Emmaline 7

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

 Chapter 7

Commencing War Games

War Games-Operation Any Little Annoyance

I heard the door leading into the hall open and shut. That was our cue. I cracked the door to my room and checked to see that big B and goon were both gone.

Helen did exactly as we had discussed. She left her room and wandered down the hall, with eyes on the ground. She entered the restroom and cracked the door to check the community room and front desk. I watched her heave a sigh of relief as she turned to me waving the all clear signal.

We ventured into the community room with trepidation. We had decided on our marching orders after lights out, then tossed and turned waiting to put our plans into action. When I saw goon’s face peering through the tiny window in the door, I knew action was moments away. It was all I could do to be still and wait for Na’ to finish night rounds.

When I looked back, my girls were already behind me. My heart filled with warmth I hadn’t known I was still capable of. We padded toward the community room and slipped into the restroom with Helen. I extended my index finger whispering,

“Commencing war games; Operation: Any Little Annoyance.”

We jammed our fingers together hard and tiptoed into the community room. I was surprised that all four of us could move in virtual silence.

For the first time, I’m glad for the butt-ugly hospital socks they gave us on arrival.

Danica took her post at the thick door sill, behind the entrance, to listen and watch for B and goon. Marie sneaked behind the desk to search for CD-ROM’s and unmarked disks.

Helen manned one of three computers armed with my list of web addresses. I ventured into a room behind the front desk that I’d noticed only a day ago. It was a back office.

I’ll be damned. This must be the inner-sanctum.

There were several desks and it appeared quite formal, as though staff and department heads must meet here in secrecy. Scanning the room, I discovered two busts. They were blue with gears emblazoned around their skulls. I memorized the office as best I could, with my heart pounding, stepped out, and shut the door quietly.

Helen and Marie had already found a blank disk and downloaded the sounds and pictures I requested. Helen handed the disk to me and I shoved it into one of my hospital socks as I caught Danica’s eye. She pointed back to our rooms motioning frantically. All of us moved swiftly and closed our door silently just as B and goon returned.

I pushed Helen, in her cartoon dog PJ’s, into my bed and against the wall. I leapt in behind her, arranging pillows and blankets to hide her. To prying eyes, it would look like I was alone with covers pulled up and one arm slung across the heap.

An hour later, goon’s ugly mug peered through the window and I watched her shadow pass by again as she returned to join big B in the front office. I waited several minutes, until I could hear the drone of Na and B talking over coffee. I let go a heavy sigh and realized I’d been all but holding my breath.

All of us merged silently into our circle, at the back of the room, away from the fluorescent light barely whispering through the door window. I waited for several minutes while our eyes adjusted and then raised my finger, laughing quietly,

“Success!”

My girls followed suit and we sat together in silence, holding hands for a moment, though we were anything but quiet. There in the darkness we bonded, squeezing each other’s hands and hugging each other wordlessly. Our minds buzzed with friendship, sisterhood, and shared elation; a feeling not one of us had experienced since our admittance here.

As unlikely as it seemed, we were each other’s family now. I leaned back against the wall, smiling contentedly at having gained so much more than just turning the tables on the staff.

Danica added to our ritual then, extending her finger into our circle. As we reached to touch her finger, she closed hers against her middle finger, forming a circle. We looped our fingers through Danica’s. This time, she did not ask. She softly stated what we all knew had just taken place,

“Sisters.”

It wasn’t a command, a question, or an order. It was a gentle admonition; a softly spoken fact; one we were all extremely happy for. This was our wealth. In this place that was destitute of happiness and devoid of family, we had both in droves.

Helen finally broke the silence, asking,

“What’s next?”

I grinned wickedly and pulled the disk from my ugly, teal hospital sock. I held it up and said,

“Any little annoyance.”

A slightly confused silence followed, so I relented and explained,

“I want them to experience what we did. When we came here, we were scared, confused, in need of explanation regarding what would follow, like our personal safety and how they protect it, how long the likely stay is, what the steps to ‘recovery’ are,” I said, making quotations in the air, “At least within the first two or three days here, those general courtesies should have been mandatory.”

“Exactly,” Helen hissed under her breath.

“All of us are here because we survived something unspeakable.” I continued, “At that point, information and kindness are no longer a luxury. They are necessities. Punishment is not the order of the day for patients being admitted.”

“What Helen said,” Marie whispered in a low, scathing tone.

I went on to finish my thought, “Following the unspeakable, we were strip-searched, had our belongings taken and locked up, We got zero input, zero niceties, zero comfort in any form, zero explanation of what to expect, zero information period; no offer of anything, from a cup of water to sitting down with a staff counselor, or anyone who could address our fears and worries. Not one person told us what to expect here!”

“That’s exactly right,” Marie spat acidly.

“For our terror and trouble, we got one humiliation and violation after another, and ‘follow me,’ only led to yet mortification. They took our belongings, our already limited control, and our dignity along with our shoelaces! The cherry on the crazy parfait was, ‘We earn our own keep around here. You’ll do well to remember that.’ I intend to feed them enormous helpings of crazy parfait and be as distant, aloof, and uncaring, as they were and have remained.”

