Chapter 5: There’s Got To Be Somebody Left

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The officers slap the cuffs on you, read you your rights, put you back in their police car. Mime. You’re quiet as one of those. Any and all comments on this will have to come from somewhere else, especially when no one would believe the truth anyway. Meanwhile, you know you can’t ask another Santa to bail you out, call for back ups, etc. You’ll just take the heat on your own. There simply is no other way.

Eventually you make it to the jail cell, where two adults look at you — not like jail guards, but stern parents. The discussion is all about you, not whether or not Trevor Richards should watch two strangers have dirty sex. At some point you will have to escape, but you can’t just disappear.  Well, you technically can, but they cannot know that you are magical (In absolute reality, the bars around you might as well just be CGI).

The best method you can use is to sound and act like a crazy person, so you finally break the silence, begin ranting whenever a guard is present. You are suddenly schizo, employing multiple personalities — and you’d prefer to all explain yourselves in a booming voice. “Let me out!,” you shout. “The muskrat man is coming to get me!” You punch the bars for dramatic effect. Vomiting? Check. Projectile, even? Sure, why not?  You cover your mouth as you puke. BLEGHK! It’s all over the floor of your cell. There is little planning on the matter. You are improvising, like a sloppy, cacophonous jazz solo. The marginal improvement? The guards are already thinking you’re nuts as your cell is cleaned and you’re appropriately restrained.

Your original plan didn’t work out. By the time you had your cookies and milk, Trevor had already called the cops. You had not even reached his computer! It could have been worse, of course. Trevor could have downright mangled you. It was an option, and you’re barred from fighting back in such a scenario, at least against humans.

You stop giving it thought for a few seconds, and look at your hands. They are no longer bloody from your nose. When Trevor confronted you, you were greedily wolfing down cookies with a profusely bleeding nose (due to your thinking of his sins).   It must have been a haunting sight — a hideously bloody Santa with milk and cookies and beard all caked in blood, sitting at his dinner table.  You now ask aloud, “Am I immortal?” You slap your face. “Maybe I can’t be?” (This is not part of your crazy act. This is you.)

Then you think back to the plan: You were going to send an e-mail to Trevor’s company’s website regarding his disorderly porn habits. You were going to tell them that he looks at porn nearly any chance he gets, so they had better monitor him more at work. It would have been embarrassing as hell!  Now he probably won’t masturbate for a while, but for entirely different reasons.

Now that plan has to be scrapped. You are being formally processed. Through your insane rants, you have convinced everyone that you are human and crazy.

During an interview with a psychiatrist, you tell him that you possess a Godzilla-like quality, that you are here to breathe toxic fire upon all the muskrat men. You’re laying it all on pretty thick, frankly.  You also tell them that your brain will turn off for a lot of the day, because the muskrats have chewed up all the wiring. There isn’t a single moment where you sound sane. When the psychiatrist asks you about your childhood, you tell him “It’s still way musical,” and that the frogs, owls and muskrats were playing their poisoned instruments even way back then — with all the screeching howls and disastrous banjo lines (the frog’s grating, bassy voice especially made your stomach hurt).

The pain of the music is what kept you searching for the Muskrat King, knowing that he’s hiding somewhere clever. Maybe in Trevor’s house?  Maybe in your blood-caked beard? You don’t tell them that specifically, but the psychiatrist is logically steered in that direction. You begin exhaling forcefully, but not in a fake manner. You start thinking about sex and your curse works its magic. As a plus, the bloody nose and convulsions make you look ever crazier.

The psychiatrist notes some of the things wrong with you, both the real and the improvised. He can’t know you’re faking, can he? In truth, he doesn’t investigate too thoroughly, or seriously consider that you could be faking it. He is, for the most part, coasting on his credentials. The true format of your mental illness is unknown, and un-cared about. He — which also means “they” — can just know that you’re not well in the head. You’re gone from the world, and you’re never coming back. The muskrat men put their controls on full blast.

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