Fiction On Odyssey: Meet The Madwoman

Fiction On Odyssey: Meet The Madwoman

So she's not a homicidal maniac, but a mad scientist? Katrina meets the new lady of the "haunted house."

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Author's Note: For more context, go here first

It was weird that the door to Bespredel was open for once. I thought for a moment that I shouldn't be doing this. Maybe I was going to be experimented on, or murdered... Nah. Cate Tesla seemed pretty trustworthy from what I dug up on her. Either way, people at school would be hounding me about the inside of the house, and whether Miss Tesla was the spawn of Satan or a lonely, gorgeous misunderstood genius that needed young company (Pluto's words, not mine. I swear, the kid's obsessed with older women, I should probably probe his computer later...) Still, I made an obligation, and I have to fulfill it, or I'd never hear the end of it from Dad about responsibility.

"Come in, come in!" I heard her chirp, "In the office on the right."

Great. Now I couldn't turn back. Even if she couldn't see me, she could hear me. I had no choice but to follow her orders and wander into the "office" that seemed to have been converted into a workshop. And there she was. Much to my surprise, she looked relatively normal, aside from the aviators on her head and goggles around her neck. She was a redhead like me, although her hair was unstyled and slightly disheveled. I honestly expected her to have messed up peepers like most blind people I knew of, but her big green doe eyes looked fine, even if they didn't work. Yet... Her smile seemed weird to me. It wasn't creepy or anything, but it looked... real, like that of a child. With the late war, most people her age never smiled like that. Everything was always slight or fake. I can't even remember my own father smiling as she did.

"A waltz," she muttered.

"What?"

"You walk in a waltz," she said, "That's how most people with canes walk. Not me. I only tap mine for sonar when I'm not sure. My own invention."

"Yeah... I know," I said uneasily.

"Why do you have yours, if you don't mind?" she asked.

"Spine problems. I used to not be able to walk at all, but I had surgery about a month ago."

She shifted a bit in her stance.

"Why? What do people think?"

This lady was as nosy as me. That could be both a blessing and a curse.

"I don't really care what people think, and with the war over, it's not like I'm going to get killed if I didn't have it," I replied, "But it's convenient to walk. I guess some people are mad at me for not being "proud", but really I don't care. They're mostly idiots anyway."

"Aren't they? I hate those damned elitists." Her tone darkened slightly, but wasn't all that intimidating. "Perhaps I want to invent something to fix my eyes... I used to see, you know. All I want is to see my home, my family, my loved ones again. I don't give a hoot about being normal either, I mean, I'm already a kook, I'm an inventor, after all. But since I'm sentimental, all I hear is 'Cate, you don't need to hide yourself, we fought this war for the right to be alive, be ourselves, why can't you embrace your blindess?!' You're right, Katerina, idiots."

I knew she wasn't right in the head, but I expected her to get my name right. Maybe she has a faulty computer. I could probably fix it if she asked.

"My name's Katrina, Miss Tesla."

She simply shook her head and laughed, as if I were the crazy one.

"Katrina, yes. Means 'pure.' How ironic, since some people come to know it as 'destruction.' At least it's better than Katherine... Which Fievel seems to think your name is."

Fievel von Petrov knows my name. He's just a wad. Dad says he's just displacing, but I say he's a wad. He doesn't have any good reasons to be angry with me after all, it's all supposedly on Dad.

"Anyway," she continued, "Katerina sounds prettier if you'd allow it. And none of this 'Miss Tesla' business. It makes me sound old, come on, I'm not 40 yet."

"If it makes you feel better, you can call me whatever you like except for 'hey, you' and 'cripple'," I sighed, "And sorry, that's just how I was raised. My father always taught me that manners always paid."

"Oh, you city dwellers, always having to be so formal," she said, letting out another laugh, "But then again, I used to be one of you. I guess I've been gone for way too long. If you absolutely must stick with all that, call me Miss Cate."

I shrugged. "Fine." At least she's lively, and for the most part honest. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Surely my classmates would be disappointed there's no crazy old witch, and while she's a mad scientist, she's not THAT mad. However, now that I've got a clear picture of the woman, who was fairly pleasant-looking, I doubt Pluto was going to shut up anytime soon about someday tagging along and "comforting" Miss Te- Cate. Gross. She should be around the same age as Dad. Speaking of which, I should make a mental note to keep one of his business cards on me, just in case. She's an utter and complete lunatic, but at least she knows it, and may want help.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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