*NOTE I don't own any of these character. If you like the story I suggest, if you haven't, to purchase the films. Psycho I, II, III, IV.
The diner was nothing more than a rundown shack that happened to have good food and a great atmosphere...to some people. To Norman, however, it was both a sanctuary and a purgatory. Norman had worked at the diner at one point. He did enjoy the work but the people got to him. There was more than one time that Norman had been harassed by a patron, simply because of Norman's past.
In some ways Norman did enjoy going back to the diner. It reminded him of the good times; the laughs he had, the fun times, the friends he had made. But then came the reminders of the things he had done. Those terrible things that he had done when he was out of his mind. In some ways Norman felt as though he had been possessed. Exactly how he could be possessed by his dead mother was something that even a psychiatrist couldn't piece together.
Every time Norman walked into the diner he could feel the eyes upon him. He could feel everyone judging, wondering, chastising him.
As Sheriff Hunt pulled up to the diner Norman could feel his stomach turn over.
"Norman?" Sheriff Hunt began, "I want to ask you something but I really don't know how to go about doing it."
Here it comes. The past rearing its ugly head and virtually spitting in Norman's face.
Norman took a deep breath and carefully chose his words. He did trust the sheriff but there were some things that he simply could not tell him. Although the new medicine he started did seem to be working better, he was still having the visions of his mother. Oddly enough that wasn't what frightened him the most. Norman had also been seeing things that he knew weren't there; strange colors and walls that were breathing, things like that. Norman was sure that wasn't typical, but he dared not share that with anyone. He was terrified as to what would happen to him if he mentioned it. Instead he just ignored it with the hopes that the new medicine would make everything...normal.
"What do you want to ask?" Norman inquired.
"Well, I really don't know how to bring it up and I know it will sound a bit...strange."
Strange? That was one area that Norman knew all about.
"Just ask sheriff. It can't be any stranger than the present."
The sheriff chuckled a bit to himself. Norman was right. Just the current events were definitely of the surreal nature.
"Okay, I wanted to know...well...I wanted to know if you would feel comfortable coming to the town's festival?"
That's it? A festival? No past demons, no past haunts, no murder investigations?
"A festival? You mean...these people want me at a festival?" Norman was beside himself. He had never been invited to anything in his life. Let alone a festival in the town where he brutally murdered several people.
"What in tarnation did you think I was going to ask?"
"I didn't know. I never know with you John."
That was the first time that Norman had ever called the sheriff by his first name. The sheriff and Norman both noticed this great hurdle that had finally been overcome.
"That's true Norman. But there is a festival coming up and I didn't know if you would go or not. I didn't know if that was your thing."
"What kind of festival is it? Wait...who am I kidding? If it gets me out of the house I'm...I'm...I'm...for it."
The sheriff laughed out loud with a great resounding.
"Well it starts at the beginning of next month and it goes all that first weekend. There will be games and dancing and a whole mess a' food."
"Sounds like a lot of fun. Be nice if I could find a girlfriend at this thing...providing she can overlook the whole 'likes to play with knives' thing."
The sheriff turned a bright red and started coughing with laughter. He quickly opened the door and got out of the squad car for some air. Norman's humor could really get the better of you sometimes.
Norman followed the sheriff out of the car and into the diner without another thought about the judgments he might get. His brain was too occupied with grand thoughts of whether or not he remembered how to dance.
Once Norman entered the diner behind the sheriff his fears came back to him. But something was different this time. Something was happening that Norman did not know how to take.
When Norman entered the diner, not a single patron acknowledged him. Not one person looked up and stared. Not a single conversation was halted in Norman's wake. Time did not stop and everything continued like Norman wasn't even there.
Were they finally accepting him? Did they finally realize that he was not the devil?
A passing waitress confirmed Norman's thoughts.
"Hey, Norman. You want your usual milk?"
It took a moment for reality to set in. Poor Norman just stood in the walkway blocking the pedestrian traffic. Finally the sheriff backtracked and nudged him before he went to a table.
"What?" Norman asked coming back.
"You want a milk to drink Norman?" the waitress repeated.
"Yes...yes...please,' he replies joining the sheriff at the table nearby.
"Got a regular coffee for you sheriff. You boys hungry?"
"I know I am," the sheriff says, "I bet Norman is too after that whole 'bed falling on him' fiasco"
"Norman? What's he talking about?" says a voice.
Norman and the sheriff looked up to see Myrna. For some reason Norman automatically slide over in the booth to make room for her. After he did so, his own expression was of complete shock from his actions.
The sheriff noticed this and started to say something when Myrna cut him off,
"Thank you Norman, I don't mind if I do,' she said sitting down, 'Now tell me about this bed fiasco?"
