Chapter 467: Arkham Asylum
Jim Ku, aka Gu Jun, aka Jim Mazurewicz. 22 years old, an orphan from the East. When he was 6, he was adopted by a Caucasian couple living at Arkham. That was how he ended up at Essex, Massachusetts. The Mazurewicz had a biological daughter. She was Gu Jun’s sister, who was 2 years older, Hannah Mazurewicz. Gu Jun grew up at Arkham. He only left the place several years ago to attend New York University to study anthropobiology. Last year, his request to be a clinical student at Arkham’s Miskatonic University was approved and that was why Gu Jun returned to Arkham. He became a medical student at Miskatonic University and was currently in the second term of his first year.
Those who knew Jim only had praise for him. Jim was a precocious child. He not only excelled at studies, he showed enormous talent in music and sports. The Mazurewiczs decided to foster the talent in their adopted son. The child did not disappoint. He worked hard. After he graduated from Miskatonic University, he’d be a doctor. In America, doctor was a very impressive career, especially considering the background Jim came from. With a bright future, loving family and a sunny outlook on life… no one expected Jim to fall under the spell of madness.
His sudden fit of schizophrenia shocked everyone that knew him. The doctors could not find any reason, they supposed it might be related to his childhood trauma. Jim would be aggressive when he acted up so his family had no choice but to send him to Arkham Sanitarium. Over the past few days, the Mazurewiczs would come to visit their adopted son, they worried deeply about him.
Gu Jun listened to these tales quietly. They were so detached from his real life that he could not bring himself to feel any emotion.
Inside the prison-like room, he encountered his adopted parents. This pair of honest looking couples was happy to see him. They showed him many pictures, they captured Jim from when he was young to his most recent. There were everyday shots, graduation photos, competition photos and so on… The pair was featured heavily in Jim’s life. They smiled brightly towards the camera, proud of everything their adopted son did.
In these pictures, other than these 3, there was another individual, Jim’s sister, Hannah Mazurewicz…
Gu Jun realized the woman in the picture looked exactly like Keziah Mason if a little older. He searched for pictures of Hannah when she was younger and Gu Jun felt like he was staring at Keziah whom he encountered at Arkham prison. When asked about her location, Jim’s parents explained that Hannah was busy working at the press office. Other than that, Hannah couldn’t bear to see the state Jim was in. At least that was what the Mazurewiczs said.
“I need my lawyer.” Gu Jun told the couple and the hospital admin, “I request a new mental check, I am not crazy.” In America, a mad person could be admitted against his will but that was only applicable to those who could not take care of themselves or pose a threat to others. In other cases, if the patients could take care of themselves and pose no threat to others, they could not be forced into admission. Gu Jun did not really understand the US law but he knew he could not continue to use drugs like actargil and Haldol. They would muddle a person’s mind and cause people with no mental problem to develop mental problems.
To his surprise, his request was approved by the hospital admin and he met his lawyer successfully. This was something even his direct family could not intervene. Gu Jun was sane enough when he made this decision. If this was a trick, Gu Jun wanted to see what it was.
“I am not crazy.” Inside a simple meeting room, with no camera and no witness other than Gu Jun and his lawyer, Perry Sanders, that was what Gu Jun said. Perhaps this was a parallel world, or a trick by Nyarlathotep or that unknown source of power but one thing’s for sure, Gu Jun was not crazy.
“Jim…” Sanders was close friends with Jim. Sanders worried about Jim’s health. “It’s fine for you to rest here for a few more days, your study at the university won’t be affected and you’ll have your absolute privacy here.”
“Do I look crazy to you?” Gu Jun asked in an even tone, “Memory, emotion, self-control, consciousness… which faculty do you think is wrong with me?”
“Then answer me this, are you Gu Jun or Jim Mazurewicz?” Sanders asked.
Gu Jun could detect the bizarreness in his tone. “Gu Jun” was him… or the version of himself from the Phecda World… How much did these people know?
“What do you mean?” He played dumb.
“Jim, the doctors warned me from triggering you further. It’s not good for your current state.” Sanders sighed, pain was evident in his eyes. “You are clearly sentient but at the same time, you live inside a great illusion… Your parents, sister and myself wish to help you exit that illusory bubble, we want our Jim Mazurewicz back.”
“Illusion?” Gu Jun asked, “What illusion? How much do you know?”
“Everything.” Sanders answered sincerely. “Jim, you were sucked into this book that you read… There was a chapter in this book, the main character has the same Chinese name as you do, Jim Ku, Gu Jun. He’s also a medical student and an orphan. You identify with him a little bit too much…”
Gu Jun frowned. A book? “What kind of book?” He demanded, “Do you have it with you? Let me see.”
Sanders was unwilling because this was the trigger that caused Jim his schizophrenia and the doctors advised them from allowing the patient to come into contact with the book any further. However, with Gu Jun’s relentless insistence, Sanders relented. Sanders did carry the book with him. He took a book out from his black briefcase and placed it on the table.
It was a large book. The brown leather cover was classically designed with gilded letters and some strange symbols. Gu Jun reached to turn it around so that the title of the book faced him. It read The King of Yellow. The author was Robert W. Chambers.
A strange feeling curled around Gu Jun’s heart. He tentatively opened the cover. He saw the lists of content…
“The Repairer of Reputation”, “The Mask”, “In the Court of the Dragon”, “The Yellow Sign”, “The Demoiselle D’Ys”, “The Prophet’s Paradise”, “The Street of Four Winds”, “The Street of the First Shell”, “The Street of Our lady of the Fields”, “Rue Barree”.
The last chapter of the book was called, “Plague Doctor”.