The little girl
Just could not sleep
Because her thoughts
Were far too deep
Her mind had gone
Out for a stroll
And fallen down
The rabbit hole.
The little girl
Just could not sleep
Because her thoughts
Were far too deep
Her mind had gone
Out for a stroll
And fallen down
The rabbit hole.
It’s happened again.
Ironic isn’t it? After a couple of weeks of positive thinking and telling myself that I’ll be okay, I’m now in that dark pit again where I feel as if nothing is going to make me feel better and that I might as well die.
I’m going to blame Robin Williams. He’s the one who got me started on thinking about depression and mental illness after all.
Long story short, I’m in hospital.
But it’s okay. I haven’t hurt myself. And Daniel’s going to stop me from doing anything.
I wish he didn’t have to see me like this. That’s why I didn’t tell him how I was feeling to begin with. I didn’t want him to think I was weak; at the time, I thought it was nothing, just another burst of depression over absolutely nothing.
Except by the end of the day, I was sobbing uncontrollably, and whenever I looked around the room, I could easily imagine all the ways I could kill myself. Maybe I’d stab myself with a sewing needle, or instead, use it to cut through the fly screen on my window and leap out onto the ground below. I never did anything of those things, but I could see them so vividly, I may as well have been doing them.
On Tuesday, I met up with Flash and I told him how much I wanted to die. Little did I know that he was watching. The same one who killed Kaya was waiting for me to give him the order to finish me off too. And I must’ve given him that order at some point, because I soon felt that sinking feeling that I had become accustomed to so much in my other Reality. I apologised to Flash for doing this, and I remember him crying softly as I died once again.
I arrived in the bright white space that was Limbo. It wasn’t Kaya who met me here though. Just the man who murdered her. “Take me back,” I ordered him.
“Whatever do you mean?”
“Take me back!” I snarled. “How dare you try pull the same thing on me! Wasn’t Kaya and Nereida enough for you?”
He merely smiled. “You wanted this,” he reminded me. “I was there when were crying out ‘I want it to be over! I just want to die!‘ Don’t tell me you didn’t mean it.”
I lunged at him and grabbed his throat. He laughed as I clawed at his face, tried to beat him senseless. “You think that’s going to take you back? You can’t reverse death, stupid bitch. Don’t you know that?”
“I didn’t want you to kill me! It’s not fair!”
Another dark laugh, and he threw me off him. I landed on my back, willing myself not to dissolve into tears. “Why on earth would you think such I thing? After everything you’ve seen, what reason do you have to think that anyone would want to help you?
“Since the age of fifteen, you’ve been dragged into the pits of hell itself, for no reason other than to be kicked and beaten like a dog. Your dear friend ended her life in front of your eyes, and you could do nothing to stop it. How many times have you been betrayed by those you’ve trusted? I’m not only speaking of my world. Those you love in Reality have always failed you in the end, haven’t they?”
I didn’t let myself say anything. “Your parents were destroying you bit by bit by the way they treated you, your schoolmates whispered about you behind your back, just for being different. You didn’t deserve any of that. But like I pointed out, it happened.
“You have no right to beg me to return your future. For you have none, Cat Madigan.” He turned away from me. “I’ll leave you to your own madness.”
A ball of fire blocked his exit.
“No,” I said.
He turned at me with his evil white eye and I could feel his presence in the back of my mind. Oh don’t be like that, my dear, his voice sneered. It doesn’t have to be like this, you know. Isn’t it so much easier to give in?
For that moment, I felt a wave of peace and calm wash over me, and I stumbled slightly. There you go… he said in what was meant to be a soothing voice. Now just go down…deeper still…
I was aware of him coming up behind me, his hand resting on my head, pushing me down into oblivion. It’s alright…it’s alright to just give in…
I swung around and bit into his upper arm like an animal. Surprise crossed his face, something that I had never seen of him before. I could taste the rotting flesh of his arm, but I willed myself not to let go of him. He tried to rip himself away, but by doing so, my teeth sunk even deeper into his body and with a single clench of my jaw, I managed to crush the bone completely in half.
