell.” he said before letting Jarard drift off into sleep. Jarard opened his eyes and looked all around him, but he couldn’t believe where he was. His surroundings matched that of the location Jack had placed him on the night he killed his wife. He looked to his side and saw David standing by his side.
“Here, let me help you.” said David, helping Jarard to his feet, “Listen, we have to stay together. This may be his world, but as long as you focus, you should be able to force him back. We can get rid of him once you’ve overpowered him.” Jarard nodded, letting David know he understood. They began to make their way through the halls of this maddening place, finding it to be an old mental asylum. Every so often, they would stop and listen, thinking they heard Jack. As they proceeded, Jarard kept looking around, feeling as Jack was toying with him, watching him. They soon came to a room full of barred cells full of darkness, and standing in the middle of the room was the nightmarish Jack himself.
“Well, you found me.” giggled Jack, not seeming threatened in the slightest, “But does that really help you? You’re both right in front of me, just where I want you.” Jack snapped his fingers, and then a cell’s door flung wide open. A groan came from a single cell, and out stumbled the mangled body of Jarard’s late wife. She looked exactly as she did on that night after Jarard had stabbed her, but her eyes were pale and lifeless. Scars covered the spot on her neck where she had been stabbed. She moaned as she shuffled towards Jarard. “Oh, what a delightful reunion!” laughed Jack, “Hope there’s no bad blood between you.”
“You think this is funny? Did you not learn from the last time you tried your tricks on Jarard?” asked David before turning towards Jarard, “She’s not real, remember? All it takes is to focus, then she’ll just vanish. Do it now.” Jarard looked over at the mangled woman stumbling towards him. He took a deep breath and tried to focus on making he vanish, but for some reason, she still stumbled towards him unimpeded. Jarard tried again, but no matter what, he couldn’t find a way to focus.
“Are you gonna keep trying, or do you realize it’s impossible?” asked Jack, his grin reaching both corners of his cheeks, “If I’m remembering correctly, didn’t Gordon say that the medicine also relaxes your mind? If that’s so, then wouldn’t focusing be nearly impossible?” Jarard froze. He couldn’t believe what was happening. David grabbed Jarard on the shoulder.
“Listen, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible.” said David, confidently, “Just focus. Instead of focusing on her, focus on him. If he’s gone, all of this goes away. Free yourself now!!” Jarard took a deep breath and focused on Jack. His thoughts wandered, looking back on the days after they first met. He focused on those times, passing them off as the false happiness of boy who had no one, one who was really playing all by himself. Jack’s smile quickly faded. He suddenly started grabbing at his chest, as if his heart had just stopped.
“NO!!!” screamed Jack, unbearable pain streaking from his voice, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO FAIL!!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE UNABLE TO STOP ME!!! STOP!!! STOP IT!!! STOPPPPPPPPPPP!!!” Jack suddenly fell silent. His eyes quickly lost any color in them, looking lifeless. He suddenly dropped to his knees and then onto the floor. David looked at Jarard with a proud, happy expression.
“You did, my friend.” said David proudly, soon putting on a glum expression, “I ……. I guess it’ll soon be goodbye. It’s been fun while it lasted, hasn’t it?” He walked over to Jack, examining him. “Yep, I think he’s done for.” said David reassuringly.
“Ican’tbelieveyou’rereallythatstupid.” sounded a noise. David looked around, trying to find where that sound came from. “I can’t believe you’re Really THAT STUPID!!!!” David looked down just as Jack leapt up wielding a scalpel. He had no time to react as Jack brought the scalpel up and drove it into David’s neck. David grabbed at the area as if he were trying to make it go away. When he realized it was helpless, he took one last look at Jarard and smiled.
“Th-th-thanks ,J-J-Jarard.” said David, loosing all life in his voice, “It’s b-b-b-been ….. a tr-trip. D-Don’t let him win.” At those words, David’s eyes lost all color, and he dropped to the floor. Jarard was frozen with sorrow. Jack cackled at the sight of Jarard’s pain.
“That’s two.” said Jack, dropping the scalpel and walking towards Jarard, “I’ve taken two people from you now. Maybe now you’ll learn not to resist me. But just in case, I’m not done with you.” Jack reached Jarard, then, without any hesitation, brought his foot up, then down, slamming Jarard into the floor. He did this again and again, beating Jarard into a pulp. “Do you now know what happens when you resist, or have I not been clear enough?” Jarard didn’t answer. He had given up hope. What could he do? If he tried dragging someone else into this, Jack would just end up disposing of them. Then it suddenly dawned on Jarard.
