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Stephen Stribbell Stephen Stribbell
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For Fools

This writing contains explicit content and is only for adults. You have been warned.

This is an "off-beat" answer to Mr. Paul day's "Split Personality Challenge". The "jagged" composition is meant to enhance the psychosis of the unfortunate victim of schizophrenia.


I don’t need authority, I don’t need arms around me, I don’t need religious dogma or mythology, I don’t need hours of television daily, I don’t need bullshit propaganda force-fed to me, I don’t need this sick and twisted society. No, I need to be free. Quite simply, I just want to be me.

But just what is “me”? I can’t define myself perfectly, and I’m not sure I really know everything about me; so nobody else could possibly know all about me. Except maybe that damned little bugger who hides in the shadows of my mind, chattering away today in a whisper.


I hear a voice coming from behind the door, well it sounds like its coming from behind the door, but that’s highly unlikely. Sure, anything’s possible; but when you get down to brass tacks, its more a question of probability. Obviously this logical approach to identifying the source of that voice denies the probability that it could be coming from behind any door, since it’s the voice of that filthy little “poet-philosopher”, who hides in the shadows of my mind, chattering incessantly. He simply won’t shut up, no matter what I try, he just rambles on and on. He’s a whiny little shit too.

“A whiny little shit, is it? Look who’s talking! You’re the one who hears me, I sure as hell didn’t ask for it! And what makes you think you’re a load of fun to live with? Life inside your head is like living in the sink of a 747 or something.”

“What on earth are you talking about? The sink of a 747? What does that have to do with my head?”

“Its empty!” the voice exclaimed, laughing wildly.

“You’re a class act alright,” I grumbled in response, “a regular comedian. There’s just one problem; you’re not funny.”

“Maybe you just don’t have a sense of humour.” the voice shot back, still giggling.

“Maybe I can rinse you down that bloody sink! That’d shut you up!” I thought with a grin.

“Sure, genius, and my voice is coming from behind a door too. I think its about time for you to see a shrink!” the voice whined. I cupped my trembling hands over my ears, and tried desperately to ignore the crazed babbling of the rotten little bugger.

Please don’t let them touch me,
Its not easy to remain isolated.
Please don’t let them see me,
I need to remain encapsulated.
Fear spawns their fascination with me,
I can only survive if I’m insulated.

“No shit, Sherlock!”

Shut up, I’m trying to write! I struggle to ignore the voice while I read what I’ve written; “Damn,” I mutter as I delete the words from the screen, wondering where that gibberish came from.


“Sometimes I get the urge to burn it all down, right down to the ground.”

“Burn what down?” I asked, without much interest.

“Society…the world…the whole damned thing. Sometimes I just get the urge to hide under the bed. Depends on my mood.”

“You’re a fucking lunatic,” I replied.

Did I just say that out loud? That would explain the mask of horror on my face, as I peered into the mirror. I was becoming more and more sure that I was losing my sanity.

Oscar kept raving on about the possibility of war between North and South Korea. Oscar is what I call that crazy little bugger in the shadows of my mind. The name doesn’t appear to bother him.

“I’d actually prefer Iggy, asshole,” Oscar declared.

“Fine,” I said with a grin, “Iggy Asshole it is.”

“Oscar works,” he replied sulkily.


Oscar can be an absolute monster. A whiny male voice that ignores my requests for silence. Often it even mocks me. I would almost venture to call it my Nemesis. Imagination, possession, something to do with the number thirteen? Hell, I don’t know. I just know that…

“They are the spiders, we are the flies, and we’re caught in their webs. Things are breaking loose from the core; you’re coming apart. Unravelling like a rotting ball of string. The revolting stench of decay is everywhere, literally fouling the air.”

Shut up! I’m trying to communicate with these people!

“I want your face, and you can have mine. All that I am is all that I need to be. I don’t march to your beat, I dance to mine. So I’ve changed my mind, I want my face and you can keep yours. You’re just a viewer, cold and distant, yet you have the power to change the situation with the press of a button. My words mean nothing, when you can cut them off at will.”

He’s been hounding me all day now. I can‘t seem to concentrate on anything without being interrupted by this whiny generator of gibberish.

“On my cloud I see things differently. Images from Genesis to Revelations, Revolution to Evolution; infinite contradictions. Walking close to the edge, never in fear of it. There is nothing to fear but fear itself. A state of Devolution perhaps; arm the homeless, feed the rich to the poor. Why should I care?”

I said Shut Up!

“Most beliefs are radically unfounded, you fool, the result of lies, hypocrisy, propaganda, delusions, and dogma. Beliefs are almost always tainted. Doubt, on the other hand, is pure and infinitely pervasive. Nothing is beyond a shadow of a doubt, since even reality can be questioned.”

Which are you? My guess would be a delusion. So Shut Up already!

“When innocence meets deviance, is the circle of life complete? If so, you have successfully completed the cycle. This may be an indication that it is time for you to perish. Are you ready to tighten the rope and step from the chair?”

Enough, already, SHUT UP!!!


He had been “MIA” for quite a while, and I was beginning to wonder what might have become of him. Had he been captured by a brutal gang of Vikings; being raped and pillaged as I write? Did he commit suicide using two bricks and a butter-knife? Was he somehow swept into a parallel dimension; like Alice through the looking glass? It was a complete mystery. Perhaps I got lucky and I’ll never hear his whining voice again.

He was always somewhat of an anomaly; showing up frequently at times, and then disappearing again. Only he could know the reality behind the anomaly. It would be useless to even try to explain his reality, since it is something only he experiences personally.

His presence is felt again, but his words don’t bother me anymore. His return is another of several desperate attempts to be accepted, and nothing appears to have changed to any great degree.

The decision is made, this is the last time I will torture myself with false hope. After all, he was merely an anomaly. Who would miss an anomaly? I snapped my pen in two, stood up on the seat of my chair, wrapped the rope around my neck, took a large step forward, and just like that, Oscar was gone.

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