Him, Her and the Voices

NOTE: The following is a play based partly on experience. It offers insight into the schizophrenic mind.

Act I Scene 1

[He storms into the room and slams the door.]

HIM [yelling at the top of his voice]It can’t be! Yet another time. For heaven’s sake, how can this be possible? [lowers his voice to normal volume] Why, why does this keep happening to me?

VOICE 1 Because, you bring it upon yourself. It’s your fault!

HIM [He shakes his head] No. It can’t be. It’s them, it’s all their fault, they do this to me. I just suffer. They are useless, hopeless, ignorant bastards. Always attacking me, always hurting me. I do nothing wrong. I can’t stand this any more.

VOICE 1 Then don’t. End it. Have the courage, go on, it’s easy.

HIM [looking scared] What do you mean? End them or end me?

VOICE 1 Yourself. It’s not worth carrying on, you know it, you said so yourself. Finish it. Go on, have some guts for once and kill yourself. Stop wallowing around in self pity and end your miserable life, what are you waiting for? What do you think is going to happen?

VOICE 2 Don’t listen to him. That will not solve anything. It is simply running away from the problem. You are stronger than that, face up to the trouble and it will get better.

HIM [with violence in his voice] When? When will it end? It keeps going on and on and on. I keep telling myself it will ge better, but it doesn’t, it won’t. They all hate me, and I hate them back. Nobody cares about me, and to be honest, if I did kill myself, who would even notice? Who would care? I don’t care any more about anything, maybe I should do it.

VOICE 1 [viciously] Look at yourself, you pathetic weasel. You can’t even kill yourself. You do nothing right. No wonder nobody likes you, no wonder nobody cares about you. You’re scum, you’re worthless and you deserve to die alone. Soon you will start crying no doubt. Always complaining, always somebody else’s fault. You’re just a poor little victim. Pathetic. Enough. At least have the decency to end your life.

VOICE 2 What would that solve? What is you want most? To be loved. Will you get love if you are dead? Either you take the religious approach, where you go to hell to eternal damnation and suffering, or you take the scientific approach, where you become dust. What happens then? Nothing. No love, in either of them. So, if you kill yourself, do you get what you want?

VOICE 3 There is another alternative. You could kill them. That would solve the problem, don’t you think? You can make them pay for what they have done to you. And, if it all goes wrong, just kill yourself to escape. You’re thinking about it anyway, so why not?

[He clutches his head in his hands and kneels down. Then shakes his head violently, repeating “no, no, no”]

HIM Go away! Leave me alone!

ALL THE VOICES We’re not going anywhere, we are here to stay.

HIM I can’t think properly. I..I…don’t know what to do.

VOICE 1 [simultaneously with Voice 2 and 3 below] Kill yourself.

VOICE 2 Stop, do nothing.

VOICE 3 Kill them.

HIM NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Enough. Please God, help me, deliver me!

[His face turns, bloodlust in his eyes]

HIM Perhaps I will. Enough is enough.

[He grabs a dagger from the table and takes it to his chest.]

VOICE 1 Do it! Come on, show some courage, end your life!

[He breathes in and out, inhaling and exhaling ever faster]

VOICE 1 C’mon, do it, you can end your life, just plunge the knife, one inch at a time, a little bit deeper with every breath and you will be done. Take the step into bliss, and freedom. Do it!

HIM No, I can’t. I don’t have the courage, I wish I did, but I don’t. [Throws the knife on the ground.] I’ll just carry on, until the end of time, miserable and alone. Crying into my own pillow, soothing myself to sleep…even if there is no point carrying on I will…

Scene 2

[A knock on the door. The door opens. She walks in.]

HER What’s going on? What’s wrong?

HIM I…I..help me.

HER Is it them again? The voices?

[A silent nod.]

HER Don’t worry, I’m here, I’ll help you, I’ll take care of you. Whatever they are saying, don’t listen to them. Remember! Don’t do anything they say, and come straight to me. Look for me, call me. I will be there for you. What happened, what’s wrong?

