The most powerful
weapon on earth
is the human soul
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,
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,
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,
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,
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.’
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.
Angel packed her bags, trying to anticipate the change in temperature at her destination. She was sick of this too-small town, sick of everything, and fed up with her beige life. She walked with direct and angry assurance, muttering,
“Beige! My whole life has been bland, boring, BEIGE!”
She flung slacks, dresses, heels, jeans, and a variety of tops, into the suitcases haphazardly. She then tossed her bags into the trunk with a single thought. Her wheels laid rubber as she gunned the car onto the street, thinking,
“I need color and I’ll have it, damn it all!”
She drove blindly and six hours later, found herself in St. Augustine, without really knowing how she had gotten there. Angel stopped for gas with the breeze catching her long, blonde tresses. She knew she was beautiful. She had always known it.
Though she was at the self-serve island two men raced from the station, trying to be the first to offer assistance. Angel smiled deviously and stepped from her car. She asked the first man to fill the tank and requested that the second show her to the ladies room.
She immediately learned his name was Davis and looped her arm through his as his eyes bulged, glued to her voluptuous breasts and long, slender legs. He managed to issue a compliment about the importance of a woman being safe when traveling and offered to go in first, to check that it was free of “intruders.”
Angel stood behind him as he pushed a key into the lock. He was obviously strong, muscular, and maybe just a few sandwiches short of a picnic; her exact type at the moment.
Davis struggled with the rusty lock as Angel took in her surround-ings. The sky was bright and blue; the sun a huge, yellow gold orb, even the gas station sign was bright red, but her specific interest was the renowned, haunted lighthouse in the distance. She wanted to taste the rainbow even if she had to act like a dolt to get what she wanted.
Angel maneuvered to hold the door asking, offhandedly as she could make it seem, when he was off work. He informed her that the first attendant was there to replace him for night shift.
“Listen,” she said, “I’m new in town. Would you be willing to show me some sights?” she asked innocently.
“Sure! What’s your pleasure,” he queried, not believing his good fortune.
Angel pointed into the distance saying, “What’s that? Oh! Is it a lighthouse? Let’s go there!”
Davis, still standing in the door to the restroom, eyed her up and down knowing he could refuse this innocent beauty nothing.
“Of course,” he said, cautioning about its haunted history, explaining that she should stay close to him, “Just in case.”
She cast her eyes to the ground feigning nervousness, “Maybe we shouldn’t,” she said softly with mock fear.
“Oh no, Miss Angel, I’ll protect you,” he offered.
Angel suppressed a hungry grin and agreed to follow him there.
Several moments later, they were inside the lighthouse as the heavy door swung shut with an echoing bang. She playfully ran up the winding staircase but Davis was no match for her endurance. By the time he reached the top, Angel was already half-clad. Her crop top lay in a heap as she unzipped her jean shorts.
He stood drop-jawed, staring at her from silken hair to dainty, bare feet. She closed the distance between them and embraced him, moving her hands to grip his firm, taut ass cheeks and whispered, “Let’s make this a night to remember.”
She kissed him full on the mouth sucking in his lower lip to run her moist tongue across it and whispered, “Fuck me, Davis. Fuck me like no one ever has.”
Davis stepped back to review her beauty in a new light. Then he unzipped his pants. Angel closed the step back to bite his neck. He fumbled with removing his pants and she began to lose patience. She fisted his collar and ripped the offending shirt from his back.
Again he took half a step back saying, “Boy, you’re no angel. Are you?”
She pursued him wordlessly, deliberating about how to answer. She took half a step toward him and leaned down to force his pants from his feet. Then, finally, she asked,
“Ever fantasized about defiling and fucking an angel’s brains out? Now is your one and only chance, Davis.”
He leaned in to kiss her hard and then scooped up his shirt to spread beneath her. Angel caught his naked body still leaning and pushed him to the ground onto his back. For a brief moment she watched his chest rise and fall heavily.
“What,” he asked, “What are you doing?”
Angel didn’t reply. Instead, she bent down on all fours and crawled the short distance to him, knowing he was already mesmerized by the sway of her breasts and perfect proportions.
She crept between his muscled thighs and sucked his cock into her warm, wet mouth, closing her lips around him hard. Davis let go a groan like she’d never heard before. It was purely animalistic and her pussy went up in flames.
She sucked him in deeply and bobbed her head up and down his cock. His head rolled to the side with eyes closed. Angel stopped abruptly and fisted his balls.
“I want you to look at me,” she demanded, as she mounted him cowgirl style.
“Okay! I’m sorry! Okay,” he pleaded, but Angel was having too much fun being the aggressor for once.
She dragged her wet slit up and down his steely length with her firm breasts swinging just over his mouth, and barely out of reach. Angel started to realize she had a prisoner to her will and found it exhilarating.
She leaned back into a sitting position and pushed his cock into her tight, fiery cunt, so slowly it would have broken a lesser man. She was well pleased that he hadn’t cum yet, and decided to torture him a little more.
Suddenly, Davis thrust into her hard and she pulled all the way back until the head of his dick was barely in her. Then she froze, holding him in the grip of a lust so powerful she never wanted to stop, but the sweet, tormenting ache between her thighs was insistent.
Softly, she stroked his balls with fingertips, titillating both of them even more, as she drank in her new-found power and he grew firmer inside her. Finally she slammed down hard, relishing the feel of his hardness filling her up, and began riding him hard and fast.
She pushed faster, stronger, and he matched her with powerful thrusts until she threw her head back in abandon, screaming with a raw intensity. Colors exploded behind her eyelids, as she climaxed hard around his throbbing girth. Their cries mingled in the old lighthouse, resounding around them, and in it Angel heard the call of the wild, like a physical pull.
Davis lay there, eyes closed, breathing hard. He reached to hold her to him but, for her, this was just a drive-by; her first taste of color in the myriad rainbows and flavors to come.
Angel dressed quickly, kissed him lightly on the cheek, retreated down the stairs, and tossed over her shoulder, “Thanks Davis! You were super” as the door slammed shut with a bang.