Dr Marcus Eckerd

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Dr Marcus Eckerd

If the idea of spending a few months in prison makes you edgy, then imagine spending twenty years in an asylum for the criminally insane. For most people the notion of taking up residency amongst the most disturbed, psychopathic and irredeemable souls the UK has to offer, would be the stuff of nightmares… but then again, most people are not Dr Marcus Eckerd. Recognized as a gifted child from an early age, the doctor’s life was already mapped out for one of greatness and for a time this budding intellect seemed assured to take his rightful place amongst his peers. But life can be fickle, and a single dark event would forever destroy any hope the child prodigy had of reaching his potential. Being a physicist and a mathematical genius should have earned the man a wealth of honors and accolades, but instead all he received was a grimy padded cell and a straitjacket. Sadly, for the good doctor, this will be as good as it ever gets.                                                                   

*****

Doctor Eckerd gave a look of mistrust, then slowly swiveled his neck until it emitted a loud satisfying crack, before turning to face Harker once again. “Ah, that feels good. I get so stiff in these restraints – you know it’s tantamount to torture. I don’t suppose you could loosen them, could you?” Harker almost laughed out loud at the idea, but it was raised with such sincerity that he resisted. “I’m afraid that’s not possible Doctor.” “Very well… It’s probably for the best.” Eckerd nodded empathetically. “So… what brings you to the nuthouse, then?” “The nuthouse!” Harker gawped, genuinely surprised by this casual use of such a disparaging remark. “Professor Harker, in the cell to my left is a convicted murderer who spends every waking hour masturbating furiously, so much so that they now have to restrain him most days for fear that – and I kid you not – he will tear his own penis off. On my right, is a serial rapist who when free, was not solely content with sexually abusing young college boys and so engaged in ‘making love’, as he puts it, to as many farm animals as he could get his wandering hands upon, much to the distress of many a farmer… and undoubtedly the animals in question.” Doctor Eckerd craned forward and flicked his head towards the cell next door. “He went by the name of The Night Jockey?” “That’s him?” Harker spluttered, remembering the unpleasant bestiality story from some years earlier, which had filled the tabloids. “That’s him all right,” the Doctor replied dryly. “So when I refer to this place as a nuthouse, believe me when I tell you that it is the nuttiest.”

*****

There could be any number of reasons Dr Eckerd was forced to endure this dismal place for so many years. It may have had something to do with the devious and treacherous people he once worked with – or possibly because he learned of things he should not have – or maybe he was simply deemed clinically insane. Any one of these factors could have contributed to his being locked away, but it is far more likely and due to the fact that he brutally murdered his entire family, the bodies of whom were never found… not every piece of them anyway. Whatever one may think of Dr Eckerd, genius or murderer, misguided or evil, one conclusion can be agreed upon by everyone who has ever met him… ignore him at your peril and never turn your back on him. It is a lesson that Alex Harker will soon learn first-hand.

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