Extremis Companion to The Short Works No. 5 - “Eleven Eleven”
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Companion to the Collected Short Works Copyright ÂŠ 2012 by Egsa Corp. All rights reserved. Egsa Press is a wholly owned imprint of Egsa Corp. No part of this publication may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, scanning or any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission to make copies of any part of this work should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Clearance, Egsa Corp, Post OfďŹ ce 490212 Chicago, Illinois 60649-0212 www.egsa.com FIRST EDITION Published in July 2012 Printed in the U.S.A.
Monica Grayce has a problem. She has been exposed to a world beyond the boundaries of daily existence.
It was exactly 11:11 AM. A wild-eyed Monica Grayce tried not to stare but she could not hide her growing discomfort as she sat in the bland waiting room. The digital display was unrelenting; there was no second hand or indicator of the granular passage of time. It would be 11:11 until it said otherwise. The knuckles of her slender hands bulged as she clawed into the armrest of her chair fearful of what the moment might bring. The mounting terror inside her was inescapable. â€œShe will see you now.â€? A cautious female attendant remarked as she returned from the restroom. The amber light on her desk was indicating that the doctor was free. She had seen a lot as the receptionist
V: Eleven Eleven for psychiatrist Dr. Olivia Teitell, but the frazzled look on the face of Monica Grayce was disturbing. This one was different from the ordinary court appointed patients; this one was supposedly once semi-famous. Only twenty-seven, she had come to discover that patients often had good days and bad ones. She sat at her windowed desk with the receiver to her ear and her hand on the speed dial button dedicated to security. Today would not be a good day.
Nomicon SagaExtremis Act I
ow Monica, I scheduled your appointment today so that we can explore some of your concerns,” Dr. Olivia Teitell began. She was a middle-aged woman with graying sandy brown hair that ﬂowed into a chin length bob. Her face was nurturing and kind with makeup that made her look as though she had no makeup. The lines of her eyes crinkled gently as she spoke. There were times that Monica found Dr. Teitell’s deep blue eyes unnerving. “Concerns?” Monica answered as she tried to ﬁnd something to do with her hands. Dr. Teitell just looked at her, her thin graying brows rose slightly. From her desk she pulled a worn brown folder ﬁlled with notes. “Let’s skip ‘the lady in green’ for the day and go right to the numbers; particularly the number eleven. Let’s talk about the number eleven,” Dr. Teitell smiled.
V: Eleven Eleven “It’s after ten and before twelve.” Monica remarked. Loose strands of straightened hair framed her face. The strands were long enough that they shook when Monica emphasized a word. Dr. Teitell’s eyes would not let her end with just that note. Rubbing her nose she continued. Monica’s strange gunmetal grey eyes darted as she spoke. “Eleven eleven. It’s when the ones come. When things happen,” Monica said. Monica ﬁdgeted with the palm length lilac sleeves of her turtleneck as she spoke. She felt that she must have sounded quite insane again. In her mind and heart she knew it was true, but the truth was something no one wanted to hear. If she lied, she was lying just to not be labeled insane on a tiny sheet of paper even though everyone would still remember that she had said and done such insane things. The frustration of the situation made her want to cry.
Nomicon SagaExtremis Act II
r. Teitell was far too absorbed in the analysis of the young woman before her to see her tears. Her eyes stored every variable dispassionately. There was no place for emotion. Monica Grayce was almost the same age and build as her receptionist, Amy Tanner. Looking at her charts she seemed physically rather healthy and ﬁt, there were no overt pointers to a source for organic mental disorders but lab work alone rarely provided a complete picture. It was more than likely a diathesis–stress model applied. From their previous sessions, Ms. Grayce was clearly exhibiting major depression and anxiety disorders. As her mind ﬂowed across the DSM she did not even notice the conference light on her phone. Monica Grayce had piqued Amy Tanner’s interest and now she was camping on the line. “When the ones come?” Dr. Teitell asked. She tried to sound understanding and empathetic without catering to the obvious delusionary thoughts.
