Abuse, Emmaline's Story, Institutionalization, Mental Illness, Passion's Invocation, Psychological Fiction

Emmaline’s Story 13

Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 13

Small Disasters



From psych guy’s office I wandered to the porch and, took a seat. I turned to the girls, talking boisterously, and I touched Danica’s finger, saying, “Tonight. Right?”


She nodded and I strolled out to the fence. No longer feeling apprehension and terror, I wondered if things really can change. God knows I’ve had ample evidence to the contrary.


Immediately, I dismissed the thought as I contemplated the change in Maya. She seemed so clean, so clear-headed, as though her twisted mind had been unknotted. She even walked differently, with assurance of self and shoulders squared.


Then I realized what I was thinking. No shit! I’m envious? I envy her? Holy cow pies!


I felt startled and shaken to the depths of me, when I saw Danica cresting the hill searching. This time I got up to close the gap. Meeting her half way down, I asked her about my prior conclusion, suggesting, “Sis, I know I said we should only talk at night, but, if it’s okay with you, I’d like us to talk whenever the coast is clear.


“Yes! Yay,” she smiled.


I locked our fingers and we headed back. Upon reaching the porch we all sat talking about the crappy food, and lousy mattresses atop makeshift, metal bedframes, and I made it a point to pay special attention to Helen.


We had staggered our meetings and I was sure there were times when she must have felt left out. She didn’t get to share a room with us and she had to eat the crappiest, sugarless foods while watching us receive the semi-normal foods, but I had a surprise up my sleeve. I touched her finger and asked, “Bathroom at two a.m. break?”


Having listened in, Danica and Marie broke into huge smiles. Marie asked, “Is it time? You have,” and quickly lowered her voice, “the tools?”


I nodded, saying, “I think so. I’ll show them to Helen tonight. You’ll know if they will work. Right?”


“Yea! You bet ya,” she exclaimed.


We were filled with glee and hiding it in silence when I turned to find goon standing against the door, holding it slightly ajar. It was too obvious she was spying. At this point, silence was the kiss of death, so I hid my arm in front of me and pointed back at goon, making an ugly frown.


Marie took the cue, “Helen, your hair is so silky. How do you keep it like that?”


Helen glanced quickly at goon and replied, “Well I don’t have the usual tools here, but I tend to stick with shampoo that has,” she stopped short not knowing the scientific words for the products and finished, “softening agents in them and I use a detangler. Oh and never brush wet hair,” she cautioned.


With my back to the door I grinned at them, knowing they had just saved us some unneeded grief.


“I’ll look up the softening agents for you,” Helen continued, “as soon as possible.”


I saw Marie and Helen relax and looked back to see that goon had gone on her way. I dragged the back of my hand over my forehead, saying, “Whew! That was close!”


All the girls mumbled that goon was onto us. I didn’t want to scare them, but it was an inescapable fact.


“Yes, I know,” I warned, “We have to be more cautious from now on.”


“Are you sure this is wise,” Helen asked.


I smiled snickering, “Of course not, but what other fun do we have here, unless you really enjoy broken crayons and ancient crossword puzzles?”


All three grimaced and grumbled about how little was made available to do.


“That reminds me, I haven’t written any lousy prose for big B lately,” I said, lost in thought.


Everyone leaned in to touch my finger and Helen laughed,”Let’s all remember to bow and give thanks to the television gods for access to a TV!”


“I guess you guys are as bored as I am,” I said.


“Well yea, that,” Marie hinted, “and you haven’t breathed a word about psych guy.”


I turned to my opposite side knowing Danica hadn’t even told the girls and gave her a thankful wink.


“Okay. I’ll say what I’m able to tonight but use extra caution. Okay?”


They nodded affirmatively and we filed inside for dinner.


I stared at the slab of turkey breast on my plate, recently frozen and thawed to eat, with think globs of gravy on top of sliced bread. Trying not to wretch, I considered Helen. I was certain the meal must look like heaven to her, so I dug in vigorously, cut off a huge helping and shoveled it into my mouth.


Before I could bite down, I tasted a dreadful and unmistakable tang. My effort became an immediate small disaster. Fisting a napkin, I spit out the mouthful and turned my meal over to expose large, moldy spots on the bread and I turned at least five shades of green.


