He felt his lower back pop as he was thrown to the ground. The irony of this happening on a padded floor escaped Him as he slammed his form against the closing door. Unfortunately, the door closed the wrong way and He ended up closing it further.

"Wait! Where are you going!? Come back! I'm not supposed to be here! Where are you going! Answer me!"

He continued to scream until he became hoarse. In lieu of screaming, He again pounded on the door as best he could in a straightjacket. Soon, the metal rungs on the jacket bruised Him further each time he struck the door, so He stopped.

He dropped to the floor, panting and sweating buckets.

This is insane. Why am I here? I've done nothing wrong, He thought.

He tried to remember the last thing that happened before he found himself in this place. He had been with his wife.

His beautiful wife.

Her auburn hair and softest skin that complimented the softest face.

His wife.

Andrea.

His wife. His love. His soul-mate. His life.

He remembered that he, Andrea, and the girls had been on vacation somewhere. He couldn't remember where. Cape Cod? Burbank? Austin? He couldn't remember.

Ah. The girls. He had almost forgotten them.

His two beautiful girls. His twins.

Their identical, dirty-blond hair that looked better on them than He.

His twins.

Mary. Carrie.

His twins. His creations. His indulgences. His life.

This sparked a tear in His eye. Wherever He was, it was likely he would never see them again. A tear transformed into tears and tears became a torrent of sobs and the sobs became screams of anguish that echoed through his small room as far as the vibrations could go. He screamed for Himself, the one who should have been a constant for his loves and a wall on which the torrential waves of their problems could break against. He screamed for his current outcome and how things in his life that should have been good and beautiful always turn out ugly and wrong. Most of all, He screamed for his loves. He screamed for their safety and their happiness. He screamed for how much he would give to see them again, for only a few seconds. Just to see if they were safe.

He screamed for his lost life and world until He could scream no more and passed out onto the padded floor, which felt so much more like sand on concrete.

He woke many hours later. At least he felt like it was many hours later. His eyes were caked with dried tears and were bloodshot to the point at which He could hardly see. He moaned as he stood up. Instead of a moan, however, a harsh spasm of air forced its way out of His lungs.

Now what is this? He ideally thought to himself. What did I call this strange sensation?

Coughing.

I'm coughing. It makes sense.

He coughed some more. It felt good. Like scratching an itch that one couldn't quite reach before that had been bothering them for a good while. He coughed some more, drawing it out as long as he could. He slumped back to his knees when he was out of breath.

He noticed an odd sound emanating from the wall. It sounded like a heartbeat, but was too random in its pattern to be that.

What could it be?

It was not a problem at the moment, so He decided to ignore it. It was then that He noticed the tray of food sitting near the door. It looked very bad, but He didn't care. He was very hungry. He wondered for a moment how he was to eat without use of his hands. This, however, was short-lived and drowned out by his hunger. He buried his face in the substance.

It had the composition of oatmeal.

It tasted like oatmeal.

It was oatmeal.

He loved oatmeal.

He found that he had eaten too fast and was coughing again. He didn't want to cough now. He wanted to enjoy his snack. He coughed too hard and vomited on the plate. He watched in horror as his favorite food was covered in partially digested versions of itself. He sadly slumped away toward the right side wall. He was now hungrier than ever.

The strange heartbeat-like sound was louder on this side than any of the rest of the room. It was annoying him now and wished it would go away. He was in a bad mood that he didn't get to eat.

The sound got louder and faster. He closed his eyes and wished desperately it would go away. It was giving him a headache. He squeezed his eyes further and rocked back and forth. He wished and wished and wished it would go away and it did. He was at peace for a few seconds until the first sound was replaced with another one.

"Having a spot of trouble are we?"

This sound jerked Him out of his groggy stupor and back into the world of the living. He snapped his neck at the wall so fast that it popped a few times. He slammed his ear to the wall and listened intently. The sound earlier had been someone tapping on the wall.

"Hello!? HELLO!? Is anyone there?!"

"Aha! That got your attention, didn't it?!"

"Who are you!? What's going on!? Where am I!?"

"Questions are like lists. You can only answer one at a time. Start with your first question."

He was perplexed that he didn't get a straight answer and wondered of the man in the next room who was the only thing keeping him conscious.

He decided to start with the question that could answer all his other ones.

