"He’s here! The Dark Lord has returned It’s too late, Too late for all of us! You think you know it all don’t you? That God waved his hand and created us all? Oh how little you know! He comes! Comes to take back what is his!"
The voice cut off with a click of a button. Dr. Thomas James tilted back in his leather office chair and rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands and released a long slow sigh. Twenty years, he thought with resignation. Dealing with every mental illness known to man, perhaps it was starting to catch up with him. The long nights reviewing patient files, being spit on, patients pissing themselves and even the occasional physical attack.
"You’re not a young man anymore dear boy." He muttered. His fingers moved up from his temple and slipped through the wavy hair silvered with age. The cases were always stressful but lately they seemed to be intensifying. It wasn’t just this current patient, this John Doe that had been dumped into his lap. Several of his patients seemed to be sliding back into their psychoses.
Mary Brown was a prime example, she was on the road to getting her life back together, with the proper medications the voices had receded into the back of her mind. She interacted with the other patients and her periods of lucidity had grown to days at a time. That was before John had appeared in the ward. In the last two weeks Mary had retreated back into her own little world. She attacked an orderly, attempted to rip out his throat with her teeth. The voices had returned with a screaming vengeance and her lucid periods didn’t last more then an hour before the demons returned. She spent most of her days strapped to her bed and fed through a tube.
Dr. James shifted his slightly overweight form and pulled himself back to an upright sitting position behind his desk. He stared at the tape recorder for a moment and considered calling it a night. Come back in the morning with a good night’s sleep and hot cup of coffee.
He pulled his eyes from the tape recorder to the door at the far end of the room. There was so much he needed to do, so much work that needed to be completed before first session tomorrow. He should go, just walk away and try again tomorrow. He couldn’t do that. Too many questions remained unanswered. There was something about the nameless man, something that left him feeling ill at ease. With one last glance at the door he steeled himself for a long night and turned his attention back to the tape recorder. He pressed the play button and returned to the open folder on John Doe.
"You really don’t understand do you?" The voice hissed softly through the tiny speakers. "Perhaps I should start from the beginning?"
"Yes perhaps that would be a good place to start." His own voice replied calmly.
"In the beginning there was darkness. In this darkness there dwelled a creature, this creature was ancient, older then anything you could possibly comprehend. It lived upon the land, fed on the lesser beings that dwelt in the darkness with it, are you following me so far?" The voice asked in a whisper.
"Yes." Dr. James had replied in his best doctor voice..
"This old thing dwelled in the swirling mist of the unformed world and enjoyed the pain that it inflicted on others. In modern terms it would be referred to as evil."
"You mean the Devil?" Dr. James broke in.
"No that’s a bunch of bullshit created by the Christian religion, a bogey man created to keep people in line. Remember that Lucifer was an angel first and fell from grace because of his pride. The dark lord knew nothing of pride, nothing of good and evil. It simply existed to bring chaos and pain to the lesser beings that it held in it’s thrall."
"Ok I understand, please continue."
"I don’t know what caused the creation of this earth, perhaps it was God, or the big bang that created the universe, all I know is that when the sun ignited and the light covered the land the dark lord was banished from his realm."
"So it was the light of the sun that chased him away?" He had replied and nodded his head in understanding, that had been a mistake.
"Don’t patronize me you son of a bitch!" John had screamed at him. "You really don’t get it do you? He’s found a way to come back! He was gone from his precious home for all this time but now he’s found a loophole, he’s found a way back into our reality and he’s about to do a fuck all to end all on us!"
"Please calm down or I’ll have to call for an orderly." A firm voice, he had to show that he was in control of the session.
"I’ve seen it you know." John muttered and dropped back down into his chair. "It’s taken the form of a man. A man with no face, just a blank piece of skin from the top of his skull to the base of his chin. I ran into him at a corner deli a month ago. I was buying a hoagie and a cup of coffee to eat before making my next run. I turned around and he was just...there. He placed a hand on my arm, right above the elbow and he leaned in and whispered something into my ear."
"What?" The Dr. asked and dreaded the question even as it left his lips.
"He said you are my herald to this world and I want you to speak the word to your people in preparation for my coming. Tell them..." Dr. James clicked the tape off with a stab of his finger. He didn’t want to hear those words again ever.
He felt the sweat on his brow, the clammy cold perspiration that brought a shiver up and down his spine. He looked down at the paperwork on his desk, at the file that he had so neatly drawn up about John Doe. Delusions, possible schizophrenia.
"Speak the word." The voice slithered in his mind. "Tell them."
Dr. James shuddered a second time and pushed himself up from his desk. He walked to the door with a stride of purpose. It was not fear, he told himself this as he gripped the door handle. He needed some fresh air, that’s all. Maybe a cigarette to help clear his head. He moved down the empty hall chased by the sounds of his own footsteps. Something wasn’t quite right about John Doe, something he couldn’t put his finger on. Perhaps it was the man’s eyes, even at his most anxious, as he yelled and shook with rage, it had been like looking into an empty door that led to a great vast pit of blackness. John’s body and voice had shown all the proper emotions, but the eyes...were dead.
He left his jacket on it’s hook, his briefcase on the floor next to his desk and didn’t notice they were missing as he pushed through the main doors of the Hoffstetter Institute and stepped into the cool night air. A soft breeze ruffled his silver mane, the front page of an old newspaper fluttered across his feet but he didn’t notice. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, then a second. He was feeling better, his head clearing with each breath, each step he took towards his car settled his nerves. The feeling of uneasiness faded the farther he moved away from the building. A fresh start in the morning he told himself, that’s all I need..
A push of a button, a soft beep in response and he was behind the wheel of his Lexus. He slipped the key into the ignition and the car purred in response. The radio came to life, set to the news channel he listened to every morning during his commute.
"This just in to the BBM news desk." The reporter said in a voice filled with anxious excitement. "The riots that had begun earlier in the night in New York City seems to have spread to several other metropolitan cities. Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Miami. The outbreaks, just as in New York, are wide spread and violent. Reports of fire bombings, gunfights in the streets and looting are common among all the cities. The oddest thing of all is the graffiti that keeps turning up in all of these locations. It’s one word that keeps repeating itself over and over."
"Mine." A voice hissed softly into Dr. James’ ear at the same time as it was spoken by the broadcaster on the radio.
He looked up into the rearview mirror. Something snapped in the darkest parts of his lizard brain. A primal terror spread through his body and froze him in place. The faceless man looked back at him and laughed. "Speak the word." He said with a hiss barely above a whisper. "Tell them this world is mine."