“What is it,” Marie asked, chewing hungrily.


“I’m allergic to mold,” I whispered, cupping my hand around my mouth to hide my dismay from Helen.


Marie leaned over to inspect my overturned meal, sputtering, “Oh! Ewww!”


Without hesitation, she flipped her own to check and with that, all attempts to hide disgust were lost.


“Mine’s fine,” she said, slicing it to give me half.


I thanked her kindly and asked her to take it back explaining that I’d lost my appetite.


“Okay, but I’ll sneak the cookies back to our room for you. If you’re hungry, you can munch then,” she whispered.


“Thanks,” I offered, as goon made her way behind me.


Hmmm, she’s getting sneaky. She’s definitely onto us or, at least, me.


“You hardly touched your meal,” she said cunningly.


I tried to think of something she couldn’t argue with but drew a blank. Instead, I bit my tongue.


Goon heaved a sigh and rounded the table finishing dinner rounds. Helen shot a worried look at me and whispered, “She knows something’s up.”


“Agreed,” I conspired, “Like I said, extra caution from now on.”


I reached beneath the table in a way that was only perceptible to us. Three fingers touched mine and I looked around before saying, “Meeting tonight after two a.m. rounds. Helen, meet me in the bathroom a few minutes after you hear me open my door. Okay?”


“Sure thing,” she answered, tossing me a relieved smile.


Sometimes I wonder if the girls trust me a little too much, I worried.


“If goon and B come back early, it’s off tonight,” I added for safe measure.


“Got it,” Helen whispered, under her breath.


Afterwards, I reached next to me and coiled my finger through Danica’s to let her know we would talk privately after our meeting. She sent me a knowing glance and got up to empty her tray.


When goon called lights out for the night I tiptoed to Danica to explain that I would be slightly late for our talk.


“How come,” she asked with a worried frown.


I’d finally remembered a website I loved and fudged, “I just have something to do.”


“Want some help,” she queried.


“Nah, I’ll tell you about it later. Get some rest.”


At two a.m. rounds, I waited until the coast was clear and went straight to the computer to look up netdisaster.com.


I downloaded an application which would attack a computer in a variety of ways and wondered which one to choose. Cows pooping on the screen?


I tried it but it didn’t send the right message. Nuke the monitor!


I downloaded Desktop NetDisaster and installed the software to make missiles nuke the computer screen, giving the appearance that all records had been infected or hacked as bombs exploded on the monitor, complete with sound effects.


I set up the effect on all the office computers smiling wickedly at my handiwork, and then scooted back to the room, extracted my list, and crossed off ‘helplessness.’




By Wildfire8470








© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM – All Rights reserved

Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected JBPJ-G2PL-1FZR-4EGU















Abuse, Emmaline's Story, Institutionalization, Mental Illness, Passion's Invocation, Psychological Fiction, WiP Excerpts

Emmaline’s Story 12

 Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 12

Inner Sanctum Actress

Pasithea by http://yungvermeer.tumblr.com/tagged/mypainting/

Pasithea  © http://yungvermeer.tumblr.com/tagged/mypainting/

Breakfast was fairly uneventful, for a change. I didn’t have a meltdown. I was refreshed yet exhausted. I recognized the irony of the paradox, but didn’t fully understand it.

Last night was the only time I’d ever confided in anyone and I slept better than I could recall in recent memory, yet I was profoundly tired.

I suppose, carrying everyone’s world up a mountain can have that effect after my first night of rest.

Conversely, psych guy was wide awake and ready for me, with his hair combed in place, wearing a suit without a single wrinkle, and eyes bright and alert. He greeted me with a beaming smile, “Good morning, Nyx.”

“’Morning,” I mumbled and plopped into my usual seat wondering,

Why do I always feel like I’ve been sent to the principal’s office?

“Well, it looks like sleep was not a friend to you last night,” he jabbed, tossing my own words back at me.

“On the contrary,” I quipped resuming yesterday’s calm demeanor, “Aergia dropped by for a visit and I’m still recovering from the night’s effects.

“Aergia,” he repeated, obviously rifling through his repertoire of Greek mythology.