Uneasy silence ensued while I let the memories consume me and when I resurfaced, I knew what I had to do.

“I’m sorry, ladies. I didn’t realize I was still that upset. I’m going to take a revote for who’s in and who’s out. No one will be shunned if they want out. We’re sisters now.”

I lifted my hand with trepidation and three fingers touched my own.

“Are you absolutely sure,” I asked.

Danica spoke first, “Yes, we’re sure. We all feel the same way.”

Helen and Marie shared their admittance stories then, which closely mimicked my own, and I responded,

“We finish what we started tonight at 4am break.”

All of us smiled jubilantly and gave the ‘all in’ signal. We wandered back to bed and waited for goon and B to go on break. When I heard the front door click shut behind them, we sprang into motion.

All of us went to the front desk except Danica. She manned the lookout post again. I pushed the disk into the floppy drive and extracted sounds of moaning, ecstasy, and screaming orgasms, to install in the start menu of sounds for the computer. I wasn’t really surprised to find that the office machines were fairly antiquated but this time it was exactly what I needed.

I asked Helen and Marie to go get the blue heads from the back office while I extracted a horse blanket to print out a sign. I told Marie how and where to place the busts. I could picture B and goon returning in blissful, enamored adoration, only to have a seat, spin around, and find themselves face to face with blue gear-heads.

“Ya think that’s how they see us?” I asked, laughing, “Heads with gears that need a wrench?”

Snickering to myself, I attached the sounds to various computer functions and turned the volume all the way up. Then I printed another paper with a drawing of a head with Band-Aids plastered on its’ brain. Helen taped it to the side of a blue head, while Danica scrambled onto the counter to quickly tape the horse blanket sign in place on cupboards. Lastly, I downloaded a picture resembling the chain link fence outside and used it for wallpaper. I put it on all the computers.

Working in tandem had spared us precious minutes and we finished before Danica could give the signal. Helen made it back to her own room after I told her to keep her ear to the door.

I lay awake waiting, until I heard big B exclaim,

“What the?”

I assumed she was face to face with blue gear-head and stifled my laughter.

Goon was by her side in a shot, saying,

“How? Who? What the hell is going on here?”

Obviously, she had seen Band Aid brain and the cupboard picture that read, “My imaginary friend thinks you have SERIOUS mental problems.”

Goon stomped toward the hall, rounding on us immediately. This time, she opened every door and hit the room lights on.

She came to our room looking under beds, lifting pillows, and tossing blankets this way and that, when I heard the computer moan and scream,

“Yes! Yes! Don’t stop! Do me, baby! Do me good!”

The three of us tried to appear mostly asleep, as though she had wakened us after resting many hours.

Again the computer wailed, “Ohhh, yeeeesss,” followed by a long scream.

Goon’s face was beat-red and if I hadn’t known better, I would have sworn smoke was chugging out of her ears. Feigning exhaustion, I let myself slump back on the bed and buried my face in a pillow. Goon was livid. She yelled,

“Which one of you Cretans did this? Fess up now and I might go easy on you!”

I swallowed peals of laughter and made sure I was stone-faced when I rose from the bed again. Just as she finished the sentence, the computer wailed,

“Oh, SO gooood! Oh! Don’t stop! Don’t stoooppp! Yeeessss!”

Goon glared at me and I knew I was going to lose my composure.

“You’re behind this, aren’t you, Emmaline? You’ve been trouble since day one!”

I held my stomach like I was going to hurl and ran for the bathroom. I stood there for some time, splashing cold water on my face and fighting back a good belly-laugh, knowing that many wars had been won tonight.

When I returned to the room, I retrieved my list and crossed off ‘Confusion.’
 
 
By Wildfire8470
Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Emmaline’s Story 3

Featured

Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 3

My Informant and the Junk-Food Gods

Danica, Hellena, Emm

At five a.m. the door banged open and fluorescent light flooded the previously darkened room. All three of us groaned. That’s when I knew my voice had returned. I elected to keep silent. Nurse Belinda entered, joined by rent-a-goon, for morning rounds. I turned to face the wall wondering if I would ever know a full night of sleep again.

 

“Arms up,” Nurse Belinda ordered.

 

With eyes still closed I raised my arm swiftly, nearly clocking her. The goon instantly stepped between us and I dropped my arm. She glared down at me saying, “Don’t even think about it, missy.

 

Missy? Missy? Is that the best you’ve got, you eighth grade-dropout? 

 

Big B took my wrist to show me what was expected. She took my pulse and checked my blood pressure while goon watched carefully, spoiling for a fight. Moments later, the two filed out and the room went dark again. From a corner bed, I heard a whisper,

 

“Hey! Pssst! Hey! New girl!”

 

I remained silent. Nonetheless, the voice persisted,

 

“Make it easy on you. Don’t start shit with Big B.” I tugged at the uncomfortable pillow longing for silence but the emphatic voice went on insistently, “Big Belinda and Nadine, the guard, are lovers. Na will make your life miserable if you start up with big B. By the way, welcome to hell.”

 

Breaking my silence for the first time, I whispered, “Thanks, I think.”

