Part 7: Finale.
For those of you that are following this story, you might want to know that the outcome isn’t what you might expect. But; as it’s my intention for you to read it as it was told to us. Here are the last words of Daniel Dante.
As I gazed upon the devil and his companions the floor cooled and slowly recaptured me in a seat.
The barman grinned at me wickedly as the demon and angel reformed back into his clipboard-ed cronies.
“Welcome back Daniel.”
“Don’t call me that.” I snarled.
The bar had gone, replaced with a white table and four nondescriptive grey walls surrounding me. The colorful pictures I remembered from the bar – the one of Marilyn Monroe in multi colors, the image of sunflowers and the grasses tundra sat facing me on the table.
I rolled my weary head and made eye contact. He already had another drink ready, but instead this time the purple liquid pooled in a syringe as he drew it from a bottle marked by a peacock.
He pushed the needle up, and a spurt of the liquid flew out. The barman grabbed my chin and lifted it up, his identity tag dangling in my face. I saw the image that I had been shown earlier on Debbie’s phone, also the name on the card as he plunged the needle into my neck.
Dr. Steven A Burrows – Ubiquitous instituted of medical research.
I closed my eyes as the last of his toxins burnt into my bloodstream. Something inside my head unlocked, and memories of my own came flooding back. Ones I could feel, taste and touch. I knew unequivocally that these were my real memories, not the thinly laced ones I had relived with the doctor’s toxins. Although, they had held my wicked deeds within them.
Memories locked away from myself by myself. Perhaps as a coping mechanism for the horrors I committed.
As the thoughts and memories swelled together, a new hell formed, not hell as we know it, but rather the hell I had created from those horrors.
The bar my mind had conjured it up; was this room all along. A place I imagine was in an asylum. The “Barman” & his cronies were real. The three Doctors standing before me in their lab coats. Trying to help a wayward soul find redemption I reckon.
It’s all so clear now.
The murders I had committed with no remorse; the Priest, – I burnt him in the shed. Kevin was a figment of my imagination like so many others in the fake memories. He was me; the scared, guilt-ridden, take all the shit from everyone part of me. Kevin and my shitty qualities burnt with that priest.
Sally – my first infatuation, When I found out that uncle Steve was shagging her too, I couldn’t help it, I snapped. She shouldn’t have been with anyone else; she was mine and mine alone. If I couldn’t have her, then no one would. It was the first time I killed with my bare hands. I panicked and left her there in the field. Such a rookie. It was a happy coincidence that Tony was caught with the body and charged with the murder.
My brother – good ol’ Josh – well, he tried to steal my money to compensate for his loss, a gambling debt or something, I can’t remember. It was a desperate bid that proved fatal. He got what he deserved, so did Jason for fucking me with the job and Frank, well…
Frank tried to get in the way of Debbie and me, he told me to back off because she was married, but I knew he loved her and wanted her for himself. I couldn’t have that. So I strangled him and left him where people could find him.
Debbie, on the other hand, was different. She was my muse, my soul mate – even if she didn’t want to be.
I was truly in love for the first time, what I thought I felt for Sally and the other girls along the way was just a stupid notion of the real power of love. It will haunt me that she’s gone, but I would do it again because like Sally, she couldn’t belong to anyone else and I know that like soul mates I’ll meet her again in the next life.
I spat at the doctor, doctor Steve – Debbie’s husband.
“What have you done to me? Why are all these memories in my head?”
“We used a serum on you Daniel, one I was creating for dementia patients. It works by accessing recessed memories, coupled with hypo-suggestions, and voila. The memories become lucid, so much so that one can seem to have control over them.”
“What you talking about I don’t have dementia?” The bonds still held me tight, although I tried with my free hand to loosen or remove the shackle at my chest and arm. But they wouldn’t budge.
“No, not quite. You were a little more complicated. But after what you did to Debbie, well.” – he pulled a crumpled picture from his pocket, gazed at it, and placed it back. – “And with the help of Dr. Hinton’s Psychotherapy and Dr. Amand’s neurobiology.”
He guested to the female doctor as she smiled a thin-lipped grin.
“It unlocked the potential of the Virgil serum.”
Something about my real memories bugged me, they seemed transparent, or watered down, like I was living them through a glass bottle. I also I realized that I wasn’t married to Debbie, and our kids were just imaginary. I didn’t feel a loss for them, neither did I feel a loss about her, the priest, Jason, Frank, my brother or the countless other souls I killed, but a new feeling was creeping in, one I thought burnt in that shed, and it disturbed me.
The doctor’s serum may not have cleansed me of my madness but it had definable made me coherent to it. As I thought on this, the doctor began again.
“The police said that you probably murder more people then they knew of, and even reopened Sally Clark’s case. The peculiar thing is – when they dug up her remains, the body had gone,”
“Strange,” I agreed with a knowing wink.
“They linked you to numerous cases, but each time, a connection wouldn’t stick, but thanks to my serum, we now have you.”
Dr. Steve presser his lip tighter, the fire still evident in his eyes. He wanted to say something to me, but held back; I wondered what bile it was, maybe he just needed a push.
“Did you know, she croaked your name when her throat filled with blood.” I grinned, anticipation the doctor’s wrath, but It didn’t come.
“You took more from me than you will ever know.“ He shook his head sadly regaining his composure.
Why hadn’t he reacted?
“The police said that you were insane, that I’d never get a confession, even the asylum – where they sent you – thought I was crazy for even trying, but they passed you over like a forgotten sandwich, already moldy and worm-ridden. Your delusions were so deep-seated that you were utterly lost.”
“So what, you wanted to save me?” I spat.
Steve walked around the chair making me twist my head to follow him.