Norman grinned a sheepish grin. He actually blushed a bit too.
"I was trying to move a bed around at the motel. Let's just say; bed - 1 , Norman - 0."
The sheriff and Myrna laughed out loud. Several other customers around them all turned to see the commotion. When the happy faces reported a joyous occasion many people began to eavesdrop.
Norman pulled a pill from his pocket as their drinks arrived. Myrna was the only one to notice it. Being that she was Myrna she inquired,
"What's that for Norman?"
Norman popped the pill into his mouth and chased it with some of the delicious milk.
"One of my medications. They keep changing them on me though so I'm sure I won't be taking it by next week."
"They keep screwing up the dosage or something?" the waitress asked.
Norman eyed the woman a minute but she continued,
"My doc keeps doing that shit to me. Got some pills I have to take for my BP. Every other week he's either changing the pill or the dosage. Makes me wonder if he really knows what he's doing."
"Two meatloaf specials, Mandy," the sheriff says.
"Tell me about it," Norman interjected, "There for a while I became a guinea pig. 'This is a new pill on the market for schizophrenia. We're going to test it on you Norman. Side effects include your skin falling off,'" Norman raised his voice, "That's not a side effect! That's a major effect! I like my skin where it is thank you!"
The waitress laughed along with several others in the diner. Norman looked around to see several warm faces all smiling and laughing with him. He didn't feel at all threatened.
"They really made you a guinea pig huh?" Myrna asks.
Norman nodded with a weary smile, 'Every time something new came on the market I was always the test subject. I kinda wished I had charged them for it. I would be rich right now."
"They don't still do that, do they Norman?" the sheriff asks.
"Oh no, my new doctor doesn't do that. He's changed my medications a lot but he said that was because I had built up a tolerance to some of them...all the pills I had to take I guess. My new doctor is great though. Real nice guy. The doctor I had right after I got out of the asylum was really nice too. I kinda miss him," Norman's face fell sad at the last comment. He did miss . He also missed Jack West.
"You know Norman, you could always go for a visit. You could go see Jack while you at it," the sheriff says.
It's like he had been reading Norman's thoughts; which were good, pure, and non-psycho at that moment. Luckily for Norman.
"Norman, if you want to go see and Jack then maybe I can go with you. I have an aunt on that side of town and I really need to go visit soon," Myrna added in.
The shockwave that went through Norman felt as though he were back in electroshock therapy again. Pain seared into his head, chest, and hands. Myrna...the woman that hated him and even cried at his presence when he first got back into town, had offered to go with him. They would be together...alone...in a car... for hundreds of miles.
"Think about it Norman," Myrna continued, "you could see your old doc and Jack. It would be great for me too because I hate making that drive alone."
Was she serious?
Another shockwave ripped through Norman's body. Pain danced behind his eyes and chest.
"Norman are you okay? You look a little flush." the sheriff asked.
"Feel a little weird. I'll...I'll be okay," Norman replies.
Norman looked out the window and noticed a bee on the outside ledge. The bee buzzed it's happy little tune; as if it were singing a sonnet to Norman personally. A smile crossed Norman's face and he was about to share his thought when he looked down at the table and saw thousands of bee's everywhere.
Norman tries to jump from the table. He held himself sandwiched in between the tabletop and the seat of the booth. Suddenly the bee's disappeared.
"Norman, what's wrong?" Myrna along with everyone else in the diner had all eyes on Norman.
Norman paused a moment. He realized the bee's were never there to begin with.
"Since they changed my medication," Norman started, "I feel like I'm going out of my mind sometimes."
The sheriff's look said it all without a single word.
"Not like that..." Norman says, "Get that out of your head. Mother is still very dead. I'm just not feeling..."
Another shockwave of pain shot through Norman like a bullet. He felt like his head was on fire.
Norman's arms spasmed. His hands suddenly had a mind of their own. They were shaking so badly he couldn't control them. Norman looked down at the table and saw ants covering the table. The ants were running frantically from place to place.
"Norman?" the sheriff exclaimed.
"Can't you see them?" Norman asked exhausted.
The ants suddenly melted and brilliant colors cascaded across the table. It was like the sun was setting right on the table in front of him.
Norman's head hurt tremendously. He hoped it would explode to end the pain. He felt his heart trying to escape from his chest. He looked over and saw Myrna getting up from the table and several people all running in different directions at once. Norman suddenly couldn't breathe. He grasped his throat and bolted out of the booth desperately seeking the sweet air that he needed. He fell to the floor still gasping for breath. He saw several people running over and around him and then he saw Myrna coming over him. She had something in her hand, but Norman couldn't tell what it was. He felt a painful stab to his thigh as blackness overcame him.