“You’re wrong.” said Jarard, “You can’t get rid of anyone. You may have gotten rid of David, but my wife wasn’t your victim. It was all my fault. How could it be your fault, if you’re not real? How could you touch her if your only in my head?” Jack’s eyes glared down on Jarard. Jarard could tell his words insulted Jack.
“I’m not real?” growled Jack, “If I’m not real, then how come I can do this?” Jack brought his foot down, but it went through Jarard. Jack reeled back in shock. He tried again and again, but all his kicks went through Jarard’s body. Jarard got to his feet and began approaching Jack.
“You can’t do anything.” stated Jarard, forcing Jack backwards, “This world isn’t yours. It’s all in my head, just like you. You don’t have control unless I think you do. You don’t, and you never will, ever again. You need me to fear you. My fear gives you control, and it gives you the illusion of being real. But the fact is this: you’re not real. You’re just a figment of my mind, and now you’ll never have power ever again.” Jack backed himself into the open cell, not focusing on where he was. Jarard grabbed the door to the cell and slammed it shut, locking Jack inside. Horror filled Jack’s eyes as he realized the situation. He didn’t want to be locked away, but he didn’t have a choice. He ran to the bars and began reaching for Jarard, trying to convince him to let him out.
“NO, NO!!” screamed Jack, “YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME!! PLEASE!!!” Jarard looked at Jack. What he saw was not the nightmare that tormented him for years, but a poor, helpless, worthless welp pleading for freedom.
“Goodbye, Jack.” said Jarard as he turned around, and began walking away, leaving his past behind himself.
“I need you.” said Jack sadly, trying to get Jarard to change his mind. Jarard ignored him. A bright light shined, then he woke up. Jarard looked around. It was just him, no one else occupied the cell. Jarard breathed a heavy sigh of relief. It was finally over. As the hours passed, Jarard sat against the wall, finding peace in the silence. At around noon, an orderly entered the room and guided Jarard to Gordon’s office. When Jarard entered the office, Gordon looked up.
“Oh, hello, Jarard. Please have a seat.” said Gordon. Jarard sat down, and Gordon continued, “Now, please tell me how Jack has been acting.”
“He’s gone.” said Jarard. Gordon looked up at Jarard, surprised at what Jarard just said.
“Oh?” he responded, a hint of confusion in his voice, “Well, were is he? Is David also gone?”
“They’re both gone for good.” stated Jarard, “They were not real after all. Jack wasn’t real, so that only leaves one guilty party responsible for my wife’s murder, me. I couldn’t believe it at first, but now I must come to terms with what I’ve done. David’s gone, but he told me to lead a happy life. I only wish to have a chance to carry out that wish. I’m not hoping for forgiveness, I’m just happy now that this darkness is over.” Gordon looked at Jarard, a surprised look spreading across his face.
“Well, if that’s the case.” stated Gordon, “I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll talk with the higher-ups about getting you out of that cell and into the lower wing. Now, if you can promise to be on good behavior, then we can make that change permanent. From there, treatment will go just as planned. If your change is sincere, then I think you’re on the right path to getting better.” Jarard smiled at those words. “For now, please return to your cell.” said Gordon, “I’ll try my best to get you into that wing by tonight.” Jarard got up and was escorted back to his cell. As Gordon promised, Jarard was moved from the padded cell to the lower wing. He missed the silence, but he loved having people to talk to. Throughout the days, Jarard had made many new friends, and found their presence to be very comforting. Sometimes at night while he slept, Jarard would visit that old asylum again. There he would always see Jack, resting against the bars, pleading to be let out. Jarard never gave in to his pleads, always leaving the deranged nightmare to rot in his cell. As the months went by, these visits became less frequent until one night when they finally stopped. Jarard had grown better by then. He and Gordon made great progress in their sessions, getting Jarard closer and closer to being deemed cured. One day, Jarard stepped into Gordon’s office only to see a great big smile on his face. “Please sit down, Jarard. I have great news for you.” asked Gordon. Jarard sat down and waited for the news Gordon had. Gordon handed Jarard a piece of paper, and then continued, “I’ve shared the results of our past few sessions with the higher ups, and they gave me the go ahead to do this.” Jarard looked at the paper Gordon handed him, and couldn’t believe what he was holding in his hands. “Jarard Lancater Rori.” said Gordon with great pride, “It is my honor to tell you that the certificate in your hands is physical proof that you have been cured. You will be released from our custody and set free. I can’t even begin to explain how proud I am of you. Please, do one thing for me, go out and have a great life.” Jarard was so happy, he couldn’t believe what was happening to him. After all his things were gathered, he was allowed to leave Whitehurst, and go out wherever he desired. As he watched the sun starting it’s downward climb, he couldn’t help but feel happy. He was cured, and finally free.