Part 1

Red Slacker

White, white, white, white with door. White, white, white, white with door. White, white, white, white with door. Even if I bite at the white, it just makes it dented white. And then the dented white slowly, maddeningly becomes that non-dented white again, and I start my damned rounds again. White, white, white, white with door. If I look up, it's white. The same white as the ones all around. Looking down is black. I like looking down, or at the door, which is, sadly, also white, but at least it's not that fucking safety-madness white.

Why white? What the fuck was in the mind of the world when they decided to make white the official colour of madness? It just pisses me off more. At least one of the walls could be black or something. At this point, I'd settle for fucking beige.

When I get down to actually thinking about these sorry excuses for surroundings - which happens again and again - I know exactly why I hate it so fucking much. The white is everywhere. It's searing into my one good eye, into my mind, and into the blackness which is my soul. It's all-encompassing, smoldering, raping my mind... like that eternal sadist, God. The white is God, and He is everywhere, destroying me. My only salvation is down below, in the black of the linoleum. Darkness, pitch and coal, inky like the soul God so enjoys raping. The room reflects this life, and the room is this life. White, white, white, white with door.

It's so fucking boring. After a while, there's not even anything to think about. I can curse God all day, but the Fucker won't take me seriously if I never get to follow through and hurt someone. I chew on the collar of the straitjacket, just to have something to concentrate on, something to entertain me in some way. I think of walking. It'd be more entertaining... I take a step, and then stop.

No. I will not pace. I will not pace. Once you begin pacing, you're lost. Everyone knows that much, even here. You're lost to yourself, and you've given in to society's demand to be a good little bitch, and we all know it. The guards know it, the inmates know it, and the shrinks know it. Once you start pacing, you might as well crack open your own damn skull, because the surgeon's gonna do it for you soon enough. You've lost.

Boredom makes me have some phantom itch, so I scratch my face on the wall... which does less than nothing. It's too soft. Even the door is lacking in having a single fucking thing I can cut myself on, which I'd certainly like, but right now I'm just annoyed that I can't properly scratch myself. This room is too perfect, too smooth. I guess the cunts that built it figured the room's absence of anything would save me from myself. Well, even I have to admit that in some way they're right. But really it just dooms me to this fitful boredom that amplifies my insanity.

Yea. I know I'm messed up; who doesn't? The constantly shitting machine that is society assumes, like they're so great themselves, that the insane think they're the normal ones. There are some like that, but they're not just insane, they're stupid, too. There is no normal. We are all just headers here. But at least I know the truth. I know all I need to about that fucking liar in the sky, and that is what matters.

But I'll be damned if it isn't agitating, the constant need to just scratch my face. I walk around the room, my face rubbing against the soft wall as I go. This isn't pacing, it's reliving a maddening itch, and I've never seen a man in a straitjacket that didn't do it. The pacing is for boredom; this is out of necessity. At any rate, the noise of the fabric is beginning to become another of those annoyances. Even it seems white, dull, and eternal.

I stop. There's a new sound. The noise of the fabric rubbing against my ear and the insane and constant hum of the air conditioning, cranked up so high that all of us warded here are freezing even under the thick straitjackets, is being interrupted with something heavy and staccato. It's quiet at first, so much so that I only hear it because I have my ear up against the wall. But now it's getting louder, and I figure out that it's actually drawing closer, not really getting louder. It's turned the corner from the main hall into the corridor leading to my room. Footsteps. Footsteps. In this life, there is no way footsteps just casually come by my cell, or even into the fucking hall up to it. They only come at certain times, to dispense medicine or food, and it's not that time; I've memorized the schedule of food and medicine, since it's the only way there is to separate the days from each other. No one just "walked past" this place. This is a corridor kept away from the rest of the building, and marked in huge black letters as being the ward for the "most dangerous of psychopaths warded in the sanatorium," as they so kindly put it here. So I stop, listening to the gradually nearing footsteps. Now that they're closer, I can hear that there are actually three sets, which is even more messed up. I stand in front of the door, waiting to see if the sound will actually stop by this cell. For now, it seems a shitload more interesting than my usual practice of cursing God.