“Yes, I said, “We enjoyed a long, lazy, girls night of chit chat. It’s so rare when our attentions are not pulled in other directions by obligations and commitments,” I prattled on, emphasizing ‘commitments.’ She is an ever present fixture, if not exactly vigilant,” I explained.

“Oh, lazy, sloth, Aergia. Got it.”

“Perhaps not entirely,” I countered, “She’s a spirit, one of several who guard my son’s domain. Aeriga is spirit and a goddess. Do you know what that means?”

Psych guy shook his head, speculating about what I would come up with next.

“Spirits, by definition, affect other souls with like qualities,” I explained, “Aergia is the spirit of laziness. She is infectious in that way. I’m just recuperating from a night of supremely indulgent laziness.”

“What sort of home does your son have? He must be very rich,” he stated petulantly, “to require that much security.”

“It’s a deep, dark, rocky, cave,” I said, with a mother’s tolerance.

“A cave,” he replied, “A cave that Aergia guards. What exactly does she guard, pray tell? Does he expect looters to steal his stash of rocks?”

“I would imagine, much the same things you do,” I shot back at him.

“I see,” he said thoughtfully, scratching his chin, “How so?”

“She, among others, guards his home and his well-being. He resides in a dark cave next to his twin brother, Thánatos, in the underworld.”

“He does,” his voice was a mixture of appreciation and incredulity.

I didn’t even slow down. Trying out my imitation of a purely maternal voice, I continued, “He does not see the changing of days, the rising or setting sun, or even the moon,” I frowned slightly for effect, “His peace lies in tranquility, the quiet; his own and that which surrounds him. His home has not as much as gates that may awaken him with creaking.”

“Really, a deep, dark cave in the underworld, where he brought his wife to live, next door to his brother,” He challenged me, “Who is Thánatos?”

“He is god of death.”

“You must be very proud,” he smiled derisively as he shot his dig at me.

“Well, admittedly, it’s not every mother’s dream but,”

“Hypnos lives with his wife, Pasithea,” he repeated, testing my knowledge and trying to figure out how to best me, “in the underworld with his twin brother, death,” he interrupted.

“Do you expect that I am uneducated about my own family? Do you think me unfit?”

Our eyes locked in a battle of wits and wills as tense silence filled the room.

Just to annoy him further, I continued, “As I was saying, it’s actually quite lovely. The River Lethe runs through it, and Pasithea has such a sweet countenance. She’s the deity of hallucination and relaxation. She’s so good to Hypnos and good for him,” I sighed clasping my hands over my bosom and smiling like an oblivious mother, brimming with ignorant joy, then caught myself thinking,

Cripes, I just made myself want to hurl!

“And what does all this mean to you, Emmaline?”

His question startled me back to reality and I stumbled, “You asked!”

“Good! Very good, Emmaline! I did ask, Emmaline. What did I ask?”

“You asked me who I am,” I shot at him, suddenly realizing I’d let him get away with addressing me by my real name, “But I still don’t know this Emmaline you speak of,” I added, attempting to put things to rights, “Perhaps you will tell me about her one day?”

“I believe you will discover her,” he explained kindly, “and you will be a better mother to her than she has known in the past.”

I turned a confused face to him while attempting to hide startled eyes, but he imparted nothing more.

Instead, he finished with his usual, “Come again tomorrow at noon. Good day, Emmaline.”

I opened the door to leave, took a step, and found myself face-to-face with the lost girl I had noticed yesterday. Again, she looked much healthier than I had witnessed while being admitted. I couldn’t help myself. I touched her shoulder gently, smiled, and said, “Way to go, girl.”

She smiled back, quietly saying, “Thanks,” and stood waiting.

“Emmaline,” I introduced myself, extending my hand.

“Maya,” she said taking it.

We shook once and I turned away as she opened psych guy’s door.

By Wildfire8470


© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM – All Rights reserved

Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected BIUR-KDQV-KAFT-XXVG

Abuse, Emmaline's Story, Institutionalization, Mental Illness, Passion's Invocation, Psychological Fiction

Emmaline’s Story 11

Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 11

Confessions in the Night

Danica-Confessions in the Dark


Marie, Danica, and I sat in our circle after goon made rounds. The three of us added to our list of B and goons’ schedules and deviances from them. As it happened, goon was fairly regimented about sticking to her routine. Big B wasn’t quite that methodical. I expected that.


