Is it all in the Mind?

‘I was a bit hesitant to write this character, as I am very sensitive about mental health issues.  I ultimately decided that avoiding an aspect of humanity that is so well known would be whitewashing reality.  Besides, there is a possibility he is not truly sick.  Read his story and decide what way you think it is.’

Joseph Moses Landy

Age: 23

Appearance:  Joseph is a short, unassuming man.  Neither overweight nor thin, physically he didn’t stand out with his close cropped black hair.  Dressed in priest’s clothing without the frock, only his eyes stood out.  A pale green, they seem to shine with a light all their own.  Currently, he hasn’t shaven for a few days.

Background:  When Joseph was very young he heard the voice of God.  He told him secrets about others.  Dark secrets,  Once he told him a boy was going to do something terrible, so Joseph decided to stop him.  He waited til the day when it would happen, and then beat him with a bat and broke his arm.  The Voice praised him and whispered more secrets, but now his parents and teachers knew about Gob.

Concerned, they brought him to doctors who applied many titles to him; Schizophrenia, Manic Depression (as he grew older that became Bipolar) and borderline personality disorder.  They brought him to a hospital where he was kept locked up and forced to take pills that made him feel sick and zombielike.  God’s voice yelled at him to escape, but as time passed the voice grew faint and disappeared.

Therapist and doctors told him the voice was a disease.  They taught him it was wrong.  He was still unsure but so many adults told him not to believe it.  Finally, he believed them and turned to true religion, Roman Catholicism.  He studied the bible every day, concentrating on passages others told him were important.  He was not particularly bright and felt he could never memorize the whole book.

Finally, at 18 he joined the seminary to become a priest.  He knew God wanted him to do great things in his name.  Whispers began in his mind, telling him God would heal him, but he told his doctors and they gave him stronger meds, assuring him that medications can become tolerated over time.  He didn’t take the new prescriptions, but also didn’t stop taking the old ones.

Then came the day he heard about some hooligans causing trouble in a neighborhood and decided he could use his training to turn the boys around.  He went to the area and wandered around.  He entered a park and smelled smoke.  It was probably the homeless, and he had brought warm clothes and bread to help any he found.  He followed the smell and came to a burning bush.  An empty gasoline can and a box of matches lay at it’s based, but Joseph was transfixed.  The Voice of God came through the bush and told him he was chosen to be the Hand of the Lord.

Joseph ran to the seminary and tore off his frock.  He grabbed his Bible and dumped his pills in the toilet.  He wandered for days, not eating or sleeping.  Then the Voice pointed him to a man.  He was tall, pale and dressed in black clothes.  His skin was unnaturally pale and his purple hair fell to his shoulders.  He was festooned with jewelry and tattoos.  The Voice said the man would kill 100 people in one hour’s time and he must stop him.


Joseph, the Hand of the Lord, was unsure what to do.  God had spoken, but he had been taught the voice was wrong.  What should he do?

Published by Robert C Hartwell

I live in Northeastern Vermont in the US. I am currently working towards becoming an author. I am the proud father of two great kids.

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