I spat the bloody limb out, and I looked at the expression on his face in sadistic satisfaction. “No,” I repeated. “You’re not going to kill me. You’ve taken everything from me, and I owe you absolutely nothing. My life is not yours to take. Now Neekah….”
This time when I lunge at him, there’s fear in his eyes. “Yes, I know exactly who you are,” I told him. “And I know whatyou are too. And you no longer terrify me. Now. LET ME OUT!”
I gasped for air when I woke up suddenly. Flash and the sickbay attendant were there, watching me. “Oh…”
“Cat!” Flash’s face had tears streaming down it, and I couldn’t help but break down in his arms, just relieved that I was alive, that I could stop my own mind from killing me. I apologised over and over that day. I was the most selfish human being in the world, and nothing would ever convince me otherwise.
Apparently after I blacked out, Kaya came out, and the two of them managed to get me to school before Kaya couldn’t carry me anymore. Flash joked that she had finally done something besides snapping at people, but the relief in his face was clearly there.
I felt better the next day. I had a minor breakdown in Literature, but I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives.
Then the next day, it happened again.
The coordinator for the youth reference group that I was apart of was attending my session with Lolly. She told me that because I was in the beginning of my ‘mental health journey’, I wouldn’t be as useful to the group as the others, who had apparently ‘finished’ theirs. In other words, they didn’t want me there.
I ran out of the room and bolted myself in the bathroom. I didn’t want her to see me cry. Crying was something only certain people were allowed to see. After about ten minutes of pleading, Lolly managed to convince me to come back, after said coordinator left.
“I’m sorry,” she said awkwardly. “But if it’s any consolation, she said that once you’re on the road to recovery, you can come back to the group.”
I just looked at her. “I’m not going to survive this though,” I told her hollowly. “So what good is it to tell me that?”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you think I mean?”
“Are you planning to kill yourself?”
“Not at the moment,” I said. “I’d give myself a year. But…” I inhaled, trying to hold back tears. “Everything is building up. How long do you think I’ll have before my luck runs out and I snap, and no one’s there to stop me?”
“By snap, you mean…”
I raised an eyebrow. I didn’t care how rude I was being. Lolly knew exactly what I meant by ‘snap’.
“Right…if you went home, what would you do?”
“I’d try and talk to friends,” I said. “Or I’d go to Delirium and stay there for a while.”
“I’d prefer that you not to go into Delirium,” she told me.
And I’d prefer that my life wasn’t a complete shit heap.
“But,” she said. “If you can’t get ahold of your friends, what do you think you could do to distract yourself from those sort of thoughts?”
“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “I guess I’d do what I did on Monday and Tuesday.”
“Cry into a pillow.”
“On Monday…did you fantasise about killing yourself?”
I explained how on Monday, all I could see were death instruments all around me. “It’s not something I would act on. But I easily imagine it, and that scares me, to be honest.”
She was silent. “Would…would you be willing to go to hospital?”
I thought about it for a moment, but I already knew that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. “I can’t tell you what I would do,” I said. “I never know what I’m going to do. On Monday, I thought I was going to be fine, but then I broke down in the evening, unable to think of anything but wanting to die. I’d like to say that I wouldn’t hurt myself…but I can’t tell you that without lying.”
“Then you’re going to have to come in.”
She went out, and Daniel came barging in then. He immediately grabbed me up in his arms and held me close to him. “It’s alright,” he repeated over and over. I think he was trying to convince himself, rather than me. “You’re getting help now. It’ll be okay.”
“Will I?” I croaked.
“Look…” Daniel stroked my hair softly. “I know it’s going to be tempting…but I want you to stay in Reality for your stay in hospital. I’ll bring Ray and Noah in to see you, but I want you to stay there until you’re better.”
“Thommand will want me there,” I said. “He’s going to want me to be on the frontline again. He won’t care about me getting better.”
“Well I do. He’s not going to send you out into war without my say so. And in your condition, you wouldn’t be strong enough anyway.”
“Do you think you can stop him?”
“He won’t have a choice,” he ensured me. “Christan is a lot of things, but he won’t force you to go out into battle when you’re in hospital. He’d want you healed, and he’ll command Thommand to let you recover.”
