five, six, i'm done with this. seven, eight, it's getting late, so close your eyes, sleep for days.

It's happened again. She has taken over and you were put in the backseat, divider up and windows tinted and completely unaware of what is going on. It's not exactly auto-pilot, but then again, there really isn't another word for what exactly is happening, but a few text book definitions come to mind: you recite them wordlessly to yourself, almost as a mantra.

Schizophrenia. A long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior. Leads to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

Maybe. You could argue that some, or all of it could make sense, but you weren't about to believe that nearly everyone you knew was schizophrenic. Folie á deux? Or shared psychotic disorder. Another stretch, though you have never really heard of anything like that for such a vast group of people, with the exception of cults or religious fanaticism. You’re pretty sure that neither applied here. You know what it actually is, but feeding into that reality just makes you feel crazier than you already do. A comic book character. Other dimensions? The sting on your forehead makes you wince and lose your train of thought and you are suddenly back to where you were, and who was in front of you.

He smiles at you and you smile back without thinking because you, the real you, likes him and you know he likes you too.

”Hey, I like him too.”

You wince again, and are thankful he can't tell if it's because the cut he is cleaning on your forehead or something else, and this time it's that bubbly New York accent that comes from the deepest part of your subconscious. Your other self. You finally realize that while you're still in the back seat, she's put down the divider so you can see what exactly is going on. She wants something from you, you already know. But you're not sure about what until you hear another groan come from behind the man in front of you. You tilt, looking past him and the rest of the color drains from your face when you notice who it was. And all too suddenly you know what she wants you to do.

The man standing before you presses a kiss to your forehead and smiles broadly, bowing in a flourish. “All done.” Another smile, another kiss, and you're already on your feet, walking toward the other being in the room. For the first time you realize where you actually are. Industrial. You smell sulfur, other chemicals, and a hint of saltiness of the ocean. The name comes to instantly: Cobblepott. One of his warehouses. You realize she has a lot of friends, and none are the kinds of people you'd want to mess with.

When he was only a few feet ahead of you, you noticed the damage that was done. Dried blood stained both his skin and clothes. He was bound and bruised and though you could see and overwhelming exhaustion in him, he still looked daggers in your direction, and you could understand why. But, you found, you didn't seem to care. Everything you knew about him, everything you had experienced, this was well deserved. And even despite your confusion and fear, a smile ticked at the corner of your lips that you immediately regretted.

”You don't gotta be ashamed of it. He deserved it.” she cooed, a friendly voice in your ear. “Now all ya gotta do is finish it. I brought everything you need.”

You looked to the right of him and saw an array of knives, as well as what looked like a giant mallet. You knew it looked familiar, but you had only seen it on the pages of a comic before. Or the hands of a very skilled cosplayer. Everything in you told you this wasn't real, but the pain you feel, the presence of the older man in front of you and the younger man behind you told you the truth. It was then that the desire to hurt him pushed past the shame and embarrassment of what you remember. And that desire was strong.

”You'll feel so much better if ya do it. It wouldn't mean nothing if I did it for you.”

“But..I can't. I can't murder someone.” You aren't too sure if you're speaking out loud until the doctor looks up at you as if you were insane. You are insane, and it didn't matter now if he knew that. He'd be gone soon.

“Sure ya can! The first one’s always the toughest but ya get used to it. Besides. It's not like he's some rando who didn't do nothing. He put his hands on ya. On US.”

You stare down at him, both seeing and not. Memories of the week before come back to you and your skin crawls remembering the feeling of his hands on your skin, his breath in your ear. The firmness of his grip that held you in place, not because of strength, but fear. Paralyzing you.

“Why did you do it?” Your voice was quiet and the question was directed at him, though it took him a moment to realize it. He didn't answer for a moment but finally shrugged his shoulders, looking up at you with an expression you couldn't place.

”Because he thinks he can take whateva he wants from us.”

“WHY?” Your voice grew louder and echoed around you in the space. The anger was building. The anger you didn't allow yourself to feel had begun to bubble up.

“Because I could.” He snarled, clearly a man that had nothing to lose. “Because I wanted to see if I could get away with it again. I've seen what you wear” he continued, eyeing her like a piece of meat. “You wanted it. I know you did. You shouldn't wear those skirts and think you'll get my respect.”

A flash of anger burst from within you and before you realized it, you were on him. Kicking, punching, skin connecting roughly with skin. You were vaguely aware of the giggling that had started, surrounding your senses until you suddenly stop and step back, looking at the blood on your hands and his face. You had forgotten your own strength and you're surprised when you still hear the raspy breathing of the man at your feet.

“I can't..” She started, her hands starting to shake as the voice in her head was no longer a voice. It was a feeling that tried to push her onward, to finish the job. An urgency for blood lust that you didn't know how to handle. “I can't…” She had whispered and was startled to hear him start to laugh. Except it sounded terrifying, a raspy gurgle of a sound as he rolled onto his side to lookup at you. “Pathetic.” The gurgled laugh continued. “Do whatever you want,” he choked out. “You won't get away with it. You'll rot.” More of the disgusted gurgled laughter. “And you'll deserve it.” He took a deep, pained breath and looked directly at you. “I'll be the victim,” he smiled, showing you broken teeth, “You'll just be some crazy, murdering slut.” He spit blood on your feet, and you feel an unnatural calm settle over you.

”You know what to do, Roxy girl.”

You didn't need her guidance any longer. It was you that walked over to the oversized mallet and picked it up with ease. You who stared down at him with blue eyes gone black, head tilting as if seeing him for the rest time. You who swung the object over your head and down, hearing the sickening splinter of wood cracking bone. You who continued to hit him repeatedly until there was nothing but pulp on the cement. You who laughed until you couldn't breath and then started to cry.

You had fallen to your knees and letting her coax you with whispered praise. She was so proud of you, you did so well. Why don't you rest now? You deserve it. Once you wake up all of your problems would be fixed, and you, nor any other woman would have to worry about this man ever again. You couldn't help but agree in your exhaustion, wanting so desperately to rest and curl up, once again in the back seat of the car. She would take care of this part for you, you knew she will. It's why she let you take over the reigns just this once. You needed this, and she knew you did, and now that it was over, it didn't terrify you as much as you thought it would.

You sigh heavily and rested your head in the back seat once more, the divider slowly closing and bringing you back into the warm, enveloping darkness.