“It showed me… things. Now, it didn’t mean to. I don’t think it really knows or values the concept of communication. But, as it, wal- crawled- moved-”

There was a sudden pause. His brow furled over, crinkled, and sweat began to run from his pores. As he closed his eyes, tears streamed from them, but he didn’t look like he was crying… I noticed his arm hairs standing straight up, thought it was his nerves, but then I realized – the temperature in the room suddenly felt like it had dropped below freezing.

The cigarette in his hand… it went out. Acrid smoke furled and blew away as if on the breeze, though there was no wind.

“I felt it, I knew what it was, I saw its past and future – Christ…”

Harris opened his eyes again, his pupils dilated to the point where the irises were slivers surrounded by a blood-streaked whites. He slammed his hands to the table, he swept the recorder away, he tossed my papers onto the floor, and he clenched them so tightly blood wept from his fists – so much blood – never seen anyone do that to himself. A man possessed.

“Harris, we can – we can stop now-” … Knowing it was far too late.

Johnson screamed. It’s ridiculous – can’t possibly be – but it wasn’t human, it was the screech of a banshee, there was no soul left in this man, whatever had been was swept and torn and slashed away till there was nothing but raw primal fear – and he howled. The door banged suddenly, orderlies trying to force it open.

“I saw the end. I saw death on the pale horse - no face - and god, oh god! I saw it smile. How did it smile? It SMILED! IT SAW ME, AND IT SMILED!”

He suddenly stopped, turned, stared – stared at me with a dead man’s eyes. I moaned as his mouth leered unnaturally wide, a single stream of blood running from the left corner, and there was an unnatural quiet, the door was still being thrust at but there was no noise, and we stared into each others’ eyes for an eternity.

Croaking, barely audible…

“Why? Why did it smile?”

And then the door burst, and the last thing I remember before I lost consciousness is a rush of orderlies tackling Harris to the ground, blood splattering from his shredded palms as he hit the ground – and behind them, unseen, a flash, a flash of a man in a suit.

No… not a man.

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