Emmaline’s Story 10

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 10

Danica’s Choice

Nyx

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.”

“Yea?”

“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

Wildfire8470

 

 

 

 

 

© May 07, 2015 – 05:25 AM
Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected BIUR-KDQV-KAFT-XXVG

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Emmaline’s Story 8

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 8

Crazy Parfait With A Wrench

 

CrazyParfait With A Side Of Wrench

 

By the time I returned from the bathroom, Danica and Marie had remade the beds, mine included. B and goon had returned to their posts and we gathered for a group hug. I thanked them for taking care of the mess goon had made of mine. For a change, we all settled in with grins on our faces and slept straight through until rounds.

It had been quite a night and I knew that goon and B would be scrutinizing every move I made. The trick was to outlast them; to wait until they no longer suspected that I was up to something, and then attack when they were no longer expecting it.

I was the last one to the breakfast table and the girls smiled up at me. We talked amicably over lukewarm French toast while watching Helen try not to gag on sugarless syrup.

She explained,

“I’ve been diabetic for a long time, but could never get used to sugarless food.”

I winced visibly and offered her my condolences,

“It’s bad enough to have to tolerate this shit hole with barely edible food. If I was you, I wouldn’t make it,” I said, peering at my breakfast with revulsion.

Helen grinned, stabbing a square with her fork as a man entered the community room. We looked to each other and shrugged. None of us had seen him before.

He stopped next to big B and called for Marie. I watched the stranger intently as Marie approached him. He spoke to her briefly but her face was ashen upon her return.

“Who was that,” I asked, trying to sound unconcerned.

“In-house psych guy,” she said nervously.

“What did he want,” I queried further.

“Twelve-thirty meeting – the inner sanctum,” she replied.

I sat back from my rubbery French Toast and pondered her answer.

In-house Psychiatrist? What the hell am I going to do about this? I need a distraction; a diversion that will pull his focus away from the four of us. Apparently goon and big B called in the all-seeing, all-knowing eye last night. Well, I guess he’ll have to eat crazy parfait too.

I just knew this would throw a wrench into the works, so I cautioned the girls, whispering, “If he prescribes anything for you, pretend to accept it but don’t take anything!”

They nodded their agreement.

I leaned forward and touched everyone’s fingers to mine indicating that we meet tonight.

Psych guy returned a moment later and called my name as he scanned the room.

“Emmaline Mason,” he said loudly, “Emmaline?”

Without as much as turning around or a glance up, I raised my hand and answered stiffly, “Present!”

“In my office at one-thirty,” He ordered stiffly.

I leapt from my seat into full salute, standing at attention in mock-soldier style, I shot back, “Yes, sir!”

He shot a wry grin at me replying, “At ease, soldier.”

In that moment of exchange, I wanted to convey to him, I’m going to make your job as miserable as I possibly can, you talking head!

In the next, he conveyed, Bring it! It’s on!

I knew I had my work cut out for me. In truth, I was worried our plans would be shot to hell, but I also knew my sisters wouldn’t give me up. I picked up my tray and dumped my rubber toast in the garbage to goon’s dismay,

“That’s all,” she asked, as she check-marked a list of foods I’d declined to eat.

“Yep,” I replied with disdain, “Rubber disagrees with my digestion.”

I left goon sputtering and stepped outside, moving to the furthest table; the one where I had recruited Marie, I sat waiting pensively.

Marie emerged from psych guy’s office and made her way around the long table to join me. Before I could say a word, she whispered, “Name, rank, serial number and dog-tags, mother’s maiden name, father’s middle name, bank account numbers and what will your epitaph say?”

I turned stricken eyes to her and she smiled, snickering under her breath,

“The expected nuisances, nothing more.”

I was relieved to find he hadn’t asked about war games and sighed heavily.

I headed toward the inner sanctum with trepidation and rebellious angst. I approached the office, stopped, and glanced inside.

“Psych guy noted my presence and said, “Good afternoon. Emmaline?”

I took a seat in a chair that had cushions. Already, I knew I would probably be coming here a lot. At the very least, I wanted to be comfortable while psych guy busied himself with prying questions and attempted diagnoses.

“So Emmaline,” he began.

“Emmaline,” I asked, cutting him off sharply.

“You are Emmaline Mason. Correct?”

“No,” I said straight-faced.

“No? Well, who are you,” he asked.

“I am Hippolyta, Amazonian Queen,” I said with gusto, while adopting a more regal posture.

“Well hello, Hippolyta,” he rallied enthusiastically, “You’ve come a long way. It’s good of you to join me. I am honored to have you in my office today!”

I know what you’re doing asshole, and it won’t work!

I sat silently, leaving the first move up to him. He smiled politely across the desk pretending to believe me. I diverted my eyes to focus on the wall just past his right ear as we sized each other up.

I realized he was wondering how long it would take to break me, and both of us knew I would try to break out of here before I’d let that happen.

I’ve got more stamina than you do Mr. Wrench with a Prescription pad!

“So where’s your magic girdle,” he inquired with feigned innocence.

I turned to bore holes through his forehead, saying, “Plebeians confiscated it. I will see it returned or my father will destroy them,” and screwed my face into a look of disgust.

“Ohhhh… your father,” he said, already forming his next question, “Who is he?”

“You do not know Ares, the god of war,” I asked indignantly.

“Oh yes, of course, Ares. God of war… and he’s your dad,” he shot the question back semi-conspiratorially.

“Enough,” I shouted with my arm extended with a hand up to block his face, “I will hear no more of your placating nonsense. All the land knows of my father!”

“You’re right,” he said, stifling a yawn, “So how is old pop these days?”

“He is presently in route to storm the gates, kill the plebeians, and return the girdle that signifies my authority as queen,” I said, in a tone of underlying threat.

“I see,” he said flatly, “and he’s coming from?”

I rolled my eyes and spat, “Dolt! He comes from Mount Olympus and will arrive in a fortnight! Father will stop at nothing to indemnify my honor!”

Psych guy groaned softly, raking his fingers through his hair, “Okay, Emmaline, ahem, I mean Hippolyta, our time is up today. I want to see you again tomorrow.”

“Not if father gets here first,” I countered.

“Well yes, of course,” he replied, “I’d hate to interrupt a war for the queen’s honor but, barring that, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I opened the door to go and psych guy said softly, “Good day, Emmaline.”

I ignored him and made a beeline for the restroom. Having caught Marie’s eye, she entered just behind me.

“So,” she questioned, “What did you talk about?”

I couldn’t suppress a wicked smile and simply said, “We had a little talk about Greek mythology.”

“Huh?” Marie looked entirely confused but relieved as well, though she had spread the word to Danica and Helen in case I needed help. All of us were exhausted from waiting and worrying.

“It’s fine. It’s okay. I’m leading him a merry chase down the primrose path and all ‘round Robin Hood’s barn,” I giggled.

When lights out finally arrived, we gathered long enough for me to explain that it’s best to lay low and not try anything until we figure out why psych guy had suddenly arrived on the scene, and to give goon and big B time to forget the preceding night.

 

By Wildfire8470
Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
© May 07, 2015 – 05:25 AM – All Rights Reserved
Copyrighted.com Registered & Protected 
BIUR-KDQV-KAFT-XXVG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Emmaline’s Story 7

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

 Chapter 7

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

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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