The Taylight Zone - Anthology Six

13 - Insanity - Michelle

November 18th. It was a cold, dark, and dreary day. I sat by the window, watching the outside movement through the tinted glass. A bird flew by the window and landed on a tree branch not too far from where I was sitting. I sat and watched it for a few minutes before it started flapping its black feathered wings, flying into the brightly lit sky. It was like I was seeing all things for the first time that day. I had been through what could have made anyone lose their minds. But not me. Nope. I handled it like nobody else could.

*1 week previous*

“Isaac, not a word!,” I said as I shook my head. We were playing Scrabble, and my brother was winning. I wasn’t in a very good mood because we were in the process of moving. I would miss everything about our present home. The way everything was, it was perfect. It was where we all had grown up, and there were so many memories that would be forgotten by not having them there right with us. I stood up and started walking towards the kitchen.

“Where are you going?,” Zac asked.

“None of your business.” I snapped back, as I walked out of the room. I felt bad as soon as the words escaped my mouth. It wasn’t their fault that we were was the fans. The overly obsessed let’ who deprived us of a normal life. I couldn't even walk outside without seeing several cars outside waiting to catch a glimpse. I thought it was pretty neat at first, that people would do all this stuff just to get less than a second to take a look. But then it got to be too much. I just wanted to escape it all. I still wanted to make music of course, and for people to enjoy it...just not for things to be like this. “I wish our fans were normal.” Just as soon as I finished the sentence, a cool breeze of air rippled through the house, causing me to shiver. I wrapped my arms around myself, and looked around. No open windows. “Hmm...” I thought. “Must have been my imagination.” I slowly walked back in the living room to see my brothers sitting on the couch, watching TV. But they had changed. Something about them, I couldn’t put my finger on it. I quickly shook off the feeling. “Zac, don’t you think you should finish packing?” I asked.

“What are you talking about Taylor?” he answered back. “Pack for what?” I looked around to see both Isaac and Zac giving me a weird look. I almost burst out laughing because they looked so much alike, making the exact same face. I shrugged my shoulders, “OK whatever, I’m going to go finish packing, with or without you guys.” I got up from my chair and ran up the stairs. As soon as I reached the top, the same feeling came back. “Man, that's weird.” I thought. As I reached the door to my room, I slowly turned the door knob, and...

*The next day*

I abrubtly sat up in bed. The events of last night all came flooding back to me like a bad dream.

“Taylor, why don’t you and Isaac walk down to Dairy Queen to get some ice cream for everyone,” my mother had said.

“Are you serious?”

“Yes, why wouldn’t I be serious?”

“’s just...don’t we need a bodyguard?”

“No, don’t be silly,” my mother shot a worried look towards my father. “Here’s 20 dollars...” she then handed me a sheet of paper that had listed what to get. I glanced at it, then looked up at my mother and Isaac who were waiting for a response. I didn’t know what to say. Had my mother lost it? Why wasn’t anyone concerned? I looked at the door, then finally said, “All right, lets go Ike.” I opened the door to find no cars, there was nothing but a deserted street. The street lamps shined dimly, highlighting my skin. “It’s chilly out.” I whispered to nobody in particular as I found my way back inside the house to the closet. I pulled out a black leather coat and put it on. As I was walking from the closet back to the front door, my sister came up to me and gave me a hug good-bye. I suddenly felt all the uneasiness slip away. I hugged her back, and told her to behave while I was gone. A smile spread across her face, and she galloped into the living room. I smiled as I approached the front door once again. I walked out and approached Isaac who was now standing by the mailbox, playing with the zipper on his shirt. I tapped him on the shoulder as if to say let’s go. He nodded, and we both started walking towards Dairy Queen. We walked in silence the whole way there. As soon as the building was in sight, I took a step back. Isaac turned around to face me with a confused look on his face.

“We can’t go in there, Ike.”

“And why not?”

I stared at the building which was full of teenage girls laughing and talking. I looked over at Isaac who was just standing there calmly.

“Let’s go...” He said.

“But what about them?"

"What about them?"

This was getting strange. He didn’t seem the least bit nervous.

“C’mon Isaac, aren’t you afraid they’ll attack us or something?”

“Why I should be worried about that...Taylor...are you feeling OK?”

“Yeah I’m fine. Let’s go get the ice cream.”

As we approached the building I felt my stomach tie in knots. Isaac held the door open for me to step inside. I cautiously took a step and closed my eyes. When I opened them everything was the same. I stepped across the brick tiling, and approached the girl who was awaiting our order.

