The Retribution of Mara Dyer Read online

  For the bad girls, and the boys who love them

  “What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.”

  —Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil


  THE EXAMINATION OF MARA DYER was taken on [redacted] at the Horizons Residential Treatment Center for Behavioral Health. 31821 No Name Island, Florida. Video transcript time: 2:13 p.m.

  Examination by: Dr. Deborah Kells

  Also present: Mr. [redacted]

  KELLS: Hello, Mara. My name is Deborah Kells, and this is Mr. ____. We’re here because your family says that you have agreed to residential treatment at the Horizons Residential Treatment Center for Behavioral Health on No Name Island, Florida, just off No Name Key. Is that correct?


  KELLS: How much Amytal did you give her?

  MR. ____: Forty ccs.

  KELLS: Anemosyne?

  MR. ____: One hundred micrograms.

  KELLS: And the midazolam?

  MR. ____: Fifty milligrams. Same as the others. She won’t remember any of this.

  KELLS: God, she’s like a zombie. Mara, Mara—are you awake? Do you understand me?

  MARA: . . . Yes.

  KELLS: Great. Thank you. Is it correct that you agreed to being treated here?

  MARA: Yes.

  KELLS: Thank you. Now, if at anytime you don’t understand what I’m asking you, just let me know and I’ll try to make it clearer, okay?

  MARA: Okay.

  KELLS: Now, you’ll notice that there’s a video camera in the room here with us. We want to record this just so we have a record. Is that okay with you?

  MARA: Yes.

  KELLS: Excellent. Okay, Mara. Let’s start with the basics. What is your full name?

  MARA: Mara Amitra Dyer.

  KELLS: And how old are you?

  MARA: Seventeen.

  KELLS: Where were you born?

  MARA: Laurelton.

  KELLS: Where is that?

  MARA: Outside Providence.

  KELLS: Rhode Island?

  MARA: Yes.

  KELLS: Thank you. Can you tell me a little about why you’re here?


  KELLS: She’s struggling with the open-ended questions. Can we counteract the Anemosyne?

  MR. ____: She might not be as cooperative.

  KELLS: Well, she’s not exactly cooperative now, is she?

  MR. ____: I’ll have to do it intravenously—

  KELLS: Obviously. Just—

  MARA: I hurt people.

  MR. ____: Do you still want me to adjust—

  KELLS: No, let’s see where she goes. Mara, who did you hurt?

  MARA: My teacher.

  KELLS: What was her name?

  MARA: Morales.

  MR. ____: Her file says that her teacher, Christina Morales, died of anaphylactic shock in reaction to fire ant bites on [date redacted].

  KELLS: Let me see.

  MARA: Also a . . . a man. He hurt a dog. I—I—

  KELLS: It’s okay. Take your time. Just tell us what you remember.

  MARA: Rachel.

  MR. ____: Rachel Watson, deceased, died Wednesday [date redacted] in Laurelton. Remains discovered at six a.m. with those of—

  MARA: Claire.

  MR. ____: Claire Lowe, yes, as well as her brother, Jude Lowe—

  Mara: Noah.

  MR. ____: Noah Shaw? I don’t—

  KELLS: Quiet.

  MR. ____: Sorry—whoa. Did you see that? She just—

  KELLS: What else is she on?

  MR. ____: The hundred milligrams of Zyprexa, as prescribed prior to intake. It shouldn’t interfere.

  MARA: [speech unclear]

  KELLS: What did she say?

  MR. ____: I don’t know. Jesus, look—

  KELLS: Is she on anything else?

  MR. ____: I don’t—

  KELLS: Is she on anything else?

  MR. ____: No. No.

  KELLS: Does she have a history of epilepsy?

  MR. ____: I don’t think so.

  KELLS: Well, do you think or do you know?

  MR. ____: No— Jesus Christ. Is that a seizure? Is she seizing?

  KELLS: Turn off the camera.

  MARA: [speech unclear]

  KELLS: What did you say, Mara?

  MR. ____: I’m going to call—

  KELLS: Don’t call anyone. Turn off the camera. What, Mara?

  MARA: [speech unclear]

  MR. ____: Did she just say our names? Did she just say—


  MR. ____: Oh, God—

  [End video examination, 2:21 p.m.]


  THE FIRST FACE I SAW when I opened my eyes was my own.

  The wall in front of the iron bed was mirrored. So were the walls to my right and left—there were five mirrors, or six maybe. I smelled nothing, heard nothing, saw nothing but me.

  During the past several months¸ I hadn’t spent much time looking in mirrors, for reasons. Now that I was forced to, I couldn’t quite believe that the girl I was seeing was me. My dark, thick hair was parted in the middle, and it hung limp and dull over thin shoulders. My lips were almost the same color as my skin—that is to say, white. There were angles to my face that I’d never noticed before. Or maybe they hadn’t existed before. I was looking at a ghost, a shell, a stranger. If my parents saw me, they would never know who I was.

  But they never did see me. That was part of the problem. That was why I was here.

  “Yeah, we look like shit,” said a voice.

  Said my voice.

  But I hadn’t spoken. My lips hadn’t moved.

  I bolted upright, looking at my infinite reflections. They stared back, looking panicked and wary at once.

  “Up here.”

  The voice was above me. I craned my neck—the ceiling was mirrored too. I saw my reflection in it, but this one, this reflection, was smiling at me. Even though I wasn’t smiling.

  So. I’d finally lost it.

  “Not yet,” my reflection said, looking amused. “But you’re close.”

  “What—what is this?” A hallucination?

  “Not a hallucination,” my reflection said. “Guess again.”

  I dropped my gaze for a moment, glancing around the room. Every other reflection turned when I did. God, I hoped I was dreaming.

  I looked back up at the reflection above me. The girl in the mirror—me, I guess—tilted her head slightly to the left. “Not quite. You’re in that kind-of-unconscious-kind-of-not space. Which should make you feel better about your sanity.”


  “Also, you should know that there are sensors monitoring our pulse and heartbeat, so it would be better for both of us if you’d lie back down.”

  I swung my head, looking for the monitors, but didn’t see any. I listened to the girl anyway.

  “Thanks,” she said. “That Wayne guy comes in and examines us whenever our heart rate spikes, and he really creeps us out.”

  I shook my head, the papery pillowcase crinkling with the movement. “Don’t say ‘us.’  That creeps me out.”

  “Sorry, but it is us. I’m you,” my reflection said, arching an eyebrow. “I’m not exactly your biggest fan either, you know.”

  I’ve had weird dreams. I’ve had weird hallucinations. But weird didn’t even begin to touch this, whatever this was. “So, what are you? My . . . my subconscious or something?”

  “You can’t talk to your subconscious. That’s stupid. It’s more like—I’m the part of you that’s aware even when you don’t know you’re aware. She’s been giving us a lot of drugs—a lot of drugs—and it’s dulled our—sorry, your—awar