I could only nod. At this point, it hurt too much to try and feel anything.
Last time, on The Adventures of Cat Madigan…
I couldn’t remember what happened after I was caught with Daniel in the brothel.
And now I do. And now, I feel okay to write about it.
So here’s what happened. Please god, don’t read this if you think it’ll trigger any bad experiences, that’s the last thing I want. Thank you for your patience, this was a bitch.
I awoke to a flood of sensations; my head ached, my arms cramped up and the burning between my legs was too much to focus on. Everything was black, but I could hear sobbing in the background.
“Oh look,” a female voice cooed. “She’s awake.”
Someone touched my face and my sight returned. And I saw the smirk of someone very familiar. “You!” I exclaimed.
The Fury from before beamed at me in response. “Where’s Daniel?” I demanded.
She tilted her head to where he was lying. From what I could see, his chest was barely rising. “If you’ve hurt him you bitch…”
“Don’t worry darling,” she laughed in her husky voice. She leaned in till her nose was nuzzling mine. “He’ll be fine as long as you do as you’re told,” she informed me, before pressing her lips against mine.
I stayed perfectly still, and when she pulled away, I spat right in her eye. I chuckled when she yelled out; it was childish, completely childish. But I didn’t have a care in the world. I just wanted to get out of there, to take Daniel and run.
She struck me across the face, again and again, and still I didn’t care. “Harpy,” she hissed. “Give me one reason to release you from your chains.”
I just laughed. “I don’t see how that would help you, but feel free to go ahead.” But I could feel no heat in my hand now, and when I looked up, the whole mass where my left hand should’ve been was encased in iron.
This time, the slut laughed. “Surprised? Don’t worry, as long as you behave, we’ll take it off for you.”
“Behaving’s not really my thing, though,” I informed her. “Gets kinda boring. And when it comes to people whose heads I want to smash in, it’s pretty painful.”
“Is that so?” she replied. Then she smiled. “But you can behave.”
“That is a matter of my choosing.”
“Very well. You can choose whether to behave now.” She turned away from me and walked over to Daniel.
“Don’t you dare!” I shrieked.
She took out her whip. “Please!” I yelled. “No!”
She stopped, and turned around with a shit eating smile on her face. “That really wasn’t so hard, was it?” she purred.
I refused to speak. “Well thankyou, Cat Madigan,” she continued in that patronising tone of hers. “I’m sure that was very difficult for you to do.”
With that, she raised her whip and slashed Daniel across the chest.
“NO! Don’t hurt him!”
She called back to me, “He’s drugged, you see. It’s not good if Meeks try to murder their clientele, you know.” She proceeded to give him another lash, and another, and each time Daniel would hiss and curl up.
“STOP IT!” I screamed. And suddenly, the heat in my hand returned, and my whole hand was on fire. The iron encasing my hand had heated up as well, and I couldn’t help but hiss as it scalded my hand.
The Fury just kept laughing, and I just kept getting angry. “I have a better idea,” she said suddenly. She came towards me and uncuffed my arms and legs. “Before you think of doing anything, just remember that whatever happens to him, it’ll be your fault.”
I hissed, but I stayed still. “What are you saying?” I watched as she walked away and went to a giant display of items at the other end of the room.
She chose two and came back. “Now this,” she purred. “Is for you…” She pulled Daniel up so I could see his face. His gaze was hazy and there were more bruises from before, ones which may not go away. The Fury then leant over and kissed him like she kissed me. I just closed my eyes. I felt sick and disgusted, but I didn’t do anything. I wasn’t even sure if I could do anything.
“Don’t worry, Cat Madigan,” she called over. “You can have a present too.” I could hear her coming towards me, and my eyes flashed open. I saw Daniel, dazed and confused, and I saw that his ‘gift’ was now decorating his neck. A collar.
I wanted to kill her.
I said nothing when her hands were on me. I didn’t even hiss. I did what I always did. I squeezed my eyes close and waited for it to be over, praying for this horrible horrible nightmare to stop right now.
