Wednesday 10 – Tuesday 30 November 2010
I always knew that this story would end the way it did. It was, in fact, the first part of the story that formed in my mind. I think I’d also like to investigate the character of Dr. Hart a little more. I feel as though she has a lot more to give.
Doctor Angela Hart had her suspicions about Lee Barton. He’d viewed her with disdain since their first meeting, when he dragged his practically psychotic wife into her office. He displayed classic narcissistic traits. It wasn’t about helping his wife because she needed help; it was about helping his wife because her illness made him look bad in front of his friends. No, she thought, there is something amiss with that man. Something beyond his narcissism.
Through her vast network of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues, Hart had instigated an investigation into Lee Barton. Slowly but surely, bit and pieces of information had been finding their way back to her.
Barton was from an old money family, however, he was the last in the line of Bartons. His cousin, Andrea Carver, had disappeared off the face of the Earth seven months ago, and the body of her work mate, Mitchell Boyd, had been found in Carver’s rowboat, adrift on Carver’s Lake. Lee had apparently not been particularly close to his cousin, which didn’t surprise Angela. In fact, she was surprised that he’d even got married in the first place, as his people skills were non-existent. It was little wonder, in Angela’s mind, that Molly Barton was slowly losing control and going out of her mind. Lee Barton was positively deplorable.
Hart was beginning to formulate a theory to explain Molly’s mental state. She knew that at any moment, Molly Barton would have a tremendous psychotic break, from which Hart didn’t believe she could or would return. She had to wonder: Is this what Lee Barton wanted?
Although it was he who had brought Molly in to see Hart, and in spite of the fact that his narcissistic tendencies wouldn’t allow him to have a wife who needed psychiatric help, Lee did very little to support Molly in her efforts to get well. He continually griped about the cost of treatment and the medications Hart prescribed. He complained about the exercises that Hart wanted Molly to undertake. He belittled any attempt to get Molly well. These were not the actions of a man who wanted a well wife. Doctor Angela Hart resolved to continue her investigation into Lee Barton.
* * * * *
Laying on the floor of her bathroom, Molly finally gave in to the voices. She would end her torment today. The voices would stop. The visions would stop. Everything would stop. She had inadvertently found the root of her problem, and she knew definitively that she was not really going mad. There were other forces involved in her mental decline. Yes, she would listen to the voices now. Now that she knew they were real.
‘Molly, you’re safe now. Safe with us. We’ll look after you. You know what you have to do. Lee isn’t important to you anymore. We will take good care of you. Just do what we’ve asked. Just this once, and we’ll go away. Forever. It won’t hurt at all. Sweetheart.’
Bolstering herself for what was about to come, she breathed slowly and surely, the razor blade secreted away in her left hand.
‘Lee? Lee, help me, please.’
She heard his footsteps on the cedar floor. He was running to her aide. He would be by her side shortly. She would be free. Soon.
Lee shoved the bathroom door as hard as he could. Thinking that Molly had somehow hurt herself, he was eager to get into the bathroom. He saw her laying on the floor. She appeared to be fine, so why was she in need of help?
‘What happened, beautiful? Did you fall?’ He reached out his hands to help her fro the white tiled floor. She offered up her right hand and he took it, pulling her towards him. And then he saw the blood falling from her left fist. He quickly looked around the room but could see no broken glass anywhere. One thought crossed his mind. She had attempted to end her life, changed her mind after the fact, and called for him to help.
‘What have you done, Molly?’
She looked down at her left hand and smiled, then looked back at Lee. His horrified expression not what she had expected, but she was going to go through with it.
‘It’s not what it looks like. See?’ She thrust her arm in an arc up and around to the side of his neck. He didn’t know what had hit him until he pulled the razor from where he thought his jugular vein must be. Blood pulsed out of the wound, which had been made larger by his removal of the blade. She pointed behind him, to the bathroom basin, where a small MP3 player, and a set of speakers rested. She had found them.
‘It was never me, Lee. I was hearing voices. They came from those speakers, from that iPod. You’ve been trying to drive me mad, haven’t you?’
The horrified expression on his face grew more contorted, then he grimaced, and laughed.
‘You’re worth a fortune, sweetheart. Why do you think I married you? You never questioned it, did you? I married you for your money. I’m broke, bankrupted years ago. I needed your life insurance, your inheritance, every penny you have, in order to get myself out of this mess.’
She watched as his knees gave way, and he fell to the floor. Regardless of the fact that he was trying to stem the flow of blood from his neck wound, it was still pouring out faster than Lee could prevent it from doing so.
‘You’ll be dead quite soon, so I guess there won’t be any life insurance payout for you, sweetheart. The voices, the visions, to begin with they were all you, weren’t they?’
He tried to nod, seeing little sense in denying it now that he was going to die.
‘All me. With the help of your fabulous Doctor Hart.’ He was lying, of course. Angela Hart had nothing to do with his plan to collect Molly’s fortune, but as far as Lee Barton was concerned, he would take her down as well. It wasn’t as if he liked her.
A flicker of terror crossed his face, as her words settled, ‘Molly? What do you mean to begin with? Molly?’
Molly smiled as she walked away from her dying husband. Her psychosis becoming more real with every second. She was now, legitimately, a woman on the brink, whether she recognised it or not.
She would very much enjoy metering out punishment to everyone she thought was involved with Lee’s scheme, including the good doctor. Now, she moved with the purpose, she had lacked for so long. The shadows and voices no longer terrified her.
. . . The end . . .