Ironically, my name is Mercy, though my parents showed me none.

 

If you buy the nonsense they’re selling, you’d think my very birth foretold of an evil prophesy and unleashed a wicked scourge across the land.

While that telling is all very dramatic and compelling, it’s not the whole story. The truth is, I was almost ten years old before the religious cult began to insist  I had been kissed by the devil.

Nowadays, how people perceive me is clouded by a different set of convictions and a whole new doctrine. It’s a different batch of Kool-Aid, but I still have no choice about whether to swallow it or not. Not while I’m here and labeled a Ward of the State.

I’ve worn all types of labels over the years—non-believer, pariah, deranged, orphan…it’s all in my file if you care to understand me better. But the label that seems to have implanted the deepest and garnered the most attention is the one I wear like a Scarlet Letter.

It precedes me when I enter a room and is whispered about like a schoolyard crush.

Paranoid Schizophrenic.