V: Eleven Eleven Monica’s eyes where puffy from the tears, but she stared into Dr. Teitell’s as if Dr. Teitell was insane. She had heard too much mock empathy and could detect it in an instant. “Y-Y-You don’t believe me anyway” Monica snifﬂed. “Tell me. Help me believe.” Monica shook her head “no” and folder her arms. Her heavily lined eyes shut tightly but tears still inexplicably ﬂowed. Handing her a tissue, Dr. Teitell pleaded to her. “Help me, Monica.” Like a child, Monica opened just one eye at the doctor to gauge her honesty. “And if they come, I will take full responsibility,” Dr. Teitell offered. Monica turned in her chair, looking out the seventh story ofﬁce window at the mirrored skyline. The mirrors always troubled her but she knew that they were
Nomicon SagaExtremis too far away to catch her reﬂection. *** In Monica’s mind she saw nothing but shards of glass. The broken glass fell in all shapes and sizes. As she stood in the shattered mirrors she could see the terriﬁed reﬂections of those around her. She could see the frenzied reﬂection of her face. She hadn’t wanted to become a monster, a creature— a thing. But like so many things in life, it just happened. There were mothers clutching their children and panicked store security everywhere. As she looked again she saw her life was in that broken silvered glass. *** “They don’t come all at once” Monica said in an almost barely audible whisper. “I don’t really remember when they ﬁrst came. I think they ﬁrst came to me when I worked at the Inter-Ocean…”
V: Eleven Eleven “That would be after you left the network.” “After I was pushed out of the network and two or three nationals. Yes, that was after my days at the network,” Monica replied angrily. “I’m sorry, continue.” “Maybe, I saw them earlier. Maybe that night in the car,” Monica started. “I can’t really remember anymore when I want to—maybe all that Chlorpromazine,” She sneered. “Monica, we are in this together. You already know that I don’t control the medicines they used in the assessment ward. Please, I need your help, Monica. Help me believe. ” If her eyes could have emitted a laser beam, Monica Grayce’s stare would have incinerated Dr. Teitell. Monica stood and walked to the window and was lost in the bright outside world. There was a stark contrast between the cool dim tones of the ofﬁce and the brightness of the world.
Nomicon SagaExtremis “I guess I should be grateful for thirty days without them. I wonder if this is how they feel, hiding in the shadows, looking out on our world.” “They who?” “The ones. You’re not really listening, but it’s okay” She said sadly. “No one ever listens. I uh guess it really started sometime after the network. It started simply enough. I kept—I kept my ﬁancée’s cell phone as a time piece—after you know.” Dr. Teitell tried not to interrupt. She knew how edgy the tragedy made her patient feel. “It’s old now but it was his pride. The strangest thing was that I would only look at it when the time was on certain numbers. Never before, never after. You know like, 12:21 or 6:56.” “Eleven Eleven” “Yes. That one in particular. I don’t know why. I tried to look it up—I was a researcher for quite a while for the series before going on camera. Did you know?
V: Eleven Eleven
Did you know the Mayan calendar ends 12/21 at 11:11 Greenwich Mean Time? It’s not the end of the world, you know—like everybody thinks. Just like the game—No, it’s not a game. No, it’s more than that. Deﬁnitely more than that. Many more days before the end for some.” “Help me believe, Monica. Tell me what is going to happen.” “You’ll have to wait to ﬁnd out,” Monica smiled in a strange twisted smile. Her trembling ﬁngers brieﬂy covered her mouth and wiped away the smile as more tears ﬂowed. “See, I already know and look what good it’s done me. You don’t want to know.” “I want to know Monica. I want you to tell me, to help me,” The doctor said as she leaned forward. Her navy jacket fell open slightly. “First you wanted to know about ones. Y-y-you asked, you asked me to tell you about the ones.” Monica said frantically. “Now I am going to tell you about the ones—whether you want to really hear or not.”
