A young man wakes up in a cold, stone cell. There is only one other person in this room, and he is quite vocal. The bald man, the pale, hairless and nude fellow occupant makes it very well known that he wants to help our protagonist with resolving his past... but does he mean for the best? This story operates as primarily a dialogue between our young man, the bald man and a number of guests who inhabit other chambers in the complex.
"You're awake! I didn't think you'd get up anytime soon, what with how they threw you in here. Are you alright?" The bald man extends a hand.
"Thank you... stranger. I'm not entirely sure where we are." The room is stone. The floor and walls are cold and solid. The only gaps within this tomb are cluttered with black, steel bars.
"The door is that way." The bald man gestures towards the dark corner of our cell. "You can't open it, though I'm not sure you'd want to. There's not much in terms of escape."
"I don't really know what's going on..."
"That's fine." The bald man replies, a touch of enthusiasm betraying his attempt for an otherwise passive comment. "You've got me here with you, and I guess that is all that really matters."
"Well, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is-"
"Oh, no need for the formalities. I doubt I'll get you confused with anyone else any time soon." He crosses the room to the barred wall. "You're the first person to come into this quaint little room."
"You've been here for a while, I take it?"
"I've been here for quite some time. I can't remember not being in this room, to be quite honest."
"Has it been... lonely?"
"Well, as odd as it might sound, I've always had an inclination I wouldn't be by myself for too long." He turns and smiles. A glint in his eye, though momentary, dispurses chills throughout the room. "Can you remember anything leading up to your arrival?"
"Not... not a thing..."
"Do you even remember if you came here by your own will?"
"When I woke up, you said that someone threw me in here, right?"
"Indeed I did. You were unconscious at the time and no one said anything. Utter silence, save the collision of your skull to the floor." There is a small pool of blood on the floor. It'd pooled for a while, filling the cracks betwixt the stones with a strangely beautful crimson. It has since dried.
"Beautiful isn't it?" The bald man's words broke the silence. "If God were a painter, he may hue the setting sun with such pigment. Such a shame it were wasted on such a poor medium."
"My... head wound seems to... seems to be still..." A look of disgust arcs across his features, revolted by the concept.
"Oh, you are so sweet as to offer, but I cannot accept. I lack the finesse that God does possess. To even suggest it maligns his abilities."
"You are right, I shouldn't have said that. I am sorry." The bald man smiles and shakes his head.
"It will be alright. We cannot even assume his existence anymore... What do you believe?"
"I am not sure..."
"Do you believe in a heaven? Do you believe you have done well in this world? Have you honestly insulted the creator of all things that exist?" He chuckles as he rubs the top of his head.
"I have... I have done some things. I do not know if there is anything but I can feel... I can feel a forboding within me."
"What things have you done?" The bald man has furrowed his eyebrow and gives a look of great concern. "Have you hurt anyone? Why are you here?"
"I do not know why I am here, but I do not think I have hurt anyone. At least... At least not physically. I... I have hurt myself though... and I may have unintentionally harmed others... emotionally I guess..."
The bald man becomes silent. He paces around the room, occassionally glancing around, muttering things to himself.
"Do you think that is why I am here?"
"I cannot be certain. Well... Maybe I can say some things that are for certain. I believe that you and I were put here for a reason. Drawn together for something that is greater than myself. Perhaps we are now together so that I may help you redeem yourself."
"That is ridiculous."
"Is it so ridiculous? What is so ridiculous about this?"
"Who are you to help me? I may have done some bad things but... I mean... they aren't that bad. Who are you, though? You're just..."
"...someone you're, by coincidence, been put into this improbable circumstance with who knows almost your whole history!" The bald man has thrown his hands into the air and is shouting.
"They could have thrown you into any cell, but they put you into this one with me! You could have been alone to work through your deeds. You could have been redeemed and sent back out into the world, but no. You are to occupy these sames walls with me." He is smiling.
"What did you mean by knowing my history? Where are we?"
"I... I haven't been entirely forth coming with you, and for that I apologize. I know who you are. I know what you've done. I've been around you for quite some time now."
