The Mind Enchanted

by the7Saviors

The Evidence

A total of twelve days have passed since I was admitted to this wretched asylum and placed under the 'care' of that insane Doctor. Twelve days of agonizing 'treatments', soul-crushing solitude, and the muffled clamor of the truly mad. Whether it be an argument against unethical practices, violation of basic equine rights, or anything else of the sort, there was and is no saving me from my torment.

No matter how I plead or argue, Doctor Lining cannot and will not be reasoned with when it comes to my treatment. There is no appeal to ethos, pathos, or logos for this mare. So long as I fail to recall my offense, she'll continue to administer that torturous therapy. The thaumic waves are always delivered at different frequencies but the pain itself never seems to change.

Always overwhelming, always unbearable, never allowing me even a glimpse into what the flashing images could mean.

Over the course of that week, I'd tried endlessly to bring my memories to the fore, but time and again they refused to surface. The treatment is inherently flawed, as I'm unable to recollect my memories during the process. I've brought this to Doctor Lining's attention multiple times but the mare insists on the method, boasting that the process has a much higher success rate than any kind of over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed medication.

While I'd like to argue the point, even given my abysmal circumstance this is one point I have difficulty contending with. In Equestria, magic is primarily used—perhaps to our detriment in certain cases such as this—to solve most issues, included many health-related problems. There's been little research into prescription drugs as a result, and most medical drugs that do exist are only somewhat reliable in relieving symptoms at best, and liable to greatly exacerbate the situation at worst.

Where curing mental illnesses are concerned, Equestria is still in a bit of a dark age as far as I'm aware. Yes, there are spells that exist to alleviate some disorders, but outside of blatant and highly illegal mind control, very few spells have been useful in permanently removing a sickness of the mind. When seen from that perspective, it's little wonder that the Doctor has so much faith in her method, flawed though it very clearly is.

My only saving grace is that I'd heard not a single whisper that was not my own while I was alone. Not since that thing had disappeared after I'd made contact with it have I heard a voice where there should be none. In that sense, I can't help but feel that the vile treatment is working in some manner—at the very least I'd like to hope it's working, that there's some kind of meaning in my suffering like Doctor Lining keeps telling me.

That said, I'm still unable to wrap my mind around anything having to do with what I've done. Any words that might convey even an idea of what I was convicted of falls through the cracks of my psyche and is lost before I can grab hold of what it all means. With that being the case, I can only surmise that the voice is still there somewhere within me working its foul magic.

Still, the idea does little to help me sleep at night and I often find myself wanting for proper rest. I have no strange voices or hazy, ghost-like entities to keep me awake, but there is a palpable air of malignancy hanging about my prison that I find terribly hard to ignore. It may very well be my imagination—I'd hardly be surprised if it was—but something about the silence in my white prison feels foreboding.

What this quiet portends I'm not sure, but it feels very much to me like the calm before a storm. Again, these thoughts are likely my anxiety at work, and the lack of sleep is no doubt having its own adverse effects on my already tenuous psyche. Lately, I've had to remind myself that my miserable circumstances haven't pushed me past the edge of reason just yet.

I'm not like the other ponies in this place, no matter what the court or the Doctor says. What happened to me wasn't a natural phenomenon. These voices and that thing weren't born from my own mind, of this I'm certain. These are the words I repeat like a mantra each night... and yet, I find myself more and more unsure as the days pass by. If the voices and that creature are truly gone then why haven't I regained the memories that I've lost?

If the entity that invaded my mind and manipulate my body was no more, then why am I still here? Why are there still so many questions left unanswered and unanswerable? Trapped as I am in this white prison and with little else to keep me occupied but my thoughts, one can't help but eventually start doubting themselves and everything around them.

The sound of hushed and urgent whispers just beyond the locked door breaks me free of these despondent contemplations. I prick a curious ear but am unable to make out more than an odd word or two before the door is unlocked. It swings open to reveal the earnest nurse I'd become acquainted with over the last few days, along with my 'well-intentioned' Doctor who herself enters wearing a patently thin smile.

At first glance, all seems like it will go as it always does—a hollow greeting by the Doctor, questions that outwardly show concern for my health with no real warmth behind the words, I demonstrate the usual mental exercises to show I haven't lost my mind and the like. It's all become a routine at this point, but this time there is a nagging sense that something is off—wrong in a way that isn't readily apparent.

