burning paper

Read and Destroy

Stories You Should Read Instead

This letter was found in the archives of the Meadow Creek Psychiatric Hospital, many years after it was closed. The identity of the author remains unknown.

“I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital out of fear for my sanity, even though I secretly wished to be insane my whole life. Madness meant liberation from the wretched tyranny of the mind, and deep down, all I ever really wanted was freedom.

I figured, if I loosen my mind enough, it will break someday.

So here comes the acid. And the weed. And the booze. I wanted to push every limit known to man. Sounds insane already, n’est pas?

Everyone told me: “You are your worst enemy.”

Finally I took it to heart.

Since I am my worst enemy, I must destroy myself to save myself from myself. Then the death of reason will become the birth of true reason, freedom and spiritual enlightenment. I’m sure it sounds idiotic to all you proper law-abiding citizens, but to me the only salvation was a total extermination of every natural impulse I had.

Upon checking-in, I’ve examined my new comrades: a paper-thin toothless creature talking to her hair, a comically serious man in a wheelchair masturbating with both hands, a smiling pleasant-looking gent, the kind that always turns out to be a serial killer… Although I was still sentimentally attached to my sanity, I envied these people.

They were the ones who made it out of the maze, the maze you’re all running blindly, led only by your reptilian needs that scream:






The temporary satisfaction at the end of the maze is all you’re ever going to get in life, just like all the other rats running the same maze, so run you fucking rodent! Run! Until the day you drop dead.

These people were free. In the world of primitive obedient rats and big fat rats that were smart enough to build the mazes, they found a loophole: insanity.

I wanted to be them.

I wanted to be human, for what’s more human than madness? So I gave in to it.

Now I know why they want all the nutcases locked up. Because madness is unpredictable. In a society made entirely of mazes, unpredictability is dangerous.

What if instead of running the maze some rats start asking questions? What if they get organized, eat the big fat rats and then stick their big fat heads on pikes? That’s what I was thinking.

In lunar year 6698 I wrote the Madness Tractate. I wrote it in saliva on the walls of my room so the rats in white coats can’t read it.

Oh they’re dying to read it! After the revolution takes place, the future generations will call it the greatest document of the century! Of the millennium! Of all times!

But I’m not in it for the glory. My purpose is to deliver a warning: beware of closed spaces.

Beware of color red.

Beware of all colors.

Beware of comfort.

Beware of sanity.

I am patient # 983645 at the Meadow Creek Psychiatric Hospital. Whoever finds and reads this letter, I urge you to destroy it immediately. The rats are onto you.”

Shoutout to the short story writer Lana Adler on LetterPile.com. Check out her website here.

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