A blow to my head made me stumble back, and I couldn’t stop myself from growling. When I looked at the Fury, I saw a long black cane in her hand. “This is for you,” she told me, her voice sweet as poison. “Now here’s how things are going to work. You’re going to do everything I tell you to. Five seconds, and you’ll get a lashing.” As if to prove her point, she raised her whip and as it cracked across the front of my body, I cried out. I wish I didn’t, but I did.
The Fury laughed in response. “You see? Pain isn’t fun when it’s you, is it darling?” she said pointedly. “I haven’t forgotten before.” She showed me the dark marks on her throat, now covered up with a black ribbon. “See? Not so pretty. Now.” She walked away, evidently bored with hurting me. “Here’s what happens when it takes ten seconds, when you keep being naughty.”
Suddenly Daniel let out a scream, and started spasming. “Daniel!” I shrieked, running over to him. But then that bitch’s whip slashed me across the back, and sent me falling to the ground.
I landed at Daniel’s feet. His face was screwed up in pain, and I could only watch helplessly. “What did you do?” I screamed at her.
“Oh come now,” she said exasperatedly. “Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a shock collar before.” I turn to her, horrified. “They may be old news, but sometimes, old news can be very…enlightening. So to speak.” She gestured towards Daniel now, and I noticed that there were slight sparks coming from that collar.
“I’ll kill you!” I screamed, the metal layer coating my hand bubbling and running down my arm.
“Give it a rest.” The Fury was completely unfazed. “I’m not the one controlling it. You’ve met Dimitri, of course. He made you do the reading.”
It’s simple. You take the one thing he cares about the most, and destroy it in front of him. And there she is. I looked around for the man. “Don’t bother,” she said. “He doesn’t want to be seen. But he can see us. That’s all that really matters. Now then, Cat Madigan,” she pulled me up by my corset. “Are you ready to behave?”
I just shut my eyes. “That’s not the right answer,” she hissed in my ear.
Another crack sent me to the floor. “Y-y-yes,” I sobbed. Don’t give him another shock.
“Good girl,” she purred.
I was nothing. Less than nothing. I was only an instrument, a new toy, to be used to play to her tune. Ready to be broken in.
Everything’s slowed down. Voices echo through my head and I can’t see any more.
TEN! And Daniel’s crying out again, tears streaming down his face. But I can’t move anymore. It’s like there’s some narcotic paralysing my limbs and my senses.
Have you given up already?! I hear. Have you started to enjoy it yet? It’s a hungry voice, a mad voice. Do you understand now? How good that pain feels? Yours and his combined?
She’s already broken, another voice barked. You can stop now.
I’m not done yet. I want her to understand what I’m trying to tell her!
The job is done. Cat Madigan is broken. And he will be too, now that his play thing is gone.
I can hear him though. Him and her. I’m not broken. Actually I am. My pieces are scattered across the floor. But they’re coming together now, like a jigsaw puzzle. I’m broken, but not without repair.
Everything’s in focus now. And I can feel my limbs again. I’m back in reality, or at the very least, this reality. I can hear him. I can see him. I can smell him…
I rush towards him and fly at him. I grab him and throw him against the wall, and he crumples on the floor under it. I can smell his blood, but more than that, I smell how afraid he suddenly is. I can feel him shaking, even as I stand above him. And he suddenly shakes violently and coughs out something. It smells of vomit, but it’s black in colour.
Why do I stop to watch him? I pick him up easily, and I see his eyes widen. I hurl him across the room, and upon reaching the wall, his form suddenly turns into a mass of black viscera. I stop to marvel at my handiwork. How much power had that taken to cause him to splatter so?
“Dimitri?” A voice filled with fear enters my ears, and I turn towards the sound. The Fury is staring at the black mass on the wall in shock. I had nearly forgotten about her. No such luck though. She might have lived longer if she hadn’t done that.
But then I see something on the ground next to her. It’s a body. My body, actually. I know it’s mine because of the long brown hair and the liquid iron coating my left hand. My chest- which is naked and bloody from the whip- is barely rising.
“Monster…” I hear the Fury whisper.
I pause. Then I let my lips turn up into the same smile she wore, and I give a laugh with a touch of insanity, and watch her blanch. And I turn to her. “Freak,” I correct her. My voice is husky and deep. “I’m a Freak…my dear. But do you know what?”