“I broke you through your mental barriers one by one, with regression techniques that allowed us to influence your thoughts, manipulate you into reliving partial truths. The rest of what happened is irrelevant, only the confession of your actions was key.”
He twirled the chair, and I spun like a spinning top.
“After a few more test subjects the serum could potentially be used worldwide to gain confessions from even the most delusional. To bring them back to the real world and punish them with the guilt and remorse befitting them.”
That’s what that feeling was spreading in my gut – guilt.
He pinned my hand stopping the chair and stared into my eyes.
“But you, No. Not you. You’re different. Special. I want to offer you something I won’t be offering the others.”
Dr. Steve pulled out a small vial with a clear liquid inside and handed it to me – a picture of a funnel with layers ingrained the glass. The other doctor moved to intercept it, but he blocked his hand.
“Steve, this isn’t what we planned!”
Dr. Steve turned with a savage snarl and pointed an accusing finger at me. All his pent-up fury twisted his face into a mockery of its former self.
“He took everything from me.”
The other Doctor backed off from his outburst. The female doctor spoke nervously for the first time.
“Think about it rationally, Steve. He will pay for his crimes now. The right way.”
She pleaded with him, but he turned back to me and calmed himself until his mask of composure was back on his face.
I jiggled the vail from side to side teasingly.
“Whats this then, another joyride through my mind?”
The Doctor’s grin gave me a momentary pause.
“This is your redemption, Daniel. A choice! You can spend the rest of your life trapped here, below my feet – in the dark, cold cell. With no one to cares about you, if you live or if you die. You’re just another number to them on their crazy list. No one will come for you, they probably think your dead already.”
“You can’t do this.” The guilt was clinging to my insides; I felt a freezing wash creeping up my throat.
Dr. Steve raised an eyebrow again.
“Or?” He nodded to the vial.
The guilt spread its icy fingers to my heart and clawed down my back. Ripping through my soul. The thought of spending the rest of my life with this feeling – no way. I would go crazy again for sure.
“What will this do?” I asked, the bottle started to shake in my trembling hand.
“Take you to a place you deserve.”
I knew where that was, but it might be a better Hell than here with this punishment.
I thought about all the things I’ve done, all the lives I’ve destroyed. I didn’t use to feel guilty about them, but something had changed. Now the magnitude of my deeds wanted to swallow me hole. I knew why I went crazy in the first place. I couldn’t bear to live with what I had done, and I couldn’t bear to live with it again.
I flicked the lid off the vile and raised it to my lips, a wisp of something sharp hit my nose.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
“Too late.” Dr. Steve said as the vial fell from my hand and smashed on the floor.
Department of Psychology
Ubiquitous instituted of medical research
Date: 14th January 2018
Patient name: Daniel Dante
Patient Address: Atascadero State Hospital (ASH)
History of Patient:
Patient charged with the murder of Deborah Elizabeth Burrows. Upon plea defendant’s attorney claimed insanity.
Patient sectioned under the mental health act 1959 and moved to Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane.
Past Psychiatric History:
The narration of the patient indicates a traumatic childhood marked by various events surrounding his adolescent years; both at home and within the Catholic church.
First, the repression and doctrinization by his devout Catholic parents, (It’s believed that some form of Flagellantism was administered in his home environment.)
Second, he suffered abuse both mentally and physically by a priest at his church.
Thirdly, the death of his father. (Reasons not documented lead me to believe that Daniel was, in fact, the murderer.)
School reports show a decline in grades and attendance. Teacher’s statements suggest that – after the death of his father – Daniel receded into isolation and shunned social integration. Further reports from the school’s nurse indicate a rise of students complaint that Daniel had become violent towards them.
Daniel’s post-teenage years are unknown until an airplane ticket used in the case of Sally Clark showed that he came to America in the fall of ’98. Daniel kept cropping up in various murder cases across the states, but no connection to the murders was made.
A constellation of traits comprise some affective features, interpersonal complaints, and antisocial behaviors. The affective features include lack of guilt, empathy, and deep-rooted emotional attachments to others built upon fictitious foundations. The interpersonal features include narcissism, recklessness and antisocial behavior towards staff and inmates. Mr. Dante is a classic Psychopath with advance delusional characteristic.
Pre-Peacock serum – Daniel denied being in need of medical assessment for mental health issues, He utterly believed in his fantasies, and neither appeared suspicious of our motives or irritated by his move to our department. He denied having any cognitive defects, delusions or violent tendencies.
I (Grant Hinton) the phycologist conducting this interview noticed – after the initial dose of the Peacock serum – that the patient Daniel Dante would walk slowly and aimlessly around the room when being interviewed, all the while narrating what he saw and heard.
(I have written all these things done in his narrative for you.)
I concluded that he was living out the fantasy manifesting in his mind. The patient reacted to verbal command administer by Dr. Amand, whereas before patient showed a predisposition for internal thoughts, and would engage in conversation only when he wanted attention.
At each stage of administration of the serum, the patient became more aware of his surrounding. I introduced visual stimulations to test my theory. (Ie: colorful picture) Daniels attitude and personality change drastically from the fourth administration. The patient became very animated and aggressive – especially toward Dr. Amand – we took measures to ensure our safety by restraining him to a chair.
I consulted with Dr. Burrow against further administrations of the serum, we already had the confessions of enough murders to have Daniel convicted for life, but Dr. Burrow showed signs of obsession.
I initially thought this was due to his passion toward the serum and the dedication of his work, it wasn’t until the seven administration that Dr. Burrows motives became apparent and the damaged had already been done.
The death of Daniel Dante will weight heavily on my conscience. It was my intention to help with the regression serum to further medical knowledge, and bring back the insane so they could live out their days with the guilt fitting their crimes. Not to become Implicit in a murder.