What woman in love does the expected things all the time? Probably not many. 


I asked and answered my own question in my head, not even realizing I had slipped into my own thoughts; thoughts about the staff, the girls’ respective wellness, and what I would say to Danica tonight.


Eventually I heard Marie and then saw her waving her hand in front of my face, “Emmaline, come baaack.”


“Oh. Oops. Sorry,” I said, chagrined.


“Where did you go,” she queried.


Even in the darkness, I looked away and lied, “I was visiting my happy place.”


“Wow,” she countered, “If that’s your happy place, I’d hate to know where your hell is.”


I forced a smile and replied, “We’re in it. At least my sisters are with me.”


Danica touched my hand and slipped her finger through mine. It was small, yet a really huge, gesture that no one but us noticed. I knew then, that she was not just my sister on the inside. She was my family for life.


Later, we arranged our beds backwards so we could whisper to each other after Marie fell asleep. With pillows at the foot of our beds, we reached to circle our fingers and Danica asked haltingly,


“You-told me to ask. Remember?”


“Yea, I know,” I said, “I mean, its okay, I remember.”


“So what happened to you, Em?”


I thought for a long minute and replied, “Whew, ummm, where do I start?’


“Anywhere, I think,” Danica replied, “I mean, for me, it’s not really about the order of when things happened. It’s that they did happen.”


Danica fell silent and I found myself thinking that my first summarization of her had been exact:  Astute, fearless, and sharply pointed.


“Okay,” I said, “But after I tell you, then you have tell me.”


“I will,” she assured me, loosely shaking our looped fingers, “I promise.”


“Well let’s see,” I began, “I used to be the white sheep. I did everything that was asked and expected of me, to the best of my ability, for all my life,” then paused, realizing I couldn’t hear Danica breathing.


“You still awake, sis?”


“Of course,” she whispered, “I’m just concentrating. Go on,” she pressed.


“Around my fifteenth year, I broke.”


Danica sighed heavy-heartedly, “That’s horrible. You were a worn out work horse at fifteen.”


“Yeah, no shit,” I responded, continuing, “I was a good daughter and the daughter who could never be good enough. You know?”


“Yes, I think so,” she said.


“I tried every way I knew to gain my parents approval but even when they tossed me a compliment, it was delivered with a backhanded slap.”


“Wow,” Danica whispered.


“You know,” I said, imitating my parents, “This was great, but you missed this, this, and that, and you should have done it the way I would have.”


Danica squeezed my finger and I continued, “There was never just ‘Wow, this was great’ or ‘What a good job.’ It was always accompanied by a list of demerits,” I huffed, in deferred pain.


“You okay,” Danica asked, “Do you want to take a break?”


I tore myself from my stream of consciousness and said, “Nah. I’m okay for now. You?”


“I’m good but my heart hurts for you,” she lamented.


“You know, for the first time, mine kind of doesn’t,” I admitted, feeling slightly confused.


“It sounds like you’ve been carrying everyone’s world up a mountain for a very long time,” Danica surmised, “It must be a relief to finally stop, sit down, and talk to someone about it.”


Again, I thought, Astute, sharply pointed, and fearless. For a girl I would have mistaken for ten or twelve, she has bewildering maturity that surprises me at every turn. I wondered at the burdens on her tiny shoulders.


“I think so, sis. Do you want to take turns? I could stop and you can tell me some now.”


I followed the trail of her eyes to the window in the door.


She explained, “It’s getting near to second rounds. Quick, tell me one more thing before we remake our beds right side up!”


“Okay,” I laughed, “I had a brother.”


“Is he good looking,” she snickered.


“Ewww, and um, ewww!  He’s married with children now.”


Danica clutched her heart pretending I’d just fatally wounded her. It was all I could do not to collapse into peals of laughter. She looked toward the window and I knew we had cut it close. We tucked our pillows back at the head of our beds and feigned sleep until I actually did fall asleep.


Unaccompanied by any ugly thoughts or troubling memories, I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep for the first time I could recall. I woke at five a.m. rounds to B’s voice saying the same thing she said every morning, “Arms up.”


