|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Two
11 - Crazy - A. Tank
"Taylor! Taylor, come play with me!" a voice coaxed him. The voice was sweet, and sugar coated, and almost velvety. She was young and playful, and Taylor reached out to her. The girl was beautiful, stunningly beautiful. Her long blond hair cascaded down her slim shoulders in soft, sparkling curls. Her hair glistened in the bright sunlight, and it looked guilded in gold.
The girl's eyes were the color of an ocean on a cloudy day, when the sun decided not to shine and the water was dark. Her eyes laughed, and specks of gold were apparent in them. Her nose was dusted lightly in freckles, and her face was smooth, a pallid peach color. Her thin frame was surrounded by an immense, billowing light blue dress that reached the ground.
Taylor wanted to go with her. He wanted to go and play with her. He was reaching reaching so far. He didn't think he could reach any more. But he had to.
* * * * *
Taylor Hanson stared out the bay window in the bedroom of his new house with a blank expression on his face, wishing he were somewhere else. It's not that he didn't like his new house. It was great. He had his own room, and there was an attic that he had yet to explore.
Taylor had always dreamed of having a house that had an attic filled with secrets. Secrets of past owners...deep, dark secrets that would ruin the family if anyone found out. Taylor's family had a secret too.
He wished that they hadn't had to move here. Anywhere but here. But it was imperative for him, or so he was told. This was the only place to be. Taylor needed to be near Dr. Nelson. His parents had made that very clear when they had told him of their move. Taylor had objected. He didn't need to be near Dr. Nelson, he had told them. His parents just wanted Taylor to be near Dr. Nelson.
But they had moved anyway. To boring, dreary Hampton, Minnesota. Taylor hated it here. If he had to have treatment, it at least could have been at home. Not here. There was something strange about Hampton. It was spooky, like it was still stuck in the 1800's. Taylor had tried to tell people. He told Dr. Nelson. But he didn't believe Taylor. Why should he? Everyone knew that Taylor was crazy. There was no denying that.
Taylor knew he wasn't crazy. Why didn't they believe him? He had tried to tell them so many times but they wouldn't listen. Dr. Nelson said that Taylor had needed to be near him for his treatment. That he would help Taylor.
So far Dr. Nelson had done nothing. And Taylor presumed that he would continue to do nothing if this kept up. But for some strange reason his parents thought that Dr. Nelson was wonderful. That he, and only he, could help Taylor. Taylor knew that wasn't true.
He sat quietly on the window seat in his bedroom, looking out into the huge backyard. It was empty now. Everyone had left except for Taylor. Taylor had wanted to go too, but his parents had opposed. "Dr. Nelson will be coming over soon to talk with you. Stay home," they had told him. His bedroom door had been locked when they had left. They couldn't risk having their crazy son wandering around. Not that there was anywhere to wander. The Hansons had moved into an old, Victorian house far from the town. It was miles before there were any signs of other humans.
The wind blew softly through the trees, and Taylor longed to go outside and feel the wind on his flesh. To breathe fresh air. To touch the grass. The faint sound of a door opening and slamming shut somewhere downstairs was an indication to Taylor that Dr. Nelson was here. God, please make this better than last time, Taylor prayed. He waited for the inevitable.
A minute later Taylor saw the doorknob turn and Dr. Nelson entered. He was a man in his late thirties, with a head of dark brown hair. Dark rimmed glasses framed his eyes, which were the color of melted chocolate. He wasn't exactly handsome, but Taylor didn't think of him as ugly. At least not on the outside. He had an ugly soul.
"Hello Taylor," Dr. Nelson said to him, setting down his briefcase on Taylor's bed and sitting down in the chair that sat behind Taylor's desk.
Taylor looked at Dr. Nelson, a bitter feeling rising up in him. "Hey," he muttered, almost inaudibly. He hated these "talks" that he had with Dr. Nelson. They were stupid. They didn't accomplish anything. But he couldn't object to them, people might think that he didn't want to get help.
Dr. Nelson looked at Taylor, and asked him, "How are you today?" He actually looked like he cared about Taylor for a moment, but that look faded quickly. Taylor knew that Dr. Nelson didn't care about him. He didn't care about anything, except for the large sum of money that he was being paid by Mr. and Mrs. Hanson.
Taylor scowled at him and replied, "How do you think, Dr. Nelson? You're the one that says I'm crazy. Shouldn't you know how I am? Huh?" He shifted his gaze back to the backyard. He didn't want to have anything to do with Dr. Nelson.
Dr. Nelson let a brief silence set in, and then responded, "Taylor, it's my job to help you through this. To stop this. I don't know if it's working unless you tell me. How are you feeling?" he repeated.
Taylor turned away from the window once more and stated, "Look Dr. Nelson, I'm not crazy, or mentally unstable, or however you want to put it. I want you to know that." He looked at Dr. Nelson, trying to find any signs of change in this man. Nothing.
