THE MIND'S EYE

"Internal Struggles"

By: Fallen Angel

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

The basement was dark, dank…

Empty.

The musty scent of age filled her nostrils as she trudged torpidly towards the far corner, the obscure end of the desolate basement beckoning her welcome. She held her pale hand out in front of her, holding a half emptied bottle of vodka and trying to retain her balance.

In her other hand, was a prescription bottle of Vicodin.

She made her way to the far end of the bleak room and sat down clumsily, causing some of the alcohol to spill onto the ground as she faced the corner. She placed both bottles down at her sides as she sighed heavily, a soft sob escaping her lips. She cradled her head in her hands, her straight uncombed shoulder-length raven black hair falling all around her, tears streaming down her face in thin translucent streams.

I can't do this anymore.

She looked up, wiping the tears from her face as she stared at the ceiling; the blurry hazing effect of the alcohol caused her to become momentarily nauseas from her languid movements.

What did I do? What did I do to deserve this?

It was inevitable that she would soon hit rock bottom after all the trauma she was put through that last few years. Ever since her parents died, it had begun, her spiraling descension into drugs and alcohol. She was in and out of homes, in and out of countless abusive relationships and in and out of consciousness from her substantial drug use. Now here she was, all alone in the basement of her new boyfriend's home, while he was passed out upstairs from the lethal doses of heroin he had injected into himself.

Man always dies alone.

She picked up the bottle of Vicodin, hearing the gentle clattering of the pills within, as she gazed at it momentarily, tears continuing to stream uncontrollably down her fair cheeks. It was prescribed to an unfamiliar name, probably of the man that her boyfriend had bought it from. There were about twenty pills left…plenty for what she felt she had to do.

It can never get better. It will never get better.

She unscrewed the cap as she absently threw it behind her shoulder, her royal blue eyes glazed and bloodshot as she gazed into the bottle. The tablets were so white, so bright and seemingly comforting. They summoned her, subconsciously telling her that this was the way…

This was the way to end her pain.

She lifted the bottle to her quivering pale lips as she emptied the tiny white capsules into her mouth. She reached for the vodka as she washed it down with the lukewarm alcohol, taking several gulps before she slammed it back onto the ground hard, her hand shaking violently.

This is it, it's over.

She sobbed heavily, feeling the drugs dancing down her esophagus as she lain back onto the cold hard ground. She stared back up, once again at the ceiling, waiting for the sleeplike effects to overwhelm her…

To take her life away.

She trembled as she held the empty prescription bottle tightly in her hand, biting onto her lower lip anxiously. Thoughts crowded her head, of her family, of her life, and she began to wonder if she would see them again. She began to wonder if they were waiting up there for her, ready to welcome her with open arms into the afterlife…if there was an afterlife…

Please have mercy, oh Lord, for I have sinned.

Her eyes began to close, the soothing effects of slumber beginning to sweep over her. She breathed softly as the welcoming embrace of darkness overwhelmed her, slowly stripping away her essence.

And for that moment before she had blacked out, she had finally felt at peace.

Her body became flaccid as her head rolled limply to the right. Her hand released its strong grip on the empty prescription bottle as it slowly rolled away from her lifeless form.

The chilly autumn air was cool, crisp and refreshing. After being in the mental ward for so many hours, it took its toll on one's mood and verve, and particularly on one's grip on reality.

Especially after today.

He adjusted his backpack so that the straps sat comfortably on both of his shoulders, and stuffed his hands in his jean pockets. He shivered underneath his gray wool sweater, finding it to be abnormally cold for this time of year in Braintree, MA. The streets were calm tonight, with a car zooming by every once in awhile, the brightly colored leaves of the looming trees rustling softly in the wind. Thoughts jumbled in his mind, both of fear and of wonder, after what he had experienced today.

All he could do was think of her.

He was always very religious, his family bringing him up to cherish and honor the Lord, for he was the essence of life itself. He was confident in his faith, so confident that he had dedicated his life to church. At the tender age of 21, he had decided to devote himself to priesthood, only three months ago, to praise and preach in the Lord's teachings - for it was then that he had felt truly fulfilled with what the Lord has given him.

