This is a book, I wrote about a year ago. I have been procrastinating on editing and publishing. Hoping that sharing some of the chapters here will motivate me to release her into the world, imperfections and all!
If you are looking for a grammatically correct, punctuation error free book. Turn away now. This is not this book. This book is here to tell a story. Flaws and all. So, if you want to read something that had been edited to perfection, this book is not for you. This book is here for those who love to read, those who love a good story. Those who fight for the underdog, and those who love the spook and horror of Halloween. To those, I hope you enjoy this story to the others I wish you well!
On a lonely island, deserted and empty. Stood one person. The sunlight reflecting off of Her, blinding so no matter where you stood you could never really see Her. There she stood, watching the tide roll in and out. Never moving, never budging. Never. There she stood motionless and still. Empty and alone.
The people here are like a million people standing on the shore, watching the tide roll in and out, never moving, motionless and still. Empty and alone.
It is pitch black. The air is cool and damp. The smell of musk and dirt assaults the nose. The sound of breathing and slight movement can be heard from somewhere nearby. The feeling of being watched, every moment being followed, as if there is no escape from being observed. Trying to call out. Mute. Silent agonizing cries. Trying to move. Struggling. An unresponsive body. Failure to work. Nothing. Straining. Nothing. No voice, no movement. Thoughts race. The mind a buzz. Yet, nothing. No movement. No light. Trapped. Alone and afraid. Flashing lights. Bright and blinding. Finally glaring intense white light. Shutting out the light. Sightless. Again battling the light, the pain. The feelings of being trapped. Eyes opening once more. Curious to understand. Blaring light. Finally vision. Blurry silhouettes standing and staring. Terror. Fear. Panic. This cannot be happening. This is not right. Again the fight for freedom is crushed, nonexistent. Immobile. Just like a fly caught on fly paper.
Drool dribbles down. The feeling that something is off, something is wrong. The realization of vice grips holding the tongue out of mouth. Dangling and hanging. Another struggle ensues. The clanking sound of metal hitting teeth. Pain shooting through the body. Against all efforts the tongue remains caught. Doom sweeps over all senses and a knowing that this is the end.
The sky dances with vivid colors, swirling, whirling and shifting as the sun slowly sets on the horizon. They sat on the porch hand in hand, watching the sunset. Gerald curled up in a ball on the porch next to them, peacefully sleeping and Ester playing ball in the front yard. Ester giggles consumed with happiness. Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, their escape from the madness of the world.
The prisoner tries to cry out for help and she snaps back to reality, to the task at hand. She has work to do. This was no time for fantasy, daydreaming or memories.
Slowly, she, meaning Her, takes the old pocket knife to his tongue. He struggles to pull his tongue free. He violently fights to free himself from his restraints. Tied down. Unable to move. His body strapped to the wheelchair. The knife dull and rusty. It has spent years drowning in the rain and covered in the earth. Unhurried she, meaning Her, saws away at the tongue. The agony from the pressure, the pulling, the tearing. It is slow and grueling. It seems never ending. Despite all of this, he remains awake, fully aware of what is happening. The blood trickles down his chin, down his throat, soaking his stained white shirt. A shirt already stained with sweat and food. He is a slob. He smells like week old beer and cigarettes. His appearance is offensive. Unkempt and dirty. His hair greasy and his skin oily. He oozes misery and unhappiness. Life had been hard on him. Lust for life faded from his eyes, years ago.
A grin swept across Her face. The most menacing and evil of grins. Like the grin of a child on Christmas morning, the excitement in her eyes. Terror on his face. Pupils large and fixed. The look of a mouse about ready to eaten by the cat. The moment between two people when they both know what is going to happen, that they can no longer escape fate.
This would be a slow and painful death. All the deaths here would be painful and full of torture. Torture to make up for the years of mistreatment and abuse. Torture to teach the world a lesson. Torture to cure the madness, to ease the pain, the suffering and to make amends.
Feet running down the hall way. Banging and crashing. Unnerving laughter. Heavy sighs. Groans, moans and screams. Wheelchairs and walkers. Drool, vomit and feces. The smell churns the stomach, the smell of a veterinarian clinic that hasn’t been cleaned for months, maybe even years, with the smell of food, piss and vomit. The sounds of screaming and crying, of torment and torture send chills down the spin. The sights of the disabled and broken break the heart and tear at the soul. Those who had been here long enough are oblivious to it, they are immune. They no longer notice. This is a condemned house of horrors, home to the damaged, rejected and damned.