They stopped. I smirk. The rattle of a key chain, the snick of the key settling into the lock - I haven't heard these for what seems like an eternity. The food is slipped through a slot in the door, which always makes me laugh, no matter how many times they do it. Even in a straitjacket, they fear me. And I like it.

The last time I heard that noise was also the last time that servant of the Great Liar, who herself is a fucking dirty cunt of a liar, had sent someone to "receive my confession." I was supposed to be heavily sedated, as always, when that little servant came. The doctors slipped some strong barbiturates in my food every time that bastard showed up. Unfortunately for him, the days are easily counted by the maddeningly timed-out meals shoved through a 12" by 3" slot, and a pattern's easily found, even by someone tied up year-round.

Father Dillon didn't live long after I discovered the schedule of drugging. Even if I am in a straitjacket, as you well know, I am more than a threat. That much the guards knew. That's why sedatives became one of the food groups. Father Dillon did not know. He seemed totally surprised as he was jumped, as if he seriously thought I was sane, or, at the very least, nonviolent.

I could see that surprise, that pure shock that flashes through someone's eyes as they realize that they are having some sort of disgustingly belated epiphany, as I bit fully into the ancient Father's weak shoulder. It made me laugh; hell, it practically made me get a hard-on, all that blood spilling into my mouth and the fear I could almost taste in it, his pasty face going slack with fear... That na´ve fool... that servant of the Great Liar... he thought he was safe. What the hell did he think I was doing in a fucking psycho ward? It makes me laugh even now. Even if they put a policy against human interaction of any sort with me, it was worth it to be coated in the blood of one of those servants. It was worth it, to have his body heaving for air at my feet as I spit in his face, stomping on that fucking crucifix. It was worth it to hear him cry to his little "God," to hear him ask that Holy Fool to "forgive me, for I know not what I do," like he was the Bastard Son Himself. It was worth it. Even if they moved me into this room without a window and circular whiteness, it was all so worth it. It was even worth it never to have footsteps at random. To never hear the key, like I do now.

I stand, smiling slightly. I realize that I'm actually trying not to look too fucked up. Who am I kidding? I want a room with a window again, even if all that was ever out it was a view of bars and bricks. There's no chance of me getting that again, but I try anyway; the pathetic fuck I am.

When the door opens, it does very slowly, so damn slowly that it antagonizes me. But I'm not about to show it. I want the damn window.

The first person to come in is a guard, tall and stocky. I hate this one. His name is Derek or Dirk or Dick, something like that, but that's not the point. The point is that he's one of those oxygen-wasting overweight cretins that drive you insane with their maddeningly dull and dead eyes. He keeps his eyes on me as he grabs me, holding me still. He may be stupid, and he may just be taking up space needed for actual humans, but he knew how to do his job.

The next to come in is another guard, one I can only distantly recall seeing. He must be working for a different ward. He is, at best, unremarkable.

The last is my true visitor. I don't know what he could want in a psychiatric ward; a tall man wearing a suit I only know as being too fucking pricey to be worn in this hell-hole, with dark hair and glasses that glint in the horrible fluorescent lighting that hums all night and day.

He stares at me for a while. I can't see his eyes, but it's damned obvious he's giving me some type of once-over.

"Farfarello," he says, his voice bland with that flat American accent. I don't know what he's up to, still, but I smirk when he uses that name, the name I gave myself. The name Dante gave me, in some ways. Farfarello, the great Hell-bird; who helped rent the skin of lying barters when they rised above the pitch they belonged in. I don't like liars, and neither does my fierce namesake.

I don't know if this suited man is trying to impress me by using that name, but it's pretty fucking likely.

The fat cretin snorts. "He ain't 'Farfarello.' He's Jei Devlin. Don't delude the bloody little bastard. He's been callin' himself that fool name for awhile, but it just show's he's short a full shilling, I say." I barely suppress a growl at the shitter, and only do in hopes of that damned window.