The days that followed made Norman's head spin. He was in the hospital for at least 3 days. But he only remembered one of them. He was told that he had an allergic reaction to his last medication. That medication almost killed him. Norman had gone into respiratory arrest. He would have died but Myrna just happened to have an allergy to bee stings. She always kept an EpiPen on her at all times. Had it not been for Myrna, Norman would be facing his eternal torment.
After the diner incident, the sheriff, along with several other people would stop by to see Norman at his house. People seemed to be making a big fuss over him. That was something that always bothered him. He didn't like people making a big deal about him in any way. But it was a nice change for people to be concerned instead of bloodthirsty.
After what seemed like, an eternal month things finally started to get back to normal. Until one early morning Norman woke up with a start.
There was a commotion outside. Norman goes to the window and looks out to see several cars down at the motel. None were police cars, so it couldn't be that bad could it?
Norman gets up and goes down to the motel. When he walks into the office it is packed with people.
"What's going on? Is there a-a-a football game or something?"
The office went silent as everyone within stared at Norman in awe. Finally one of the young women spoke up.
"No. Actually everyone here wants to rent a Cabin."
"All-all of you?"
The crowd seemed to nod in unison. To Norman's shock there were several young women there that all seemed to be winking at him. Were they…flirting with him?
Norman turns around to the young man that called him.
"Are you Norman Bates?" another man asks.
Norman turns around again to the other voice, "Yes. Why?" If he continued this he knew he would be dizzy within minutes. Hell, he might even pass out...again. Lord knows he couldn't do that with all these people around. God knows what he would wake up to.
The crowd of teenagers all gaped and awed at once. They seem to be worshipping him. They had poor Norman terribly confused. What was going on here?
"Mr. Bates it's a pleasure to meet you," a teenage woman says holding her hand out.
Norman shakes her hand dumbstruck.
"Wh-h-y are all of you here?" he asks.
"He even has the stutter, it has to be him!" Norman hears a voice say.
"Sir what are knives referred to while in a group?" a young man asks.
"Not in a group David," a woman protests, "He means, what are knives used for cutting and eating prepared food referred to?" she asks him.
Norman looks around at the group of teens. He thinks for a second and then responds.
"C-c—u—u—u—tlery?" he asks.
"Oh my God it is him! Mary was right!" a woman's voice shrieks.
"You are open aren't you?"
Norman had thought his head was spinning before. This time he knew he wasn't dreaming and he wasn't having an allergic reaction. His head really was spinning. All of the teens wanted a room.
After an hour all of the teens have been issued keys to their rooms. He checked with all of them to make sure they were all at least eighteen. The last thing he wanted was for an angry parent to pay him a visit. He couldn't believe that for the first time ever, he flipped the sign outside to read 'NO VACANCY'. He didn't think he would ever see that day.
For a while it seemed to Norman that every time he would get a room available another teen would snatch it up before he could even change the linen. It was getting to be too much for him. He was having a hard enough time trying to fix up Mother's old house, dealing with the motel, dealing with the new medications, and dealing with his doctor's appointments. The thing that got to him the most though was dealing with his new stalkers.
There was more than once, Norman had been up at his house working on it when a girl had approached him about some sort of problem in her room, only to have them try to come on to Norman once he was inside the room alone with them. He had run out Cabins on more than one occasion. He was close to being a hermit in the house again. He had a bad enough reputation without adding statutory rape to the list. Not that he would ever do that anyway.
Norman may have been crazy but his mother would never have approved him courting a lady that was twenty years his junior. Even Norman shuddered at the thought of it.
One thing was sure, that if he was going to continue having the motel open he would have to hire some people to help him.
After a rough day of working on the house and even rougher night at the motel he placed a 'help wanted' sign on the door to the office and out by the road. He may have to wait a while before anyone applied but he had to do something.
It was only a couple of days later when Norman entered the office to find a young couple there waiting on him. Well, to Norman he considered everyone young but they were probably in their early twenties.
"I'm sorry," he says walking in, "I don't have any rooms available. I've been booked up for a while."
"Oh, we're interested in the help wanted sign. Are you still hiring?" the man asks.
"Yes-oh yes. There are two openings. Normally I give a Cabin to my employees but I don't have any available. There's still the parlor here and it has a cot but it's not as good as the Cabins."
"Oh that would be fine. We're both looking for a job if you'd hire us. Do you have applications?
"Oh that's not necessary. I'll pay you seven-fifty an hour. I need one of you to do days and the other nights. You'd be changing the linens, making the beds of course, empting trash and things like that. Are you two still interested?"
"Sure are. When can we start?"
"How about now?" he laughs.
"That'd be great," he says, "My name is Jeff and this is my wife Allison."
Norman shook both of their hands and then waves them into the parlor.
"My name is Norman. Come on back," he says.
