Here we are with part three of SUPERNATURAL STRAIGHTJACKET (click here to start reading from the beginning)! In part one, we saw that, currently, Bartleby is in dire straights. He’s badly injured, bleeding, and flashing between visions of the Otherworld, a place where nightmares roam the streets and the sun never rises, and those of our mortal world, where he’s in a hospital where the orderlies want nothing to do with him, and keep calling him a murderer. Who did he kill though? What’s going on?
In part two, we flashed back to see Bartleby enter the realm of 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.
Cold, icy water woke Bartleby from a deep sleep like a drop kick from inside his body. Not the best way to wake up, and the orderly that was dragging him from his bed was about as pretty as a punch to the gut. The big man smelled of licorice (in fact, a piece was hanging from his mouth), but was certainly not as sweet.
Bartleby tried to shove him away, but realized he couldn’t move his hands – when the ice cold shock wore off from his system, he was coherent enough to realize that he was wearing a straightjacket. He tugged at it, to try and wipe the beads of water dripping down his forehead and into his eyes, but it was tied too tightly.
The room smelled like fresh paint and was painted a neutral tan color. Sunlight shone in from outside through the bars and made a little shadow on the floor that looked kind of like a bar code. The Licorice Man was looking down at him angrily, rolling up his sleeves and exposing large hairy forearms.
“What?” Licorice Man responded, burly voice matching his arms. It was like talking to Popeye – if Popeye ate children instead of spinach.
“You mind? I’ve got kind of an itch between my shoulder blades…” Bartleby turned around and jerked in the general direction of the itch.
The orderly wrapped his hand around the back of Bartleby’s neck and tossed him to the ground, then grabbed his feet and started dragging him across the floor.
“Ah…” Bartleby exasperated. “That got it. Cheers mate!”
Wham! The orderly swung fast, smacking Bartleby’s head hard against the doorframe. He reached out, feeling rot iron on his fingertips. As his vision cleared, he could see that the once teal wooden door to his room was now a large metal door, with flakes of rust peeling off as he tried to grab hold.
The dark hallway seemed endless and smelled of sewage. All Bartleby could hear were screams and yelling all around him – what was going on? Where was he? His head hurt and he was pretty sure that he had a concussion. As he was dragged across the hallway floor, he looked up at those same lights hanging from the ceiling like heat lamps, each one burning his eyes, throbbing at the front of his skull.
Everything went white…and so did the hallway. Sterile white, actually, and the smell of cleaning supplies. Bartleby’s mind went racing – it was pretty obvious by the sun pouring through the windows that he was no longer in OtherWorld, where the sun hadn’t risen in hundreds of years. But he most certainly was in OtherWorld, and the place he kept flashing to was most surely Blackthorne Asylum … so why couldn’t he remember how he got here? He decided to bide his time as much as he could bear, hoping that perhaps the answer would present itself. And if not, well, he could pick a lock pretty easily.
“Hey,” he called out to the thug dragging him clumsily down the hallway. He had tried to be as much dead weight as he could to make the man’s job all the harder. “Mopping the floor with my straight jacket has become rather ghastly. Mind if I walk the rest of the way from here?”
As the orderly turned to face him, Bartleby realized that the man had either swapped out his last piece of licorice for a new piece, or the original piece had slid out of his mouth, as it appeared to be much longer now. He dropped Bartleby’s feet clumsily to the ground and Bartleby tried picking himself up before realizing how difficult it was going to be without the use of his arms.
“Mind helping me up, darling?” With a look of disapproval, the Licorice Man, whom Bartleby had begun to enjoy tormenting, came up and lifted the straight jacketed detective off the ground, grunting about as much as one would expect someone to do if they were carrying a carton of milk. As he backed away, Bartleby caught a smell of something familiar, besides the licorice. He couldn’t quite place it, though. “Brill,” Bartleby noted, looking down at his dusty attire. “Lead the way – onward and upward!”