t’s like the game, people think they watch but don’t. They do more. They ﬁrst came to me through the cracks in between the worlds. Did you know they use to ﬁll the cracks with solid metals making the image safer but darker? Then, once they began using quicksilver, it sealed the crack but let you see to the other side? Then came the silvers. That’s how the ones come.” Dr. Teitell shook her head to indicate that she didn’t understand. “If you let them, sometimes they can come through. When you look too deeply into a mirror, sometimes when you’re not looking you can see them out of the corner of your eyes.” “The ones?” “Yes.” “The ones come through the mirrors? Any mirrors?” “No. Not any mirrors. I don’t know
V: Eleven Eleven why. They have to be whole, uncovered and they have to be certain size and shape, I think. Ask della Porta or Borges or Carroll or a hundred others. The only thing I know for sure and without even a shadow of a doubt is that they come freely into our world at 11:11. Some people are attuned to it, they feel it and look at the clock to mark the time.” “Can people like you and I cross over?” “I don’t know. I think so. I found a lot of traditions, rituals really; about covering a mirror when a loved one leaves so they don’t become stuck.” “Did you perform these rituals, Monica? Is that what happened to you?” Dr. Teitell whispered. As she leaned in Monica took another measure of her eyes. “You don’t have to believe me. That’s ok. But please don’t patronize me. I guess I’ve talked enough for one day.” Dr. Teitell took a step back. She had pushed too far in trying to connect the delusions to the death of her ﬁancée. She was so close to seeing some sort of breakthrough in this case. It was a shame.
Nomicon SagaExtremis “I guess we have,” Dr. Teitell smiled. “We have covered a lot of ground and I want to thank you for trusting me enough to tell me the truth.” Her reaction caught Monica off guard. Her mood brightened considerably that she had actually heard her. Dr. Teitell busily completed her notes as Monica folded her hands and wiped her face. A smile was creeping across her face. Her posture had changed and a conﬁdence had returned. Dr. Teitell glanced up and returned her smile. She scribbled in her notes: “Schizoaffective disorder?” “Now, Monica, I am going to change your medication. I am going to give you a few new items; these items will help you manage your emotional level and some will help you regulate your sleep cycle.” She could see the signs of happiness on Monica’s face melt into her original demeanor. “Now, I don’t have to remind you
V: Eleven Eleven Monica, but you have to take all of the medication that I prescribe for you. We’re still in a good place and you don’t need any additional supervision at the moment. The rest is up to you. If you can’t keep up with your medication there are certain powers that I have been granted by the court, but I am sure that they won’t be necessary. Together, we are going to build a new Monica. Okay?” Monica simply nodded her head. There were no mirrors, no special times, no grand game. There maybe even wasn’t a Monica Grayce or a Darren Carrahan. None of it ever happened if she wanted to keep what little remained of her mind.
“Good,” Dr. Teitell said with a chipper smile.
onica Grayce clutched her purse closer to her as she left. She tried to shrink herself so that she would not be noticed by the other people in the hallway leading to the front. She tried as best as she could to shape and groom the body of her updo hairstyle so that she appeared to look like everyone else. Only she would know what label Dr. Teitell would give her. If she tried very hard to act like everyone else, maybe no one would know and even if they did, maybe no one would make fun of her. Dr. Teitell rushed past her to drop off her notes to the assistant at the windowed desk. When Monica came to the front window she politely asked the attendant for her next appointment. She could see a small mirrored compact on her desk. She tried not to notice and fumbled with her bangs nervously. That mirror was much too small to let anything out and more importantly it was
V: Eleven Eleven facing away from Monica’s reﬂection. Amy Tanner took her time as she correlated the doctor’s notes with the available schedule. There was a faint but mischievous smile on her ruby red lips as she worked. Monica tried to look away to be polite. Her own eyes scanned the waiting room, desperately hoping not to be noticed by anyone. Amy Tanner turned towards Monica. Amy’s eyes made sure no one else could see or hear her. “You know, you looked a little on edge when I saw you earlier today. I think the sessions are working for you.” She smiled. “Have faith, you know in Revelations it says ‘And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.’” Monica felt a chill as she heard those words. The woman only smiled strangely when she saw an unsettling fear creep into Monica’s eyes. “Hope I see you next time,” Amy said as she pressed the reminder card into
Nomicon SagaExtremis Monica’s hand. Amy turned her attention to her desk as if she had not said a word. Monica cautiously said thank you, trembling as she spoke. As Monica slipped away with a strange fear in her heart, the Amy Tanner at the desk peered into the mirror. Her reﬂection in the mirror wasn’t moving with her. The reﬂection in the glass was screaming, begging to be set free. The Amy Tanner at the desk checked the other Amy’s makeup, folded the compact away and took lunch. It hadn’t been such a bad day after all.
V: Eleven Eleven
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