I hold out my arm out in front of me. It’s as black as a shadow, but for the veins, which glow like the light from that evil collar. But I’m most interested in my claws; I grin with twisted excitement when I see them, with their long sharp nails, almost like knives. “I’m not like you though,” I tell her. “You…you hurt people because you get some…release from it. From breaking people down till they’re less than worms in the mud.”
She backs away from me. “Please…don’t kill me….”
“Please…don’t kill me!” I mimic. “Wow…that sounds familiar. Well, not those exact words. But kind of similar. I think you’d remember them.”
“Please, don’t make me do this!” I scream out like I did before, buckling over in sobs. Then I stop my performance, and look up at her. “And now look what you’ve done. You’ve broken me. Although…I do have a feeling that this probably isn’t what’s meant to happen.”
I pause for a moment. Am I dead? I don’t know. This…thing isn’t me, but I’m oddly comfortable with it. I look over at my body once again, and I decide that I’m still alive. But I’m not ready to go back yet. I have one more thing to do.
If I was human before, I wasn’t now. But I didn’t care.
“How many hours did you torture me and Daniel?” I ask mildly, walking towards her slowly. “Actually, to put that another way, how much did you put into it?”
“And before that. When I was blacked out. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.” She’s backed against the wall now, but I won’t let up. “I don’t remember what happened, so fill me in. How many times?” I place one hand on her throat, and tore through her ribbon.
“Please no!” she screams. “Cyrus! Cyrus!”
“Don’t worry,” I tell her, ignoring her cries.
My fingers clawed into her throat, looking for bones to snap. Her eyes were bulging, and she was screaming for her life, just like I was screaming for his.
“So I won’t hurt you that way,” I conclude, deaf to her pleas. “Not like you hurt me and Daniel. Because I’m not like you; I don’t enjoy taking or inflicting pain. I don’t want some perverse satisfaction from it. You see…what I do want is for you to feel the same way I had. And I think I’m doing a good job so far.” I look down at her, crying and screaming hysterically. “I think I’m done here though,” I say softly. “I’ve dragged it out enough.”
“This’ll be quick. Oh, it’ll be painful,” I reassure her. “I will never forgive you for what you’ve done, and what you made me do. But this is going to end now.”
Cat’s gone. No more mercy. There’s just Freak.
Beforehand, you must understand two things:
First: I am mad. Actually, make that MAD. And I always will be.
Second: What I did even surprised me. I have never done anything like this before. Hence why I am freaking out.
Alright, I’m only freaking out a tiny bit. Excuse me for being emotionally sterile…
So I ran away from home.
Here’s what happened. In chronological order. And in several instalments.
I suppose it must’ve started the day before. Well, it was that that sort of inspired the idea. I suppose that the events that followed were sort of catalysts to the inevitable.
That day I got on the bus to go to school, and I was heading toward the back of the bus when I noticed what I thought was a corpse. It wasn’t moving, it smelt, and I was nearly terrified. Then I heard the corpse snore, and I realised, to my relief, that the corpse was in fact alive.
Then the transport officer came up to the living corpse, and told him to get off the bus. After waking him up, of course. The corpse refused. It was then that the transport officer threatened to call security who would forcibly take him off the bus.
I swear, the second the officer said ‘forcibly’, about ten girls took out their phones, ready to capture a fight on the bus.
And I was one of them.
Well, that’s not completely true. I was going to switch to camera mode on my iPad. Anyway, officer got off, bus went off, phones went away.
I was on the bus for about ten more minutes after that. And I had been sitting across from the homeless corpse. So I got to have a closer look at him.
He was young. Blonde hair, and I saw he had hazel eyes when he opened them.
He looked like he was in his teens, and he was rugged up in a rain jacket and baggy waterproof trackies.
And he was curled up on the back seat. Even when the driver went over a speed bump, he wasn’t stirred.
I also managed to figure a few things. Had this been a serial snoozer, he wouldn’t have been able to get on the bus in the first place.