Taylor silently pleaded with him, begging Dr. Nelson to believe him. He had tried this before. It never worked. But maybe this time it would. "Taylor, we've been through this before. I've diagnosed you mentally unstable. You know that. That's the way things are." Dr. Nelson sighed, tired of going through this again.
Taylor's shoulders dropped, all his hope escaped him. It wasn't fair. He asked, "But, why? I'm not crazy. You know I'm not. Why do you think that?" Another silence settled in, and Taylor turned toward the window again. He didn't want to be here. He wanted to kill Dr. Nelson. Of course he couldn't do that though, then they would really think he was crazy.
Dr. Nelson let out an exasperated sigh and told him, "Taylor, we've been through this before too. There's several reasons."
"Well, humor me then. Tell me those 'several reasons'. I'd like to know, really," he answered sarcastically. Taylor was really sick of this. He figured that if he used up enough time talking about things that they had previously discussed, Dr. Nelson just might get annoyed enough to leave.
"Taylor," Dr. Nelson told him warningly. Another long silence. "Fine," he gave in. "Reason one, you're always telling people about some girl that you claim to know. From what, the 1600's?"
"1895," Taylor corrected him.
Dr. Nelson ignored the comment and continued, "Reason two, you have fits Taylor. That's not normal for a fifteen-year-old. Normal fifteen-year-olds do not throw fits over small things like you do. They're violent fits, definitely not normal. And reason three, you claim to see things that do not exist. Such as that girl, and other objects. Taylor you already know this, why are you making me repeat it?"
Taylor didn't bother to answer. Dr. Nelson wouldn't understand. Taylor did see a girl. But he wasn't crazy. He was perfectly sane. Nobody would believe him though. The wind outside had picked up, and was starting to thrash the trees around violently. A storm was coming.
"Taylor," Dr. Nelson was saying, but Taylor didn't seem to hear him.
Out the window, there was a girl. Taylor saw her. She was standing out there in the cold. Get inside! Please get inside! A storm is coming, Taylor told her silently. He couldn't talk to her. Dr. Nelson would be sure to tell his parents that he had been talking to an invisible girl again. He couldn't have that. No, he couldn't have that.
"Taylor!" Dr. Nelson said to Taylor in a loud, sharp voice to get his attention. Taylor was staring out the window again, and Dr. Nelson knew that he was looking at that girl that he claimed to see. Taylor continued to watch the girl, showing no sign that he heard Dr. Nelson.
A door slammed downstairs, and noise filled the house. Voices carried up the stairwell and were muffled behind Taylor's heavy bedroom door. "Taylor, your parents are home. I'm going to go talk to them now. I'll be up in a little while," Dr. Nelson told Taylor, knowing that Taylor didn't hear him.
He stood up and opened the door, shutting it quietly behind him. Once he was gone, Taylor snapped out of his daze. He looked around the room, noticing that Dr. Nelson was gone, although he was not sure why. All he knew was that he needed to save that girl.
He got up and walked slowly across his room, making sure not to cause the floor to creak. In an old house like that, the floors creaked all the time, but this time, to Taylor's surprise, there was no sound. It was as if he were walking on air.
He found the door unlocked, and slowly opened the door. He had to get downstairs without anyone noticing. He could hear the girl in his head now, calling to him. Taylor come play with me, please! Please come Taylor. "I'm coming," he murmured softly. "I'm coming."
He crept down the stairs, and saw that everyone was in the living room on the far side of the house. He could get out by way of the back door. No one would see him. He had to save the girl. "How can no one hear her? How can no one see her?" Taylor asked himself. "She's right there."
Taylor approached the door, and turned to knob. It was locked. "Dammit!" Taylor shouted, forgetting that he was sneaking around. He couldn't have the door locked. He needed to save her. He could see her running across the backyard. He needed to tell her to get inside. He kicked the glass, splinters of it flying everywhere.
The voices in the other room ceased, and Taylor's parents and Dr. Nelson came running into the back entryway. "Taylor!" Diana Hanson shouted, alarmed at her son. "Taylor, you stop it this instant!" She grabbed her son and held him in a tight hug. Not a loving hug, a commanding hug.
Taylor struggled in his mother's grasp. "Mom! Let me go!" he yelled at her. "I need to save her. She's going to die! She needs to come inside! Please, let me go mom!" He was screaming hysterically now, and Diana didn't know what to do.
"Fine," she told him. "Fine. Just go out there and save that girl." She unlocked the door with the keys she had been holding from unlocking the house earlier and let him go. He ran across the lawn quickly, to a cluster of bushes.
Diana watched her son go; wishing that it hadn't had to come to this. "Mrs. Hanson," Dr. Nelson said to her. "You shouldn't have let him go. He needs to learn that he can't get everything he wants. That he can't save invisible people." He stepped in front of the window, obstructing Diana's view.
"Dr. Nelson, I know and you know that there is no girl. But I don't want to see my baby suffer. If he wants to save some invisible girl, fine. I just hate seeing him like this. I want you to leave. Now," she told him commandingly.