I lay there not budging with my limbs feeling weighted, as if they were too heavy to move.


Residual effects of carrying worlds and holding my breath forever, I decided.


B lifted my wrist and I fell directly back to sleep. I could only hope they thought I was being intentionally uncooperative.


An hour later, I woke with a start, and psych guys words ringing in my ears, “I want answers to those questions tomorrow at eleven a.m. sharp.”


There wasn’t enough time after breakfast. I needed to pick Danica’s brain now.


Why didn’t I remember to ask her last night? I kicked myself as I tiptoed to her bed and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. Slowly, she turned weary eyes to me and I touched my finger to hers, mouthing “I’m sorry!”


She rolled toward me and scooted back, giving me the edge of the bed to sit on.


“I forgot about psych guy and our early meeting,” I whispered, “I need to ask you about Nyx.”


“Oh yea,” her whisper was barely perceptible; “You didn’t tell me what happened.”


“I’ll tell you everything later today. I need to know what the significance of Nyx is. What made you choose her?”


“Well, I was never any good at history, but I liked Nyx. She’s a Greek primordial goddess of the night. She’s only seen in glimpses. Nyx lives in shadows, which reminds me of me, and she’s really powerful and exquisitely beautiful, like I wish I was,” she confided, yawning.


“Okay. Why did glimpses and living in shadows remind you of you?”


Danica hesitated, opening her mouth as if to answer and then closing it.


“It’s okay, sis,” I whispered, cupping my hands around her ear, “I told you things last night and will tell you more, I promise.”


“Okay,” she conceded, sitting up in bed, “In my family, I am one of five children. I’m number three. I’m kind of opposite of you, Em’. Whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, I’m unnoticed. I identify with existing in shadows, possibly powerful, but altogether powerless. Some say Nyx watched creation happen. She watched, standing on the edge. That’s me. I’m in the shadows or on the edge, but never really in the picture.”


My heart ached and I swallowed my tears, “Danica, you are so much more beautiful and powerful than you’ve received credit for, even from yourself, but how would you know that? You have existed in the shadows. No one ever bothered to show or tell you.”


I stood and she gently pulled me back down, “They say she was a shrew but I don’t buy it. Besides, if she was I think she was justified.”


I hugged her quickly and tucked her back into bed as Marie began to stir. I crawled back into my own bed and slept until breakfast time.

By Wildfire8470








© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM
Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected  JBPJ-G2PL-1FZR-4EGU


Abuse, Emmaline's Story, Institutionalization, Mental Illness, Psychological Fiction

Emmaline’s Story 10

Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 10

Danica’s Choice


Copyright 2006-2014 Trashcn from DeviantArt

I woke that morning feeling nervous and edgy. After morning rounds I tried to fall asleep again but failed. Eventually I sat up, propped my pillows against the wall and turned my attention to Danica.

For a few minutes, I watched her sleep. She tossed, turned, and mumbled in her sleep. I wondered if she was having a nightmare and considered waking her but as soon as I moved, she seemed to settle and fall into a deeper sleep. I sat back deciding to leave her alone.

I guess any rest is better than none.

I reached into my pillowcase and extracted a fresh writing tablet to make some notes about how I came to be desperate enough to attempt suicide.

I just couldn’t figure out how I would explain it to Danica, but perhaps the list would help.  Again, I glanced at her, wondering if she was strong enough to handle my depression and her own.

I thought of the night she came to collect me at the scene of my undoing, when my conscience chimed in,

Danica is stronger than you think. Don’t wimp out on her!

Taking pencil in hand, I realized that even I didn’t have a clear thought of how my suicide attempt and incarceration happened. I skipped back a year, to when I was on top of the world. From there, I made some basic notes, outlining my undoing:

  • I was born into slavery;  a lamb tied to a whipping post.
  • First, middle, and last one family denigrates.
  • Had no childhood
  • My life equals free labor. No more. No less.
  • Family drove a wedge between me and anyone who wished to be in my life.
  • Tried to break free from whipping post.
  • Family abandoned me.
  • Sank into despair.
  • No one to turn to.
  • Lost myself.
  • Reasons to live:  Zero.

