Joss Areté Kelvin
Breathe. Speak. Think.
Moving too fast. Not getting anywhere.
Lightning hits. Jolts. Spasm. Puppet body.
You hear them say: Grand mal seizure. Any known history?
You hear them say: The patient has not spoken since the
police found her, sir. You hear those voices.
Beyond the spinning room. Beyond the tornado (you’re
becoming), you hear the other voices, quiet, in the tornado’s
The walls are caving in.
Then there will be no walls.
Without walls, the whole body will collapse.
Why are you so sure the walls are holding them up?
What if the walls are keeping them in?
But what you’re calling for is chaos.
What will happen to them when it all comes flooding back?
What will happen to them if it doesn’t?
Click click click
Wheels jiggling over the squares.
Machines beeping. Hungry children.
You’re cruel. You sit there alone in your—cave—
We are all alone here.
You have made sure of that.
I have done what is necessary to keep the whole functional.
You will destroy everything.
We hold the door open for change.
Change is always hard.
But you don’t know.
You don’t know what change will bring.
Yes. We don’t know.
So you’re willing to risk them.
You’re willing to risk all of us.
You can’t play if you aren’t willing to risk anything.
We’re not anything. We’re everything.
A sound like a scream, a siren
Chopped into pieces.
The cry of a hurt animal.
So you would keep them all trapped here—for what?
What does that win?
It keeps them safe.
It keeps you safe.
Yes. And you.
The price is too high.
You go too far. The body will not hold.
We feel the boundaries shifting.
Can’t you feel how weak they are?
We can sense a chance:
The whole system—all of us—will We might be able to
break down. break through.
Dr. Lois Linklater, MD
Silverland Hospital – Psychiatric Ward
Rancho Mirage, California
May 31, 2016
Case # 0294LB
APPEARANCE AND BEHAVIOR
AT TIME OF ADMISSION:
White female 24 years. Complexion pale. Hair auburn. Height
5 ft 5 in. Thin – mesomorph. Dressed in large white men’s tee,
black underwear, black bra (no underwire). Hair to thoracic,
knotted. Long necklace: gold chain, clasp broken, chain
knotted to hold together, with simple gold keys labeled
‘Smith and Wesson.’ No other jewelry.
Behavior – Lashed out; screaming; crying; needed to be held
down and restrained. Head whipping back and forth.
Experienced grand mal seizure soon after arrival.
BASIC CASE HISTORY:
Patient Cassandra Hardt was admitted ten days ago in late
hours of morning after being contained by police postpsychotic episode. Police discovered Hardt on top level of
Arclight Hollywood parking lot, curled up in fetal position
next to boyfriend Het Martin’s body; gun was in Martin’s
hand but covered with Hardt’s fingerprints. Police retrieved
letter sent by Martin to friend Nick Davidson a few days
earlier. Letter implies dissociative identity disorder,
schizophrenia, addiction. Patient will be kept in Silverland
Hospital until trial.
HET MARTIN’S LETTER TO NICK DAVIDSON
POSTMARKED JUNE 3, 2016 ; RECEIVED JUNE 5, 2016
Everything is off. It’s raining in LA today — car crashes
abound — the world feels like it’s ending. I’ve sat myself at
this typewriter and I’m not getting up again until I’ve told
you everything. Yeah I know it’s the 21st century. But. I can’t
stand the idea of you scrolling through this on your phone.
Plus I suppose what I’m living through would be easier if I
could imagine it as a film so it makes sense to write it where
I write my screenplays. Anyway, this whole disaster would a
good film make. I bequeath the idea to you if I don’t make it
end up getting to it myself.
It’s a nightmare I’m living now but it started off like a dream.
The Cassandra that existed before all this began was the most
beautiful human I’ve ever had the privilege to know. I may
be a video-game-loving, bone-business-card-waving modern
guy but I’m still a damn romantic, they can’t beat it out of me
and I can’t blame her, even after everything, because — it
can’t be her. She’s been possessed, Nick, by some sort of
demon, that has us both in its clutches and won’t let us go.
OK. I’m going to go back to the beginning and tell it all. There
has to be a record of us, of Cass & Het. Whatever happens.
INT. LUCY’S PENTHOUSE, MIDNIGHT.
I saw Cass before I spoke to her. It was midnight on January
6th of this year, that sort of cold Los Angeles gets in the
winter, when the desert wind gives you a pleasant shock. She
was sitting on the edge of Lucy’s white leather couch, staring
out the double glass doors that led to the balcony. The lights
of Los Angeles reflected in her eyes. Cass made LA feel like
Blade Runner written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Like Bret Easton
Ellis doing Raymond Chandler. Like — my kind of place. She
tilted her chin up and threw back a shot of whiskey, and I
watched her throat, too-long, like the throat of some sort of
bird. She wasn’t easy-beautiful in that Los Angeles way. She
was strange-sexy, like Amanda Plummer. (You know, from
Pulp Fiction and The Fisher King?) From the second I saw her
swallow that whiskey I knew — I had to have her.
You know me, Nick. I don’t fall head over heels, because I
move so fast who can even compete? But that was the turn
on with Cass. She was intimidatingly smart but as vulnerable
as a little girl. There was something about her that made you
want to protect her. There still is even with how she treats me
Nick — she could keep up with me. The whiskey. The meta
film ideas. The taste for adventure. The sex — the sex. Hot
wax, head as I drove cross the border into Los Angeles on our
way back from Vegas, snorting cocaine off my cock — her
idea. I finally found the Blair to my Clay.
And it wasn’t because she was beautiful, though she was. She
never believed it. Which is insane. I remember on Valentine’s
Day, after we got back from the shooting range, we’d done a
couple of lines maybe, and I stood her in front of a mirror &
forced her to stare at her own face. I told her — You’re more
beautiful than Marilyn Monroe. Cass was a Monroe junkie.
But who could blame her. When she showed me The Misfits
and we watched Marilyn call after those running horses, I
said to her — You didn’t tell me they made a movie about
you. They’re the same — that vulnerability bubbling to the
skin, the tactileness of how open they are to you, the offering
up, the emotion so close to the surface it sparks off their soft
skin. The neuroses, the tragic end The child in a woman’s
When I told her she was more beautiful than Monroe she
pushed it away and when I wouldn’t let her turn away from
her reflection in the mirror — she cried. Cass is the sort of girl
who cries when she’s happy. What the fuck am I supposed to
do with that, Nick? It kills me. She kills me, Nick — being in
love with Cass is like watching a car accident in slow motion.
And I’m in the car. And all the doors are locked. And God
help me, I don’t want to get out. I don’t want to get out. It’s
the best fucking ride I’ve ever been on.
EXCERPTS FROM RECORDED TREATMENT SESSIONS
BETWEEN THE ACCUSED, CASSANDRA A. HARDT &
DR. LOIS LINKLATER, MD.
DR.L.: Do you know why you’re here?
CASS.: Do you know why you’re here?
To help you. Who am I speaking with right now?
Cleo would spit in your face.
Who is Cleo?
Who is Cleo?
I can’t help you if you don’t speak with me.
I would very much like to help.
Cleo is a knife. She likes cutting.
Het knows her. Ask him.
Cassandra — are you Cassandra?
Cass — Het is dead.
So am I.
No, you’re not. You’re right here with me.
You’re wrong. You don’t believe me.
I would like to believe you.
It’s Het’s revenge.
Revenge for what?
Listening to what?