Fandom: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Warnings: Spoilers for the book
There was one thing to be learned from the present, and one thing to be learned from the future. One thing to be learned from the present, and some things to not be learned from it as well. Chief was trying to learn, but he was finding it hard to do, as he began his new life outside the world he had ever really, truly known.
Or was that even the truth? Was his father and him, with his mother and her life, was that his word, or was the time sent with the Big Nurse and her conditions, her strict regime...which was the true one? Both seemed so real, seemed so vivid, each with their own horrors and falsehoods, that he wasn't sure anymore.
But this, THIS, was real. This little apartment that he had rented with some money on loan to him from the bank, as he got his own fishing business set up, this was real. The women who gave him appreciative looks on the street were real as well, and he had to try not to blush and duck his head each time he got a stare or two.
McMurphy wouldn't have liked that. McMurphy should have been there with him. But no, McMurphy was dead, had been dead even before he had killed him with the pillow. This scared him a little at night, when he was worried the fog would come again and drown him, smother him just like the pillow had.
And one night, it attempted to. He had been lying awake in bed, reliving the nights that he and his father would go out and go catch fish, which then had turned into the time that the inmates had gone out on the fishing boat with the doctor. He was thinking about the fish each one of them had caught when it came on suddenly, a hard grip on his heart that froze him instantly.
There were no bodies this time. Just the room sinking downwards, always downwards, and the people he had known standing around, waiting for him. He could see Harding, with that pretty little wife of his that always flirted with anyone she could get, ashamed to have an inmate as husband. He could see Billy, the boy who had slit his own throat after the night with Candy, his new girlfriend. And there was McMurphy, big as ever, hair red as it had always been, tattoos vivid in the light that was a greenish haze.
He tried to make a noise. He tried to, and tried to again, and it was like the old days when he couldn't talk, wouldn't talk, and he just sat there, mouth agape, wishing for the red pill so he could just sleep and forget this nightmare, wishing for the sheets to be tied around him so he could feel secure, feel safe.
"G-Go away," he finally stuttered, like Billy used to, before he realized tears were raining down his face. "I'm sorry," he said softly, a sorry for each of them, that he had easedropped on each of them, that he had not spoken up sooner, that he had killed in the act of kindness. They each in turn gave him a nod of approval, and his sobs increased. He, a big Indian man, the one they used to call Chief, was sobbing into his pillow like a little baby, and finally McMurphy spoke. "Quit that blubbering. Ya did what ya had to do," he spoke solemnly, more so then he had ever done in real life, and that was enough.
It was enough to help ease the guilt that he felt, and he closed his eyes to wipe them of the tears still there.
When he opened them, they were gone.