“I’m not what I seem. I may look human, but I am something completely different. I am gestating in the shell of this body, and I am about to transcend.” I said while staring at the ceiling, my fingers interlocked to make an overlapping fault line. I see the fork— the entire thing might collapse, but it’s ok.
“Son, please can you tell me when did you start feeling like this cosmic being?” Dr. Childress asks without taking his eyes out of his notepad, there was a hint of concern in his voice which made me realize he was genuine. He seems like he has a talent for making people feel relaxed which allows them to open up about their feelings. It helps that he looks the part with his gray print suit and his ugly argyle sweater underneath. His hair is messed up, clearly not on purpose and he has large glasses that cover at least a quarter of his face. He is still scribbling something down, I try to see, but his writing is indecipherable, they look like inked squiggly lines.
“Probably before I was born,” I chuckled. I liked joking with people in authority to see where the boundary of what- can-I-get-away-with lies.
“Knock it off,” he said in a sharp intellectual manner, staring, as his glasses ran down his nose.
“Fine— when my parents started ignoring me, and I thought I would make up a character that had the power to control them. I never had control of my life, and this identity gave me the power to do that.” I said in my usual dry tone.
“Is that truly what you feel or are you just saying what I want to hear?” He said with his laser-like stare.
“No, I was being sarcastic you egghead. Ha-ha. I have a perfectly healthy relationship with my parents. They don’t even know I came here. I’m having visions, I see things, in my dreams; I find myself drifting in the vast expanses of space. I see my reflection in the starlight. I am an otherworldly being, trapped in a human body. I know this on an intuitive level. I feel it in my bones, my nerve endings….every part of my body is telling me that I don’t belong here and in this.” I move my open hands from the top of my forehead to my waist and back again. “I’m Lord Osgoloth, ruler of the realm of Ziggaroot. The others refer to me as such” I say in a relaxed manner, looking at my nails to show my indifference.
“I’m just curious about something…don’t take this the wrong way but why did you come here today?” He had removed his glasses and proceeded to bite the earpiece. “I’m not complaining, but I would like to know what you are trying to achieve?” he said with absolute solemnness and pointing his glasses at me while balancing the notepad.
“Doc— something has happened, that has caused me to turn to you…”
“And what about the ‘Others’ that you are referring to, you couldn’t turn to them?” he asks, leaning in with a curious look on his face.
“Well, the Otherkinds are a community on the deep, dark web that offers beings, such as myself, a safe place to congregate; we help each other to express ourselves in our true form, you know? Otherworldly beings trapped in this pink flesh.” I’m feverishly moving my hands, and my neck is getting a little sore from tilting my head at that awkward angle. “We remember our stories how we got stuck here. I use to be a black plasma being that emanated a purple glow. The Otherkinds, originally, fought amongst each other but then we were besieged by the Elders, an ancient race of beings that cursed our entire race to become… this.” I hold up my hand in front of my face. “We are all working together so we can remember how to transcend ourselves. We used summoning spells, psychic trances, and substances to help us recall. It was all known, and it became unknown. The collective remembrance of the past. But something has happened that has caused me to doubt the other’s intentions.”
“Uhmm-hmm,” Dr. Childress nods in silence as he scribbles down, ‘Active Imagination?’, ‘Dysphoria?’, ‘Schizophrenia?’. “Now, before you tell me what has caused this mistrust, can you elaborate more regarding what you do on the deep, dark web and what kind of relationship you have with the Otherkinds?”
“Ok… I write my blogs describing my remembered experiences; the transcendent glow of being immortal. The wars between the Otherkinds and the curse of the Elders that placed us here, and now we just message each other as we work together to find our true selves. Shutter’t, Baelog, Turkurk, Xwerf, JuiluP became more than family now; although I’ve never met anyone of them before or know what they look like, we have become very close. We were once adversaries, but now we have a common goal: to transcend ourselves. I thought they were the only ones who understood my struggle. I thought they were helping me through the nightmare.”
“So, what caused you to doubt their trustworthiness? Can you tell me more?” He said, adjusting his posture and leaning a bit more closely. He seemed rather interested now.
“It was a message. We had made contact with another. But it was not an Otherkind. It was an Elder, called himself Aflameem; he private messaged me about a month ago, he said, and I’m paraphrasing here: ‘Who among you is worthy? None of you…You deserve your prison….I know who you are…if you try to remember…your flesh will become your coffin.’ I conferred with the others. They got similar messages. The ‘Elder’ or ‘Elders,’ were real just like us. They were hunting us as we were trying to escape our prison.” I was getting a little nervous describing this to him as I recall how much danger I’m in. “It became a usual occurrence. The threats from the Elders came too frequently. The Otherkinds were getting nervous and in turn were making me nervous. Then the other day I realized that the Elder might be posing as one of the Otherkinds. It has to be one of them right?”