HIM I-I can’t. I don’t want to talk about it.

HER Please, tell me. Keeping quiet does not help, talking about it will. If you tell me, it will help you feel better, you will feel less alone. Don’t worry, I will always be here.

[She walks towards him. Him, still on his knees, leans in towards her. She kneels down and embraces him.]

HER There, hold on as tight as you wish. I am here, they can’t hurt you, I’ll protect you.

HIM I love you.

HER I love you too.



Death of the Sergeant

The phone rings. PC Bellew has an urgent phone call.

It’s the sergeant. There’s a fire, a very big one. He is needed there. But, just as the sergeant tells him where the fire is, the line cuts. Desperately, he puts on his helmet and heads out.

There is chaos and turmoil on the streets. The fire brigade are doing their best to control the population and the flames. As PC Bellew approaches the fire area, a fireman comes and orders him back.

“I have direct orders from the Sergeant, I need to get there. I need to help him.”

“Get back! No written orders, no access!”

PC Bellew goes back, knowing he can’t argue with that man. He tries to go around, through another road. This time he is allowed through. He rushes towards the police station, not knowing where else to look. He is too late. Way too late.

The firemen present explain that there was no saving the policemen inside. The Sergeant is dead. PC Bellew looks around, for some comfort, he can’t help but feel it is his fault. He spots the Sergeant’s wife.

“Why didn’t you save him? You should have been here sooner! You’re a murderer!” She shouts at him.

As he tries in vain to formulate a response, the rest of the building crumbles, bringing down the flats next to it.

The whole town, still aflame, blames PC Bellew for the misfortune. He runs back to his flat, trying to hide, not to get lynched by the angry mob.

The Attack of the Football Fanatics

I had several dreams tonight. All of them worthy of a blog entry. I only remember one, once I had woken up in the morning and gone back to sleep.

I find myself in a shopping centre in Cartago, Costa Rica (it looks like my brain is slowly making the migration). I am with several of my aunts and cousins, looking for my cousin’s daughter’s ball which she has misplaced. I decide to drift around the shops looking for something interesting.

As I get towards the other end of the centre I hear an explosion, and then people screaming and saying that there’s been a chemical leak, so a section of the centre is closed to the public. I think it is the end I’m at, so i walk around trying to get to the other end, and see massive walls, barring my progress. I got the end wrong, it is the end I came from.

I start running towards the door, when I am tripped deliberately by a football fan sporting purple. He runs away, I follow for a bit and quickly realise it is a setup, there is a horde waiting and they want blood. I am really confused as I am wearing a Southampton shirt and not a local one. I walk backwards and jump over a fence.

The horde makes it to the fence, they are manic, psychotic wild eyes in their sockets, screaming for mayhem and trouble. I am find myself cornered with other individuals. I jump to a platform and hurry towards another exit, thinking I’ll make it out on foot. My half conscious brain evaluates the situation and realises there is no way we’ll survive on foot, so I re-write the dream and go to the car. Only I have not yet bought a car, so it quickly turns into my mother’s car, which is an SUV.

One of the fans clad in purple, who does not want trouble, guides me through a labyrinth through the bathrooms and the prostitutes towards the car.

I have to make it around the blue stadium to my aunt’s house. The road through the stadium is blocked, because of the football fans. I realise the horde has spotted my car and is making for it. I accelerate.

Two British radio presenters are following the action. At first they were there on the ground, but then the dream got re-written and they were through the phone, on video call.

I quickly drive past the Stadium road and up towards a hill. There are the ruins of a medieval town, and a Swiss looking scenery with Alps and Lakes. I quickly scramble my brain and re-write what I am looking at to make it Costa Rican.

I go north of the stadium, onto a dirt track, always accelerating. The road ends suddenly, so I veer to one side down another tarmac road. This one goes to close to the stadium. I see the horde in the distance, only now they are clad in red and black. I go north again.