"Alright then. Where are we?"

"My friend, you speak too loud and fast. Some may take offence to your style and may be forced to destroy you. I have faced many who have had this same problem who have been destroyed for the very reason I mean."

"That doesn't answer my question. Where are we?"

"I am here and you are there. Isn't it always that simple?"

"I know that, but where are we now!? What building is this!? What kind of place is this!?"

"You are giving me a headache. I shant speak to you again."

"NO, WAIT! I'm sorry. I'm just afraid right now. I'll speak slowly from now on."

"We are all afraid of things. The scariest things are the ones you cannot see. And even worse are the ones that the others cannot see but you can. These are the things that frighten me the most. I cannot see you. Are you one of the beasts waiting in the dark?"

"No, I'm not. Can you please just answer the question?" He was getting impatient.

"My friend, you've found yourself in a pit even deeper than your own soul. Deeper than your own fear and even your own sanity. You and I are in the madhouse, my friend! There's now way out, so enjoy the time you have left with your mind. You may wake up one morning and find it's not there anymore."

He understood completely. His fears were now fully realized and he was powerless to look away.

I'm in some kind of insane asylum. But why? I'm not crazy at all! I've done nothing wrong!

"Friend? You've gone silent. Does that mean you have finally crossed over to the darker side of life?"

"No, no I'm still here."

"Then I believe you had another question."

"I did. Who are you? Why are you here?"

"I am the man in the cell. I am nothing more. Maybe it is I who is the cell and I am holding a madman inside me. Maybe the madhouse is me and I am the madhouse. Always been here and always will be."

"So everyone here is crazy but me. I see how things are now."

I have to get out of here!

"On the contrary, my friend, I am just as sane as you are. Everyone around me happens to be insane. I feel as if I am the only one in the world who can help."

"Then why are you here?"

"I tried to show the world my view of things and the world didn't approve of my methods. Now I've learned to stop caring and can now see the funny side of life. How the rest of the world is going to the pits and how I'm the only one that cares.

The Man in the next room started laughing. The Man laughed long and hard, stopping only to catch his breath for another fit of cackling.

He decided that The Man was obviously not going to help Him. Either way, He kept talking to The Man. It kept his mind at ease, at any rate. The Man also seemed to have intricate knowledge about this place. Maybe he could provide some insight into why He was being held captive here.

Nothing left to lose.

He went back over to the wall. The Man seemed to have calmed down enough to speak coherently. He tapped on the wall and waited for The Man to answer.

The Man didn't, so He went paced the room for a few minutes before falling asleep, still hungry.

He didn't sleep for long, for the heartbeat sound had started again. The Man was tapping on the wall again. He went over to the other side of the room again.

"What do you want?" He asked. To be honest, He was a little impatient.

"It had occurred to me that I had some questions that I would like to ask you, now."

He was worried now, though he didn't know why. He believes that it is because he doesn't want to be put in an uncomfortable mental situation about his family.

His family.

His wife.

His twins.

His life.

"Fine. What's your question?"

"Questions, my friend. Questions. If I have indeed made a new friend out of the man in the wall, I should know more about him."

"Fine! What are they?"

"You have asked about what has happened in my past, but I would greatly like to know about yours. Why are you here, my friend? "

"I have no idea! There's nothing wrong with me! I've done nothing wrong!"

"There must have been a reason the powers have deposited you here. Away from the rest of the world. What do you last remember?"

"Well, the last thing I can remember was watching television in a hotel room with my wife. My twin daughters were asleep in the next room." He found a tear on His cheek that he didn't realize was there a moment ago. Like before, the one tear became many.

His family.

His wife.

His twins.

His life.

What could have happened?

"I…I have no idea… wh-what could have happened to them! God, I'm so worried! I'm trying to be as logical as I can but…," He slammed his form angrily against the wall, His eyes hurting again, "but I can't figure anything out! I can't remember and it hur-hurts when I try! I'm trying to be logical but it's NOT WORKING!"

"Logic is for machines. Embrace your humanity. Abandon your logic and embrace insanity."

"But you said that we…"

"Every man has the capacity for madness."

"Alright. I'll try."

He stopped thinking. He stopped thinking about the room and its simplicity. He stopped thinking about his past and his future. He stopped thinking about himself, The Man, the Madhouse, and its keepers. He held his mind open and thought of nothing.