“Well, it could, but knowing the Internet, you might have someone who’s just provoking you. You said that you wrote in your blogs about the lore of your kind. Do you think it’s possible that someone might be doing that out of spite?” Dr. Childress holding my stare.
“It might, but we never put our ‘shell’ identities on the blog. They wouldn’t know who I am.”
“Exactly, they have never messaged you or indicated they know your real identity, right?” He said in a calm manner.
“Well yeah, but I’m worried you know…”
“Exactly this person seems very disingenuous to me. I doubt this person even knows which country you live in let alone know of your ‘shell’ identity,” he said. “So you don’t have anything to worry about.” He is writing down: Does the Elder represent a castrating mechanism…Represent a father figure? A Cosmic Super-Ego? Guilt for not following social conventions? “Anyway your session is about to end. So I just want to recommend a couple of drugs… Basically Serotonin inhibitors. These are all meant to make you relax, reduce your paranoia and reduce your intake of emotions.”
“Thanks, Doc…I will take a look at these…” I take the prescription with hesitance.
“Be careful how you take them. Twice a day. I know they are a heavy dose, but I feel with the problems we’ve discussed today we need an all-encompassing strategy. They might cause hallucinations, sleep deprivation, loss of flavor and dry mouth…that’s a given… but the moment you have any abnormal physiological reactions I want you to call me ok? I want to do our session at least once a week. So how does next Tuesday sound?”
“No problem, Doc. Will see you then,” I said taking his card and the script with me. I got up and as I was leaving the door, I noticed the walls of degrees. Dr. Xavier W. Childress, University of Waterloo. Platforms of books and I saw right next to the potted plants a small pinhole sized camera. I smiled at it. “We will see you soon.”
“Good day to you, son.”
How did he find me? How did he know? Was it wrong for me not to reveal myself to him? What if he knows? Wait! There is no possible way he could. I took precautions, my avatar: has no personal trace to me. I made sure of that. I am a professional, and this would ruin me. I’m wheezing, recounting ever step.
I realize why I am a psychiatrist; because, I want to find out what’s wrong with me, among all the therapy I have undergone I have still not been able to treat it properly. Eventually, I found my purpose on the web. I found the Otherkinds as a safe alternative. They were the missing link to my constant alienation. Finally, I had peace with like-minded individuals.
But now this Elder threat is getting to me. They are the antithesis of my existence. My tongue feels like a dry lizard. It was so hard for me to act indifferent. I tried to look if he knew I was one of us, but my professional career was at stake. Why do the Elders threaten us so much? I have so many thoughts running through my head as I stay in my office and I watch the video of the session again. I’m replaying it again and again to see his facial tics, idiosyncrasies. I want to know how a fellow Otherkind reacted. I watch the video over and over, and there were no giveaways. Then I saw it. He was leaving my office, and then I saw him… looking. He was looking at the small camera as if he knew that it was there. He winked— this was enough for me to close the footage. Lord Osgoloth, the all-seeing he surely was.
I open the browser now going into the deeper recesses of the web. There are no messages from Lord Osgoloth neither the others. Strange. We usually have our chats around this time. I’m waiting for someone to respond. Then a private message pops up. I’m filled with fear as I scroll up the message, and I click it. It’s my image. Dr. Xavier W. Childrecess. He knows… it’s from the Elder. He knows. How did he? The message continues: ‘Subject exhibits signs of Mental trauma, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), possible latent Cosmic Dysmorphia and Dysphoria, Abandonment Issues, Sexual Repression, and Social Anxiety.’
Who was the person I saw today?
Appointment calendar. An illegible signature and the address… 1304 Terran Avenue. Oh god! The address, he put my address!
Another ring. The message from Lord Osgoloth this time. An Image. A dead body on a couch… but it wasn’t….him. SEEYOUSOONDOC. The person I saw today. I look through the video again, this one was someone else. I look through it again. I start panicking, the drawer opens; I fumble through the drugs I pull out. I’m fumbling on the floor. The pills go underneath the table. I try to take it out. I feel the loose nature of folded paper. It’s the script I gave today. It didn’t have any of the medication I had listed: COME OUT, OF YOUR SHELL, WE WANT TO PLAY.
© A.R. Minhas 2017