Purple grass and orange sky. A man dapperly adorned in a Victorian era suit, spinning his top hat on his cane while a woman scantily dressed in 1920’s flapper attire, tassels, pearls, and feathers smokes a cigarette with a cigarette holder. She looked like Marion Davies, the soft blonde hair and big doe eyes, he, on the other hand, looks like more like Gene Kelly, chiseled face and eyes that dance. Together they are like watching an old Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy movie. They sit at the end of the bed of a tiny woman, childlike in her features, drugged and strapped to a bed. The room is like any other hospital room, plain and white. All the furniture here is old and metal. They are patiently waiting for her to awake, eager to talk with her. The woman in the bed is named Her because no one knows her real name, so they call her, Her. Once she starts to arise, they waste no time in letting her know exactly what they think and how they feel.
“You really shouldn’t do that.” Dera tried to say in the most compassionate way possible, however the undertones of her frustration could be heard. She was getting tired of worrying about her friend.
“You know they don’t understand.” Dante was angry, not with the woman lying in the bed, but with the people who had put her there as a form of punishment.
She (meaning Her) looks away, out the window, she stares at a large bird with its wings out stretched.
“You can’t hide from us.” Dante said, now with his hat on his head as he pokes her with his cane.
“Life is easier when you don’t fight.” Dera said placing her hand on the woman’s leg.
The woman stares at the bird who slowly turns into a tree. The purple grass turns green and the orange sky blue. The drugs are kicking in.
“See, they make you play nice.” Dera said, half happy that she wouldn’t have to worry about her friend and yet a bit forlorn because she hates to see someone she loves be unable to express themselves or even be themselves, especially under sedation.
She half hazily tries to focus, open her eyes, and tries to take in the contents of the room. The man and woman gone. She smiles. Dede is sitting on the dresser. Dede is an antique, turn of the century doll. This is her doll, one of the only things she owns. She, meaning Her, has had this doll since she was a child. The doll is old and torn. It has the same dead stare as the woman in the bed. A stare that sends shivers down the spine when others see her face. The doll sits on the dresser and stares, as if looking into the souls of all those who enter the room. Yet, for Her, seeing the doll on the dresser brings her comfort.
Her stares out the window, watching the twirling colors start to fade. She sees a raven, black as night, perched outside her window. The raven is watching a coyote stalk a lone white rabbit. She watches as the coyote pounces on the rabbit, killing it on its first try and then proudly caring it off to another waiting coyote. They nuzzle each other. The raven following overhead. She smiles to herself, she remembers the stories. She longs for freedom, to be outside, anywhere but here.
“Dera, darling, did you know coyotes mate for life?” Dante asks.
“Did you know the coyote is clever and cunning? And the raven is smarter than most people?”
“Pity, both are so widely misunderstood.”
“Yes, I do agree. They don’t get the respect they deserve.”
“Guess that’s the nature of humankind. Isn’t it? Too selfish to see past themselves, too absorbed in their own lives to even realize others’ plights and problems.”
“Selfish indeed. Unable to see past themselves and how cruel they have become. But darling, we are getting caught up in one of our rants. We too are becoming self absorbed in our theories and ideals.” Dante chuckles, he always loves a good conversation, one that picks at his brain and makes him think. He is pacing the floor, hands behind his back, as if he is entrenched in reflection.
“Now, now darling, I see you pondering. Let us focus on our dear angel who needs us now. We have plenty of time for conversations later.” She sits daintily in the window, slowing smoking her cigarette. She is confident and mysterious.
Her, looks past the man and woman and sees Gerald. Her oldest and dearest friend. Perched like a gargoyle at the end of her bed. He is wearing only his underwear. He his covered in bruises. She sighs and closes her eyes. She can hear Ester in the background, busily cleaning and stuttering to herself. Ester is always dressed in a floral Mumu even though she is skin and bones. The fabric hangs from her like a tent.
Gerald curiously watches Ester, his head turns side to side like that of a dog. Ester busily hustling, like a worker bee around the bed, still talking to herself under her breath, buzzing. Ester leans over and whispers in Her ear, “Aaaaaadam wwwwwas oooout bbbbbbut ggggggone aaaaaagain.” She then goes back to her frantic movement of trying to rearrange and clean the room.
A fat and unhappy humpty dumpty nurse enters the room out of breath and exhausted. She is followed by a just as tired looking, as well as, used up and spit out but still beautiful in a cheap stripper sort of way nurse’s assistant. Both look like they haven’t slept in days. The younger one is skin and bones with circles under her eyes. She hides herself under too much make up, bright, messy and loud. Her hair is mangy. She looks like she went to the club the night before, overslept, jumped out of bed and showed up at work. They are both dressed in tight white uniforms, they blend into the white of the room.
