Harry Crews once said that nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people. The good work was done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave and imprint, a design. I never took it quite so literally until I pulled out a microchip from the inside of my ear and passed out in my office…
(somebody whispering): Damian….
When I woke up I found myself sitting in the same spot as before, only this time the microchip that I was certain I had in my hands – disappeared. Everything around the office was the same – antique white desk covered with library books about education and my name plate that said Damien Owens. Rosewood bookshelves were on my right and a window covered with embroidered dainty curtains was on my left. A beige carpet under my desk and a brown leather sofa on the opposite side of the room with a TV next to it. Everything was in the same spot but I felt that something was wrong. I looked around the room one more time and thought that I was imagining it because I was exhausted from working. So I took my briefcase and went home.
As a public school teacher I led a very ordinary life but I also had time for a lot of hobbies. The problem was, those hobbies didn’t last long. I guess my capacity for doing something from start to finish was only relevant to my job or anything I got paid to do. Everything else was done until I could satisfy my curiosity. When that happens, there was a very high probability of me never doing it again. As one said, I was the jack of all trades but a master of none. The only thing that I was good at, apart from my job was playing the piano. I guess it was also because I was obliged to do it at the time I was learning how to play it.
As I was walking home, which was 20 minutes away from the school; I got a headache so severe that I wanted to vomit. Thinking that it was also because of exhaustion I continued walking, just at a slower pace. Suddenly, all around me, objects and people started appearing and disappearing, like a glitch on a computer screen.
(whispers): Damian, Damian…
Instead of them, a red glowing “error 404” was hovering above the place where they should be. Adrenalin flooded my system in such a way that I thought my heart was going to explode, so running to a safe spot was the only option left. When I got home, I only had strength to get myself into bed and hope for a better day tomorrow. I could hear somebody calling me but I couldn’t respond. Maybe I was going crazy?
The next day, everything felt a little better. My headache was gone and the things that happened yesterday didn’t seem to happen anymore. I woke up with a slight sense of relief knowing that I wasn’t out of my mind after all. But that didn’t last very long. As soon as I stepped out of the house I noticed people looking at me suspiciously, like I was some type of criminal. Everywhere I went, at least one person turned around. I thought that someone recorded me yesterday while I was having a panic attack on the street and maybe posted it on YouTube? I checked it, as well as my social networks but found nothing. I went to the doctor, but they found nothing out of the ordinary. Again, the feeling that something was very wrong came rushing back…
(whispers are becoming louder): Damian…
Again that voice. It sounds so familiar but I don’t remember where I’ve heard it before. I tried to remember for around an hour while I was grading papers in my office but it was no use. I couldn’t remember it. After coming home I decided that it would be best to read a book I started a few days ago. It was about the Mysteries of the Earth which was surely suitable for my current situation. As I was reading, a surge of information started getting into my mind. A surge of information nobody knew (or so I thought), so I had to put the book down. My tinnitus became overwhelming and the noises started becoming louder but I realized I knew the exact location of Atlantis, the secrets of the Sphinx, and why there was a good reason to burn the library of Alexandria. How could I have known that? Nobody knows that. There was no proof.
Suddenly a high-pitched tone stopped all of my thoughts
I didn’t know where it was coming from and why was it so loud? What was that high frequency of tone? It sounds like it was playing somewhere, one specific tone, but my headache was so strong that I couldn’t hear clearly which tone it was. At that point I sat on my piano bench and tried hitting random keys on the instrument until I could find the exact one. As soon as I hit it, all the noise stopped. My headache, high frequency tinnitus, noises and voices that I heard. It was gone. But why?