Then.

A scene.

He was sitting on the fold-out couch with Andrea. They were watching something funny. It was not clear what it was. It was only understood that it was funny.

There was a knock on the door. Andrea looked sadly at him.

"Baby! You work so hard all day! Can't you just pretend you're not here?"

He laughed. He told her that he had to get it. It may be that big promotion He was hoping for. She laughed then.

"If it is, then you cane take me shopping with your fat bonus!" She giggled and looked back at the television.

His wife.

He loved her very much.

She was getting older, but she always looked the same.

He loved her for that the most.

He went to the door and looked through the eyehole, not really caring who it was. He opened the door and said hello and asked what his coworker wanted.

"I've got great news, Mr. ! You're lecture was so amazing today at the meeting that Mr. Thomas decided you were Vice CEO material! You start in two weeks! You'll have much more work and responsibility, but triple the pay and more respect in future meetings and conferences! Waddaya think of that, huh!?

He said he was thrilled. He shook his coworker's hand and gave him a quick hug as he was delirious in his happiness. He shook his hand again and shut the door silently.

He sat down in the chair next to the door and wondered about His success. He shook His head silently. What his coworker didn't know is that He was more terrified than happy. He hated change. Change was scary. Change was the world going crazy for a short time. He hated it.

He then thought about his wife. His wife never changed much. She looked very much the same. But she was getting older. Not quickly, but she was aging nonetheless. He would go to any length to keep his wife looking beautiful.

His wife.

The solution.

His beautiful wife.

In his bag under the table.

Her auburn hair and softest skin that complimented the softest face.

The leather handle that connected smoothly to the cold blade.

His wife.

The solution.

His wife. His love. His soul-mate. His life.

Even her screams were beautiful, He thought. He would keep the sound in his mind forever and play it when he was lonely. When he was done, He was satisfied that He had saved his wife from the change. She would be the same forever.

He had saved her.

Then He thought about his girls. He had almost forgotten them.

His two beautiful girls. His twins.

The solution.

Their identical, dirty-blond hair that looked better on them than He.

The solution.

His twins.

The solution.

Mary. Carrie.

The solution.

His twins. His creations. His indulgences. His life.

"I…I…I k-killed them?"

He rocked back and forth, trying to avoid the truth.

He bit into his jaw until it bled in his mouth. It was a short, but deep cut that bled onto the padding. He cocked his head at the vibrant color and buried his face in it.

It had the composition of oatmeal.

It tasted like oatmeal.

It was oatmeal.

He loved oatmeal.

He sighed as he sat up. Instead of a sigh, however, a smooth spasm of air forced its way out of His lungs.

Now what is this? He ideally thought to himself. What did I call this strange sensation?

Laughing.

I'm laughing. It makes sense.

He laughed some more. It felt good. Like smoothing lotion on a bad rash that had festered and itched for weeks and had been bothering them for a good while. He laughed some more, drawing it out as long as he could. He slumped back to his knees when he was out of breath.

He drew in another gulp of air and shouted himself into his next fit of haughty laughter. He fell onto His back and kicked his legs out and rolled into the wall.

"You seem much happier, my friend! You know, I was a pastor before I was tossed in here. Is there anything you would like to talk to me about?"

"Y-yes! I killed my wife & 2 little grls with a knife to keep them safe from time itself," He burst into another fit of giggles, drooling on himself and writhing like a snake, "AND I'VE DONE NOTHING WRONG!"

A giggle transformed into giggles and giggles became a torrent of guffaws and the guffaws became screams of delight that echoed through his small room as far as the vibrations could go. He laughed for Himself, the one who made himself a constant for his loves and a wall on which the torrential waves of their problems could break against. He laughed for his current outcome and how things in his life that should have been good and beautiful always turn out ugly and wrong, but he had changed it for once. Most of all, He laughed for his loves. He laughed for their safety and their happiness eternal. He laughed for how much he gave to see them again, for only a few seconds. Just to see that they were safe.

The Man joined in His mirth of laughter that resonated through the two rooms. They laughed loud and long.

He and his laughter could be heard from four feet in any direction from the cell, but any farther than that and it would be drowned in the howling of the asylum in the night.

Swallowed by its depths.

And forgotten.