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Wally woke up in a small windowless cell. He wished nothing more than to be left alone, to have time to consider what was happening to him. But that was wishful thinking today. A large man stood over him, between Wally and the door. He seemed an imposing force; a mountain bursting out of the doorway’s frame. The man was wearing medical scrubs.
‘What on earth is going on?’ Wally thought as he trembled. The man let out a low grunt and gripped Wally’s shoulder.
‘What did you DO?!’ he spat out. Wally opened his mouth, but could not form any words, or even begin to answer that question. Dissatisfied with Wally’s lack of response, the man struck him across the face with the back of his free hand. Wally let out a whimper and tried to wriggle his shoulder from the man’s grip, but the man redoubled his grip and forced Wally down onto the bed.
‘We know you were at the bank. Why were you there?’ The man did nothing to prevent saliva from flying from his mouth while he shouted. Wally brushed it out of his face with his free hand.
‘What bank? I don’t know what you mean!’ Wally was terrified and confused.
‘LIAR!’ The man slammed his fist into Wally’s stomach. Wally coughed and spluttered into tears. The man sighed angrily and let go of Wally’s arm. He paced around the cell.
‘We know you were at the bank, because I fucking saw you!’
‘No, I don’t know…’ Wally sobbed.
‘I saw you go in with a heavy bag. You don’t need a bag like that to withdraw money, Wally! At least you don’t, you miserable bastard. Don’t expect me to believe that you were withdrawing money in pennies! You don’t even hold a fucking account there! You go in with a bag for no reason, then a bomb explodes! Allow me to reiterate. WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU DOING?!’
Wally’s sobbed protestations fell upon deaf ears. The man, clearly angrier, stood over Wally once more and grabbed him by his lapels.
‘What did you say to your sister? What does she have to do with this?’
This scared Wally more than anything else. This man was clearly a lunatic. A fanatic. Wally realised that there was nothing he could say to appease this man.
‘I… I don’t… she can’t… she’s… she’s’ Wally was really struggling to form the necessary thoughts to articulate how terrible this situation was.
‘Your sister, Wally. Your God damn sister.’
Wally had cried himself dry, he was just gasping now. ‘Don’t talk about her… she’s not…’
‘What did she do?’
‘She’s dead!’ Wally screamed. The man didn’t even notice he’d said it.
‘Your sister, what did she do? Remember, Wally, remember.’
‘What did you DO?! REMEMBER!’
‘I WON’T REMEMBER! I WON’T REMEMBER! I WON’T REMEMBER!’ Wally screamed on repeat.
Dr. Adelaide looked on bemused as her patient screamed while he was being moved to a private ward. Her assistant, the student nurse, was shaken having been subjected to the ordeal. Dr. Adelaide had made her a cup of tea.
‘He just flipped out,’ the nurse was saying, ‘I noticed he was awake and told him that he’d been in an accident, like you said, and he just started screaming that he didn’t remember.’ She looked down at her tea, dejected.
‘It’s not your fault,’ Dr. Adelaide said kindly, ‘I’ve seen people act in all sorts of ways when they’re in shock. He was just outside the bank when the bomb exploded, I’d be more surprised if he didn’t have a few screws loose.’
The patient, who they had not been able to identify, had been sedated and the fracas was at an end. Dr. Adelaide was needed in A&E, she had given the nurse her permission to go home; a stressful situation such as this was not the best way for her to learn. Struck by a sudden thought, however, she called her back.
‘I think we should keep an eye on him though, he knows something about the accident.’
‘Sorry..? How do you know?’
‘He didn’t say “I don’t remember,” he said “I won’t remember.” Whatever that is, he’s repressing a memory and it’s a bit of a coincidence that someone with such a dramatic psychosis would be present at a random bombing.’
‘He seems mad enough.’
Dr Adelaide smiled. ‘Quite… But did the madness cause the event, or the event, the madness? That’s the more prescient question.’