Another dirt track. I am destroying the car’s suspension. Two more roads and I’ll be past the stadium and to my aunt’s house. We (suddenly there are people in the car with me) have to drive through a pill factory. The girl working there stops us and tells us to hide inside, we won’t make it she reckons.

We hide inside but my mum walks outside to see where the horde is, they spot us. They come to start a fight. I start fighting with all I’ve got, throwing punches left, right and centre. I am a big lad, I throw a good punch, people start falling to the ground, but we get word of an even bigger horde. No way out, no escape.

My brain quickly re-writes the dream. We are still in the car. We go past a destroyed dirt road and unto the intersection with a dirt track coming from the stadium. There is a steep hill coming towards the intersection.

The horde, now clad in red and yellow, is at the foot. Do I ram them? Or do I stop? I do not want to be responsible for the death of anyone, however justified it may be. I go slowly, the horde surrounds the car and starts the attack. The wing mirrors fall, the glass cracks. Hand are inside the car.

My leg muscles begin to cramp as they tense from the panic. My brain re-writes the dream. I ram them, I go through them at full throttle and they do not stand a chance, and a I make it past the security line from the riot police.

I wake up with a start. With a blazing headache and aching muscles. Very real, physical pain, from the stress and tension of the dream.

The Castle and the King

I wake up inside a medieval castle, yet with modern comforts. I look outside and I suddenly realise I am an important member of this society.

I walk down the stone steps into the courtyard,sun shining down upon me. I look around, and see towers and turrets everywhere. The courtyard is small, internal and private. I walk towards the western wing and into the room. I saw gold ingots lying on the ground and I decide to take them and store them somewhere hidden. Somehow I know they belong to me and they ought not be there.

I go behind some stairs, into a secret compartment, on the other side of an iron gate. I hide the treasure and walk outside. I see my mother discussing with my aunt. I keep walking and get to the car. An SUV, white. In the middle of the castle. I get in with my little brother and drive off into the ramp going out of the castle. We drive through a maze until we are finally on the open road heading towards the beach.

Inside the maze of tunnels we noticed two children, at the time I made nothing of it. However, once at the beach we reach a house, where a family is living. The two children are there. Their parents welcome us into their home. They make us as comfortable as possible and then walk us out to the car, with the waves crashing down upon the small overhang where it is parked.

The whole sequence makes no sense. What am I doing here? Why does everyone seem to know me? Why is there a castle, a road and a beach house?

As we drive back and approach the tunnels we get lost inside. Suddenly the roof is too small, the car won’t fit, will it? I inch the car forward very slowly, and it just about scraped through. We leave the car there, parked in the midst of the tunnels, and walk towards the castle. The two children are there again. I decide to follow them.

They are going deeper into the castle, until it is clear they are heading for the hidden gold. I stop them. They run away. I clamber above some table in a low-roofed chamber and reach the corridor that will take me to the gold. I take it in my hand and walk onto a balcony.

The whole town lies before me. People cheer me as I step out.

I am the King.

The School Reunion

I find myself on a film set. The famous blonde actress has to jump from the window, onto a beam and then run across onto the roof. The scene gets repeated several times. All around me, my old school classmates are there. We are altogether again, after so many years.

Then I find myself on the floor below from where she jumped, in a very squeezed room, where I cannot stand up, only crawl. She is there in bed, I go towards her. I hear a loud crash and a bang, and then we are running – enacting the rehearsal scene for real – and as I land on the roof I am being chased by the baddy. I fall all the way down to the street level, without breaking any bones, and run into a warehouse. The baddy follows me and starts shooting. I close my eyes.

I open my eyes, I am at the beach, in a restaurant on the sand. I slip into a hole in the sand with my cousin and two other people. The baddy comes rushing in. He does not recognise me and takes out his phone, looking for me. He takes out his gun and then aims it straight at my chest. He fires. I close my eyes.