When the three of them got settled in the back Norman went over to his desk to fish out the office keys.
"How long have you been in business Norman?" Jeff asks.
"Too long. I probably should have retired ten years ago. I just can't let the place go though." Norman knew that he had to tell these two about his past. Just in case he does do something odd again, or even pass out like before, "Look. I have to tell you guys that my past is not the best. I did some terrible things a long time ago. And...and I paid the price for it. But I have to take some medication for it. They still don't have the dose quite right on the medicine though...so...I may do things...or..or...say things that don't make sense. I may e-e-e-ven pass out."
Norman looked over the couple looking for any signs of fear. He figured they would leave but much to his surprise they sat quietly listening.
"So..." Jeff started, "You're that Norman. I take it the motel is named after your family?"
"Yes," Norman sighed.
"You're Norman Bates?" Allison asked.
"Yes...look...if you don't want to take the job I understand," he sighed, "No hard feelings."
The couple sat in silence. Norman sat on top of the desk expecting what he was used to.
Jeff broke the ice with ease, "I'm sorry. Did we blink?"
"What?" Norman was utterly confused.
"Mr. Bates," Allison starts, "the past is the past. Whatever you did in the past is not what you are doing now. That's all we need. We both need a job. That is our concern. Your past is not our concern."
Norman looked over at Jeff.
"She speaks for both of us," he says.
A smile came over Norman's face, "Well, if you can handle a serial killer I guess you can handle a bunch of teenagers huh?"
Before any of them could laugh a young man entered the parlor area,
"Sorry dude...hope this is cool...but...there's something up with the ice thingy."
"Ice thingy? The ice machine? What's wrong with it?" Norman asks.
"It's like...spitting out ice and stuff."
"Be right there," Norman responds.
The young man turned and exited the parlor. As Norman followed him he turned to his new employees and said,
"And I'm the one on medication. I would just like to point that out."
The couple belted out laughter as Norman walked towards the ice machine.
A few restless days later Norman found himself on autopilot. He ended up at the diner.
He sat and rubbed his face with his hands. It was a good thing he didn't drink. He would have turned into an alcoholic at that point. The teenage women were becoming more brazen and wandering up to his house. Sometimes they would come inside the house and go through his things. None of them ever took anything but it was also a shock to find them there.
Norman also kept seeing visions of his mother. That was becoming a part of his life. Normally if he went a week without seeing her, that meant she would plague him for hours straight; something he didn't look forward to.
On top of everything else Norman was having issues with nightmares. They wouldn't let him sleep. He was contemplating asking for a sleeping aid but he feared it would mess up his anti-psychotic meds, so he resisted and dealt with it.
The sheriff came in a noticed Norman at the high bar first thing. He walked over and sat down next to him.
"Usual sheriff?" Mandy asks.
"Yup. So...what's wrong Norman? What's eaten at ya?" the sheriff asks.
"I don't understand it. The kids…uh…teenagers, think I'm 'cool'?" he says with a half cocked eyebrow and a face full of wonder.
He covered his flustered face with his hands. He couldn't figure out what had happened and why he was getting all this new business. Not that earning the money was a bad thing but he just didn't know where the business was coming from. He was sure they never redid the highway and he knew the access road hadn't been moved either.
"I hate to tell you this Norman but according to these kids you're the next best thing to a cell phone. Think about it from their perspective…they get to meet a real, live, serial killer; reformed mind you," Sheriff Hunt explains honestly.
"If that's why all of them are here, their more messed up then I ever dreamed to be."
"Could be," he snickers.
"So how is business Norman?"
"Oh, I'm—I'm-I'm making…a killing," his gesticulation mannerism seeming to be comical.
"Oh Norman!" he laughs, "I should arrest you for that horrible joke is what I should do."
"Maybe you should. It would give me a break from the kids."
The phone rang at the small eatery.
"Statler's Diner," a waitress answered, "Yeah, he's here. Hang on." The waitress put the phone down and then came over to the sheriff and Norman. "Phone for you Norman," she said.
Norman was as shocked as anyone that he had a phone call. Who would call him?
He got up and walked over to the phone. He picked it up with trepidation, although he wasn't sure why he was nervous about who it would be on the other end.
"Hello? Oh yes...oh really? Well...I'm sitting with the sheriff. Right I'll be right over. Thanks."
The sheriff watched as Norman walked back over to him, "Trouble?" he asks.
"Apparently some of the people that have been vandalizing my house were caught by Jeff. He's holding them there at the motel now."
The sheriff stood up, put on his hat and started walking toward the door, "Put that meal on hold Mandy."
"We'll do sheriff," Mandy replies.
"Let's go Norman. I'd be happy to give ya a ride."
The two exited the diner and headed toward the Bates Motel.