Chapter 1: Prologue: Last Year
The voices in her head wouldn't have been nearly so bad if they just made sense. A discordant children's chorus instead of words, sometimes they were barely audible and other times they drowned out even her own thoughts.
Leigh gritted her teeth and picked up the next report card. She carefully opened her file and looked at how this child, Adam, had improved through the year. He still wasn't reading quite up to his grade level, but at least he was reading now and had handed in a book report on his favourite Batman comic book. She made careful notes and put the appropriate letters in the correct boxes. Then she double-checked everything.
The voices got louder. They didn't like doing report cards. Sometimes they made her write strange things in the wrong places. It was a good thing that Jim didn't mind checking them over for her. He'd caught her comment that it was nice that Danielle was happy with her new fangs.
Leigh checked the final box on the final report card. The voices screeched and wailed so loudly that her hands trembled and tears leaked from her eyes. She ran away from the table before her tears ate holes in the paper. The pressure in her head was inescapable.
A vision came to her. She needed to relieve the pressure. Just a small hole in her skull would do it, maybe ten millimeters, certainly no more than fifteen. Leigh felt her way down to Jim's workshop. The cordless drill would be best. She put the battery in place and began looking through his collection of drill bits. Who knew there were so many kinds of drill bits? She was wondering what kind the doctors used. The pointy ones looked quick, but they might go too far and damage her brain. She needed her brain.
The voices didn't leave her much room anymore, but it was all she had. She decided on a drill bit that looked almost flat with just little points. It should cut a neat little hole; just enough to let the voices out. As she dug through the drill bits to find the right size the box fell to the floor. When she put the drill down so she could pick the bits up, she knocked a glass jar full of nails to the floor too. It smashed so loudly it momentarily drowned out the voices. She heard steps coming down to the basement.
"Jim." She held up one of the flat bits. "Do you think this is the right one? I need just a little hole."
He looked alarmed. Didn't he know this was what she needed?
"It's called trepanning," she said to reassure him. "They used to do it all the time."
"It's time, Leigh," Jim said, "We're going to the hospital."
"OK," she said, "The doctors will know what to do." The voices sounded a little mournful, but she was firm with them. She wasn't going to drill any holes in her head if she could get professionals to do it for her.
Leigh pushed herself to her feet. Her hands were covered with blood. The voices in her head giggled as Jim led her up the stairs.