 

I snuggled into the blanket, closed my eyes, and drifted back to sleep drawing comfort from having won an ally and potential friend. Precisely at seven a.m., I listened to what could only be a herd of Buffalo stampeding through the halls. I lay there shocked, thinking, Chaotic disorder in a place that’s all about control? Surreal.

 

The girl in the bed across the room got up and headed for the door, then paused to toss over her shoulder, “Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.”

 

I sat up in bed rubbing my eyes and then looked around taking in my surroundings. “Not what you expected. Huh?” It was the voice from the corner bed.

 

“It’s ahhh,” I stumbled, grappling for words to sum up my estimation, “It’s… No. It’s not,” I replied, with adjectives failing me altogether.

 

“I know. I got here three days ago. I’m Danica.”

 

“Hi, Danica, I’m Emmaline. Call me Emma,” I responded with a halfhearted smile.

 

“Okay Emma. Its weird right,” Danica queried.

 

I knew the feeling intimately but wasn’t ready to talk and deal. I tried not to wince, “What’s weird?”

 

“That we weren’t supposed to be alive today.”

 

I realized that Danica may appear to be a shy mouse, but she was actually sharply pointed and fearless. I closed my eyes as images of the preceding week assaulted me.

 

 

“Yea,” I murmured, “It’s weird.”

 

“Where did you matriculate from,” Danica asked hesitantly, “I mean, how did you end up here?”

 

“How did you,” I countered sharply.

 

“Okay. That’s one for the psychiatrist,” Danica backed off.

 

Feeling slightly ashamed of having rebuffed my first and only ally, I forced a small smile and evaded the topic, “I traded one hell for another. Didn’t you?”

 

“Yea, sure enough,” Danica laughed softly as we stood and approached the door. I estimated she was about my age. Probably a year or two younger, I surmised. Her dirty-blonde hair was short, cropped close to her face with bangs. It was flattering, but gave her a childlike appearance. She was a little taller than I and as thin as a rail. I doubted she had ever eaten an entire meal. Had I seen Danica from a distance, I would have mistaken her for a kid.

 

Maybe she is just a kid. Too young to feel fear? I wondered but felt certain that by virtue of being here, she had definitely known fear.

 

She stopped me in the doorway saying, “Show no fear and stick close. I’ll be your informant.”

 

I wondered why I would need one. What could possibly be worse than last night?

 

Danica cautioned me to avoid the food-cart stampede running from smoke-break to breakfast. We parked it at the end of the long table to wait until the other patients were seated with meals. Big B and goon doled out trays that were made specifically for patients on special diets, one of whom chose a seat directly across from of us.Through lowered eyelids, she said a soft hello.

 

“Hi,” we replied in unison.

 

She eyed the empty spaces in front us and asked, “Not eating?”

 

“I wish,” Danica grumbled.

 

“I’m diabetic,” she explained, “They force me to eat this cra… food,” She amended her language.

 

“We’re going to have to teach you some driving words,” I smiled.

 

Just then, Danica grabbed my hand and hauled me out of my seat, “C’mon. The mob is gone.”

 

“Wait here,” I instructed the young woman, “We’ll be right back.”

 

I searched the picked-over food cart for anything resembling a caffeinated beverage while Danica picked up a tray eyeing me warily.

 

Not finding a cup of coffee or even a soda, I moved to search the opposite side of the cart, rummaging frantically, pushing aside trays, juice drinks, and small milk cartons.

 

Danica stood behind me, waiting patiently, already knowing what I was searching for. With nothing left to search, I turned frenzied eyes to her.

 

“They don’t have it,” she sighed, shaking her head dejectedly.

 

But,” I began half hysterically. “Shhh,” She cut me off, “Na and B are watching us.” She shoved a tray into my hands and guided me back to our seats. I sat down trying to collect myself but failed. I was at my wits end, “But they allow smoking for shit’s sake! No caffeine,” I blurted, questioning her and any junk-food god that would listen.

 

“Nope,” she replied, “This might be a good time to take up smoking.”

 

The woman across the table groaned, as did I. I lowered my voice and whispered menacingly, “I was admitted late last night. I didn’t sleep until some ungodly hour of the morning. I was rudely awakened at five a.m. I’m not going to make it through the next hour, let alone the rest of the day!”

 

“I know,” Danica replied, “Today’s going to be a bitch. Same thing happened to me.”

 

That’s when I felt three sharp taps on my shoulder. Big B stood behind me armed with paper and pencil. She shoved a form into my hands, ordering, “Fill this out and return it to the front desk.”

 

Danica issued, sheepishly, “Oops. I forgot.”

 

“Good going, informant,” I groused.

 

The form requested names and phone numbers for people I was willing to see. To me, it seemed like the final “screw you.” I was done. I walked with steadfast assurance, in a bee-line to the front desk, crumpled the form into a ball, and aimed for the trash can.

 

I made the first basket of my life with an adamant “No way in hell!”

 

Returning to the table in a fit of anger, I shoved my tray away and stomped to a door that opened onto a large porch with an expanse of lawn beyond. I needed air and freedom. I needed a way out.

 

The porch was cool cement against my still bare feet and I made my way beyond it to warm grass and sunshine. I stood in the middle of the lawn soaking in the morning sun and looking around. Finally I could breath and started to wonder why patients didn’t just leave in the night. It was certainly solitary enough, open and unsupervised enough. That’s when I noticed it.

