Dear Dr. Rowan,
I’m writing this to you for an explanation for why I would put myself in this hell hole and be subjected to being a human lab rat for whatever experiment you and the other doctors need data for. The best way to explain, I suppose, is by telling you the events that lead up to my eternal, and voluntary imprisonment here.
There was a time before I was “crazy”, a time where I had people who cared about me, a time when I was a hero. Of course, this was long before I knew of Crescent Valley and even longer before I knew about Rockfield clinic and the horrors that lie behind the walls here.
I was young when I first realized my abilities, a young immigrant boy who came to America from a war destroyed country. I was well aware that I was different. While my siblings were adapting to the new life and language I grasped it almost instantly; granted, I was younger and did have less time in our homeland to have habits ingrained in me. Nevertheless, while they were busy trying to learn English and new American customs I went to explore the city alone. I can’t quite pinpoint the exact age I started doing this; I was never exactly sure of my age or even my birth for mother had been busy remaining in hiding when I was born and was never sure of the date.
In the city I found many wonders, people of all sorts, hidden areas only I seemed to know, and most notably, a woman who helped me reach my potential.
Her name was Emily. She was much older than I, she never told me exactly, but I assumed she was around thirty. When I first saw her she was yelling at the older boys who were stealing sodas from the shop she owned with her husband. She had tanned skin and short blond hair with a style popular for the time that I can’t remember now. Short in stature she wouldn’t have posed a threat to the boys, but she did something that struck fear into them and they ran. She had muttered an incantation and done something that caused a flash of metallic light to appear and then vanish, I came out of hiding and asked her what trick she did.
She smiled kindly and told me it was magic that she couldn’t show me, but if I did some favors for her she might change her mind. I took up her offer and promised I was willing to do whatever was needed of me. At first she wanted me to tell her of the places I found, and so I did, I soon let her know of every detail that I could remember of every hidden area I’ve found in America and back home. After my descriptions were done she had asked me to show her the places I had told her of, eager to please I ran down streets with her hand in mine and lead her to the coves and crevices that I before considered only mine.
Days after showing her she would tell me to never go there again, that some magic had escaped or a dangerous creature had appeared- all of these stories far too frightening for a boy my age to want to investigate. It was later proved to me that her stories weren’t fiction, on the newspapers I read of dead bodies and dismembered body parts of unknown people popping up and thought of thanking Emily for warning me of the dangers of what I before considered a sacred place in a tattered world. However, I never mustered up the courage and I don’t know if she ever did realize that I recognized those places and the slight chance of them being found by anyone else, much less a violent criminal who would have had to have dragged the corpses down twisting roads, over fences, and through allies to reach their destination.
A time came where these gruesome discoveries were less common and then and only then did she show me what I was capable of. Extreme strength, high intelligence, and cunning ways to keep me from ever getting caught. The training was brutal, I worked for hours lifting weights, running, practicing levitating, and completing school work that she assured would help my brain develop.
My advanced hands-on training started with stealing, horrid I know, but in this time starving was the norm and she cared about me enough to turn a blind eye to what I did wrong, and I gave her the same respect. My parents did not, they riddled me with questions that I answered with riddles with my own. The food I had brought home was from the shop I helped out at. It wasn’t entirely a lie, I did help Emily with maintaining the shop as her husband had fallen ill at an unfortunate time and died in his sleep.
When her husband had been alive he was wretched, always yelling at her and the customers in his shop. He would accuse me of stealing and gave me a rough search every time I left the store. His death had relaxed her, she no longer had to wait filled with anxiety for him to arrive home or make sure that everything was cleaned to his standards. She didn’t hold a funeral for him and I’ve always thought she wouldn’t have attended if there was one.
The toys given to my older siblings as bribes for not telling of my coming and going were what I found in the streets or I had bought them with change I found or earned from working. They could sense my lies, but didn’t question any further. We had family dying in the homeland and soon our cousin would be coming to live with us.
When I first started training with her I didn’t have high expectations. I was told previously by my father that magic is all lies and I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
But I was wrong. With her help I was doing the impossible, I could sneak into stores undetected, excelled in the classes I started at school, and proved stronger and faster than the other kids in the games we played.
Even more impossible, I could float. Not by jumping high, but I could actually hover above the ground for short periods of time. This of course got better with training and soon I could fly similar to the birds and Emily. I first discovered this when I was helping Emily clean the gutters on her store, the ladder had fallen and me along with it, I braced myself for the impact that never came and was amazed to find that I had missed the ground by a mere inch.