“Can I help you?”

“Um, yeah.”

“OK.....well what can I get for you?”

“Oh, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.” Her voice was soft and sweet.

“Do you know who we are?”

“No. Who are you?”

“Well, I am Taylor Hanson, and this is..." I looked over at Isaac and saw nothing. He was gone. I felt a quick flash of panic, and then realized he must have gone outside to wait.

I focused my attention back on the girl who now had an annoyed look on her face.

“No, I’m sorry. I'm not familiar with who you are. Do you know what you want? Because if not, I’d appreciate it if you could come back when you’re ready, we have other people waiting...” She pointed to the long line that had formed behind us. “No, I know what I want.” I proceeded to order.

After I had gathered all the ice cream, I started towards the door. I opened it and took a step out into the cold, dark night. I looked over everyone that was standing outside and couldn’t find Isaac.

“Thanks a lot for leaving without me, Ike.” I said under my breath.

I started towards home. Something weird was going on. None of it made sense. Nobody knew who we were.

As I approached our home, I walked up the steps and into the house. I went to find everybody. They were all in the living room, talking in hushed voices.

“Hey guys,” I said as I entered the room.

They all stopped abruptly and looked at me, their faces filled with concern.

“What?” I asked.

“Well, sweetheart, we have to talk to you.” My mother got up and walked towards me.

As I surveilled the brightly lit room, my eyes landed upon a man whom I’ve never seen before. I eyed him suspiciously. He was in his mid 50’s, tall, brown hair, he had his coat resting on his lap. His face was emotionless as our eyes met.

My mother grabbed my arm and led me towards the couch.

“What do you need to talk to me about?”

My mother pointed at the man and said, “Taylor, I’d like you to meet Brian Williams.”

I nodded my head in his direction, and he outstretched his hand. I placed my hand in his, and quickly shook it. I gave him an inquiring look. “Taylor, what is your favorite thing to do?” the man asked.

"My favorite thing would have to be playing music.”

“Do you play in a band?”

“Of course, Hanson.”

“Are you popular?”

“Yeah, we have a lot of fans...”

I looked at my mother whose eyes were tearing up.

I quickly ran over to sit next to her, and put my arm around her.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“’re going to need to go away for awhile.”

“What do you mean? Where do I have to go?” I asked, scared.

“You’ll get the help that you need.” Her tears were streaming down her face.

She gave me a hug, and then quickly ran out of the room. My father approached me and gave me a hug, “I’m sorry, son. We’ll visit you as often as we can.”

He then left to go find my mother. I was shocked. What was happening? One by one, all my brothers and sisters came by me and gave me a hug good-bye. I didn’t understand. What did I do? As soon as they all were gone, I looked over to find the man sitting, watching me. He got up from his position on the sofa, and came towards me.

“Let’s go for a walk...,” he said as he leaned forward.

He stared deep into my eyes.

I suddenly had the strangest feeling. As much as I didn’t want to leave my family, my life...I started walking with him, almost as if something was possessing me to do so. We stepped out the door, and as soon as I stepped outside, it was different. The sun was shining bright, and it was a very warm, summers day out. I looked over at the man who kept walking with short, brisk movements. My legs weren’t working. I looked down to find my legs walking in the same fashion as the man. I tried protesting, but my legs just went faster. So did the man.

“Where are we going?” I shouted.

“You’ll see...”

“Where are we going?” I repeated.

He stopped and stared at me. My legs stopped moving as well.

“It wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you,” he whispered.

I tried answering him, but my vocal cords weren’t working.

He started walking again, and immediately my legs started to move again.

My mind was spinning.

Was I losing it?

What was happening to me?

My legs suddenly stopped, and I found the man standing on a doorstep. I was still standing on the sidewalk.

“Taylor, come here.”

My legs obeyed the man and walked up to the door.

“Go inside.”

I watched from inside my body, as my hands reached for the doorknob and turned it. The door opened, and I stepped inside.

My eyes darted around the darkly lit room. There was a wooden chair in one corner, and a small end table in the center of the room with a single sheet of paper sitting on the edge. A glowing pen was aligned next to the paper. I gasped as the man suddenly appeared in the chair, with a sly smile on his face.

“Come over here, take a look at this,” the man said.

I was suddenly aware that I was back in control of my movements. I hesitated, then ran towards the door, turning the doorknob frantically.

Laughing, the man said, “No, can’t escape.”