 
 

By Wildfire8470
Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Previous © copyright 2015-04-30 06:20:34 – All Rights Reserved

Emmaline’s Story 1

Featured

Emmaline’s Story – On The Inside

Chapter 1

The Price of Admittance

Emmaline

I was admitted to the institution with the usual invasions of privacy and personal violations, as though a serious attempt to off me wasn’t enough suffering for one day. Admittedly, I had no idea what to expect here, but so far, this wasn’t it.

A large, rotund rent-a-goon with an imposing posture escorted me into the ladies room. She pushed me past the bathroom stalls into the fluorescent lighting over the sink area.

“Strip,” she demanded.

I blinked in shocked disbelief.

“Come on, I don’t have all day,” she spat.

Hesitantly, I reached for my blouse buttons as rent-a-goon lifted her clipboard and began making notations.

“Put your arms out and turn slowly.”

I did so, praying my humiliation would meet with a quicker end than I had.

“Again,” the goon ordered, moving closer.

Again I turned, with the chill of cold tile running up from the bottom of my bare feet and spreading through all of my extremities. Goon looked my nude form up and down, made another note and asked with incredulous disbelief,

“No tats? Not even a tramp stamp?”

I struggled to choke out words but none were forthcoming. It happened every time life handed me a horrific circumstance. When I most needed my voice, I was hopelessly mute.

The goon relented, allowing me to dress again. I did so quickly, relieved that the utilitarian he-she wasn’t going to attack me.

“Follow me,” She demanded.

Rent-a-goon led me down a sterile, deserted hallway and deposited me in what looked like a small waiting room in a doctor’s office. She exited without a word. I stood in the room wanting to scream after her,

If I was sure you’re a woman, I’d bitchslap the shit out of you!

Instead, I took a seat trying to distance myself from that deeply personal, humiliating affront.

The room was filled to capacity with girls who looked more like ‘the undead’ than human beings. After the most uncomfortable half hour I’ve ever spent waiting, I noticed that they weren’t actually sitting at all. They were lying around, every last one of them; some on the floor, some on a small couch, and the rest draped over chairs.

I pretended to adjust my position so I could see their eyes without being obvious. All were completely vacant save for two girls. The two ranted loudly denigrating everything about the place. My eyes flew back and forth between the desk jockeys and raving girls but no one seemed to notice. Everyone was completely unfazed, as though this was just ‘business as usual.’ An icy chill ran down my spine.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was trapped; there was no escape now. I stared longingly at the locked door and my stomach gave a lurch when total recall struck.

I realized I knew these girls intimately. I had studied them in Psych classes, scrutinized and analyzed them trying to form a correlation between speculative analysis and factual understanding.  I rummaged through my mind for anything I could recall from classes and medical books.

An acceptable definition of ‘Incurable insanity’ had eluded me, and all research failed in light of being trapped in a too-small room with those who wore the label.

These were the girls who could say, do, and get away with anything. They could not be held responsible for their actions. These were the patients who were never leaving; veritable street urchins caught in a system which had failed them.

For the sake of convenience, this establishment had drugged them into oblivion. They were drones and junkies completely unaware of reality. Their home was here for all the rest of their days. These were the lost girls.

 
 
 
 

By Wildfire8470

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Previous © copyright 2015-04-30 06:20:34 – All Rights Reserved
 
 
 
 
 
 

Emmaline 6

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 6

Committed Sister Soldiers

Committed Sister Soldiers

All of us went to bed sleepless that night. We waited forty-five minutes past lights out before daring to speak.

 

Sitting at the edge of our beds, Danica asked, “So what’s the plan?”

 

I spread a blanket on the floor and motioned for Danica and Marie to join me, “Okay,” I whispered, “First, we take an oath, “None of us breathe a word of what we’re doing. No matter what happens, even if you decide not to play anymore, not a word.”

 

I raised my hand in the air extending my index finger, “We can’t take a blood oath, so this is the equivalent. If you’re in, you’re all in, from now until. If you want out, we do it again. We all need to be clear about who the players are; who’s in and who’s out, “Agreed,” I asked, reaching into the center of our circle.

 

Danica and Marie touched their fingers to mine, saying, “Agreed.”

 

“What about Helen,” Marie asked softly.

 

“We meet her in the bathroom in about fifteen minutes.”

 

“Won’t that be too obvious,” Danica questioned, “All of us needing the bathroom at the same time?”

 

I smiled in the darkness. Danica was astute and already protecting our group. She was a definite player.

 

“Exactly,” I whispered, “If you’re both in agreement, I’ll repeat this same oath with Helena, uh Helen, I mean, on behalf of all of us.” Again, I raised my finger, “One touch is yes. No touch is no. That’s how we communicate about this plan from now on. Okay,” I asked.

 

Both touched my finger without reservation. I grabbed their hands and squeezed hard.

 

“You guys get into bed and think about skills,” I said, retrieving the blanket from the floor, “We’ll have to work with what we have; computers, lookout posts, just anything, and we’ll work together to figure out how and when Na and big B take breaks and make rounds. This week, we observe and gather as much information as possible.”