I sat staring at the list with tears in my eyes. It was an extremely bare-bones list, but I relived emotions I never wanted to feel again. Part of me wanted to shred it into tiny pieces and eat it, so no one would ever find me out. Instead, I swallowed my tears, folded the paper and tucked it into my elastic waistband.

At seven a.m. I repaired to my seat on the porch and skipped breakfast. I couldn’t figure out exactly why I was angry. I just knew I was antsy, anxious, and filled with venom. I was crosser than a hornet so I stomped inside, grabbed a tray from the cart, and dumped the entire thing into the waste basket, tray included. I walked stiffly to the table with B calling after me,

“Emmaline! Emmaline!”

I didn’t bother to turn around or even look back. I wasn’t surprised to hear psych guy calling me a moment later,

“Emma! Hippolyta! Whoever you are today! My office in one hour!”

Danica sat wide-eyed and stunned with spork poised over her plate,

“Wow! Who peed on his Cheerios,” she asked.

“I did,” I ground out as softly as I could manage.

“What the heck did you do,” she asked, astounded.

“Nothing compared to what I want to do,” I replied without looking at her.

She let it drop and I went back outside with Danica on my heels. She stood before me, as though studying me, like she was trying to read me. Then she grinned and said,

“It’s weird. Right?”

I couldn’t squelch a tiny smile. It still seemed foreign to me, that I drew so much comfort from being in the presence of a real friend. I suppose, I was still waiting for her to abandon me just as my family had. Maybe I’d even thought I could drive her away, since it was bound to happen eventually.

“So,” she scowled, “Psych guy right after breakfast… or lack of it? What an ugly appetizer.”

“Yea, no kidding,” I said, letting go a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.

Danica sat down next to me, “Maybe you should actually talk to him.”

“Hmmm,” I bought some time to think it over.

“Maybe, just think about it,” she asked.

I replied stubbornly, “Don’t think so. I’ve almost got him right where I want him.”

“But Em’,” she whispered, “Where, exactly, do you want him? He may be our only way out.”

“To where,” I asked pitiably, “Maybe you and the girls should. I’ve got nothing left. There isn’t anything to go back to.”

“How do you know,” she asked cautiously, “You won’t see anyone. How do you know they haven’t changed their minds?”

A derisive grunt escaped me that I wished I could suck back in. Danica’s face was crestfallen. I held my fingers out in a loop. She looped her own through mine, and in barely a whisper, I said, “I’ll think about it.”

Danica grabbed my hand and squeezed, “My fingers are crossed for you, sis.”

I squeezed back and smiled, “Okay sis, it’s time for psych guy. Who should I be today?

You pick a god or goddess that has some meaning for you,”

“Ummm,” she hummed for a minute, thinking it over.

I waited, perfectly willing to keep psych guy in suspense.

“Can you be Nyx,” she queried shyly.

“For you, sis, anything,” I replied, getting up from the table.

“Good luck,” she mouthed as I started to turn away.

“Thanks,” I mouthed back, not wanting to admit that I would probably need it.

I approached psych guy’s office with Danica’s confession ringing in my ears, “He may be our only way out.”

I thought about the big picture for the first time,

Even if there’s nothing left for me, my girls may have a lot to go back to.

When I arrived, I stood in the doorway. Psych guy was drumming his fingers on the desk and looking at his watch. All other thought ceased and I was immediately on the defense.

It’s not like I have a watch or even a clock, idiot!

“Come in,” he said, raking his fingers through his tousled hair.

It was obvious he’d had a rough morning and I wasn’t feeling particularly merciful.

This is for Danica, I told myself.

“So,” he began, rifling through his notes, “Hippolyta, how are you today?”

“Hippolyta,” I asked.

Psych guy sucked in a deep breath and leaned back in his chair,

“You are a conundrum,” he stated, sounding as weary as he looked.

I sat straight-faced, expressionless, as though I could have cared less what he thought or felt. He sat with fingers laced behind his head, staring at me. I stared back blankly. Eventually he broke and I chalked up a mental point for us.

Three, zip!

“Okay, out with it! Who are you today, Emmaline?”

“Emmaline,” I queried, “Why do you pretend not to know me?”