He had heard of the exorcisms that the Roman Catholic Church had carried out on several occasions, but he was dubious about the actual reality of it all…until recently. Many cases have sprung up around the area; all similar to the one he had seen today. However, Reverend O'Brien's reaction to the woman he had interviewed had frightened him immensely. Whatever happened in there, it had scared the daylights out of him…

It was understandable, after all. Not only had she brutally murdered her entire family, which included her parents, her twelve-year-old sister and her six-month-old brother, she had suspended them like grotesque displays of her sadistic accomplishment around their wealthy home. She tore up the house, scrawling obscenities and threats in several different languages amongst the walls in her family's very own blood. She was later found by authorities in her parents' bedroom, rocking back and forth on their bed in a hypnotic trance, a bloodied butcher knife clenched in her hands.

What a sight it must've been, to see this woman drenched with the blood of her own kin.

And what a ruckus it had created, bringing the entire town in an uproar. People flocked to see this display of evil, to see the woman who had murdered her family without mercy or regret. She was taken to trial, and was granted with 'insanity', the judge sentencing her to life at the Boston Psychiatric Mental Institute. She was to be placed on close observation and to be handled with extreme caution.

If the death penalty had been legal in Massachusetts, he believed there would have been no doubt of her execution.

Due to the rumors and gossip of the townsfolk, Reverend O'Brien decided to investigate this young woman, taking Jake along with him as a new lesson to be learned in the art of possession. O'Brien surely had very much experience in this sort of thing, and this was all new and somewhat startling to Jake. It was the least of all things that he expected to occur, especially when he had much doubt in the supernatural.

The wail of an ambulance suddenly pierced the air, breaking Jake out of his stupor. He turned to see the ambulance zoom by him, followed by two police cruisers. He watched the blinding sirens light up the night air with hues of blues and reds as they raced their way down the street. To his surprise, the emergency vehicles halted at the very end, pulling up in front of a withered and unkept three-family brick apartment building. His dark eyes narrowed in curiosity as he quickened his pace, wondering what had happened.

He finally came across the apartment building to find the paramedics bringing someone out of the home in a stretcher while police investigated the perimeter and questioned the inquiring neighbors. Jake continued to walk by, with his pace slowed to a stride, trying not to look inquisitive. However, human nature wouldn't have it, as he continued to gaze at the distressing display.

His eyes fell upon the stretcher that was quickly being placed at the rear of the ambulance as he peered at the figure lying lifelessly within the blankets of white sheets. An oxygen mask was clamped over her face as several IVs were hooked into her, the paramedics working as quickly as possible to bring her vitals back to normal. He discovered it to be a dark haired young woman, maybe twenty-something or so, her body deathly pale and flaccid, her life quickly slipping away from her with every passing second.

God bless her soul.

He gave her a silent prayer; unsure if he even wanted to find out what had happened to her. It was bound to be in the papers tomorrow, he would inevitably discover the outcome, and he prayed it to be one of well-being. She still had her whole life ahead of her…

Lord, give her strength.

He quickly turned left onto Meridian street, where his apartment was located, still seeing the reflective sirens out of the corner of his eyes as he tore his gaze away. He couldn't bear to see it any longer, such a tormented soul in such a horrifying state. The ambulance wails once again sounded in the night air, their engines roaring back to the nearest hospital.

He sighed heavily, trying to relieve his day's anxiety with one breath as he climbed the stairs to his apartment, utterly happy to finally be home.

What a day this had been.

Piles of paperwork laid out upon the wooden mahogany desk in the tiny office located on the church's second level. He sat hunched over the stacks of information, his pale blue eyes hidden behind reading glasses as they scanned and searched for what he was so desperately looking for.

Mark sighed as he closed the textbook in frustration. He removed his glasses, rubbing his weary eyes as he placed them on top of the worn volume that read 'Languages Past: The Art of Hebrew'. He ran his hand through his short dark hair, which had subtle etchings of silver decorating it, signifying his wisdom and experience. He looked at his wristwatch, discovering that it had already been three hours…

…three hours since he had been face to face with the devil itself.