 

“Okay,” They whispered climbing under covers.

 

“Dig through anything from your past that can serve any annoying little purpose. It’s time for Na and B to earn their keep and their paychecks. This is small-scale war, ladies. During the day, if we have something to say about war games, we touch fingers and talk only after lights out.”

 

We all touched fingers to affirm our pledge and plan. Then I went to the bathroom to finish taking care of business. Helen arrived moments after I did and, to my dismay, wore pajamas with cartoon dogs on top and bottom. I wondered if she had a devious bone in her body.

 

I stood stalwart, thinking it over and considering my options. Helen looked down at her PJs and said, “I know, but what do you really have left to lose? They’re comfortable and I’m not trying to win approval or any beauty contests here.”

 

Following that acknowledgment, I knew my initial instincts about Helen had served me well.

 

Knowing that goon had seen both of us enter, I kept it short and to-the-point. We took the oath and I conveyed the hand signal with the importance of talking only after lights out. Repeating everything rapidly, I asked her to think about any skills she could contribute to war games.

 

Helen turned dejected eyes to the ground whispering, “I repaired elevators before I went bonkers. That’s all.”

 

A slow smile spread across my lips and it was all I could do to not burst into hysterics. I hugged her, replying in an excited whisper, “Perfect! Now go flush the toilet and wash your hands. I’ll leave first since I came in first. Then you go back to your room. Same time tomorrow night,” I asked. She touched her finger to mine and nodded affirmatively.

 

As I reentered my room, I found my ‘partners in war’ waiting for me. I raised my finger grinning widely. They both followed suit and we settled in for what little rest we could get despite our excitement.

 

Five a.m. rounds came too early, though not one of us could go back to sleep after that. I lay awake trying to remember some useful websites. Thankfully, journaling was encouraged, so paper and pencils were plentiful. I scrawled what I could recall and stuffed the folded paper into the elastic waistband of my panties.

 

To cover my tracks, I left papers scattered about containing horrific prose about unrequited love. On occasion, I returned to find pages missing from where I had strategically placed them. I knew that big B thought she had stumbled on immense insight into my damaged psyche. I grinned slyly and put my poker-face back on.

 

At night we stifled our laughter under cover of darkness, while we shared and noted observances that would come in handy. We worked in shifts to determine staff schedules, and the comings and goings of big B and goon.

 

In short order, we discovered that Danica had been right. Big B and goon were lovers. In a week’s time, we learned that they took fifteen minute breaks together, at two and four a.m., and occasionally slipped out to the smoking porch to sneak a hug and kiss. I knew that would be the perfect time to commence war games.

 

Marie turned out to be a valuable asset. She had worked in an office prior to coming unglued, hence her subsequent arrival at the ‘Institute for the Lowest Form of Life,’ as the local townies referred to it, and less than affectionately deemed ‘I.L.L., for short’

 

Danica had worked in fast food before starting work detailing cars. She confessed she had hated both jobs. She would be accustomed to watching and listening for her boss’ return from his daily excursions. She was the perfect one to watch for unexpected departures, entrances, and deviance from schedule.

 

I staggered my visits with Helen so they wouldn’t get suspicious and because I had a special idea for her, which would have to take place later. It would be too risky to implement before we were entirely familiar with B and goon’s schedules. Also, Helen would need some makeshift tools.

 

Last but not least we made a very important list together; a list detailing everything we felt, were made to feel, and had been put through since our arrival here. I had concocted a short list, but wanted to score a blow for each of us, as well as those we didn’t know or hadn’t met yet. We came to our circle at the back of the room just after goon made her first round.

 

“Ladies,” I said, holding up my paper covered in chicken scratch, “I’ve made a list detailing some things that we felt upon arriving here, along with the subsequent, unsettling annoyances and abuses of power, acted out upon us.”

 

“Why,” Marie asked, “What’s the point?”

 

“I was hoping you would ask,” I said smiling.

“The point of war games is to make the staff feel every emotion and fear they put us through. This is the entire point to war games, but I intend for us to enjoy this and revel in watching their reactions. Their reactions are our victories,” I explained excitedly.

 

“Ohhh, so there is a bigger picture,” Danica stated wide-eyed.

 

“Yes,” I confirmed, “There is a bigger picture. War games have reason and rhyme or I wouldn’t risk this much.”

 

I closed my eyes and held my breath. For the first time, I felt I was asking for too much. It was a huge risk that could mean a longer or even permanent stay with the orderlies, goon, guards and their ilk, and big B, along with their collective wrath.

 

Here, on the third floor of the psychiatric facility, no one had been tied into a strait jacket, wrestled onto a bed in solitary confinement, or shot up with enough Thorazine to leave an elephant drooling, but it was a possibility none of us could deny.

 

Silence claimed our group momentarily while my girls absorbed the fact that these ‘games’ would serve more than just revenge in the form of being a nuisance.

 

In light of divulging the news, that I was designing war games to serve a more severe cause than my girls had previously thought, I waited for all to think through cause, effect, and potential repercussions. Afterward, I did the oath again. With trepidation, I reached into the center of our group,

 

“If anyone wants out, we are still the best of friends. No one will be shunned,” I reiterated, “One touch means you’re in. No touch means you’re out.”