The American notices though, and he smiles darkly at the guard. "At any rate, sir, I will be taking him." A gun is pulled, and a shot is fired before chubby can react. I break away from his slumping body, and rip out the second guard's throat with my teeth alone as he goes to get help, and I flash back to an elderly priest, howling the "Hail Mary." I don't know this American. I don't know where or why he's taking me. I just know that he killed an utter bitch of a man, and that anywhere is better than this pisser.

As the guard hits the ground, the man smirks at me. He turns to walk out the door, and I idle with the thought of killing him while he's not looking - and I realize that he knows I won't. No sane person would turn his back on an insane one, and we can smell our own. This guy may look like a corporate fuck, but he isn't stupid or crazy, even if he's decided to break out a total stranger. I follow him quietly, and surprisingly we're only met by three guards, easily shot through their thick skulls. He opens the door, and I'm free, blessedly free. I start to run. Sure, he broke me out, but I owe no one anything, except God, and I only owe him pain. I don't get far. I didn't remember all the fencing. I got here seven years ago, I haven't seen the outside except a brick enclosure, how the fuck can I remember the fencing, crawling up higher than the institution's walls, the barbed wire at the top thickly curled. I wouldn't have minded the barbed wire. It would hurt God, to have it tear through my skin, to have my blood mingle with the splatter of the first guard's and the drenching of the second's. The problem was that I had no hands to climb it with in this straitjacket, and by the time I reached it and realized this, the American had reached me.

The metal of his gun pressed coldly against my temple, and I chuckled. "Do you think I care? My death would hurt God once and for all."

A click, the gun being cocked. "If you come with me, you will be able to hurt Him more. A life where you can walk free occasionally, a life where killing is your job. A paid job, slaughtering people for a living. Isn't this what you want, Farfarello?"

I narrow my eyes. It sounds nice. Of course it sounds nice, killing people, having more than a window with being able to walk freely. But in no way do I trust this man. I have no reason to, as far as I can see. "How do I know what you say is true?"

He laughs. It's a flat, hollow sound, the way laughs should be. "Can it get any worse? If you want, I can leave you right here. You can go back to your little cell and live your life like a good boy. But wait... you killed a guard, didn't you? Doesn't that make you too dangerous to even ward? They wouldn't kill you for it, of course, but they may cure you. Do you know what they do in that surgery room, Farfarello? Why would they have a surgeon in a mental institution, do you know?"

I know full well that I will go with him now. I know he's manipulating me, too, with the ease of using the fear of every insane person against me. The rooms in the back, the cold, antiseptic, impersonal and fucking frightening rooms in the back. It doesn't matter if you're afraid of death or not, it doesn't matter if you're afraid of pain or not. There is one fear that even the most fucked-up of sociopaths, the most screwed-over of psychopaths have, and that's the lobotomies.

The electroshock treatment isn't feared because it's only used on depressed people, and the drugs can be evaded, but the surgeries... I heard that once they did them all the time, until the sixties, when the hell in institutions was exposed. Then they were ceased almost altogether. But now, apparently they've been "redeemed," the lobotomies and the shock treatments. The surgeon's job back there is a last-ditch effort to cure the worst of the worst, and we know that it will change you into forever.

This yuppie look-alike is manipulating me. But I don't want to risk it being true, because it might be. I've killed two people in that bloody institution; they might decide I'm one of the ones who can't be safely warded anymore, they might decide I'm the worst of the worst, that I need that back room. I hate him, but I'll join him, because it's the only choice.

I nod, once, and he pushes me on to a locked gate. A guard waits there, but all he receives is a swift end. The lock is blown off like his head, and he guides me toward one of those fancy-ass cars that only a guy who is full of himself or impotent drives. I wonder which he is. Two men in suits are waiting beside it, and the American nods once at them. They shove me into the back seat, in the middle, one sitting to each side of me, guns trained. I can tell immediately they're only grunts, that they're completely dispensable, and that's why they're actually guarding me. I smirk and look out the window, bored with them. The American talks.

"I am Crawford. From now on, you will be working for Takatori Reiji. I assume you know Japanese?"