No, she wasn't like the others…she wasn't like them at all. To the untrained eye, she would seem like just another suspected possession, but she was different…

…he could literally feel it.

The unseen aura that emanated from her, clawing at him like an insatiable beast upon its prey. He could sense the utter evil that was upon her, the utter malevolence towards him - not by her specifically, but by this presence…

He tried to shake it off, the thoughts of this…being…but he couldn't. It had imprinted itself upon his mind, permanently planting itself into his brain. The poor girl…it was using her as a toy, as bait for its plans. Those were the reasons of her phases; she was slipping in and out of her true state of being.

He had always suspected that it would come, especially with all the current uprisings around the area. He had read about the coming of the antichrist and heard of the many tales that had been passed through the thousands of generations of mankind. But would it ever become a reality? Would the devil impregnate itself into another human life form and wreak havoc upon mankind?

Ask him a few years ago and he would have told you never…but now he was having second thoughts.

"Stop it." He cursed himself for his ridiculous notions. "Stop it, she's simply another case, that's all. She's not even half as bad as others that you've handled."

But inside, he knew this wasn't true…maybe she hasn't reached that point yet, but she will…sooner or later he'll discover what she may truly be capable of…

He won't let her get to that point, he can't let her get to that point…he will do everything in his power to stop it before it can do anymore damage and then all will be at peace once again…

…all will be fine.

He looked back upon the mounds of books and paperwork, setting his jaw thoughtfully. That phrase that she had said to him, that appalling sentence that she had growled in an ancient language, had sounded once again in his mind…

"Frosila wuhraiu krif ja! Isila corutchu benvenia!"…

Chills ran up and down his spine when she had spoken in that horrific animalistic roar of fury. He knew it must have been some form of Hebrew. He had suspected it ever since he had entered her home, studying her vile scrawls of her family's blood upon the walls. They were written in many different languages, obscenities and threats alike, but the majority had seemed to have a striking resemblance to today's Arabic. He then discovered it to be Hebrew, however it was a very primordial form, one that had been attempted to be translated amongst thousands of scholars all over the world for hundreds of years...one that will probably never be fully identified…

Aramaic - the language of Jesus Christ.

And now here he was, trying somehow to confirm it. Had she really spoken to him in the language of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Or was she simply babbling in coincidental gibberish?

He had hoped the second option to be the correct one.

Suddenly, the phone rang, breaking Mark away from his thoughts as he jolted upright with surprise. He gazed at the black cordless phone, sighing in slight relief, as he picked it up, bringing the receiver to his ear.

"Hello?"

"Reverend O'Brien?" A female voice questioned, her tone saturated with both anxiety and fear.

"Yes this is he." Mark replied, his eyes narrowing with both concern and curiosity.

"This is Nurse McCarthy down at the institute," She began, her voice trembling. "You visited a patient here earlier at Dr. Hemmingway's request?"

"Yes I did," He replied, trying to sound as professional as possible. "Is there a problem?"

"Well, we were hoping if you could come back here as soon as possible." She responded nervously. Dread slowly began to form in the pit of his stomach, his heart sinking in his chest. He hoped that this wasn't anything critical...although he knew well enough that it would be otherwise.

"May I ask why?"

"W-We've got a problem," She stammered, "The patient will not stop screaming your name and how she needs to see you. She is fighting off nurses and causing much commotion with the other patients. We have given her enormous amounts of sedatives but they...they're not working."

"They're not working? What do you mean they're not working?"

"They suddenly having no affect on her at all. Dr. Hemmingway fears giving her more, for we have already given her a substantial amount." She replied, her voice continuing to quiver as if she was on the brink of crying. "We need you here...please. She just won't stop."

Mark's mind whizzed with the mental furor of a hundred thoughts at once. What was happening? Why is this nurse so frightened? Why does Tina want to see him? What on earth is going on and why is this happening now?

"Alright," He replied, standing up as he grabbed a palm sized wooden crucifix off his desk, the embodiment of Christ shining a glittering silver in the dim light.

"Let me gather my things and I'll be there in a few minutes."

TO BE CONTINUED...