 

Danica touched my finger immediately, and was joined by Marie’s slightly more reluctant touch following hers. I leaned forward and gathered us into a group hug.

 

Marie whispered, “What about Helen? Does she know everything?”

 

“Yes, she has been informed at our impromptu bathroom excursions, and I already added her grievances to the list.”

 

I reached into my elastic waistband and extracted the list I had begun. We all hovered over it, trying to see what we were writing. The girls spewed their ideas at me fast and furious, while our list grew tremendously lengthy.

 

We worked swiftly, putting like things together under one heading, to narrow it down to personal injuries, violations, abuses of power, humiliations, and helplessness. Finally we accomplished a much smaller list of exact points. I folded it, kissed it for luck, and relaxed on the bed, waiting.

 

At two a.m., big B and Na went for coffee and we went to war.
 
 
 

By Wildfire8470

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Emmaline’s Story 5

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On the Inside – Emmaline’s Story

 Chapter 5

Mutiny

Emm & Marie

 

On my third morning inside, I sat in bed watching and planning.  Rebellion?

I considered the idea for a moment deciding, No. Not strong enough!

I dismissed the thought and traded it for another. Mutiny! By the time I’m done they’ll throw us out! 

After five a.m. rounds, I whispered my thoughts to Danica,

“Want to play a game,” I asked in my very best imitation of Joshua; the kick-ass computer in the movie War Games.

“K, Sure,” She replied, still groggy and asleep.

At seven a.m. break, I waited for the girl across the room to rouse. I learned her name was Marie and bummed a cigarette from her. She started toward a nearby seat on the porch but I tugged her to a more distant location. We sat on the bench of my choice, the furthest from the door.

She taught me how to smoke without turning green and I confided that I was making plans and recruiting, between coughs and choking. I explained the revelation I’d had after sobbing by the fence,

“On the inside, it’s us against them,” I explained, “They’re free to treat us like garbage because they can. How badly do you want out,” I asked emphatically.

A wide grin spread across her lips that shone in her previously hollow eyes.

“What’s your plan,” she asked.

“That depends on you,” I said, testing the waters, “Are you in or out?”

I knew I would need her loyalty. I also knew I was asking a complete stranger. It was a necessary risk.

In,” she hissed happily and without forethought, “I was wondering when you would wake up and smell the incarceration!”

Goon and big B waved us in for breakfast. We all ate Corn Flakes together in silence while I schemed, plotting to reign down hell’s fury on them.  Danica and Marie flashed smiles across the table as they watched my eyes register my thoughts.

I focused my stare on my bowl of sodden flakes remembering the words big B had said when I arrived,

“We earn our own keep around here. You’ll do well to remember that.”

I did remember that and wondered about their jobs; hers and Goons’, as well as the orderlies and others, Whose making them earn their keep? For how long have they been paid to do such a cushy job? They actually ‘earn’ paychecks to follow us around, looking for any little thing that they deem to be wrong? No! No way in hell! 

I decided to start with making sure they earned their keep from now on, and with making their jobs a lot less cushy. Smugly, I thought, They’ll have to work very hard to earn their keep and paychecks from now on. No more ‘Miss nice gal’ for you. Your jobs just got a whole lot harder, I mused with an angry sneer.

I was pulled from my vengeance when the lady who had taken a seat with Danica and I, the preceding day, rejoined us. She placed her tray on the table asking, “Is this seat taken?”

Marie and Danica turned eyes to me, waiting for me to answer. I let go of my thoughts long enough to smile brightly and say, “Nope, it’s yours. Have a seat.”

She smiled warmly, digging into Corn Flakes and lukewarm milk while I introduced all of us,  “I’m Emma and this is Danica and Marie,” I motioned to ‘my cohorts in crime’ with my plastic spork.

I cast a sideways glance toward Goon and B realizing that we had been too quiet. I knew it would arouse suspicion bringing unwanted attention to our little group.

“I’m Helena,” she admitted shyly, “I hate it. Please call me Helen.”

I looked at Helena across the table and instinctively summed her up. Her hair was permed in the front and on top, leaving the jet-black length to fall straight down her back. She had the appearance of an older woman, possibly in her mid-twenties and wore an engagement ring. I made a mental note of it.

Helena stood to reach for a spork. When viewed from a different perspective, I knew she had to be about eighteen. Helena’s brown eyes were wide with confusion, and though she wore a great poker-face, I detected absolute fright. I gathered that she was a newbie, fearful of all that was unfamiliar and perhaps with good reason,

Hell, I thought, aren’t we all afraid? All of us have heard the horror stories about life in an institution. Not one person had even attempted to ease our fears. All we got was strip-searched and ‘follow me.’

Determined to make small talk, I replied, “Wow, the most beautiful woman in the world and a major cause of the Trojan War. Must be a tough rep to live up to.”

Helena’s face turned scarlet as she ground out, “Imagine the high school jeers and jokes.”

“You can relax with us,” I said kindly, “There will be no jokes, jeers, or wars here, that are not of your choosing.”

