Emmaline’s Story 9

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 9

Two – Zip

 
 

Two-Zip

 
 
I sat cross-legged on the floor with my back against the bed, facing Danica. The week seemed to drag on an interminable length of time. I hadn’t considered the waiting aspect of war games, nor had I considered the wrench in the crazy parfait. He was going to be trouble with a capital T.

 

Our plans weren’t impossible, but psych guy’s presence made it a lot more work than I’d originally anticipated. I combed my hair back with my fingers and heaved a sigh.

 

“You okay,” Danica asked.

 

“Yea,” I issued crossly.

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“I suck at waiting,” I confessed.

 

“Yea,” Danica laughed softly, “I got that.”

 

“And psych guy,” I continued, “We just had to get one who is well-versed in the Hellenistic period,” I rolled my eyes with contempt.

 

“How about a sex change,” she grinned.

 

“Huh?”

 

“Don’t be a queen next time. Be a God or something,” She suggested.

 

“Ya know,” I laughed heartily, “maybe I could keep him guessing; like hop around to different time periods and personas!”

 

As soon as I thought it through further, it occurred to me, That could lead to a permanent stay here and not just for me! I didn’t have the heart to voice it.

 

“There you go,” she said with smile, “but what are you going to do to blow off steam right now?”

 

“Well, let me think.”

 

Once again, the wheels were turning. There were small things I could pull off alone. Danica fell silent as she watched me thinking. Several minutes later, I was drawing on my knowledge of websites when Danica could stand no more, “Spill!”

 

“It’s just a little thing,” I explained, “but this one is on me.”

 

“Okay,” she said anxiously, “Spill! What are you going to do?”

 

“I know how to set the screensaver to scrolling marquee and download the Chiller font,” I explained.

 

We lifted our water cups and made a toast to the resurrection of “Operation Any Little Annoyance.”

 

“If I get caught,” I began.

 

“No” Danica interjected, “You can’t! You won’t!”

 

“I know,” I consoled her, “but if the worst happens, it’s just me acting alone. Nobody else goes down with me. Understand?”

 

Danica’s face fell. With her eyes to the floor she shook her head saying, “But we’re sisters, all for one and one for all.”

 

“Of course,” I argued, “but if it happens, I need you guys to finish what we started,” I lied, hoping she would buy it.

 

Training her eyes on mine, Danica saw right through me, “I think we should concentrate on getting you out of whatever hot water you’re in,” she replied defiantly.

 

“Okay, okay! I give,” I laughed.

 

We both knew I would protect our group with my life but, right now, I wasn’t going to take chances that involved any one of the girls.

 

I needed to lighten up the gloom that had descended upon us so I stared deeply into her eyes for several minutes, as though meaning to say something profound, and then broke into a wide grin,

 

“Its weird right,” I said, feeding her own words back to her.

 

“Oh, It’s weird alright, ” she laughed, “Oh so weird!”

 

I stood and reached for her hand to help her up,

 

“Darned straight and it’s about to get more weird,” I giggled softly.

 

We made our way through the community room and out to the porch and found our usual seat, atop the table furthest from the door. I waited while Danica stared into the distance. It wasn’t hard to tell that her thoughts were far from here tonight.

 

I sat watching her for a moment. There was a pain on her face I’d never seen before or perhaps didn’t notice, in my effort to keep from tumbling headlong in that direction myself.

 

We sat in silence while I watched emotions flash in her eyes and suddenly she looked like a woman in her thirties. She was my first friend here, the first one who was willing to be an open book, as well as guide me through my first days in this hellhole, but I hadn’t noticed.

 

Watching her now, staring off into the night, I realized that life had been terribly unkind to Danica. I was absolutely grief-stricken. Now, I realized that she had depths of unbearable pain that she didn’t want to talk about, but she was willing to with me. I felt really ashamed of having snapped at her on my first morning inside.

 

I adjusted my position to sit next to her, throwing my arm around her shoulder as she had done for me that night by the fence, wondering, How can a girl who comes from so much harsh reality still be such a caring and kind friend? What had happened to her that made her want to die? Who or what had near-fatally wounded my best friend?

 

We sat together for a long time not saying a word, yet conveyed so many things. We stayed lost in our thoughts until the call came for lights out. I cupped my hands around Danica’s ear and whispered, “Okay, ask me tomorrow night.”

 

I expected her confusion but all facades had been dropped somewhere in these last few hours.

 

“Okay,” She agreed.

 

Goon stood waiting, watching our exchange while holding the door. She looked suspicious and slightly miffed but neither of us cared. Something extremely important had changed tonight, and neither Danica nor I would ever turn back.

 

At two a.m. break, I made sure everyone was sleeping, and padded in my butt-ugly turquoise socks, to the main computer at the head of the community room. I downloaded the Chiller Font, set the marquee to scroll immediately and typed,

 

“I’M TRAPPED ON THE INSIDE AND I’M TAKING YOU WITH ME…”

 

As I strolled back to bed, I sliced the air with my finger whispering to myself,

 

“And the score is: Us – two. Them – zip!”
 
 
By Wildfire8470

Wildfire8470
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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 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
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Copyrighted.com  © May 07, 2015 – 05:25 AM – All Rights Reserved

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