It felt so good to be free from all of that noise. In this case my savior was a piano, a key on that piano or more specifically C5 or a “tenor C”. So I recorded it on my phone to keep myself sane if the sounds keep come back. That night was a never ending circle of splitting migraines caused by abnormal sounds and me playing the sound which stopped it all, but not for a long period of time. This continued throughout the next day, and I started to experiment with the sound by playing it over and over again but nothing happened. At that moment, I heard a knock on my door. In front of my house was a strange looking man in a suit, messy gray hair and a name plate that said “Dr. Banner”. Well, I hope he doesn’t turn into the Hulk, I thought jokingly to myself. After everything that happened in the last few days I wouldn’t be surprised.
Subsequently, we had a brief greeting and the doctor said he needed to talk to me urgently. Although hesitant at first, I decided to speak to him privately. He said he was a scientist that helped the government with fighting some type of new “disease” that affected the brain and which, apparently I was infected with. It’s a type of aneurism that can only be controlled if I go with him to get tested at his hospital. Doubtfully, I asked him how he knew I had any type of health issues. He claimed that he got blood tests from my previous visit to the doctor, which he had access for because of his involvement with the government. I didn’t really believe him and I tried to be apprehensive but I knew that I needed help so I went with him to his laboratory.
(familiar voice): Damian…
When we got to the lab, his assistant took a sample from my bone marrow. The results got in pretty quickly considering that it was a rather difficult procedure. I got the papers which said “patient 523.2511” which I thought was very odd. Unfortunately, the doctor told me I needed to have surgery because my stem cells divided so quickly that it was necessary to prevent “further spread of unwanted” (pause) stem cells. Finally, he said I shouldn’t worry about the costs of the procedure because it was conveniently government funded. I stayed that night at the hospital waiting for surgery tomorrow, wondering what the numbers meant. I was certain I saw that number somewhere else.
(familiar voice, but this time it was louder): Damian, Damian…
I can’t wait for this noise to stop, I can’t take it anymore. I hope it ceases as soon as I wake up from the surgery so I need to get some rest now. But my mind kept bringing up only one thing to my attention – the numbers. My patient number. What do those numbers mean? How are they connected to my results, to the noise in my head and why do they stop when I play C5. What are those sound frequencies…
That’s it. Frequencies. Also, the microchip that disappeared a few days ago. Could it be possible this was a scheme? C5 on the piano has a frequency of 523.2511 Hz. More importantly, it was the number on the microchip that fell out. It was – my number. Is this some type of sophisticated mind control? I started realizing -Is the government trying to control our thoughts? I didn’t have a glitch in my brain; I was the glitch in their system. They wanted to get rid of me! That’s why I had those thoughts and why they sent the doctor to get me. I knew too much.
I need to get out of here!
I jumped out of the hospital bed to the nearest window. Since I was on the first floor it wouldn’t be much of a hassle to jump, but there were policemen outside that could easily catch me. I needed to find another way. If I pretended I was going to the bathroom, maybe I would succeed in my escape through the emergency exit. As I walked out the door I noticed the hall was empty and there was no emergency exit. My heart started throbbing and my headache started getting worse. The noise in my head started screaming my name and I ran down the stairs filled with terror and frenzy. I slipped and hit my head while falling slower and slower but I couldn’t feel any pain. Only the voice remained.
That desolate voice screaming my name over and over again
.... but it was becoming clearer and clearer like it’s close, almost too close.
Suddenly I open my eyes screaming. I see my brother crying out of happiness because I’ve woken up. We were in my office. The TV was on and I was on the floor so I guess I fell off the chair. My brother was calling my name to wake me up, which was the voice I kept hearing this whole time. Was it all a dream? I was looking around the room, trying to calm my brother down. At the same time I saw something that shook me to my core. Dr. Banner was on TV. He was talking about a new microchip he was developing that would be embedded into human brains and help us fight any disease.
On TV he was introduced as a “savior of humanity”, which was ironic given the things I witnessed. The problem was, the interviewer said he moved to our town today. That means he just started his experiment with the government and, most importantly, he doesn’t know me. I don’t know how this happened or how I got here, but I came back for a reason and … I need to stop him.