I answer with a bored "yes." There was nothing to do in that asylum, but they did try to teach me, trying to prove their humane attitude towards everyone, even the criminally insane, I guess. With the insane silence and boredom that consumed my life, I was said to be a "perfect student." I took to languages well; mainly to be able to live anywhere I ended up once I broke out. I was young, and certain I could, so I took up as many languages as I could and learned them fluently enough so I could spite the teachers, another reason I was so fucking fanatical over them. Yeah, I know Japanese. If we were going to France, Germany, or Russia, I'd be pretty fucking set, too.

The skies are covered with their usual deadpan grey. It's beautiful, that space in time when it's about to rain, but isn't quite yet. I think the guards are amused by how fascinated I am just by the outside. I'd kill them if they touched me or said anything about it, and I'm thinking about killing them as it is, but the buildings gliding past, slightly darkened from their real colours by the tinted windows, are distracting me from that, as pleasant as it might be. There's windows, damn it, which is lucky for these two fucks.

By the time we're at the airport, the rain has started. I get out of the car, the American in front of me, the guards flanking me, and I just stand there for a while, enjoying the water pouring over my face. I never thought about it, but I think I've missed being wet, of all things. I haven't been conscious when wet for years, since I was considered too suicidal to bathe alone and too homicidal to be awake when someone else was in the room. So I smile as the rain dampens down my hair. I might have stayed there forever, if I wasn't pushed along by one of the guards. I put him high on my list of "people to kill."

A private plane awaits us, and I realize that they don't intend me to be awake for this flight, only a few seconds before a needle is pressed into my neck. I put up a fight, but the drug is strong and fast, and I can't take anyone down as I drop off into unconsciousness.

When I wake up, I'm in another fucking BMW. The same guards are sitting to either side, and the Crawford guy is still driving. I look outside the window. That's different. The signs have changed from the constant repeating letters of English to the seemingly ever-changing brushstroke of kanji or hiragana. I smirk. Those psychotherapist bitches won't find me here, or so I hope. Neither will that great Sister cunt... I stretch, mainly to make the dispensables back here uncomfortable and fidgety.

Crawford does his smile-glare hybrid into the rearview mirror. "So, you're finally up." He looks back at the road. "We're almost there. There already is a room ready for you there..."

I'm pissed. The fucker... I'm such a damn fool to have fallen into this. I'm just going into another fucking institution. I move to kill him, to kill the guards, to kill something.

He smirks at me. "I'd advise you to calm down, Farfarello. There are institutions in Japan, you know."

I growl at him. "I'm not falling for that again, you shit."

A smirk, again. It's almost enough for me to just kill him NOW. I wonder why I don't. "Of course not. Anyway," he says, dismissing the topic at hand as easily as I killed that priest, "You should at least come and see the facilities. You will be allowed to walk free now and then, and you will be 'hurting God' as you so like, but the fact remains we need you alive. I assure you, though, that the room will be more to your liking than the one in Ireland." He looks back at me in the mirror. "There are windows."

Good enough. I settle back. I might as well see this place, since it really can't be that much worse than the asylum, and it'll be a shitload better than a lobotomy.

We stop at some bland building surrounded at all sides by trees and fencing. The only opening is that of the driveway, and a wrought-iron gate blocks that off. The American keys something into a remote that was in the glove compartment, opening the gate. The car stops and Crawford lets it idle, giving the keys to one of the guards, who's probably just became some glorified chauffeur and has to park it. The other guard and Crawford lead me into the building - not quite a house, but closer to one than any other sort of structure - and down a flight of stairs. I guess I'm not getting the full tour, after all. Well, the building seems really fucking boring anyway. We go down a hallway, past another dispensable guard in a booth, through an electronically locked door... I realize a bit late that the fuck was letting me on again. We're obviously heading to my room. And it's downstairs, damn it! How the fuck are there going to be any windows? This place is going to be just as boring as the old asylum. I'm gonna reef the cunt... The guard grips me tightly, pushing me on. I struggle, managing to bite at the tendon between his index finger and thumb. He screams, letting go, but before I can run, the fucking bastard clocks me in the side of the head, and I fall to the ground.

Again, the American refuses to shut up, and kneels to talk to me again. "If you continue this, Farfarello, you won't get the job. I have orders to kill you if you're too difficult, you know."

