"Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked" ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Bart, are you finally ready to talk about this?" A grief therapist asked.
Bart looked at the burns on his arms; he knew that they would be permanent but everyone tried to convince him they would heal over time. He didn't believe that for a second.
"Why, every time I try to tell you the truth you think I'm making it up and would rather sedate me than even try to look into my story" Bart said, not looking the therapist in the eye. He saw through her instantly, she was pretty, just out of college and was eager to impress the real professionals by taking the time to deal with "troubled youth."
"Because there is nothing to look into, you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that can be a natural thing in what you've been through, many people with it can live normal lives, it's your paranoia the fact that it causes you to hallucinate and harm yourself is why you are here" the therapist said in that matter of fact tone all adults seem to have when they are frustrated with children.
The tension between them broke when another hospital worker came in "Excuse me I'm sorry to interrupt, but Lisa Simpson is here and she says she'd like to talk to her brother in private"
"Well I don't see what the harm is, we can continue this session later" the therapist said, and Bart had a feeling that she would "accidently" forget about it. Though Bart was surprised Lisa was here, he had been locked up in this asylum for three years and normally the only person to ever visit him was his mother.
Lisa looked a little different from the last time Bart saw her, she was eleven now, her hair was more styled and she had her ears pierced, but she still wore a childish dress, and had a backpack full of books, so she was most likely still the annoying little sister Bart left behind.
"What are you here for?" Bart asked coldly.
Lisa sighed; she had expected this kind of behavior from her brother after she had practically abandoned him.††"Bart, I want to say I'm sorry, when you were taken away I was happy to have you out of my life, and I thought that you were just paranoid but I've looked into it and I think Sideshow Bob is alive. Bart, I believe you"
Bart instantly got up his chair and grabbed his sister's arm.
She was real.
This isn't a hallucination.
Desperation sinking in Bart grabbed his sister's shoulders. "Do you have proof?! Do you know where he is?!" Bart yelled.
"No" Lisa yelled pulling her brother off her.
"But I do have some leads, I spied on his brother Cecil and I found this" Lisa said pulling a file out of her backpack, it was on Bart and everything that had happen to him since he'd been in the asylum. "Bart, you know more about Sideshow Bob more than anyone, you know his style, how he thinks, I can't do this without you"
"What can I do locked away in here?" Bart said.
"I know it's hard but you need to tell them what they want to hear, and keep up good behavior, I'm sure they'll give you a day pass and we can figure all this out" Lisa said.†††
Bart didn't like the idea, but he was too desperate to refuse. "Alright, but can you promise me something?" he asked.
"Please come visit me more often" Bart said, being without someone who just tried to understand him was torture on top of the nightmares and hallucinations. For the first time in a long time, he finally felt hope.
Bart took Lisa's advice and told the therapist what they wanted to hear, that he was paranoid, and that was too afraid to believe that Sideshow Bob was dead.
Bart still had terrible nightmares, but he tried to control his screaming and thrashing around. "Well Bart I must admit I'm impressed by how well you've been recently, I think your sister's visits are turning you around" the therapist said "Well the doctor wants to talk to you, and we'll see if your suited for a day pass"
"I'd like that very much, thank you" Bart said playing up his manners.
The doctor came in, the same one who sedated Bart a while back, "Hello Bart" he said, in that voice that made a chill run down the young teen's back. This man sounded and had the same eyes as the man he feared, he tried to convince himself it was all a coincidence, but with that pass and Lisa's help, he would finally know the truth, for now, he kept his guard up.††
"So I understand you're applying for a day pass, I can understand you want see the world after all this time wouldn't you?" The doctor said.
Bart nodded, more than once he had tackled a man to the ground because of a hallucinogen that he was sideshow Bob in disguise, but this doctor was more like the man he feared and than anyone else, and still Bart kept his cool.
The doctor walked over to him and without warning snuck a needle in Bart's neck. "I can't have that, you're insane Bart, and I intend to keep you that way" the doctor's voice was the last thing he heard before blacking out completely.
Bart woke up back in the confines of his padded cell and found himself in a straightjacket. "But that's awful doctor, I thought he was making such progress" the nurse said.
"I tried to warn you, boys like him are just trying to get attention, when I confronted him, he went off on me and I had no choice but to sedate him" the doctor said outside his cell.
"This is terrible, I guess will have to start over with him" the nurse said.
Bart heard their footsteps down leave down the hall.
Desperation, anger, grief, frustration, hatred, they all boiled inside the boy, Bart was going to find out the truth one way or another, and if he was right and sideshow bob was alive, if he was that man pretending to be a doctor.
Bart was going to kill him.