I look from the Doctor to the nurse and realize that it is, in fact, the nurse who sits at the center of my unease. It takes me a moment to figure out why, but then I notice that the earnest nurse doesn't look quite as earnest as she normally does. She lingers behind the Doctor like a shadow, her presence diminished and her demeanor conveying obvious distress. I see how she tries to hide it behind that same veneer of professionalism as before, but the internal conflict in her rosy eyes is as clear as day.

I have little time to dwell on the matter before I'm addressed by Doctor Lining. She informs me in honeyed, placating tones that a concerned citizen from Canterlot has recently provided the hospital with evidence that might be of some use in helping me recall my crime. She levitates a small black rectangular case from her white coat and further explains that the citizen, though requesting to remain anonymous, had also requested for Doctor Lining to pass on a message.

Even if Equestria hates you for what you've done, I at least know it wasn't entirely your fault. For what it's worth, I wish you a swift and full recovery.

This is the message she brings me as she places the black case in my hooves. I hear and comprehend the words. I realize the implications behind them. There's somepony out there who knows of and just might understand my plight, or at the very least is able to sympathize. Naturally, this raises several questions and had it been under different circumstances it might have even brought me some comfort.

Unfortunately, any relief or curiosity about this 'anonymous citizen' is quashed under the mental weight of the case I now hold in my hooves. It's a simple thing, unadorned by any marks or brands or blemishes. Just a simple rectangular case, but I know this case. I ask myself what could possibly be inside, but somewhere in the back of my mind I already know what's inside.

Given the type of case, it would be obvious to anypony with less than ideal vision, or to anypony who knew somepony with less than ideal vision. I know what this is, and the realization causes me to shiver with a dreadful sort of anticipation. I don't want to open the innocuous little case, but I feel compelled to regardless. The nurse says something to the Doctor, but the sound is drowned out by my own heavy breathing. Before I can stop myself, I raise a trembling hoof to slowly pry open the lid of the case and—

Vials and beakers smash across the floor amidst blindingly bright light, black and purple smoke, and the horrid echo of mad laughter.

A shriek of horror and unfathomable agony tears itself from my throat as liquid darkness seeps into my eyes, my lungs, my mind.

A terrified voice calls out my name but it's far too late. That darkness has already solidified into beastly claws that rip at my mind, body and soul, relentlessly and mercilessly pulling me away from myself.

All I hear are screams.

All I see are colors.

Pale yellow, royal purple, soft lavender, all washed away in a cascade of muddy red paint. The colors blend together until an empty, all-encompassing black is all that remains.

In the end, the screams are silenced and within that interminable darkness, I hear the voice, like a soft whisper in my ear answering a question I never got to ask.

A failure?

No... I believe this experiment was a resounding success.

The black case falls from my hooves and onto the floor, dislodging the twisted and broken frames from their resting place. The impact sends them sliding across the cold linoleum towards the Doctor, but she pays them no mind. The thick horn-rimmed glasses, held together only by flimsy white tape, lay forgotten by all as the nurse rushes forth in a futile attempt to calm the fallen, screaming wretch of a mare that I've become.

Scattered and broken scraps of a tragic and terrifying memory send my world crumbling in on itself. Mad with fear and guilt and grief, all I can do is flail and sob and scream as my mind tries once more to flee from a gruesome truth that chases after me, nipping at my heels with bloody rending fangs. Somewhere among my wails, I can hear the sound of shameless begging.

Begging for the pain to stop, begging for the voice to return and block out all the bad thoughts and scary memories, begging for Celestia herself to come and save me.

Elsewhere beyond my own suffering, I can faintly hear Doctor Lining calling for the orderlies. Vaguely, I can feel the tight embrace of restraints restricting my wild, violent movements. Something cold pierces the flesh beneath my fur, but that sensation is lost as something else catches my attention. Through eyes wet with tears, just past the orderlies, beyond the grim-faced Doctor and horrified nurse, I see it.

My struggles gradually cease, my vision blurs, and a fog begins to settle over my mind but through it all I can see a familiar hazy shape sitting in the corner. As the world falls away the hazy shape of the thing in the corner grows clearer. As my consciousness fades I find myself locking eyes with the diminutive form of a baby dragon, his brilliant purple scales shining in the artificial light and his emerald gaze immeasurably sad as he stares back at me.

Eventually, his form is lost along with everything else as I fall into a blissful state of unconsciousness.