Dear Aunt Nellie,
My beloved wife, Shannon has been acting strange recently.
My wife and I are in our mid-twenties and we've known each other for fifteen years. So, I had the privilege of growing up with her, and being her best friend. Our relationship had been progressing well and it was last summer that we married each other. We had an outdoor wedding and, as we danced under the moonlight together, my wife told me this was the happiest day of her life. It was mine too.
Of course, we had our ups and downs like any normal functioning relationship, but there was nothing that truly challenged us. We were strong to overcome whatever issues we had together and it only strengthened our bond, bringing us closer together.
My wife is an astronomer working at the Coalition Unit, and I am your typical businessman working from nine to five. Three months ago, my wife's work piled up with the possible discovery of a new planet beyond the solar system. Initially she seemed excited about this, and I supported her contributions and efforts.
However, overtime, her workload kept increasing and it would suck the energy out of her. She wouldn't return home until it was well past midnight. I'd wake up with a start, only to see that she's flung herself onto the bed, completely exhausted. That put a barrier to our daily communication, but still I'd try to make conversation with her. She would mainly talk about her work.
"This exoplanet that I'm studying appears to have a similar structure to Earth. Perhaps it can even sustain human life - if the environment isn't too hostile, which I intend to investigate more into. There is something else - something significant - my data is pointing towards... I don't want to jump to any conclusions yet, so I will examine it more, before I tell you about it..."
I enjoyed listening to her talk. It seemed to relieve her stress and I could tell that, despite her work being challenging, she was passionate about it. So, while I was worried that she was pushing herself too much, I didn't intend to stop her as she seemed content.
It was around that time a friend of mine - let's call him Robert - spoke to me about a conspiracy theory regarding mind control. I was used to his nonsensical ramblings, but this particular conversation resonates with me. He explained how there are various forms of mind control and there were genuine attempts of people 'brainwashing' others...
"...For instance, hypnosis. Yes, that is not the same as brainwashing. Yes, for the most part, you give consent... However, if you can be hypnotized by another individual, that suggests that elements of mind control are possible, as I've experienced firsthand myself... There are numerous theories... Powerful organizations controlling the minds of certain celebrities or influential figures..."
These are just a snippet of his words that I can recall. They're significant to the story that I'm about to share with you.
Two weeks ago, at exactly 3am, I woke up to an unusual noise. I can only describe it as a mixture of humming and whimpering. First, the noise was low and soft, as it trembled in tune, but then it got louder and sharper, like a painful wail. It was coming from my wife. Usually, she would be lying next to me, but the bed was empty. She was backed against the wall into the dark corner of the room, curled up into a shadowy ball while she rocked back and forth.
"Shannon?" I questioned, approaching her gently. Her head was down and her long hair was covering her face. I touched her arm, causing her head to suddenly jerk up.
I can't begin to describe the look across her face. It was an expression that I haven't seen in the seventeen years that I've known my wife. Her eyes were wide open and she looked absolutely terrified to the core. In that moment, with her strange expression in the darkness of the night, I couldn't recognize my wife and that startled me.
"Shannon?" I repeated with uncertainty in my tone. "Honey, what's wrong?"
"Don't touch me!" She yelled at me, yanking her arm away from me.
Confused, I stepped closer to her and questioned her odd behavior - but this only made her shriek. She crawled back hastily, eyeing me like I was a monster that wanted to hurt her.
"Stay away!" She shouted. "Leave me alone!"
"Go away! Go away! Go away!" She kept screaming while continuing to rock back and forth. Her eyes were shut closed and her hands were clasped against her ears, trying to block out the world. Block out me.
Naturally, her strange behavior baffled and hurt me. Still, I understood that the pressure of her work must've been getting to her. Perhaps she just needed her own space to gain composure again. That's what I convinced myself, as I slept on the couch that day.
Nonetheless, her behavior had been progressively gotten stranger as the days went on. For instance, she would lose track of time, which was uncharacteristic of her, as she was a routine-orientated individual that adhered to an organized schedule. So, she would assume that it was 4 in the afternoon when it was actually 6 in the evening. She couldn't recall what happened in the previous two hours, which worried me gravely.
Then I noticed that she would get random spasms, when she appeared to lose control of her body. It was like she was being electric shocked, as her body was randomly twitching. Once again, this was very uncharacteristic of her. She has no medical history that points to this particular condition, so it should not be occurring.
I took her for a quick check-up. Throughout the car ride, she stayed unusually silent. For the past few weeks, she wouldn't talk to me - except for the occasional one liners here or there. She had a lifeless expression across her face - a distant look as if she wasn't here in this world. I just knew there was something seriously wrong with her. However, the GP reassured me that she was 'completely fine and healthy' and there was 'nothing I should be concerned about'.
