Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chapter 22: Madness


In the most agitated and sloppy hand do I write this, because of Momentous Events, be they real or unreal.

I soon expect the Horsemen of the Apocalypse to ride in, fury-stricken, or perhaps the Second Coming of the Lord, for today the world has turned upside down, as the English song relates.  I am beside myself with worry, for last night, after capping the day with writing in my journal, and walking over to my bed, with the Frog jar on my nightstand, I believe to have lost my sanity. 

The Frogs spoke to me.

After blowing out my lamp and looking out the window at the darkened city, I lay myself down, prostrate, upon my chilly bed.

“This jar is quite dry,” said a wee but dignified voice to my right, at close proximity.  In a hot panic, I relit my nightstand lamp and looked around the room for stowaways.  My searching eventually led me to the Frog jar.  One of the Frogs looked at me intently, Frog-feet upon the Impossible Barrier.  The next voice was just as miniscule, but nonetheless a thunder-clap in my stormy world.

“Yes, we need water presently,” said the other Frog, which I was watching.  His lips moving and he held his head high.

"Yes, we need water presently," said the other Frog.

I pinched, rubbed, and tormented myself relentlessly, urgently attempting to bring myself out of this madman’s dream, the final proof of losing my mind, the possibility of which each Man ponders at least once in his life.  To fail to purge the demon of my soul would surely end in a lunatic’s demise—ostracized, condemned, and shut away. 

Dared I speak?  What can a Man do, when Madness speaks to him?  In an attempt to shoo the fiend off, he uses his wits to speak back to Madness, showing the Fiend that he retains at least half his wits. 

 Collecting my scattered courage, I played madness’ game.  “Oh?” I asked, and fetched fresh water, pouring some into the jar, up to the knees of the Frogs, and sat upon my bed, stricken, trying desperately to maintain myself.  I immediately thought of the day and the hour in which the demon within me would give my secret away to a company of people, and I looked upon it with terror.  O horrid, to know that one’s sanity is abbreviated.

Pale as a ghoul, I blew out the light, and went to bed, feigning normalcy.

It was Quiet.  Enough to make mountains shiver, to unnerve Zeus, or frighten Mephistopheles, or make Cerberus run with his tail ‘tween his legs.  And then, from curs`ed darkness there was a croak, a hoarse and devilish voice.  It echoed through my mind as through a great mineshaft, deep into the darkness among the tunnels that Madness had bored into my brain:

“Thank you, Sir.”

No comments: