SUPERNATURAL STRAIGHTJACKET (click here to start reading from the beginning) is here again, and things aren’t looking too good for Bartleby, our favorite supernatural detective.  After waking up in a hospital where he’s badly injured, bleeding, and flashing between visions of the Otherworld and those of our mortal world, the orderlies want nothing to do with him, and keep calling him a murderer.  Who did he kill though?  What’s going on?

Well, apparently, Bartleby ventured to Blackthorn Asylum, where we’re introduced to the Silent Men, ScareCrows and, most importantly, Thomas Blackthorne, who has told Bartleby that a mysterious sorcerer has escaped from the asylum…with no clue as to how.  But now?  Well, now he’s being dragged by a hospital orderly to a conversation with a mysterious doctor, and things start to get curiouser and curiouser….

The interview room was certainly discomforting.  Bartleby had been in enough to know that was the purpose, but was rarely on this side of the table.  They had taken off his straightjacket, but tied him to the chair with leather straps.  An exercise in frustration, to be sure, but also one in futility.  Had he wanted to, he could certainly escape.  He had learned that much from his time in the Atlantean Mountains.  Still, that would get him no closer to the truth.

A man walked in, and closed the door softly behind him.  He was tall, middle aged, thin, and balding up front.  He sat and looked at Bartleby, pushed his glasses up his nose, and opened up a portfolio that he had laid down on the table between them, taking out a pen and clicking it three times.  His name badge merely said “Waverly,” with a bar code above it.  Bartleby couldn’t tell if that was this man’s name, or a designation of their location.

“Do you know why you’re here?” the man asked.  His voice was deep.

“Because I’m criminally handsome?  This isn’t the first time I’ve been arrested.  You might say I’m a bit of a repeat offender.”

“Cavalier as always, Mr. Anduzsky.”

“Well, it is my middle name.”

“Not according to your file.  Here it says you’re middle name is…”

“Doc, let’s cut to the chase, shall we?  What am I doing here?”

“You really don’t remember?”

“Remember what?”

“You killed someone.”

“Yeah, well, I remember sod all about that, really.  Who did I supposedly kill?”

The doctor shook his head and pushed his glasses up his nose again.  There was something about his eyes that Bartleby remembered.  From where, he didn’t know, but now he was pretty sure he either had amnesia (since that’s what happened in movies) or he was cursed.  He didn’t remember hitting his head … though that was probably the point of amnesia, wasn’t it?

“Tell me about the OtherWorld.”

Bartleby wasn’t sure how to respond.  This was the first time someone in the real world had asked him about the OtherWorld.  Play along, he thought to himself.

“What now?”

“The OtherWorld.”  The man flipped through a stack of papers that Bartleby could see from the reflection on the man’s glasses were blank.  “It’s the world, you claim, that exists on a different plane of existence as ours.  Where the sun never rises, and, instead of human beings, the world is populated with …” he paused for effect, “magical creatures?”

“Well, that’s just rubbish, ain’t it?”

“It’s what you were screaming when we brought you in.”

“Brought me in…where, exactly?”

“You’re in a hospital for the criminally insane, Mr. Anduzsky.”

“Seriously?  Why?”

“Are you not paying attention to me?”

“Was I supposed to be?”

The man sighed, but showed no obvious signs of frustration.  “You murdered someone.”

“Was he a bad guy?”

The doctor smiled a coy smile, and didn’t answer.  “I think we’re done for today.”  The doctor closed his portfolio of blank paper and stood up, looking down at Bartleby.  “You will remember, Mr. Anduzsky.  It’s part of your therapy.”

Bartleby smiled back at him, but didn’t say anything.  The doctor turned and left the room, letting in the Licorice Man as he left.

There was that smell again – this time Bartleby recognized it.  Coal.  For some reason, this guy smelled like coal.  He held a baton close to Bartleby’s face.

“We’re going to try this without the straightjacket.  You misbehave, I beat you.”

“I suppose a hug is out of the question?”

The man rolled his eyes and untied Bartleby, and then tapped him on the shoulder with the baton lightly.

“Let’s go.”

As they left the room, Bartleby looked over to his left as Doc Waverly (if that was his name) walked through a set of double doors.  Before they shut, Bartleby could see that the hallway beyond was derelict.  Almost as if it had been untouched for a long time, save for the effects of Mother Nature.  The windows were smashed, and the paint has long since peeled from the walls.  Quite unlike the bright white hallway he was now strolling through.  Curious, indeed.