The resonant voice of an intruder cut through the darkness. Initially she was too startled from the adrenaline rush to focus on the details. Although the story being told was completely unknown to her, the melody and timbre of the speaker was undeniable. Despite her absolute silence, it was definitely her own voice speaking in the dark.
In the surreal, hair-raising experience; she listened to the disembodied voice discuss personal events which she had absolutely no recollection of. She continued to follow the one-sided conversation with an escalating sense of fascination and fear. A little envy even crept over her as the all-too-familiar voice discussed numerous treasured family outings and romantic interludes. All of them were wonderful sounding experiences that she was hearing about for the first time.
As her phantom doppelgänger kept describing ‘her’ unknown memories, it started grating on her nerves. Finally she’d had enough of the mysterious charade and the unknown elements surrounded the creepy experience. The apparent insincerity and malicious deceit of the imposter, cut her to the quick.
Finally she summoned the necessary courage to speak out and defend herself against the ghost-like mocking, in the pitch black room.
“Who are you, and why are you imitating my voice with these fanciful lies? Please stop this cruel, tasteless joke! It’s very hurtful to me!”: She demanded. Amazingly, the other ‘her’ continued on defiantly. Either unconcerned or unaware of her plea for mercy. Not even affording her the courtesy of respectful silence during the heartfelt objection, the baffling testimony continued on.
The intruder’s continued interruption made her sob miserably. The macabre masquerade carried on with no end in sight; and no acknowledgment of her protest. She wept bitterly while trying to drown out the malicious diatribe; somehow delivered by her own tongue.
The next morning, the patient’s cold finger still rested firmly on the ‘play’ button of the cassette player. The tape had reached the end of its reel and shut off.
“The cassette recorder was placed beside her bed as a therapeutic Alzheimer’s tool. The purpose of this therapy is to stimulate, and hopefully reverse lost memories in our senile dementia patients. We have a very progressive philosophy of treatment here at the institute. We feel that hearing their own voice and memories though old recordings is calming and soothing to them.”; The doctor explained to the EMT worker who came to collect her expired body. She passed away sometime during the night of heart failure or other natural causes. (according to the findings in the official coroner’s report, issued later).
In the cruelest twist of irony, the patient had been ‘haunted’ and frightened to death by an earlier, more lucid, electronic version of herself.