The warden turned his head to look at the prisoner below him through the safety of the one-way mirror murmured that separated the two. He turned back to me.
"Ah, doctor, I can tell you that he's a tough, ah, nut to crack."
"Nut, eh?" I murmured, catching onto the warden's peculiar choice of words. "Have your men succeeded in peeking inside this nut?"
The warden let out a sigh as the prisoner below him squirmed and started rambling. "How'd you like to have your brains fried-"
"Words won't help, that's what I'm telling you doctor. Words just won't get past him."
"-to a crisp then have hot tomato sauce poured over it and then get a fork-"
"So we..." the warden looked down, ashamed at words he never spoke.
"Torture?" I offered.
He nodded briskly, and then turned back to the prisoner.
"-and knife and then pry the head open and WHADDOWE HAVE HERE, FELLAS? And then take the whooooole nine yards out and-"
"He's like a possessed kid, y'know. Or maybe just a possessed person. I don't know. It just seems like he...knows more than he seems to know."
"-take the no-brainer out, all steamed up for you in the head, steaming, steaming with 20 years of knowledge and oh boyo does it smell nice-"
The warden wetted his lips. They were totally dry. "More than he's supposed to know."
"-and eat it EAT IT EAT IT and then look down at the head and my oh my isn't that oooone beauty? 20 years old aren't we? Then do things you WOULDN'T IMAGINE to the-"
"More than..." shivering, he removed his glasses from his face, "more than we know."
"-body itself and IT'S ONE HECK OF AN EXPERIENCE!!! And I'm tellin' you this because I DID IT AND I'M PROUD OF IT! PROUD OF IT! PROOUD OF IT! Doctor Maybell you better be REEEAAADY-"
As the guards drugged him, I asked the warden, "Did he just call me by my last name?"
He shrugged. "I don't know, doctor. I just don't know."
"Just one minute," the guard said as he typed in a series of numbers and letters into the small keypad on the metal door. I peeked over his shoulder.
"You're not afraid that I'm going to know your secret password?" I asked as I tried to follow the incredibly complex code he was typing in.
"Eh, I guess nobody could. Nobody but," he jerked his head into the general direction of the prisoner, "that dude."
"What's so damn disturbing about that guy anyway? I mean, he's crazy and all-"
"Yeah," the guard said as he spun around, his eyes wider than they should be when someone's entering a long password. "That's the part that scares me. 'He's crazy and all'. I know what you mean, doc. That 'and all' part." He spun around again, seeing if the prisoner was looking in his direction. He was grinning happily at the guard. The guard spun back with a tiny squeal.
"He knows, he just knows everything. Every little thing we have up for him. Like the time we were going to make him talk by threatening to cut off his fingers- he just knew. He knows your every move, doc. You try to make him talk, he'll make you talk. You try to make him stop, he'll make you stop."
"There's got to be an explanation."
He laughed. "You try finding an explanation, doc. You be my guest." He keyed in the last few units of the code, taking care to devote all of his attention onto the keypad, afraid of seeing the prisoner again.
"There's a few more doors after this one. You tell them you're the doc."
I told them.
As I walked through the maze of hallways leading to this prisoner, who was known simply as The Prisoner to the guards, the guard's words echoed through my mind. Crazy. All. Nobody. That dude. Was The Prisoner truly so dreaded? Was his name not to be mentioned, even in the highest reaches of the warden's office? I was going to find out soon.
The last door consisted of another one of the thick, steel doors that I had encountered earlier, except that there was a machine-gun post pointing indifferently to the unmoving, dead door. A soldier manned the machine gun- well, he didn't really man it. All he was doing when I came in was reading a magazine. He was surrounded by a few soldiers, each unarmed and talking to each other, and a pile of rifles that, I presumed, would reach their respective soldiers' hands when the door the machine gun pointed to finally opened, and out came a man not wearing a normal black suit and tie (which was what I was wearing), but a man in an orange, bloodstained unifor-
"Hey, hey, are you the doc? Doctor Arnold Maybell?"
I jerked out of my daydream. What was that, anyway? Some sort of premonition? I had a growing feeling of dread planted inside of me the moment I looked at The Prisoner, and I was afraid that it would blossom now, making me run back through the halls without a sane mind and only fear to accompany me. But it didn't, for there was nothing to water it, and it wilted back into its original position, waiting, waiting for a carer.
The soldier manning the machine gun was still reading the magazine, not knowing about the scene unfolding around him. Instead, it was one of the soldiers talking that finally noticed me standing there and started the conversation. He vaulted over the pile of sandbags separating him and his buddies from the door. He reached out a hand to help me get over the sandbags.
"No, I'm fine," I said as I stepped over the sandbags with ease. The soldier seemed to be a little uneased at this fact, but he walked toward the door anyway.
"There are a few things you need to remember, doc," he told me as he punched in yet another line of code into the keypad of the door. The conversation the soldiers were having behind me continued on, offering some background noise to the little beep! the keypad was making. "The first thing is that you should never, ever, make this dude angry."
"You think it's a good idea for this psychopath to be angry, doc?" he snapped. "Anyway, the second thing is to never, ever get close to him. And don't ask me why. You should already know."
I nodded. The plant inside me was growing once more. The gardener was back, and he brought with him an entire water tank.
"Three, never, ever give this guy food for thought. Like, 'think on that', or 'did you ever...' No. God knows what he'd do with these ideas. Ideas. It's like damn food for this guy.
"And, finally, never, ever, go against these things." he stood up, stretching from bending over and squinting for so long.
I was about to ask why when he cut me off.
"You don't want to know, doc. You don't want to know why. Just pull down the handle and in you go. You'll get used to the smell after a while," he added as an afterthought. I thanked him and gripped the cold knob.
I looked back at him. The soldiers were now on full alert; he was the only one still unarmed and talking.
"You having more than one session with this guy?"
I thought about this for a while. Then, slowly, regretfully, I nodded.
The door closed behind me with a sudden bang!. I stared at the young man in front of me. No more than 20. Fresh out of college. Acne still gleaming on his cheeks. A child prodigy. And in here for a mass murder, rape, and about five other charges too disturbing to recite here. I swallowed. He grinned.
"Hello, doc," he whispered. And somehow I heard that whisper, even though he was a good 20, 30 meters away from me.
I took out the tape recorder from my pocket and walked towards him. He was sitting on a chair, on one end of a table. My chair was on the other. I felt the weight of dozens of hopes and eyes weighing me down from the mirror near the ceiling. I placed the tape recorder on the table, and pressed the red button that signified its starting to record the various sounds around it.
"Hello, Charles. I'm Doctor Maybell," I murmured. He seemed to have caught onto my mistake and grinned even wider.
"Oh, tripping up on our first few seconds, aren't we?" he asked, the words coming out of him seeming too polite to be held in such a man.
I cleared my throat. "Shall we begin our session?"
FRAAANK!!! 17:23, January 1, 2013 (UTC)
Please note that this is part of a trilogy. Further details will be released with this pasta's sequel, which will be written soon.