I open my eyes and I am somewhere else. At a party. With all the people I had known at school. We are quietly reminiscing about days gone by. There are pictures going around, and I feel a certain joy in my heart. It appears to be a Christmas party, with the little children really enjoying themselves. The conversation moves to the very old video games, Nintendo (just Nintendo, as it was at that time) multi-player games. Someone then leads us into a room, in what looks like an abandoned military bunker, where all the Nintendos are connected via wires and it is set up for a massive multi-player shoot up game.

Then the baddy comes rushing in. I run. I go through a labyrinth of corridors, with him hot on my heels, shooting the whole time. I manage to get a gun and shoot back. I injure him. Then he flashes a wicked grin and shoots. Behind me. As I turn I see he has shot at a bomb. I run for dear life as the bomb explodes and sends me careening into the next room. Where another bomb awaits. As it starts to go off I run through a door, and I am back at the street the one I landed on after I fell down from the roof, exiting the warehouse. I look around and the crowded street, filled with filmmakers again, is a sitting target for all the bombs, so I warn them. Everyone starts running and there is a massive panic.

I cross the street and enter a different building. I am back in the bunker. I look around and the gun is aimed straight at my head.

I wake up. With a tight calf muscle and tired biceps. Feeling the fatigue of having run so much.

The Big City

I find myself in the middle og a crossroad at a great city. The great capital of the united world. There is a big skyscraper at three of the corners and a green park with an underground car park below. 

The skyscraper to my left, a great modernist tower of glass houses all the knowledge on fluid dynamics available to mankind. The knowledge essential to the world economy … And warfare. 

I push my wind from my hands and fly towards the entrance. I sneak in. The guards are immediately alerted to my presence. I go invisible and head towards the lift. I go in but there is a woman with a pushchair. I desperately try to avoid being bumped into as security passes by. The lift goes up and the woman leaves as I continue on my way to the top. I reach it and have before me all the knowledge from the top companies. 

I am flabbergasted at their plans. I leave the building and head to the slums, unsure as to what to do with the knowledge gained. 

I walk into a multistory building housing a run down tattoo parlour. Not really knowing why I go for a tattoo with a skinny man. I tell him what to do, but I look in shock horror as he disregards my design with mountains and an angel and starts etching a horrible demon on my arm, above my dragon and cross. 

I stop him and jump up. I feel the blackness coming and scream in terror. 

I wake up. And turn the light on. 

The Election

In a distant land, surrounded by ocean, there was to be an election for a new Leader. Naturally, it all happened on the sea surrounding the capital city. Lovely palm trees on the beach, with the blue-turquoise water lapping gently against the sand. But then, in the middle of the sea, three giant structures had been erected.

The first one, a cage. A cage of immense proportions. A massive net of steel, forming the shape of a sea creature. Inside, the poor human souls who were to be the sacrifice offered at the election. Sacrificed, as atonement to their crimes.

The second, a viewing platform for the Councillors and Statesmen. Ornate gold carvings on plush seats, full of blue-robed people. Waiting for the spectacle of the sacrifice.

I am on a boat which docks at the cage. The first prisoner is loaded unto the boat. A woman. Blonde hair, middle-aged. Terror in her face.

The boat speeds to the third structure. A massive cauldron, filled with wood chips, with a three apartment house at the top. We climb to the house, where we are greeted by the executioner, another woman in her mid-thirties. Our prisoner is taken to one of the three cells on the balcony. Another two arrive and fill the gaps.

I look in horror as I realise what is about to happen. The executioner laughs, cold and mirthless. Hollow eyes looking with glee at the three prisoners. He pulls a chord, and the fire spreads from the roof towards the woman who had come in my boat. She starts screaming, louder and louder as the flames envelop her. Then, the floor beneath her collapses and she falls into the cauldron. A human torch to light the ceremonial cauldron.

She writhes around, only lighting more and more wood chips until a veritable inferno extends itself towards heaven.