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

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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Emmaline’s Story 1

Emmaline’s Story – On The Inside

Chapter 1

The Price of Admittance

Emmaline

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

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

“Strip,” she demanded.

I blinked in shocked disbelief.

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

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

“Put your arms out and turn slowly.”

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

“Again,” the goon ordered, moving closer.

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

“No tats? Not even a tramp stamp?”

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

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

“Follow me,” She demanded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

By Wildfire8470

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Emmaline’s Story 6

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Emmaline’s Story – On the Inside

Chapter 6

Committed Sister Soldiers

Committed Sister Soldiers

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

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

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

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

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

“What about Helen,” Marie asked softly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Okay,” They whispered climbing under covers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Wildfire8470

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