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You’re Only Crazy if You Say You’re Not

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

One morning you awake to find yourself in a straight jacket, being taken off to an asylum. How do you prove your sanity? What do the guards and psychiatrists say you did?

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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151 Responses to You’re Only Crazy if You Say You’re Not

  1. 96fangorn says:

    ’Where am I?’
    ’Do you know who you are?’
    ’You’re not helping. David? Yes, David. Carlson.”
    *Thoughtful mumbling*
    ‘The sedatives we gave you might make you a little disoriented. Do you know where you are?’
    ‘No.’
    ‘You’re in an asylum.’
    (A moments silence)
    ‘What… what is this?’
    ‘Straight jacket – for your own safety. You have to trust us, David. Will you trust us?’
    ‘An asylum?’
    ‘Yes. You were brought here last night. Laura Gambler is in the hospital. Do you remember her?’
    ‘But… Why am I here?’
    ‘It’s entirely for your own safety. You can trust us, David, listen to me.’
    ‘Can you…?’
    *wriggling*
    ‘Don’t be afraid, David.’
    ‘But I’m not. I’m not … what’s going on?’
    ‘Listen to me. You have a mental illness. I’m here to help you.’
    *Laughter*
    ‘Don’t be frightened.’
    ‘You seem frightened.’
    *Laughter*
    ‘Here, let me calm you down a little.’
    ‘Wait, hold-‘
    ‘You are sick, David. Trust me.’

  2. Icabu says:

    Waking on the floor of a transporter, my senses returning slowly and reluctantly, panic flooded through me. The raid had been brutal – a fact that my aching body attested. Trussed as if a pig for roasting, the rough ride added to my collection of bumps and welts. It didn’t take long to see that any form of aggression, real or imagined, was quickly quelled by the guards with their cursed power rods. Closing my eyes, physically and figuratively against the cloak of despondency smothering me, I awaited my disposition.

    Sitting arrow straight, head high, I answered the Inquisitor’s questions in as simple of terms as possible. Posing as a doctor concerned about my mental well-being was not a good ruse for this particular pawn. Luckily, the oaf was incapable of deciphering deception and outright lies from the truth. What was sought would only enrage the dolt when, if he had any capability of understanding, should enlighten, bring absolution.

    Vile words, of abysmal supply, damning threats and dire consequences spewed Vesuviously. Knowing that mere words were harmless, I held to my truths. Through the barred window in the heavy door to my isolation room came a sound beyond description. It must have been a scream, but not possibly human.

    Physical pain, in palpable concentrations, concerned me. Surviving threats and isolation was expected. Torture was a test only broached in theory. Could I be capable of a sound like I’d heard? Fear crept through me as a grin of pure evil crawled over my Inquisitor’s face. More unfathomable sounds echoed through the halls. I prepared myself for the next phase of my treatment.

    Stripped of all possessions, I continually marked a cross with my nearly useless finger still strapped around my back. Repeatedly reciting the comforting words put my mind to rest. I believed. I truly did. The truths buffered the blows. As my body failed, I followed the truths to peace and harmony.

  3. Cin5456 says:

    I can’t seem to get in to reply to today’s prompt.

  4. TurningThoughts says:

    The straight jacket is a lot tighter than it looks like in movies and a lot scratchier too. I try nudging my elbow to the right and the jacket tightens around my left elbow. I move my elbow one more time for good measure, and the material covering my left elbow cinches.

    Well, fuck.

    Last night was a blur. Pink flamingos, yellow neon lights, and triple X images flash across my mind, but I don’t know exactly why I am in this straight jacket, nor why I’m being hauled off to the—I squint my eyes at the sign the guards drag me by—East Wing.

    I’m in a fucking asylum. There’s no other explanation of why I would be in a straight jacket. Unless they’re convinced I’m some kind of suicidal lunatic.

    Which is probably the case, because then why would I be in a fucking straight jacket?

    Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

    The guard on my left—he’s quite a handsome fella. Strong jawline, light stubble sprinkles the stretch of skin from his ear to chin, green eyes staring intensely forward, tight grip clenched around my bicep. He looks familiar but I can’t place it. I search my mind, but it’s a scattered haze. I must have been drugged last night.

    The guard on my left jerks me to him as we turn the corner, which forces my head to whip back then forward. Ouch. If I’m not mistaken, I think I might have a hangover.

    What did I do last night?

    I sneak a quick glance at the guard on my right and it’s—Jany? What the hell? Jany, my 15-year-old younger sister, meets my gaze and gives me a quick wink.

    “Adam,” she says and the guy on my left looks over at her and nods.

    Without any warning, Adam yanks me toward him and pushes me up against the wall.

    “Listen good, because we don’t have much time. They’re accusing you of murdering a 19-year-old kid named Isaac, which so happens to be the Mayor’s son. We know the Mayor did it, but they put you on fucking drugs last night to get you to admit you did it. You have no hope. The only choice is to escape. Nod once if you understand me.”

