Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own any characters from Shutter Island. They belong to their entitled creator. I make no profit from writing this.

There is a sharp snap, followed by the release of a white substance known as plasma. It crackles in an attempt to begin a conversation. The small fire rages in disordered fury. The cigarette begins to glow as the tiny embers do their magic. The smoke flares, roaring to life. It consumes the room as it takes over the smallest of cracks and crevices. Such is the wonder and glory of smoke whether it exudes from a destructive fire or to a minute cigarette. It has a powerful allure as one admires its beauty and its danger which is frighteningly similar to the human mind. Neither can be stopped when they're first put to the test. In the end, they merely fade away on their own. The smoke circles, twists, spirals, and teases its current victim. It makes a mockery of him. He's but a mimicry of man, a shadow of himself.

Those haunted blue hues dart to and fro. Nothing is to be underestimated. Everything is to be underestimated. No one else understands what smoke can do to you. Like a woman, it snatches you with cruel talons. It's a sedative, a drug. It's confusion. It's laughter. It's chaos. It's an inanimate object. The smoke signifies that the mind has finally deceived itself. The game has not ended, though. On the contrary, it's just begun. The smoke is like a deadly maze as it leads both nowhere and everywhere. There are clues and various leads that the victim is forced to discover on his own. That's the price, the cost, if you will. The smoke distorts one's vision, leading to a lack of reality followed by a lack of truth.

In the end, it is the mind that deceives itself. The smoke is merely fuel, an additive to the concoction. The memories don't help. They never do. They're followed by severe paranoia. The mind loses itself. The body shakes from both withdrawal and uncertainty. Smoke. The match strikes the box once more. Plasma is released. The fire rages. The smoke consumes. Nicotine courses through his veins. He exhales as he inhales the smoke. The cigarette bounces up and down between his chapped lips. It's not fear that he feels. It's uncertainty. It's horror. The dreams refuse to let him rest in peace. He shakes his head. It's all because of the- Smoke. No, that's not right. That's not true. No matter how much the smoke may seduce him. Deep down, he knows that everything around him is a lie.

Who is sixty-seven? Who is it? Sixty-seven…

There is no Rachel Solando.

His mind convinces him otherwise. She is real. She does exist. He will find her no matter the cost. Another match is lit. Another memory passes him. The single room bursts into flames. Ashes (ashes, ashes, we all fall down) scatter the ground like disrupted paperwork. Tiny, glowing embers fade into the darkness. The lighting within the room dies along with those embers. The fire rages yet again as the smoke devours the false illusion. He covers his eyes like an abandoned child. The man is both torn and lost by the psychological battle that occurs within his mind. Truth delves into fantasy and vice versa. It's the same thing over and over as he has convinced himself that it never happened.

Nothing is real.

Everything is fantasy.

In the end, it is the smoke that tells both lies and truths. It is the smoke that deludes and fogs one's vision. The smoke can be ultimately more powerful than the fire since it delivers a gentle caress. In some instances, it is more profound than any of the natural elements. It's a driving force, slowly killing and muffling all in its path. That is the problem with Andrew. It's tormenting him, mocking him and for what purpose? The mind is now lost in its own delirium. Nothing is real. Everything is real. There is a flick of the wrist, a minute snap. Plasma is released. The flame consumes, flaring to life. The cigarette is lit as the tiny embers grow, sparkling. The aftermath is the smoke. The smoke that has devoured his life.