Goon began breakfast rounds and Helen’s unspoken question hung in the air. There would be time enough later to determine how much to reveal.
 
 
 
 
By Wildfire8470

Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Previous © copyright 2015-04-30 06:20:34 – All Rights Reserved

Emmaline’s Story 4

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 4

Fenced-In Mates

Danica&Emm

Slowly, I made my way toward something looming in the distance. Soon, I could make out an enormous fence. I ran my fingers over the rough-hewn, chain links, peering through it in abject horror. My eyes followed the trail of my fingers as high as I could reach and then I raised them to the top.

The fence was adorned with coiled, razor wire affixed lewdly atop like life-threatening graffiti; a detestable contrast to the blue, cloudless sky. Everything outside looked so peaceful, so friendly and normal, it made my heart ache. My knees gave way and I sank to the ground, unable to pry my eyes from the hideous razor wire.

We’re not patients. We’re incarcerated prisoners, inmates with no hope of escape! This isn’t jail. It’s hell! Verifiable hell!  

Danica’s first words to me rang in my ears, “By the way, welcome to hell.”

Did she know how right she was? Her three days and nights here must have seemed unending. 

The sun set and night fell with a damp chill. I didn’t notice. I sat, from dawn to dusk with downcast eyes, my fingers tightly wound around chain links in hopeless misery. I clung to the only tangible hatred I had; that which trapped me inside, in more ways than I could bear.

My world was drastically reduced. There were only two places in existence now, inside and out there.

Inside were endless, desperate, days and nights stretching out before me. Outside was an elusive dream; all ‘look but don’t touch,’ like some museum painting, cordoned off and guarded by goons.

Danica came to collect me, but I doubted it was possible. All hope was shattered. I was shattered. No one would be able to find the pieces of me I’d lost.

Great, I’m suicidal Humpty Dumpty.

I sat hugging my knees, weeping in futile rage. Never had I been so lost, so alone or so impossibly trapped. I knew then, that I was entirely at the mercy of the merciless. I couldn’t breathe, move or speak.

Danica pried my fingers from the chain links whispering, “Come on, Em’. Come inside with me.”

She helped me to stand throwing my arm around her shoulder as we stumbled back, shrouded in darkness that masked the tears streaking down my face. She patted my back gently, saying, “Shhh. There, there. It’s going to be okay.”

Everything in me wanted to plead for an answer I knew she didn’t have,

How? How is it going to be okay! Tell me how, please! 

I had no voice, no words, and I knew it would be fruitless to ask.

She sat me at the edge of my bed, saying in a hushed tone, “Be right back,” as she scooted from the room and returned with paper towels. She wiped my face and cleaned me up whispering soothingly all the while.

As my sobs subsided, Danica sat down next to me taking my hands in hers, “Remember,” she whispered, “Show no fear. It makes you an easy target. Don’t give them that.”

I knew she was right. I thought of rent-a-goon, just waiting for an easy victim. She would shred me at every chance and lay in wait, relishing her next opportunity.

Finally I wiped away the last of my tears, set my jaw and straightened my back, adopting a less devastated posture, and then hugged Danica hard. I mouthed my thanks to her. She hugged me back, looped her pinky through mine and said, “Sisters. Promise?”

I promised nodding affirmatively with a weak smile and promised myself, then and there, I wasn’t going down without unleashing an unholy war.

Danica went to her bed stretching and yawning, and for reasons I couldn’t fathom, I felt a ton better, like I’d been suffocating in a world that had caved in on me. Danica was my buffer, my pocket of air. For better or worse, she was now my sister in sins committed and those we would commit.
 
 
 
 
 
By Wildfire8470
Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 

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Previous © copyright 2015-04-30 06:20:34 – All Rights Reserved

Emmaline’s Story 2

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Emmaline’s Story – On The Inside

Chapter 2  

Painful Indoctrination

Daisy

Too abruptly, I realized that none of the lost girls had a single thing left to lose, and I was outnumbered eleven to one. The term ‘Criminally Insane’ leapt to mind and I would have torn my own skin off, had it meant I could free myself from the oppressive atmosphere.

This moment, and every moment of degradation leading up to it, was too much to stand, too unsettling to contemplate, too panic-inducing to ruminate! The entire scene was something straight out of “Alice in Wonderland,” after she went down the rabbit hole, or Janice Joplin’s rendition of it.

Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall,”

The refrain bored into my thoughts like a drill boring into hardwood; unbidden, seemingly excruciating, and slightly off-kilter. Something deep inside me shifted into sensory overload and I flew out of my body.

The shell of me remained seated. By all appearances, I was a slightly uneasy young woman squirming in her chair. All else bolted for the door. I was pulling on the handle, kicking and clawing the door, screaming at the top of my lungs,

Let me out! Let me out of here! I need to go! I’m not them! I’m not even like them! Help me!

An undetermined amount of time later, I came to with a gentle hand shaking my shoulder. A strikingly shrill voice called my name,

“Emmaline? Emmaline Mason! Are you okay, honey? Did you take something?”

Lacking ability to respond, I ran my hands over my arms and down my sides, making sure all of me was present and accounted for. For a brief moment, I was stupefied that no one seemed to have witnessed the scene I’d just made. I wondered how much time had passed while I was in that state.