    I nod. Adam. I remember him now.

    He’s my husband.

    “Jany and I can get you out of here, but only if you stay where we hide you. You can’t come out until my friend James comes and gets you, you understand? It may be one hour, it may be two days. But you have to stay put. Nod once if you understand me again.”

    I nod.

    “Good. James is our neighbor, and you will recognize him when he comes for you. The rest of the drugs should wear off by then.”

    Adam grabs my hand and pulls me toward him, leaving a kiss on my forehead. I sigh. Being drugged is exhausting.

    Adam looks at his watch.

    “Time to go.”

  5. thelittleone says:

    “What’s going on?” “Where…?” I asked frantically as I jerked awake on a cold stale hospital bed. I blinked my eyes, adjusting to the harsh fluorescent light that swung overhead. There was a terrible ringing echoing in my ears and my head was splitting in two. And was that blood I tasted? I moved to wipe it from my mouth but found my arms bound tightly to my chest, held in place by a straitjacket. I panicked, This can’t be happening, I thought, and in one knee-jerk motion I found myself face first onto the padded white floor, writhing madly against the restraints like a fish gasping for breath.

    At that moment, a large metal door crashed open and a pair of black shoes quickly came into view.
    
“Mr. Mason, please control yourself,” chided a cold female voice above him. With great effort, I craned my head to see a dark-eyed woman in a lab coat with a clipboard and pen.

    “I’m… I’m sorry, I just, I’m not sure where I am,” I mumbled uselessly from the floor.

    “That’s understandable, it’s a side-effect of the sedative.”

    “Sedative?”

    “Yes, you were sedated and you’re going to be disorientated for a little while. Why don’t you let me help you up?” The woman grabbed me roughly by the shoulders and lifted me into a sitting position. She had a very pretty face, but behind her wireframe glasses were cold black eyes with no trace of a smile. She had long black hair wrapped in a high bun with a spare pen sticking out of it.

    “Now then Mr. Mason, my name is Dr. Scheol and I think it’s time we begin our preliminary examination,” she said as she helped me get to my feet and led me to a pair of chairs on the other side of the room.

    “Look, I shouldn’t be here,” I said as she helped me into the seat and took her place across from me. “I can’t remember a thi-”

    “You can’t remember any of the events that led you here today?” she interrupted with an eager click of her pen.

    “Er…well, no. Didn’t you just say I’d be disorien-”

    “You should be well enough to remember the incident that occurred, although you could be experiencing a trauma-induced fugue state,” her eyes bored into mine searching for some sign or symptom. She stared at me for a long time until finally, I was too uncomfortable to keep eye contact. She immediately began scratching down a pageful of notes.

    “Um, couldn’t you just tell me what happened? Wouldn’t that jog my memory?”

    “I feel that it is very important that you come to that realization on your own,” still scribbling away. We sat in silence for several moments before she looked up again.

    “So, Why don’t you start with the basics. What’s your name and what can you tell me about yourself?”

    “Well, hey, do you think you could get me out of this straitjacket doc? I’d feel alot more comfortable,” I said with a light laugh.

    “It is a necessary precaution,” she stated simply. My face fell.

    “Fine,” I retorted, “my name’s Greg Mason, I’m 36 years old, and I had a dog named Skippy when I was five years old, can we please get on with this?” Dr. Scheol stared at me for a moment before snatching the red pen from her hair and writing several more sentences in red ink.

    I was getting very annoyed with this woman.

  6. soochybee says:

    I decided to go for a jog. The air was crisp and fresh, perfect for a run. Hell, after the day I’d had, I almost pitied the road I was about to take out my frustrations on. Feet pounding on the pavement, music blasting in my ears, I began to feel the stress of the day blissfully melt away. I never heard the footsteps behind me, never even got to turn around before I was tackled to the ground, my cheek ground into the pavement. I struggled with all my strength when they pulled the earphones from my ears. When they put the straitjacket on me, I realized I wasn’t being attacked, just taken to a mental house. Which was not an improvement on the first scenario by any means.
    “You’ve got the wrong person!” I screamed helplessly. The maniacal writhing, kicking and screaming I was doing was probably not helping my case. They loaded me into the back of a truck that resembled one I’d seen driving past me once, a prison trucks with prisoners yelling obscene things out the window. This one had beds in it. They strapped me down and went around to sit in the front.
    I had resigned myself to my fate, for now anyways, when one of the doors to the back of the truck swung open, and I saw myself standing there, looking down at me. Wait, what?!? maybe I was crazy after all? I close my eyes and shook my head fiercely. When I opened my eyes, she was still there, looking at me with a calm, sort of fascinated look.
    “Who are you?” I asked, just in case she was in fact real, and standing in front of me. She just looked at me for a moment, and started to close the door. “Wait! you can’t leave me here! Do something!”. She looked a little regretful as she said “I’m sorry to do this. I just can’t have you ruining everything now.” She closed the door, and I could see her running away into the night. It only hit me after the truck was well on its way, that you’d have to be a fool not to be able to see the crazy in her eyes.

