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苦しむ Kurushimu (suffer)

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Why do people go insane?

Maybe one day we'll have an answer for that question, but to tide us over until then here is a theory.

It is believed that insanity is in some if not most cases caused by traumatic events, things such as a death in the family, an attack, an accident, or severe bullying. It happens when the mental state is tested on the amount of pressure it can withstand. Now not all breakdowns lead to insanity, in fact it is very rare that one does, for example when a child feels like mommy and daddy love little sis more than them. Incidents like this are not high enough on the pressure scale to cause a mental collapse.

I've been studying the human mind for years, and recently I came across the most unusual specimen. I was working as a psychiatrist at Bethlam Royal. It was early October, and I was attempting to console one of the mentally ill when some of my fellow doctors and security guards came through with a new patient. I was intrigued and I stepped out of my session to go observe the situation. I asked one of the guards what was going on and he said that they had received a new patient transferred from Japan.

I was curious so I went back into my office and pulled up her files on the monitor. Her name was Itami, a name that if translated in English means pain, I scoffed at the irony. She was 14, about average height with a slight mutation giving her elongated ears like that of an elf, and she had a history of violent behavior. Itami was a foster child with no memory of her biological parents; her foster parents made a note that she was a very distant child and spent most of her time alone avoiding any sort of contact with others.

There were no theories on how her mental state had deteriorated. I thought this was odd, usually the doctors would have some idea of what had caused the patients dementia but she was an anomaly. I decided I would make it my top priority to watch her and study her behavior to form some kind of conclusion on her condition. The next day I reviewed her schedule.

She had originally been assigned to Dr.Martanik but I put up a fight to get her into my support group at last night’s meeting. Today would be her first group session and I was rather looking forward to it. As I left my office to head into our support group’s meeting room I saw Rene frantically running from Itami’s room. I jogged over to her and asked what had happened.

“She tackled Suzan, and when I tried to pull her off she attacked me!” I saw that there were multiple cuts on Rene’s face and arms.

“What did she attack you with?” I asked I was seriously concerned if she had a weapon it could spell disaster for all of us.

“She has a pocket knife, I’m not sure where she got it but she certainly knows how to use it.” I ran into the room to see her on top of Suzan stabbing her in the gut repeatedly laughing as she did and yelling “苦しむ!(Suffer)” I panicked; frozen with fear all I could do was watch as my colleague suffered a slow and painful death. It wasn’t long until a team of security officials ran into the room and restrained her, she fought and gnashed her teeth but they were able to constrict her movements and they quickly removed her from the room.

A few hours later I was sitting at home in my living room thinking about what had happened and beating myself up over the fact that I had done nothing to help Suzan. I was drifting off to sleep in my arm chair when the phone rang; reluctantly I got up and answered it.

“Hello?” I asked yawning.

“John! Is that you?!” A frantic voice called out from the other end.

“Y-yes what is it, what’s wrong!?” I asked alarmed.

“She’s gone we were preparing her for transport to a prison ward and she escaped!” I was shocked.

“How could she have escaped?!” I exclaimed. “She was wearing a strait jacket!”

“I don’t know but John…” There was hesitation on the other end.

“What what is it?” I asked frantically.

“I think she’s after you.”

“What?” I was confused. Why would she come after me?

Suddenly I heard a voice from behind say, “あなたは苦しむでしょう(you will suffer).” I whipped around to see Itami standing before me with an umbrella raised high above her head. I was given no time to respond before she brought the object down on my head. I stumbled and fell to the ground and watched as she laughed and knelt down to speak to me. I could hear Rene’s voice on the phone asking what happened.

“There is no explanation.” Itami said.

“W-what do you mean?” I croaked out.

“I mean there is no way to explain my so called condition. I find the suffering of others amusing therefore I inflict pain it’s as simple as that. I find that it’s more fun to toy with them before they die, but you and I don’t have time for that so I’m afraid this is where we say goodbye.” She stood up turning the umbrella so that its sharp end was aimed at my head.

“あなたは、来世での幸せを見つけることができる.”(may you find happiness in the afterlife) She said. The last thing I saw was the sharpened tip of the umbrella quickly approaching as she smiled down at me.

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