I tell him to fuck off, that I don't care if I die or not.

"You think I don't know that? You made that quite obvious from the minute we met. I can't help thinking, though, that you would actually prefer to stay alive, just to anger your God. Is that true, Farfarello?"

I stare at him. It pisses me off sometimes when people know the truth. I stand and continue walking. The guard pushes me into the cell, and I stagger for a moment, loosing my balance. I right myself and turn to him. He's touched me one too many times.

"Don't touch me, bastard, unless you intend to follow it through." I jump at him, slamming him into the wall of my cell. He tries to escape it, but I kick the back of his knees and he falls to them with a grunt.

I begin laughing. I was right. This poor little shit. He is dispensable. Crawford, at least, has decided him as too much of a hassle to save, as the door is locked shut. The guard screams and cries for help. Crawford, no doubt wanting to save that fucking suit from bloodstains, leaves.

I make sure the guard demonstrates a nice lesson. He screams well into the night.

I wake up to sunlight pouring over my face. This isn't so much irritating as it is odd, and I look up. I laugh, loudly. In last night's festivities, I hadn't had the opportunity to notice it. But even if I'm underground, it seems I get windows. Skyward ones.

My laugh seems to echo in the large room. "How's this, God? You Great Fuck... You can see me all day and night. Did you enjoy my little gift? Next time, maybe I'll rape you a little robed boy. Would you like that better?"

I stop. There's someone rattling at the door to this place. It's a timid, pitiful little excuse for a guard. He eyes me fearfully as he goes in to get his little friend off the floor.

I don't feel like bothering. If I kill him, I'd just have to kill the guy who came after his body, and the one who came after his, and so on. Soon, I'd just have a cell full of decomposing bodies. As fun as that might be, the smell would be irritating.

The little guard pulls off the bloody corpse and I laze around awhile more. My straitjacket is stained with more blood than I've seen in a while, and I savor it for a while, just smelling it, enjoying the feeling of it sticking to me. I lick my lips; there's still some blood there, too. Better than any damn priest in the world.

"It seems as if you enjoyed yourself last night."

I sit up, startled. It's that Crawford guy again. He's wearing another expensive suit.

"Hmph. What is it?"

Another of those fucking trademarked smirks. "I thought you'd like to be filled in on what your job is."

"I'm some old guy's bodyguard, right?"

"Not quite. More like an assassin."

"Why would some elderly fuck want an assassin?"

Crawford gives me a dull chuckle in response, adjusting his glasses. "I would show more respect to him in person, if I were you. Then again, I am not you, am I? I feel pain."

I smirk back. So he's done his homework. That's to be expected; if you're going to work for someone with a good payroll, you're going to work pretty fucking well.

"His motto is that the best defense is a good offence. He'd rather have his enemies dead than to be protected from them. It's much cleaner that way.

"He targeted you for your ability not to feel pain one way or the either. Most people, even masochists, will react negatively to pain on some level. You, on the other hand, seem to have no reaction to it at all, which is a very attractive feature in a body guard or assassin."

"So, this Takatori wants me as an assassin. What are you, then? His actual bodyguard?"

He gives me some mix between a snort and a laugh in reply. "Hardly. I, too, am an assassin for Mr. Takatori."

"Why'd he hire you?"

He's not a wimp or anything; he looks like he's more built than I am. But if this Takatori guy risked busting someone from an asylum, why the fuck would he settle for some nearsighted asshole who's just slightly muscular?

"How do you think I knew you wouldn't kill me when I turned my back?"

I snicker. "You aren't any fucking mind reader."

"No, I'm not," he admits, with another infuriating smile, "Although, I'm sure he'll be down here to investigate soon enough. No, I can see the future."

And with that, he leaves. I don't know whether or not to believe him. It sounds like crap to me, but so far, he's got a better track record than most of the bastards I've met in this excuse for a life. He promised windows, and they're actually fucking here.

I lay back, looking to the clouds again. I'm blood-soaked, and it seems as if I'm going to have a fairly nice job being consistently so. I smirk to the sky.

God will hurt.

Part 2   |   Fanfiction