Time passed and I stopped needing Emily, she was more distant and wanted me to do the unthinkable. It started with killing the rats found in her store. A reasonable request, I knew from experience that their bites hurt and the diseases they carry caused my cousin to fall ill for weeks when she first arrived. I gathered the traps at my house that I promised to bring back later and went off to the small, run-down shack of a store located deep in the heart of the city. She saw me with the rusty traps and frowned, she told me that they wouldn’t be necessary, that with my speed and strength I should be able to kill them with my bare hands. Disgusted by the idea of ending something using my hands I tried to convince her that the traps would work better, but she wouldn’t have it. Hours passed and never before did I feel so vile.
The horror would soon pass as I spent more time with her and she asked me to do more than just put rats out of their misery.
She pointed to a man standing outside of her store, he’s been trying to hurt me, I know it she said. Wanting to protect her I was quick to go out and tell him to get lost, one thing lead to another and there I stood with a bloodied unconscious man lying next to me. I fled back to my house, I never saw him again and there were no mentions of him in the news. She hid the body from the police, she saved me.
All was well for a short time, this period of peace ended when my cousin started asking too many questions. She was curious, she asked where I went after school and during the weekends. I told her not to worry and that I was only going to see my friends and work at my job. I didn’t exactly lie, I did consider Emily a friend. She never believed it, she knew I was almost always alone and if I wasn’t it was because the kids decided to make me the subject of their bullying that day.
It happened on a Sunday, ironic, the most holy day of the week had to be ruined due to my sins. She followed my to the store she saw what we were doing, testing my strength on rats and later on a boy who was caught stealing.
She threatened to tell my parents, they would know of my training, my abilities, my only friend, my only source of happiness. I couldn’t let her take that away from me, family or not she posed a threat to me. I remember the battered man lying on the ground, the look of rats when they knew they were going to die, the screams of the boy we used as a test dummy.
I remember all of this to this day, but no matter how hard I try I can’t remember what I did exactly. My rage had gotten the better of me and next thing I knew Emily was trying to restrain me. There was the drop of the now limp body and I went home alone. We spent weeks searching for my cousin, to no luck or course. When the first month passed we lit candles in hope of gaining attention from God or whoever could help us.
Years after the event that still haunts me, I stood in New York, trying to convince the citizens that the enemy was near, that he had a killer machine going around collapsing buildings, that everyone there was in danger. When the blaring emergency lights flashed it looked too similar to the flames we once used to find my cousin who I knew would never be found, and I knew I had to do the right thing.
But no one believed me and when there was a body count in the hundred I felt useless. I tried to warn them, but it was their fault. They thought I was just another crazy man wanting to impersonate a hero. But I wasn’t, unlike the other heroes of the day I knew what really was good for the people. We couldn’t do hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to save ten people, it just wasn't feasible. And so I let some die, I don’t feel guilty, they didn’t listen to my warnings and if they can’t be bothered then neither can I.
I eventually felt some sympathy and ended them on the spot, they wouldn’t have survived what their injuries and if by the off chance they did they would lose their minds, almost like me. There were some more controversial things that I did that might not have been the best choice, there was a building collapsing and I didn’t save the people inside. I had a good reason, of course, the people were charged for abuse of employees, modern slave markets, and they were known to show violence among people who them knew couldn’t sue back. They deserved to die, so what if some innocent were killed? They died for a noble cause, protecting the rest of us. There was another choice, save a small group of children or stop my enemy from getting to them first and killing them, as he had done before by dropping them to the ground. I chose the enemy, he could do more damage to them, mentally and physically. He would convince them that he would save them and then ruin them. He was loved by the public, much more than me even with my superior intelligence that let me know I couldn’t spend all my time saving a few people while there were more pressing matters occur at the same time.The kids ended up dying in a shooting, but at least it was quick.
I later was charged with murder, an exaggeration, but enough to have my name ruined. I saw my rival, Andrew, he was flying in and out of a burning building. I saw the way he was treating the people he brought out, with haste he put them down on the ground, one fell and cracked their skull open, many had broken bones from their not-so-graceful fall to the ground, another fell into the river. He was oblivious to the fact that not everyone can swim and I was too busy trying to stop him from harming anyone else. I was quick to restrain him, I crushed his skull behind the shop where I spent most of my childhood, which ended him on the spot. I thought that I had done a good job at hiding the body, but I was mistaken.
Days later when Emily was taken to another city wearing silver bracelets for being linked to the murder of her husband, Andrew, and a myriad of others found in my hidden areas, I fled.
I knew what I had done and was haunted by faces, faces of rats, of children, of family, and of my rival.
I came here to avoid the criticism and to get away from people’s harsh words, which, in many ways are worse than the treatment I’ve received. What they’ve said crushes me, they say that I’m a freak, a monster, and worst of all, a villain.