With a final turn, I withdrew my hand from the warm doorknob. I took a few steps backwards, and turned around to face the man who was now smoking a cigar.

“Read this,” he pointed at the sheet of paper.

I cautiously walked towards the table, and leaned over to pick it up. It felt warm against my fingers.

“There’s nothing but a line,” I said, my voice unsteady.

“You want sane fans, don’t you?”

“Yes, but...” I trailed off.

“Well then all you have to do is sign your name on that line, and your wish will come true.”

“W-w-hat do you want in return?,” I asked.

“Nothing. All you have to do is sign, you won’t owe me anything. You’ll return to your old life, except no crazy fans chasing you wherever you go...”

Shaking, I reached for the pen. When I touched it, it turned a brilliant red. I swallowed, then raised the pen to the paper. I quickly scribbled my signature on the line.

A flash of light.

I rapidly sat up and took in my surroundings. I was at my house. In my bed. I glanced around the room to find Isaac and Zac sleeping peacefully. I sighed in relief. It was just a dream. I got out of bed and went to go find my parents. When I reached the kitchen I realized all the boxes that occupied the hallways and rooms of the house were all gone. Everything was back to normal.

“Mom! Dad!,” I shouted.

Seconds later, they came running down the steps.

“What’s wrong, honey?,” they said with concerned looks on their faces.

“Can you answer a question for me?”

“Of course, dear. What is it?”

“How do our fans act?”

My parents looked at each other with distraught looks on their faces.

“What are you talking about Taylor? What fans?”

I felt a rise of panic in my throat.

“Our fans...what do they act like?,” I tried again.

“Sweetheart, fans for what?”

“Our music...the fans. Are they normal?”

“Oh no, it’s starting again,” my mother said to my father. He nodded and went for the phone.

My eyes were wide with fear.

“Yes, it’s happening again,” I barely heard my fathers hushed voice. “OK, thank you Doctor.”

He placed the phone in the reciever and made his way over to where I was standing.

“Now son, you’re going to be fine. Just come sit down in the living room.”

I obeyed him and walked into the living room. I sat down on the sofa, then turned towards my father.

“What’s happening?,” I asked.

“Son, you know we love you. You’re going to have to go away for awhile, back to the mental institution.”

“What?! I’m not crazy!,” I was terrified.

“It’s only because we love you. You seem to have this in your head that you are in a band and that you are need to work this out.”

“We are... Isaac, Zac, and I...Hanson...”

“Taylor, it’ll be OK.”

This can’t be happening.

Before I knew it, they had come for me. They escorted me to a van with tinted windows. When they strapped me in, I took a look around at all the faces surrounding me. The man.

“What are you doing here?!,” I asked.

The man had a confused look on his face. He looked down at the papers, studied them for a moment and then looked back up.

“Taylor, is it?”

I nodded my head slightly.

“Who do you think I am?,” he said calmly.

“You promised me normal fans...I signed with the pen..the was glowing..”

“Who is he talking to? He’s delirious. Give him a shot,” I heard one of the men say.

I suddenly felt sleepy. With no energy left to keep protesting, I dropped my head and fell asleep.


I lifted my head up from the hard pillow that it was rested on, and looked around the room. It was white. There was a TV chained to the wall, a sink, and a bed which I was lying on. I noticed there were restraints tied to the bed. I followed them with my eyes and saw that they were attached to my arms and legs.

“I’m not crazy!,” I yelled out.

A few moments later I heard footsteps.

The door slowly opened to reveal the man wearing the same attire as I had always seen him in.

“Who are you?,” I asked him.

“I am you....Taylor.”

“No you aren’t. Why can’t you just give me a straight answer!”

The man unexpectedly started to change form. There was a flash of bright light, which caused me to look away for it was too bright for my eyes to handle. After the light returned to normal, I turned my head to look at the man, but it wasn’t the man anymore, it was me. Then I knew... I was crazy.

The bolt and locks sounded. The nurse stepped in with a serious expression on his face.

“You have visitors,” his voice was hoarse.

I perked my head up from its position on the pillow.

My eyes widened as I saw them.

Shirts. The familiar faces of my brothers and I, with the Hanson logo in the center.

They were talking excitedly, “Oh my gosh! He is so hot!,” I heard one of them say.

I sighed in relief knowing that I could leave this terrible place. I had fans. They weren’t sane, but they were fans, which meant I wasn’t crazy.

But then...why are they carrying knives?