Leah Borgstrom | Contributing Writer

He sits with his right index finger wrapped loosely around the trigger of a loaded gun as he lightly traces the barrel with his other hand, letting the soothing sensation flow over him. He doesn’t feel much anymore; his emotions have grown numb. He inhabits a home that’s not really much of a home anymore, on a street he doesn’t remember, in a city he can’t recall, with people he can’t recognize.

All he knows right now is the feeling of overwhelming comfort coming from between his fingertips. He begins to hear something strange coming from above him and suddenly notices the room he’s in has become very confusing. He finds it hard to make out certain objects around him. He sits, puzzled.

“What’s going on?” he mumbles.

He can’t seem to remember anything, including his name. He doesn’t know where he is or how he got here. He decides to get up and explore his surroundings and maybe answer some questions. He goes up some stairs to a floor consisting of three bedrooms and an office.

In the first room, he finds a faintly stained baseball bat. He walks down the hall towards the second and hears two muffled voices coming from behind a closed door. They sound…frightened. He decides he better not open that one.

In the third, there is a bottle of prescription pills and a note that says, “Don’t forget your medication today!” Followed by a heart. He wonders whom they belong to. Leaning through the office door, he sees three large dogs pushing and pulling toy cars across the floor like children. They stare at him.

Having found nothing useful, he goes back downstairs. Past the living room, he finds a kitchen, two bathrooms, and another flight of stairs leading down. A faint voice leads him down the stairs to a basement containing a laundry room, a water heater, and bars on the windows. What are those for?

Forgetting what he is looking for, he goes back to the chair, picks up the gun, and sits with his right index finger wrapped loosely around the trigger. He lightly traces the barrel with his other hand, letting the calming sensation flow over him.

He doesn’t feel much of anything. This should frustrate him but he remains unaffected. He looks around at the room he’s in. He assumes it’s a home but it doesn’t really feel like one.

Someone is sitting across from him. She’s a young woman, maybe mid-twenties. She’s got light, caramel brown hair that cascades over her shoulders and down her back where it comes to an end. It’s shiny and pretty even.

He can’t understand her contorted face so his gaze drops to her pale and delicate hands. A brief image runs through his head, those hands… he must know her. He finds this slightly poetic. He feels his lack of sufficient memory should be a form of mercy to him, although right now he seems to… ache, only slightly, as if a part of him wants to remember. She’s wearing a soft white dress with little yellow flowers on it. The word daisy comes to mind. They’re her favorite.

She appears to be yelling at him and crying, but he can’t hear her. She is only white noise and slurred syllables, as if there were some sort of barrier in between them. He thinks he can just barely make out a name: Mark. Who is Mark?

He notices the woman is holding something out to him. Does she want him to take it? He decides to ignore her. Maybe she’ll just go away. He asks the microwave if this is a good idea and it blinks in agreement. She looks disappointed at his refusal, so she sets down the tiny blue thing next to a glass of what appears to be water.

He stands up from his chair and suddenly a pile of dolls with hands too big for their bodies appear at his feet. Were they there before? Had time passed? What the hell is going on. He needs answers.

He steps around the dolls to the middle of the room. Once there, he asks the couch who he is. It tells him that he is a king, and the windows inform him that the world is ending. A voice, seemingly coming from the ceiling fan, urges him not to worry.

“You’ll be safe as long as you protect yourself,” it says.

He walks to the corner of the room and sits on the floor with his right index finger wrapped loosely around the trigger of a loaded gun and smiles.

“Safe,” he whispers softly.

“It’s my husband, Mark,” she says to the 911 operator. “It’s like he’s had some sort of nervous breakdown. He won’t even look at me. He’s just staring at the ground. Please hurry! He’s scaring the children, wandering all around the house, and talking to himself. He hasn’t taken his Clozaril in three days.”

On the other end, a woman with a calm voice replies, “Okay ma’am don’t worry. I’m sending someone to your location now. Does he have access to any weapons?”

“No, of course not,” the worried wife answers. “But he is holding our son’s toy pistol.”

“Okay ma’am, an officer will be there shortly.”