Minutes? Hours? Days?  I wondered, but couldn’t piece the time together.

My eyes scoured the room, but I hadn’t seen a clock since I’d arrived. The effort was useless and I shook visibly knowing I was the next likely candidate for ‘eternally hopeless junkie.’

“We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to wake you, dear.”

The name on her smock read “Daisy.” Hers was the voice of kindness, but still could have shattered glass. The smile tugging at the corners of her lips was almost genuine.

Daisy asked the expected questions,

“How old are you, Emmaline?”

I stood mute in her inquisitive stare.

“Okay,” She replied gently, “Let’s try this one. Is there any chance you could be pregnant?”

I shook my head emphatically.

Daisy glanced down at my medical records, whispered something to her co-worker, and turned her crimson smile back to me,

“It’s okay, dear. You don’t have to speak. I’ll get it from your insurance form.”

She made short work of divesting me of all my worldly possessions, never once losing that damned smile. I wondered if she painted it on every morning.

“Why don’t you give me your purse and sit down to remove the laces from your shoes,” She asked kindly.

I was suddenly stricken with outrage at the invasions, intrusions, and abuses I had already suffered at the hands of the personnel. I stood there in silence letting my thoughts consume me, listening to the angry voice running amuck in my head,

Why don’t you cram it where the sun don’t shine, fake face? By the way, is that smile by Max Factor or Maybelline?

Slowly, I lifted my purse from my shoulder, handed it to Daisy, and sat staring down at my shoes to hide my snarl.

“I’ve searched your bag and removed all contraband; prescriptions, junk food, candy, soda, etcetera. I’ll put it in a locked box until you’re ready to leave,” Daisy explained as she approached, “Let me help you with those shoe laces,” She offered, kneeling to remove my last vestige of individuality.

Upon extracting the offending laces from my Kmart, $5.99 sneakers, she looked up at my veiled expression. She stood, saying cheerfully,

“Oh! Not to worry, dear. You’ll get everything back when you leave.”

I wanted to challenge her, confront her then and there,

Isn’t it a question of if rather than when?

But I wasn’t certain I was prepared to know the answer. My short, hellish exposure to this place had made me extremely paranoid. I presumed that I too would be drugged beyond oblivion like the lost girls. I glanced nervously at them; terrified that their fate would become my own.

Daisy took my hand and issued the words I had already come to dread,

“Follow me.”

I followed dutifully, wondering what my next mortification would be.

She led me into a large, dimly-lit, community room and I was brought up short, being left to the merciless Nurse Belinda. The tall, big-boned woman pulled several sheets, some blankets and a tiny pillow from shelves.

“Arms out,” she insisted.

I lifted my arms weakly, really feeling how weary I was, when Nurse Belinda dropped the entire load into my tired arms.

“We earn our own keep around here. You’ll do well to remember that. Follow me.”

Again with the ‘follow me’ routine, I huffed silently.

I glared daggers into her back and prayed this was my last “follow me” for the night.

Belinda showed me to a pitch-black room, save for a tiny amount of light seeping through the small, square window in the door.

Finally, sweet, sweet, blessed sleep. Hallelujah!

I found an empty bed in the darkness, spread the blanket atop a thin, threadbare mattress, and placed the tiny pillow under my head. I shoved the rest of the linens over me haphazardly, not caring how it would look in the morning. Exhaustion claimed me and I was asleep before I could contemplate tomorrow’s torments.
 
 
 
 
By Wildfire8470

Wildfire8470

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Previous © copyright 2015-04-30 06:20:34 – All Rights Reserved

Hooked

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Jenner

Jenner checked her reflection and ran to wait behind the curtain. Looking down at the triangles of cloth that barely covered her secrets, she tried to slow her breathing.

 

No one would recognize me in this wig and makeup, she consoled herself and summoned all her courage.

Suddenly the music stopped and loud speakers blasted her cue into the drunken crowd,

 

“Announcing a little lady who’s going to make you feel Jennerrrific!

 

She bolted onto the stage, surprising her new coworkers, and immediately locked eyes with the first man she saw. He was a troll but he would do.

 

The girls said it would work, she told herself.

 

With a forced smile, Jenner swayed and gyrated to a tune she barely knew. She lowered her eyelids and let herself feel it; the pounding and pulsating sensuality began to sink in. It felt as if someone else had taken her over.

 

She pulled a knot from her hair letting the wavy length fall down her slender back. The men howled, hooted and catcalled. She knew she had them hooked and relaxed into music that enveloped her nervousness. It was heady and powerful tonic and her fears that fell away.

 

Slowly she peeled off the triangles to bare her voluptuous breasts, worked her dance movements toward the man and dipped low before him. Jenner felt primal and surprisingly brazen.

 

With full bosoms dangling before him, she gripped his lapels, pulled him from his stool and kissed him hotly, then shoved him back down, and finished the song with one leg wrapped strategically around the pole center stage.

 

Bills flew onto the stage from everywhere. She was a success. Jenner collected the bills and turned to exit the stage. Smiling genuinely, she thought, I expected to hook them and now I’m hooked!

 
 
 
 
 

By Wildfire8470
Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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