His eyes narrowed drilling into mine and he responded,

“I know you, Emmaline. I’ve known dozens, no hundreds,” he corrected, “like you.”

I slapped on a confounded expression and asked again, “Emmaline?”

“Okay,” he said with exasperation, “Have it your way. It’s the hard way, but go ahead! Be my guest! Who are you today?”

I donned an exceedingly calm demeanor while my stomach pitched, and softly replied,

“I am the Goddess Nyx, daughter of Chaos, sister of Erebus. I am mother of Hypnos and Aether, Hemera, Moros, Thánatos,”

Psych guy cut me off, “I see. How old are you,” he paused and glanced through his notes, “Nyx?”

“Older than time,” I responded.

He shot back a challenge, “Okay Nyx, tell me about yourself.”

Softly, I explained, “I just did.”

What is your purpose here on earth,” he inquired.

“I have lived in the shadows since the creation. My power is unyielding. I am mother of day, brightness, night, sleep and death. Have you had a falling out with my son,” I asked trying for a mother’s concern, “Did you quarrel with Hypnos?”

It was barely perceptible, but I heard him grumble into his hand, “You could say that.”

He sat up straight again, urging, “Continue.”

“My family is quite large,” I began again when he caught me off-guard,

“How do you feel about being the daughter of Chaos?”

“I am daughter of the beginning, the creation; the void taking form,” I explained with a calmness I didn’t feel, “I watched the birth of creation.”

“No way,” he stated flatly, “You’re wrong,” he necessitated trying to equal my calm and goading me in the same breath.

“Oh,” I inquired, “How so?”

“You were born of a void, a vast glob of nothingness,” he replied almost cruelly, leveling his gaze at me.

I attempted to appear thoughtful, as though pondering his words deeply, “I suppose it would appear so, to a mere mortal,” I hurled the insult directly slapping his face.

“Let me ask you this,” he issued without pause for reply, “Are you proud of your life, of what has become of you? Have you been happy living in the shadows with unyielding power? Are you proud of your children? I think, even you have to admit that nearly half your offspring are necessary evils, and nothing more,” he stated with disdain.

I remembered seeing a photo of “the Thinker;” a statue I’d come across in the encyclopedia, and immediately immitated the pose, with my hand under my chin, giving the appearance of profound consideration.

In truth, I did think about his words, in a more personal context than I cared for, but would bite my tongue off before I’d give up the charade I’d promised Danica.

After several more moments, psych guy was forced to relent, “Our time is up for today, Nyx. Try not to change. I want answers to those questions tomorrow, at eleven a.m. sharp.”

I left his office, closed the door behind me, and cursed him hatefully under my breath,

I’ll outlast you, Mr. Prescription Pad! I can and I will! You think you’re smart enough to trip me up, but you’re not!  Go ahead! Bring it! 

I stood there, just outside his office, irate and fuming. For the first time, I wasn’t thinking of who was watching my expression, or what Na and B would make of it.

I was thinking of dousing psych guy in kerosene and flicking a BiC, or shoving him down an empty elevator shaft, or pushing him into a busy highway, when one of the lost girls passed by. She let herself into his office, interrupting my homicidal thoughts.

I was astonished at her appearance. There was life in her eyes. She was dressed, groomed, and even acknowledged my presence with a nod.

Unreal! No freakin’ way!  She’s a body-double!  She has to be!

With stupefied admiration, I returned to the porch and found my girls there. I talked for a while and then touched Danica’s finger to mine. She returned the signal.

I couldn’t resist asking, “Has anyone seen the lost girls lately?”

I’d forgotten that I had only spoken to Danica about them. My girls looked around with confused faces while I shoved my brain into reverse, and fudged,“Ummm, I mean the patients here that are, or were, drugged zombies. Have you seen any of them?”

Helen chimed in, “I think I know who you mean. I saw a few of them when I was waiting to be admitted.”

“That’s them,” I said.

“I’ve only seen one of them,” she confided, “I hardly recognized her!”

“Me too,” I said, lowering my voice, “I can’t believe my eyes! I thought there was no hope for them, but look at the girl who comes out of psych guy’s office!”

Helen and Marie exchanged glances smiling, “We will!”