Walker Hanson, who had been silent until now, walked over to Diana and looked at her sympathetically. "Diana, I know you want what's best for our son, but firing Dr. Nelson isn't the answer. We have to make Taylor understand that what he's seeing isn't real. It's just an illusion. We can't provoke this illusion that he has. You're acting impulsively, Honey."
Diana let the rage boil up in her blood. Since they had moved here, she had only seen her son slip farther and farther from her. Dr. Nelson hadn't helped anything; possibly made it worse. "No, I'm not acting impulsively!" she shouted. "I want my baby back, and you," she said, glaring at Dr. Nelson, "are not doing one damned thing to help him. Get out of my house, now! Go, leave!" She pointed her finger toward the door.
Dr. Nelson didn't say anything. He knew well enough not to get into an argument with Diana. He walked slowly out of the room.
Diana stood at the window, silently watching Taylor talk to a girl who wasn't there. "Poor baby," she said. "He's so alone." She watched miserably out the window, knowing there was nothing she could do.
* * * * *
Taylor was running toward the girl. He was reaching. This time he would touch her. He was getting closer. He saw her. She had a laughing smile on her face, with no cares in the world. "Taylor, Taylor come play with me!" she was saying.
Taylor smiled at her, and told her, "I'm coming! I'm coming!" Taylor wanted to play with her. He wanted to be happy. She could make him happy. He arrived at her side, and stood there, grinning.
The girl smiled at the sight of him. "Taylor I'm so glad you came! You made it, I thought you never would!" She grabbed him around the waist and held him there, enveloped in a hug by a girl he had never met.
A puzzled look crossed Taylor's face, and he asked, "But why did you want me? Why am I here?" He pulled away from the hug, as if suspecting her of some evil crime. "Why me?" Taylor cried.
The girl looked hurt, and her face crumpled up in a downhearted look. "Taylor, I thought you wanted to be with me. I thought you wanted to love me." her words faded off, and she looked sorrowfully at the ground.
Taylor immediately regretted asking her so harshly why he was here. Maybe she didn't know either. "I want to love you. I really do. But I don't even know your name." He reached out his hand slowly and she took it. Her hands were covered with white gloves, and Taylor couldn't feel her flesh. He wanted to touch her smooth cheeks and soft skin. But he couldn't.
The girl pleaded with him, "But Taylor, I love you. Don't you love me? Please come with me. We can have so much fun." She begged him to come with her. She wanted him to come with her.
Taylor looked into her eyes, and saw pain. Just as much pain as he had endured in the past months of his life. He wanted to know where her pain had come from. He wanted to have fun again. He wanted to be with her. "I want to come with you-" he cut off, not knowing her name. He wanted to know the girl's name.
"Devonny," she supplied. "My name is Devonny."
Taylor continued, "I want to come with you Devonny, but I can't leave my family. They need me. I've been so far from them, and they've been suffering. I need to go back to them. You have to understand." He looked at her, a somber look on his face. He slowly released her hand, letting it fall limply at her side.
Devonny watched Taylor walk away, feeling depressed. She wanted him to love her. She loved him so much. Ever since he had moved here she had loved him. She wanted to do something.
* * * * *
A year had passed, and Taylor never saw Devonny again. He never found out where she had come from or how she had known him. Taylor and his family moved back to Tulsa, where Taylor, Ike, and Zac were busy getting Hanson back on it's feet again. It seemed everything was going so well.
Zac walked into his bedroom, where Taylor was sitting at the desk doing his homework. Bounding over the piles of dirty clothes and scattered Legos, he stopped next to the desk. "Hey Tay," Zac said to his brother to get his attention.
"Yeah?" Taylor responded, not once taking his eyes off his History textbook.
Zac smiled and informed him, "Look what I found!" He slid an old, worn book with a thick binding on top of Taylor's text and smiled. Taylor's face went white.
"Zac," Taylor asked in a quivery voice. "Where did you get this?" His eyes skimmed the page, searching for answers. Contained in the book, was a picture of Devonny. On the yellowed, torn pages, a black and white photo of a sweet girl was displayed. Her curls bounded down her shoulders, and her dress cascaded toward the ground.
Taylor's eyes caught sight of a small caption underneath the picture. "Devonny Hensfield, of Hampton, Minnesota, was killed brutally in 1895 when it was proven that she had been practicing witchcraft in an abandoned house outside of Hampton."
"Zac, Where did you get this book from?" Taylor demanded, his eyes wide with fright.
Zac stared at Taylor and answered nonchalantly, "Some chick with long, curly blond hair handed it to me before we left Hampton and told me to show you it. She actually looked kinda like the girl in the picture. I just remembered to give it to you now. I don't know."
"Zac, this was the girl that I talked to. I talked to Devonny. I swear!" Taylor told Zac.
"Yeah right Taylor," Zac replied skeptically. "She was dead a hundred years ago. You're crazy."