Then I thought of all the people I had seen on the street, impervious to the wind, with their ragged, hardened skin. And yet they do not shelter in the CATs. This guy had soft looking skin, clean shaved. And he was sleeping on the bus.
I don’t think he has been homeless for very long.
Should’ve I said anything? Maybe. Looking back, I wanted to talk to him, ask him about himself. But I didn’t take that opportunity, to find out what it was like to be away from everyone you would’ve once held dear. I don’t know why he was there, because I didn’t ask. But if he were a runaway, then I missed my opportunity to know what it was like to do that.
Now we’re going to jump forward to the next day. BOOOOOOOING.
So I was cleaning my room. My mother came into the room.
Some people may already understand where this story is heading, but for others, I’ll fill it in anyway.
She yelled. A lot of things she yelled. I managed to pick up “Ungrateful”, “Never amount to anything” and “Respect”, or lack thereof.
So I went out of the house to what for now, I call the cubby house. Because it’s a house, but only the rooms have been built. So it’s essentially a cubby house.
I had my iPad and two books with me. So I read, and I danced, and I forgot my problems. Not crappy school coordinated dancing, but mad dancing that you do at raves, only I was by myself.
After two hours of singing a song from The Nightmare Before Christmas, (In this town, don’t we love it now! Everybody’s waiting for the next SURPRISE!) I went back. And my mother had locked me outside.
After about ten minutes, my brother came out. He had a smile bigger than a Cheshire cat on crack. And he told me gleefully that my mother had grounded me, and wanted me to give him my iPad, Facebook, and any sort of freedom I had. Because I had a much needed time out.
I told her as much when she came outside. Not that she heard any of it. I doubt she takes in anything that I say these days. But after she had left, I had some time to think.
And as all you imaginary readers know, thinking is a terrible thing.
I couldn’t stay with my mother right then. But there was no room with my friends, and I had no neighbours to stay with.
I was contemplating giving up, and pleading mother for the right to reenter, when all of a sudden, who should appear but my smug faced, shit eating brother?
He wanted my iPad.
He tackled me.
And I attacked him with a cat brush. A WIRE cat brush, which hurts when you slap people with it.
And then I ran.
Twenty minutes later, I kept repeating seven words to myself.
What. The. Bloody. Hell. Was. I. Thinking.
And guess who had the decency to turn up then?
“Fuck off Daniel,” I mumbled.
“I thought you could use the company.” He fell in pace beside me.
“Well, no. You were wrong.”
There was silence.
Äny idea where you’re going?” he asked me.
“City,” I said. “Then…I’m not sure.”
“Get to the police. They’ll tell you where you can go.”
“They’ve got better things to do that help a runaway,” I pointed out.
“Maybe. But this is your ass we are talking about. I wouldn’t like it if anything happened to it.”
I ignored Daniel. We walked another two hundred metres before he finally spoke again. And after he spoke, a different seven worded sentence consumed my brain.
Well, when I say Daniel spoke, he was actually singing.
Out of the blue, he started. And I will walk five hundred miles…”
This was going to be a long night…
Ok, so this has been a mad and eventful day, and Cat Madigan needs a much needed rest. But here is essentially what has happened.
I am in a safety house.
Or a crisis home.
Or something mad as I am.
I needed a much needed break from my parents, most specifically my mother, and today I hit snapping point, and I ran away.
You think that’s mad? Here’s the stupid part.
I was without shoes. And I walked all the way to the city without shoes. Which is about….20km?
Yeah…I’m going to grow hobbit feet at the rate I’m at.
But yes. The journey here was incredibly random and weird, and it was an actual adventure. So I’ll probably deliver the whole story on the blog soon. Probably in parts. Maybe I’ll call it the Chronicles of the Mad Cat.
Best news of all, I’m allowed to see my friends still. Because they kick us out of the house during weekdays, because you’re meant to be going to school or uni or the like.
But I’d like to stay at the Crisis house for a time. You do your own laundry, cooking and cleaning, and you essentially become independent. Which I do need.
The Chronicles of the Mad Cat shall be put up as soon as I have time and energy to write it. It’ll be in parts, and hopefully everything will be fine.
Love Cat Madigan <3333