“It’s incredible,” I informed them, “You won’t believe it! You just won’t. It’s enough to make you think twice.”

“I hear that,” Danica replied, “I saw one of them in the shower this morning. She wasn’t just standing in the water like usual. She was washing with soap and shampoo.”

“Exactly. It has to be some sort of miracle.”

“Yea, right,” Danica backed me up.

I wanted the girls to have time to talk among themselves, without my presence, so I took my leave, “I’m going to walk in the sun for a little while,” I stated nonchalantly and made for the lawn at the edge of the porch.

Wandering outside again was freeing in a way and terrifying in another. I inhaled great gulps of air wishing I could bring it inside with me. Finally, I raised my eyes to scout the grounds for a quiet place.

The fence with coiled razor wire loomed in the distance like a personal tormentor; a veritable bully. I squared my shoulders and walked directly to the scene of where I had crumbled. Suddenly, I knew why I’d chosen that place to begin with.

So I wasn’t entirely mad, bonkers, and out of my ever-loving mind!

I rejoiced mentally. It was a good distance away from the porch and partially hidden from view, down over the hill.

I chose this spot for a reason! I chose it! I’m not beyond help! I’m really not!

Danica crested the hill to see me jumping with renewed joy, vim and vigor. In my reverie, I hadn’t noticed her. She stood on the hill watching me bounce up, down and around, yelling, “Yay me! Yay me! Whooo hoo hoo hooey!”

She ran down the hill, closing the distance between us quickly,

“Yay me! Whoo hooey! Yay meee!

“What,” she asked excitedly, “Did you get your walking papers? Did they drug you? Are you spaced out? What happened? Spill!”

I grabbed Danica and hugged her, “I’m not out of my mind! I’m not insane! I’m not! I’m not! I’m not! Whoo hooo!”

“I know?” She said it like a question; half certain I’d finally lost my mind completely.

“No! No,” I said happily, “I just realized that the night I came unglued, right here in this spot, it wasn’t the last straw! I haven’t lost me! I was just misplaced for a while.”

“You thought you had disappeared and insanity took over?”

“Exactly! No wonder we’re sisters! We think alike! Yahooey!”

This time she hugged me and we both sat down as she whispered,  “Congratulations, Em’. I’m so happy for you.”

It was the gloomiest congratulations I’d ever heard. I turned to face her and took her hands in mine, “What’s wrong, Danica?”

“Nothing,” she sighed.

“Hey sis, this is me you’re talking to. I’m acquainted with nothing and your expression isn’t it,” I said gently.

“You’re getting well. That’s a good thing.”


“You’re getting well without me. That’s a not so good thing.”

Tears were brimming in her eyes and I pulled her to me, “Let’s make a pact right now. Neither of us leaves without the other. Okay?”

She was sobbing in my embrace.

“Okay, but, but how… What? How can you promise that?”

I lifted her chin until her teary eyes met mine, “Danica, you’ve seen me in action. I can be nuts with the best of ‘em. You don’t really think I would abandon you. Do you?”

She smiled softly and I helped wipe her tears away.

“You really mean it,” she asked hesitantly.

I made a circle with my fingers and held it out to her. She started to reach and pulled her hand back. I didn’t waver. I kept our sisters circle held out. With her eyes fixed on the ground, she finally looped her finger through mine.

“Look at me,” I insisted gently.

With our fingers still looped, she raised her eyes to mine.

“This is our sisters’ blood oath. We stay for each other. No matter which of us gets her walking papers first, we wait for the other. Agreed,” I asked unlooping our fingers and changing to a pinky swear.

Danica hooked her pinky with mine, saying, “Agreed,” with a genuine smile this time.

We both pulled our fingers against each other’s hard and collapsed into a relieved hug.

It’s after sunset, I stood and said, “C’mon. Let’s go inside. It’s getting dark.”

“Oh wait,” she cried, pulling me back down, “What happened with psych guy? Were you Nyx?”

“I wasn’t just Nyx,” I laughed, “I was Nyx to the hilt! Now I need to pick your brain! C’mon. Up and inside! Lights out soon.”

By Wildfire8470







© May 07, 2015 – 05:25 AM
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