“Skedaddle, you two. Shouldn’t you be in your rooms? Who let you out?” The fat nurse says as she swats at them, as if they are pets who have naughtily broken the rules and jumped up onto the furniture. The fat dumpy nurse turns to the young nurse, “Amy can you find a couple of the men and have these two either escorted to the common room or back to their own rooms. I would prefer if Gerald was restrained again.”
“No problem Nurse Grey.” Says the nurse’s assistant cheerfully, as she struts out of the room.
When Gerald hears this, he jumps down and scurries away on all fours.
“God damn it! Amy! Amy! Oh fuck it, they’ll find him.” She shakes her head, looking at the woman in the bed. “That friend of yours. Always thinking he’s funny. Well, he’s not. He’s trouble. Oh well, he’s sealed his fate. Chained to bed, better for him. Safer for us all.”
Ester too has disappeared. “And that one, she’s probably off to the common room on her own. She’s got sense. She’s probably cleaning something. Makes life easier for the rest of us.”
Her does not look at the nurse. Dante and Dera are standing at the end of bed, looking concerned and discontented.
“Just play nice and she’ll let you out of bed.” Dante is tired of Her being in bed, being in bed is boring and Dante hates to be bored. When Dante is bored he creates trouble, he is usually one of the reasons Her, ends up sedated and strapped to a bed.
“Just do what she says, then we can find Adam.” Dera says trying to coax Her. Dera is worried about Adam, it has been days since they have seen him. Besides, Dera too is eager for the day, her friend, is no longer locked away and can join her and Dante again.
Nurse Grey noisily, as if on purpose, flips through Her’s chart. “I don’t know why we don’t send you away. You really don’t belong here. You are more trouble than your worth, I swear to God, I don’t know why we keep you, you are a pain in my ass is what you are.” Nurse Grey glares at Her. A crusty, crinkled up face, that looks like an old raisin. “Cat got your tongue today?” She says, as she pokes her in the arm with her pen.” Nurse Grey grins, “Cat always has your tongue, guess that’s why you are here. Too stupid to be out there. Too stupid to learn to talk. Too stupid to make it in the real world. You couldn’t make it out there, so you are here, aren’t ya, Missy?” She says, as if she is proud, as if she has earned some real world experience badge, that makes her better than Her. “Pity such a pretty thing too.” Again Nurse Grey glares. “Isn’t fair that you get beauty, it’s wasted on you. I should have had your looks. You don’t even need them.”
Dante slams his cane into the floor with both hands. “Who the fuck does she think she is?” Dera ashes her cigarette on her pristine white shoe, “Queen bitch, I guess.” Dante and Dera huff out of the room, it is too much for them. Dante finds people to be infuriating, while Dera finds them distressing. Nurse Grey is oblivious to the two of them, too caught up in her own unscrupulous verbal attack on Her.
Her, turns and stares at Nurse Grey. A dead eye stare, like that from Dede. Slowly she starts to grin, the grin turns into a smile and then she starts to giggle, an unnerving giggle that sends shivers down the nurse’s spine. Her giggle then turns into a maniacal laugh that confirms the most wicked and sinister of plans. An evil genius sort of I know more than you laugh.
Nurse Grey disgustedly turns to Her and says, “Creep. Fuckin creep. You need to be locked away.” Quickly, she injects Her. “Nighty nighty for you fuckin creepy bitch.” Nurse Grey says this time under her breath. The laughter has unnerved Nurse Grey, she is anxious to leave the room. Her just lays in bed and stares at Nurse Grey, with dead eyes and grins from ear to ear, laughing. Nurse Grey turns her and starts to exit the room. The nurse is afraid that if she looks at Her for too long, she might steal her soul.
As Nurse Grey exits, Dante and Dera enter. They watch Her start to fade out, “Well, you have done it again. Pissed off another nurse and extended your sentence.” Dante is beginning to grow irate and Dera apprehensive , all this time locked away is taking away from more important things like time they could spend looking for Adam. They both dreaded the worse, knowing here, time is never on your side.
They can hear Nurse Grey in the hall talking with two men. “What’s up?” One of the men asks. “Check the common room for Ester; if she’s not there, find her and send her to her room, she needs to learn she can’t just go wherever she wants. And Gerald is running around somewhere. Catch him and chain him. We can’t have him running around here like a wild animal. And please try to get some clothes on him. Disgusting little rat.”