And Yet He Still Felt Nothing


This is a standalone story, meant to be read from here. But the same characters were featured in a previous week's pob-wotw and if you are interested, you can read it by clicking here.


The question which Jared asked himself as he began his life as a prisoner was now being posed to him by a psychiatrist. Having been caught in the act of attempting to assassinate his parents and siblings, he was undergoing extensive mental examinations.

The middle aged psychiatrist asked him again. "Please, try to describe the last emotion you can remember. Even if it seems unimportant or happened in your childhood. This is very important."

Jared stared thoughtfully into space. "I was driving my car along the coast of Rio. I felt extreme pleasure and exhilaration. The air had an exotic smell, and I was hitting speeds I had only experienced on closed racetracks. But the curves made it so challenging, and the knowledge that there was no margin for error gave me the biggest adrenaline rush of my life."

"And then what happened, Jared?"

"Nothing, I just slowed down after I had my fun."

"You didn't sustain any head injuries?" Asked the doctor patiently.

"No, I have never so much as bumped my head. There's nothing wrong with me. I just stopped feeling emotions. Even my skydiving session the next day didn't evoke any emotions."

Stumped, the man thanks Jared for his time and leaves. He makes a few calls, asking for a meeting with the family, as well as a thorough medical examination of Jared's brain.


Meanwhile, the undercover officer who had been the primary reason for Jared's failure in having five people murdered, was being thanked and rewarded. Jared's father said "Of course you will take this, you saved all four of our children, as well as my wife and I." The officer humbly accepted, since his attempts to refuse had been met with yet more words of praise.

After excusing himself and being hugged again by the five victims, he went back to his car. He wondered why they considered that he had also saved Jared, but didn't ask. He opened the envelope. While he didn't feel like he deserved it, he was curious about the gift.

A check for one million dollars!!! This would take care of him and his family, should he ever decide to retire. The choice was now his!

But first on the list? A trip to some exotic place where there are no phones, just him and his wife, who he had never been able to give the dream honeymoon which she so richly deserved.

His wife, a bird lover, would unknowingly be choosing the destination over dinner. He would casually find out her dream trip, and make it happen before she had any reason to check the bank balance. She would never suspect a thing.

Balancing the family budget every month, she of all people knew that such a trip was out of the question for at least another five years, assuming that they wanted to continue to send the kids to visit his parents every summer - where they were currently at. And would be for another eighteen full days!

His parents lived over a thousand miles away, and ran a summer camp for underprivileged children. They had a huge property which had been in the family for four generations. It had a lake, woods, trails, the whole nine yards! They kept horses for trail rides, and canoes for the lake.

His kids loved visiting, and he felt it important that they had an opportunity to spend time with both sets of grandparents. It was sending them to summer camp, but with the knowledge that they would be cared for by family. Carefully putting the check in his pocket, he smiled.


Upon meeting with Jared's family, the psychiatrist discovered that Jared had always been a thrill seeker, and as an adult had to have excitement every day or he was miserable. Jared had also always been a loving son, and a very protective brother when his sisters were concerned. Dr. Sanders strongly suspected that the activities Jared regularly participated in were connected to the changes in his patient's character.

The medical reports indicated that Jared was in perfect physical health. Again, they seemed to be back at square one. What could make a man who seemingly loved his family, and definitely prized his emotions, turn into the monster who didn't even feel relieved that he had failed in killing his own family, or anger or bitterness at being captured? Could he ever understand the man who was now his patient?


Without any evidence of mental instability, Jared was sentenced to the maximum penalty, despite having the best lawyers money could buy. The protests of his family for leniency went unheeded.

Prison life didn't appear to bother Jared. He really didn't seem to care about anything. After settling into a routine, two years rolled by.

One day, when he was going to the kitchen for his daily duties alone, he stumbled (or slipped) into a situation which would change his life. He had proven reliable, and was allowed some freedom within the prison. Someone had washed the linoleum, and neglected to leave the sign out which announced "WET FLOOR".

Predictably, Jared shot down the corridor at top speed. His excellent reflexes, honed from his years as a daredevil saved him from falling. Upon stopping, he shook his head, as though to clear the fog from his brain after a long sleep.

Laughing for the first time in years, Jared slid on the slick linoleum time after time. Knowing his case well, and never having seen him express any emotions, the guard who found the almost childlike prisoner quietly left without being noticed. He summoned a psychiatrist and just in case, a team of the most experienced guards.

Jared acted quite embarrassed when he saw the small group watching him act like a kid. He became very subdued, keeping his eyes on his feet. His beet red face betrayed his calm demeanor.


Test after test revealed no physical changes. But having been informed of what happened, his parents began legal proceedings to have him released should medical experts agree that he was recovering. They had always been convinced that it was either an injury or some exotic, unknown disease. Their son would never do those things!

After a prolonged legal battle, Jared was finally released. There had been rumors of money changing hands in Washington, but nothing was ever proven.


Upon being welcomed home, Jared smiled and said all the right things. He had already decided never to attempt such a thing again. But not for the any of the reasons most people would give.

For he had never told anyone the entire truth. Yes, he had issues that prevented him from experiencing the full range of emotions that forms the human experience. But he had never lost his thrill seeker personality, the problem had been that the attempted assassination had not elicited the adrenaline rush he craved. He had no desire to repeat it, or live the rest of his life in prison.

Unknown to anyone but him, the would be killer had lost most of his emotions when he was eighteen, during his last trip to summer camp. Jared had almost died from a strange insect bite, or perhaps a bad reaction to a plant, nobody really knew. His desperate family had hired specialists who gave him experimental drugs.

When Jared finally regained consciousness, he had changed drastically. Maybe it was the illness, or the drugs, or a combination of the two. Nobody noticed the changes. They saw what they expected, their beloved Jared being given a second chance at life.

At first he was confused and scared, but he hid what was wrong from his parents. He didn't want to go to more doctors, he just wanted to get on with life!

After a while, he discovered that besides fear, he still felt joy and exhilaration. It was the part of him that loved, as well as his empathy which were missing. While being able to remember such feelings, since they no longer affected him, he didn't see it as a loss.


As the adult Jared kisses his mother on the cheek and retires to his old room, he ponders. "What can I do for fun..."

Divider lines made by me using Gimp

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels and edited by me using Gimp

I am sorry for not adding the link as text, it isn't working at the moment


3 columns
2 columns
1 column