The Voices Inside and Out (Free Fiction)

The Voices Inside and Out

A.J. Brown

Sometimes I get tired of all the voices talking to me, telling me to do and say things. Mom said they are all in my head, just my imagination running wild. Maybe she’s right, but I don’t think so. Here is why:

The voices—the ones that really are in my head—they always sound like me. Sure, one may be higher pitched than others. One may be deeper. One may sound like a kid, but it is me when I was that kid. One may even be a happy sounding, gayer version of me, but it is still me. One is grumpy and mean-spirited, and I swear one of them is a drunk. Those voices, the ones that whisper for me to do things I probably shouldn’t do, they are all me in some way or other. And I recognize them as me. I guess that is why when I do things—bad things—I know the devil didn’t make me do it, or even the voices in my head. They are all me. I did the things I told me to do. 

Here is another reason, and it is the reason why I have to do what I am about to do:

These other voices are male and female. They are young and old, though I don’t believe any of them are children. And they don’t tell me to do things. They just scream and cry and beg me to set them free. Set them free? Like I can do that?

There’s one other reason:

I’ve only heard them since coming to this hotel. Isn’t that odd? 

elevatorI work here, doing simple janitorial crap, like changing the toilet paper in the bathrooms or wiping down the tables in the hotel restaurant. It’s a lousy job but it puts a roof over my head and it pays me enough so I can eat and go to the movies, and occasionally, visit the street corner ladies down on Market Street. (This I find funny in and of itself—I can choose the woman I want to have a night with on Market Street. Sometimes I think of it as Meat Market Street, but I don’t tell them that—can you imagine how they would take it if I told them they were nothing more than meat to me? That’s beside the point, though.) It’s not much of a living, but it’s better than what I had before. 

Still, I don’t care much for most of the tenants. The ones that come daily are needy and arrogant and somewhat entitled since they pay ‘good money’ to sleep, shower, or get laid here. They want clean sheets and a clean room, and I get that. I do, too, but that is housekeeping, and I don’t do that. I fix sinks and toilets and drill holes in walls so I can watch some of the activities. Three floors of this place and when the right person gets in the right room, well, that’s free entertainment right there.

But I guess some of the tenants don’t care much for that—the lady in 218 who caught me peeking in at her while she showered. She sure had a fit. She tried to get me fired, but my manager—his name is Horace, but I just call him Pudge—couldn’t do it. Well, he tried, but one of those voices—one of my voices—told me I couldn’t let him do that. So, I didn’t.

It took a little bit of persuading for me to get him to the elevator and out of my hair. There’s no actual elevator, but the shaft is there and a drop from the first floor down to the basement didn’t kill him, but it hurt him pretty good. The woman in 218 went down there with him. Come to think of it, a good many of the long term folks have found their way to the elevator shaft. I heard the lady from 218 say Mr. Williams from 311 was dead. He apparently landed awkwardly and broke his neck. 

“Fresh meat,” I yelled back. I laughed—she did not. Humorless tramp.

Now, you see, the voices I’ve been hearing lately aren’t in my head. No, they are in the elevator shaft. Every time I toss someone else in, I look down into the darkness. Hands reach up out of the dark, as if they are coming right out of the shadows. They are women and men, young and old, and they complain and whine and moan and cry and scream so much. It’s driving me nuts.

So here I am, the elevator shaft open, a gas can in hand. They are screaming down there. I guess they don’t like the smell of gas. Whatever, the real voice in my head—the one that is solely me—is tired of competing with them. I light a match and drop it. I see their hands reaching. I hear their screams. And the voices in my head—all of them—scream with them.


I often joke about the voices in my head, all 27 of them. They are young and old, male, and yes, there are a couple of females in there. They are not in control. They are never in control and they usually don’t like it.

The squirrels are in control. However, they usually only last a day at a time. Each day a new squirrel takes over when I wake in the morning. By the end of the day, the squirrel usually dies of exhaustion. Seriously, keeping up with my mind is difficult. The voices laugh and cheer when a squirrel dies. They are sick.

I kid you not when I say that is where this story came from. Seriously. No kidding.

I hope you enjoyed The Voices Inside and Out. Please share, like and comment. I greatly appreciate it.