From the first second he realized his madness, he's known it.

That there'd be a fateful day when he makes one wild association too many. A moment when he's under stress; pressure; a time when he really can't cope. A day he'd pin the idea to the very front of his mind, completely involuntarily, and find himself unable to draw himself away. An exact point he loses faith in not only life, but in himself.

He's had it planned for years. He knows the most convenient location to carry it out; he walks past it every working day. But now coherent thought has taken a sharp decline, he wonders if he'll even take the right path. It's been a month since he's had to do that. The library let him go, worried that his confused bouts of psychosis were losing them customers. But fuck the customers. Good-for-nothing, insensitive and utterly disorganized. How do they think he feels? When he can sleep for no more than an hour every twenty-four, thanks to the searing pain he feels across his skin, the taunting and the tortured screeching sounding in his ears, the vivid hideous demons right before his eyes? They don't have to deal with life the way he does, or battle wave after wave of anxiety just out of the fear they'd have a certain vision again. But the worst part of it? It's made him feel an incredibly unlikable person. He has no friends. His family hasn't spoken with him in years. (As much as they probably still love him... he gets the suspicion they're scared of him – or, at the very least, his disorders. It was an unexpected announcement. For that matter, it was unexpected to him.) Everyone else he ever cared about is dead. And he's made a great number of enemies.

Everyone wants to take advantage of him. As he takes each careful, awkward step to his destination, he walks past several people and sees it on their faces instantaneously. They perceive him as weak. Easily threatened. Anxious. The perfect target. It's worse when they only do it for fun. He's come across a few individuals like that. How they can live with themselves, he doesn't know. But unlike some: he's perfectly happy to give them exactly what they want. They'd be quite happy to watch his little attempt at a fatal fall. It's obvious. Though he's unsure if all the things they supposedly have against him are just more mindless delusions, which just makes the next circumstance easier to deal with. There's no way he can go on like this. The only other option comes in the urge to hole himself up in his basement, never to surface again. He would run out of food supplies at some point and slowly starve himself to death. But that isn't good enough. He wants a quicker way out. That's why he made the plan in the first place.

Ironic, really. To escape a world of chaos, he writes up a plan. Organization used to be his main defence mechanism, but... now? He isn't so sure. It isn't giving him any hope whatsoever; although it doesn't help that he can barely focus enough to order a thing.

He reaches his destination, a tall, seldom-used footbridge. As he walks, his eyebrows paint an intense picture of uncertainty. But that's just a given. He always looks like that when he's thinking negatively. Perhaps he's never to think again. At least it's better than the alternative. Thoughts are all the more painful, all the more potentially damaging, when everything feels disconnected, unfocused. He looks around, making sure no one will be here to witness the unfolding proceedings. Thank god for that, then. He's about to climb over the fence between him and eternal freedom.

The barrier is fairly wide. It can be sat on comfortably. And this is what he's doing right now, while the temperature is chilling him a little. He's still worried, but trying to remind himself of what this will do for him. This is the only true cure. The only one worth anything at all. He turns back, expecting him to be there to sing one last mocking goodbye. Only half-correct; he's not caterwauling. In fact... he's beckoning him back. Even he holds an expression of sympathy, pity, worry.

"Do you expect me to listen to you, after all this time?" he asks. "Do you think I'm doing this to get away from anything but you?" His hallucination remains, standing still, staring forward, mouth just barely closed. Strangely, the evening light is making him look somewhat less fearful than usual.

Originally, he planned to use a different method. Stabbing himself was considered before being quickly discarded. He'd prefer a slow, freezing, numbing death to one of burning agony as he patiently waits a few seconds for his breathing to cease. Even if it hurts all the same, the coldness might be reminiscent of the idea of him freezing all his delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thoughts, forever. He deserves it. Rational thought is something he can't lose completely.

The hallucination can't let this happen. If he does, that'd be the end of both of them. His creator has so much to live for and he doesn't even realize it. "You destroyed everything for me. Every chance of happiness. Survival. Order. It's nothing but another excuse for you to live on." The human gets up to stand on the unusually supportive fence. He's ready to jump.

So you're escaping like this?

"Hm?" The ex-librarian looks behind him, stumbling onto the footpath, saving himself with the barrier. It's the person for whose research he created the lie to begin with.

I thought you were better than that.

His hallucination nods in mute agreement.

"Then I'm happy to disappoint both of you. This... this has to end. I'm tired of having to work for people that don't exist!"

Well, I'm surprised you haven't said anything about it before. You really think I'm that meaningless? It seems I'm happy to disappoint you, pinhead.

"I... I thought you were dead."

Don't think that. As much as I'd love to be reassuring and sentimental by this point, I'm sure none of us want to hear it. But I still exist in your mind, correct? You haven't let go of me. And you haven't let go of it. Let go of us both. I wouldn't care.

"But I am letting go. This is exactly what I'm doing here," he argues, his tone taking an irritated turn. Even then, his unsure face would make a different claim. They're manipulating him. Aren't they?

It then dawns upon him. It's not her fault he's like this. It isn't even those good-for-nothing, insensitive, utterly disorganized customers'.

It's his. It's his fault and exclusively his fault.

And that fuels his enforced departure even more.

He returns to his place on the edge of the bridge, and looks down. The water seems perfectly calm. His fall will be long but it's worth it to him. His thoughts will race one last time. He can't deal with this anymore. His feelings have been constantly mixed; he has no idea what he wants... well, except for this. He hopes no one will find him, maybe try to revive him. That would just make him want to try again.

And that is something he can't risk.

But it's not going to work. If, say, the Project worked, and they happen to bring you back to life, you'd still be a mess. You'd just... chatter your teeth a bit more. I hope you're grateful I didn't make things worse.

... She's right. The aberration sits beside him, gesturing for him to join him. He does so. "I... I don't know anymore." He sheds more than a few tears, catching them in his cheapish pocket square, the only thing available. "But at the same time, it's not as if I'm not acknowledging life isn't fair. It's just... it can't bear to see me happy. Can it?"

The choked exclamation catches the ear of one darkly-dressed, white-haired man.

His creation tilts its head. "Well... maybe I just need to accept that."

And you'd think we weren't trying to help!

"Forget it. I'll do this some other day."

The second man would be gliding by if not for the slightest, otherwise well-concealed limp.

"I'm clearly not sure enough to get anywhere. Not right now."

He then feels two hands grabbing his shoulders, pushing them downwards, further towards the water below. He tries to drive himself back but is effectively powerless. He's weak enough.

His enforced departure has arrived.

A smirk crawls across Finney's scarred face as he begins the shuffle to the next target. That was far easier than he expected. "Yeah, well, maybe not, eh?" he mutters, as Jeremy Goode plummets to his death.

Thanks for reading. Reviews would be hugely appreciated. Excuse how much I fail at writing emotionally – and my creative license with bridge architecture...