"This is ridiculous."
"No, this is fate. We don't need to walk through life alone, now. We can tackle any problem together. We can do anything! I can help you!"
"Who are you?"
"I am your guide to redemption."
"Where are we?" The bald man gets on one knee and keeps rigorous eye contact.
"We are exactly where we need to be."
"Insane? That isn't very nice. You shouldn't say such things to someone who is only trying to help you." He has a disappointed look in his eyes. "You think that I am insane. You think I am irrational and over dramatizing every little thing. You think I am a detrement to your rehabilitation. Is that right?"
"I just met you!" He stands up and shakes his head in disappointment.
"There is no one else for you to trust. There are no other souls within this cell. Even if another person came to those bars," He points towards the door, " they wouldn't be able to help you the way I can. They don't know you the way I know you. They haven't seen the things that I've seen. Anything you tell them will be a lie."
"Anything you describe to them will be a misappropriation of the truth. How can they understand anything but the biased spin you've put on any tale?
"I said, shut up."
"How can they talk to you and help you if they only know what you want them to hear?"
"I SAID, STOP."
"Oh, but won't they assume anything you say has that bias on it? If you tell them the terrible things that you have done, they will only assume the worse. They will only assume that you're leaving out the truly horrific things, and they will assume everything that makes you a more terrible person."
"Please, leave me alone."
"Really, though... Isn't your quality as a person just an amalgamation of your appearance to others? Can you be a 'good' person if everyone else sees you as the little terror that we both know you are?"
"You are nothing. You are worthless. You are some perverse, over sexualized monster who dominates and exerts over burdeoning control on everyone else. They all hate you, they all despise you. You are a cancerous tumor on the society you call friends. They discuss your terrible traits. They taunt your ignorance and inability to accept that which you do not create. I see it now, you are beyond redeeming."
"I want to leave..."
"Leave? Leave? You think you can just leave? You are here with me. You are inside this cell, a spectacle for the free people to see through the bars. You may speak with them, but you will NEVER feel what they feel. Those bars are not holding you in, they are protecting the free people from the miscreation that is you. They come around and they see what you want them to see."
"I can show them everything..."
"But everything isn't good enough. Everything isn't really everything. There are no words in the english language that will constitute what you are. They cannot understand. They certainly cannot understand the way I do..."
"You said you can redeem me."
"I can redeem you in the eyes of God. I can do so much to prepare you for the day of your judgement. Your soul is irrepairable, but you might still help the people beyond the cage."
"What is the point?"
"The point, is that you will die knowing you did all that you could to spare and save the world that had no choice in accepting you."
"I... I can accept that. How can I help the people beyond these stones?"
"The only thing you can do is to deprive these walls of their purpose. Look back to the evidence of your existence." The dried blood has stained the floor of this cell. "You may not be able to get the blood from the cracks, but you can certainly get rid of its source."
"Are you saying that I need to clean the floor?"
"It is too late for that. You cannot undo it completely. You can, however, stop it from ever happening a again. You can make it so that your blood will never again stain any surface."
"Yes. You should die."
"That I... I don't want to."
"No one wants to die." The bald man has adopted a reassuring tone to his voice. "It has to be so. If you kill yourself, you will never be able to hurt another soul again."
"But, wouldn't I create more blood? Wouldn't I stain more surfaces? Wouldn't I increase the irrepairable damage done to the walls of this place?"
"Not if you do it right, and the stains may go away eventually."
"But, then, if they go away eventually, wouldn't I lose my reason to die?"
"You will still be the monster that you are. You will never truly wash away the blood, even if you can clean it to a certain extent. You will always have a reason to die."
"I can't deal with you."
"You have to deal with me, we are in this together! Haven't you heard a single thing I've said?!" The bald man is shouting again, his arms are flailing fanatically in the air.
"I... I can clean the blood. I will not stop until the blood is gone. I will not stop until my deeds have been undone. It was my own blood, I will take care of it."
"Go ahead and try."