At nighttime, she would rarely sleep. For some reason, she was very, very paranoid and scared. Usually when I attempted to approach her, she would scream at me to go away. So, one night, I opened one eye and spied on her. She was pacing around the room in a hurried manner; her strange humming and whimpering noise reverberated around the room. I watched her as she went to the window and looked outside. Then she checked under the bed. Her bizarre movements suggested that she was searching for something - but what?
Then I heard the door creaking open and footsteps creeping downstairs. I got out of bed and followed after my wife. She was facing the living-room wall, just staring at it with a deadpan expression, standing still as a statue. She kept humming in that eerie way. I decided to confront her.
"What are you doing, Shan?" I asked, turning on the light. It hurt my head with how blindly bright everything suddenly became.
She stopped humming instantly. Her body was stiffer and her back was firmly straight, as if a killer was standing behind her. Slowly, my wife turned her head around to look at me with those wide, unsettling eyes. There were dark bags under her eyes as a result of sleep deprivation. Her complexion was ghastly pale, her long hair was messy, and sweat was pouring down her face at an alarming rate.
"Please talk to me, honey," I whispered. She just stared at me with those horrified eyes, not responding at all.
When I took a single step closer to her, that's when she jumped and shook her head frantically. "Stay away! Stay away!"
I couldn't take it any longer. Something in me snapped. I had been patient for so long, giving her so much space. I let her push me away. I let her cut communication with me. It was ridiculous that I let it happen in the first place. I decided that I wasn't having it anymore.
"Shannon! What's gotten into you? I'm your husband. Your best friend. We tell each other everything. You know I've got your back. It hurts that you're looking at me like I'm... a hideous monster... it hurts that you're pushing me away. Above all, it hurts me to see you like this, tormenting yourself... you don't have to suffer alone. I'm here for you, honey. So, please... I beg you... tell me what's wrong and I can help you."
There were tears in my eyes, yet I could clearly see that her previously horrified expression had turned softer. There were tears in her own eyes. She stepped closer to me.
"I'm sorry. I don't want to hurt you," she said, so softly. I could sense the old Shannon returning to me. "But..." her voice dropped to a whisper. I had to strain my ears to hear the next part. "They're watching me."
"Who's watching you?" I asked instantly.
Suddenly, her eyes shot wide open again, seeming terrified. She was shaking her head frantically. "Go away! Leave me alone!"
"Shan, who's watching you?" I repeated, louder and more determined. "I will protect you, honey. You can tell me."
"No one! Go away!"
I wasn't about to give up on her - not when I was finally getting answers. Shannon must have sensed my stubborn persistence, as she banged her head repeatedly against the wall. She seemed possessed, like a puppet on strings being controlled by something sadistic. It pained me to see her physically hurt herself in such a reckless manner. I tried to get her to stop, but the closer I got and the more I persisted, the harder she would slam her head. I could see blood oozing out of her forehead, painting the plain, white wall.
Immediately I backed away from her. "Okay! Okay! I'm going! Please stop hurting yourself!"
I grabbed my coat and keys and exited the house, knowing I needed fresh air. I took another glance at my wife, who had thankfully stopped bashing her head against the wall. Instead, she was kneeling to the ground, almost in a praying position while sobbing hopelessly. I have never felt so helpless before. I'm supposed to protect her, yet I'm forced to the side-lines like a spectator.
During this mayhem, I strongly suspected there was a link between my wife's odd behavior and her work. For a while, I tried to justify that it was merely stress that was driving her crazy, yet I knew there was something more. She confirmed my suspicions when she said, "They are watching." Clearly others were involved and they were scaring my wife - whatever they were doing to her. I decided to contact her workplace further for answers.
However, as I've mentioned previously, my wife works for the Coalition Unit. I'm aware that she has signed a contract with this organization, agreeing that she wouldn't release any confidential information without their permission. It is a very private workforce and finding solid answers was near to impossible. All I got were vague responses that lead me straight back to the drawing board. Robert's words would echo in my mind.
"Powerful organizations controlling the minds of certain celebrities or influential figures..."
This is a powerful organization, as it is invested by the government and it receives generous funds annually to support its research projects. My wife isn't exactly a celebrity or an influential figure, but she is an important, remarkable individual. I'm not just saying this because I'm her adoring husband, but I recognize that she has such a special intelligence that makes her stand out from the general crowd. When she puts her mind to something, that woman can achieve incredible goals - much like you, Aunt Nellie!
I don't like to think that my wife's mind is being controlled, but I've known her during my adolescence years and I've watched her grow. I know who she is, and I know her heart, and it seems strange to me how she changed so suddenly. Like a switch being flipped. I can't help but feel like she's not in control of her body - that something else has been taking over her. Maybe it's a spirit. Maybe we'll need an exorcism session to cleanse her soul. I'm not exactly sure what methods I should be taking, but I'm trying to consider various perspectives - no matter how outrageous it may seem.
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you in advance.