I Actually Do Things, Part Three, In 3D!

30 Nov



[Alice steps through the doors, her shoes clacking loudly against the floor. While just as brightly lit as the rest of the centre, this wing is noticeably dirtier than the rest. It’s a long hallway, with eight cells on each side, and a night watchman, Daniel, leaning his chair against the wall and flipping through a book and looking up in surprise.]

DANIEL: Oh, h- hello, miss. Are you lost?

ALICE: Um, police business. [flashes badge] Is the suspect from the homicide in these cells?

DANIEL: No, last I heard, he’s been moved off site. All we have in shop tonight is the man in cell 16. [points to the far corner]

ALICE: Fancy title. Does he have a name?

DANIEL: Oliver Mandus, miss.

[The tiny window on the door shows that inside, the cell is dark, and the light from an outside streetlamp gives Mandus an orange silhouette, unmoving in the dark. Alice looks down, and to her dismay, finds that the scratches lead directly to the door of cell 16.]

ALICE: I am sorry to say, Mr…

DANIEL: Daniel, miss.

ALICE: Well, Daniel, I am sorry to say that I believe I have to get in there.

DANIEL: Um, I can’t do that-

ALICE: Physically, or emotionally?

DANIEL: E- emotionally- miss, Mr. Mandus is not well.

ALICE: I am well aware of that, the sign kind of gave that away. Don’t worry, he won’t hurt me. [worries for a moment] He is restrained, right?

DANIEL: … Well, yes.

ALICE: Then we’re all good!

[She flashes a smile to Daniel, hopeful and over-exaggerated.]

ALICE: Pretty please?

[Daniel looks conflicted for a moment, then lets out a strangled groan.]

DANIEL: Five minutes, okay? I don’t want you to rile him up.

ALICE: Scout’s honour.

[Daniel pulls out his keys, and unlocks the cell door. He shoves his shoulder into it, and it slides open, while Alice slips inside. Once she’s inside, Daniel pulls it shut again, and locks it with a heavy click.]


[In the dark, it’s difficult to make out Oliver’s features, but Alice can see his broad smile, his sickly features, and a bandage over his nose. He talks with a sad, mournful tone.]

ALICE: Hello. Oliver, wasn’t it?

OLIVER: Oh, no. No no no no no no no. Y- you can’t- you can’t be here.

ALICE: [quiet confusion] What do you mean?

OLIVER: Y- you were outside, you are something outside, but now you’re in here, and I- I can’t let that- no, no no no no no.

ALICE: [quiet for a moment] Are you aware of the… problems the facility has been having?

OLIVER: [dry, mocking tone] Those who are dead are not dead, they’re just living in my head.

ALICE: … Got it. What can you tell me about yourself?

OLIVER: Sand. And blood and song.

ALICE: “Sand”?

OLIVER: Metaphor, of course. Heh.

ALICE: [thinks for a moment] Did you kill those people?

OLIVER: [looks down, freezes, and turns to Alice with a broad, mocking smile] It has stood with it’s heels dug in the grit and bones, and filled it’s lungs with seminal fire. It has lain with holy passions and copulated with the autumnal fallout. It has murdered dissidents where the light never lands, and starved the masses into bended knee. A pacifist’s shadow carved into the brickwork. A house of skulls where the ground never thaws. The innocent, the innocent, and little Oliver, trod and bled and gassed and starved and beaten and murdered and enslaved. This is the time we revel in.

[Alice gets up to leave.]

ALICE: [frustrated] Sorry to bother you.

[Oliver stammers for a moment, before finally managing to speak again. Now, he speaks loudly, with stammers and starts, as though he’s struggling to remain coherent enough to finish the sentence.]

OLIVER: There’s a hole in the world, listen to it scream… there’s a hole in the world, listen to it scheme… there’s a hole in the world, it’s slipping through the cracks… there’s a hole in the world, it listens TO YOU BACK.

[He ends it as a scream, before slumping back in his chair again.]

OLIVER: I’m sorry I’m not I’m sorry I’m not I’m sorry I’m not I CAN FEEL IT IN MY SKULL the beast exacts a heavy cost the number of the beast is lost hah hah ahahah hah help me help me help me.

[He turns his head up to the standing Alice.]

OLIVER: It wants to sing to you. I’m so, so sorry.

[Alice, confused and scared, only nods. Oliver closes his eyes, and suddenly goes limp. Then, he lifts himself up, holding himself awkwardly. The Beast is in control now, and operates Oliver like a marionette that it barely knows how to play. With a calm, quiet voice and completely blank expression, it turns to Alice.]

OLIVER: Hello.

ALICE: … Who am I speaking to?


ALICE: Are you Oliver Mandus?


ALICE: Did you commit those murders?

OLIVER: Murder. Cut. Slice. Burn. Flay. Break. Kill. [face breaks into an awkward, jerky smile] Oh, my yes.

ALICE: T- that’s not possible, there’s no way you could have done them from inside this cell.

OLIVER: [looks around the cell in confusion, as though it’s the first time it’s seen it] Oh. Really. How interesting.

ALICE: … What the fuck are you?

OLIVER: Meat. You are meat. Carbon based. 60% water. And tiny. Diagonal cut along the femoral artery, lose consciousness is thirty seconds, death in up to three minutes. Snap neck, transect spinal cord, immediate drop in blood pressure, death is instant. Draw incision along abdominal cavity, reach inside, disembowel, time of death varies depending on cleanness of cut and speed with which it is undertaken. I could kill you with barely a thought. Does that scare you?

ALICE: [obviously lying] No.

OLIVER: It should.

[The door to the cell bursts open, and Daniel beckons to Alice.]

DANIEL: I’m sorry, miss, but you really must be going.

[Alice, worried and confused, slowly makes her way to the exit. Outside, she leans against the door as Daniel closes it and tries to catch her breath.]

DANIEL: Miss? Are you okay?

ALICE: [after thinking for a moment] Please keep that door locked. I don’t- I don’t think… just make sure it’s locked.

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