Up the Mountain of Madness

A twitch ran down his body and came back up, causing his head to bob. Somebody noticed, but did not react, being polite. He contained the reflex and was able to go back to the presentation at hand, flipping to the next slide.

The next twitch came that evening, and he had been waiting. He wanted to see what causes the twitch and he managed to catch it. It was an image from his life, coming back with full intensity of all the senses. He was returned to the arms of a woman of no consequence, a dance of no significance, but immersed in the sound of music, the smell of perfume, the warm touch of flesh, the sweet trembling of muscles after many hours of exertion. He was fixated on the black pupils of her eyes and they, for a fraction of a second, hid the reality from him. His brain must have sent a jolt of electric current to bring him up from this waking dream.

The third twitch was the result of a sentence being repeated in his brain over and over. After the twitch, he could not recall the words anymore, but remembered their burden becoming heavier and heavier until he could not bear it anymore. The primordial, reptilian part of his brain rescued him again, but it needed to contract the muscles to do so, intruding into the physical reality it had been banned from millennia ago.

He had seen the twitch before and now, he revisited the place where he had first witnessed it. He made the drive to Pineview Center for the Mentally Distressed. Past the reception, directed by an orderly to the recreation area, he sat in front of an old friend of the family who had spent the last fifteen years in the institution.

“How are you doing, Hector,” he asked.

“I am weary, my boy,” Hector replied. “The new medication is making me fall asleep all the time.” Then Hector twitched.

“Trying to stay awake?” he asked.

“Not it,” Hector said, rubbing his forehead, “It’s just the sight of you. Made me remember your mother. Just memories.”

He sat there quietly, looking at this man with dishonest reverence, like an unwilling trekker staring at the peak he will attempt to climb. Not such a good idea, but sometimes you just do things.

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