  7. Red Jackson says:

    It is so bright in here, too bright. There is the window high up and I know it is morning. Light from that little window reflects off these white walls. Is this what a vampire feels before he bursts into flames in the light of the sun? In that instant before the intense heat, is it just the unbearable light? The floor is too soft, so soft. I remember camping when I was young. My mother would make up a nice soft bed for me. She made sure the air mattress had just enough air so that I wouldn’t sag to the hard earth below. By morning I always woke up on the floor of the tent beside the mattress. The cool hard earth was, somehow, more comfortable for me.
    I am laying here in the softness. My arms are pulled across my chest like some stubborn old man who didn’t get his way but still refuses to voice his complaint. An old man who prefers to let his body language do his talking for him. I cannot move my arms. They are caught in these oppressive sleeves. I lay here, unmoving. I do not sleep. I do nothing. I contemplate.
    “Suicidal,” they said. “Dangerous,” they said. I try to remember. I can’t. Which came first, the oppression or the depression? My arms are aching. I try to straighten them but the jacket will not yield. Pain grips one shoulder.
    “Let me out. I am not crazy.” My voice sounds strange. The words resonate with lunacy. It isn’t my voice but they are my words. My daily ritual distracts me from my despair. Each morning when my room is bright I call out with the same seven words and after that I say nothing. Oh, I am still thinking, always thinking. I am plotting. I will get even. I will.

  8. nnaloadholt says:

    The memory of what happened to me was slowly,

    painfully returning. I had been attacked again. It

    was happening more frequently than before. I

    remembered the pin-pointed pressure, and the pain. i

    remember screaming, crying and cursing from the

    pain.
    Neighbors must have called for help. But this

    is not help. I’m in a straight jacket, strapped to a

    bed. “This is not the normal way people are taken

    to a hospital,” I thought to myself. “Where are you

    people taking me?” I asked the person sitting next

    to me dressed in white. She looked down at me and

    smiled, “we are going to get you some help,” she
    responded.
    “What happened to you?” She asked. I told

    her, “I was lying in my bed and something began to

    hurt my back, arms and legs. It was pressure from

    some type of weapon. “Didn’t you people see my

    bruises?” I demanded. “Do you think I hurt myself?”

    “We don’t know what happened to you,” she said,”but

    we will get to the bottom of it.” she added. “Sure”

    I heard myself saying. But, I knew better.

    I Was being attacked with an electromagnetic weapon that someone is using in close proximity to my apartment. I read about this on the internet. People being hurt in there homes. They are called “targeted individuals.” There is no one that you can point to. you can’t even see a beam of light. But you feel the pain and see the bruises from the sharp jabs, pin-pointed pressure and something that feels suspiciously like electrical current. If it wasn’t happening to me I probably wouldn’t believe it either. So I try to be patient when I tell this story and receive cynical smirks of disbelief.

  9. handyman43127 says:

    IDENTITY

    Year’s don’t cover the pain, neither do they hide the truth..

    It was the in the early sixty’s, I can’t remember the exact year, things were just happening so fast back then, I mean with the war and graduation from high school and what was to follow, I just lost track.

    One week after graduation I was standing in line, waiting with so many others to see what lay beyond the open doorway where others passed in front of me.

    My dad was a tough guy, or so he thought. He taught me to trust none and to do whatever it took to survive. His war was his job, my mother and the neighbor that cut his grass to early on Saturday.Mine would be so different.

    The physical and the swearing of commitment to the country I already loved behind me, I
    boarded a bus headed for the training that I thought would prepare me for what lay before me. I was so wrong!

    Johnny was the first guy I met at boot camp. I was young but he was just a kid. We became best of friends and spent our free time talking about our lives, I was from Ohio and he was from Indiana. His family were farmers and mine were steel workers from the Ohio Valley.

    We nicknamed each other. I called him farmer and he called me the man of steel.

    When the orders came down for our deployment we were overjoyed that we were going to the same location together.

    Soon we were in the hot zone. Bomb’s and mortar’s exploding all around us. Johnny was the point man and I was thirty meters behind him. Approaching a stream Johnny stepped in. It was the first time we had encountered a trip wire in the water, we had not been trained for that.

    The tree’s exploded from the explosives hidden in them. Making my way to Johnny, I pulled him from the water and as I held him in my arms, while I watched him die, I promised him that we would make it across this river and one day he would see. My last words to him were, your name is no longer farmer, but John the warrior.

    Forty years later it was no twist of fate that I awoke in a straight jacket, on my way to an asylum, the arm’s of the straight jacket holding me like I held John. Only the Psychiatrists and the guard’s couldn’t understand why I was trying to swim the river to the other side……….

  10. Cin5456 says:

    Mistaken Identity

    The streetlights blurred as they swam past my murky vision. A siren cut like a steel blade through my brain. Two men in white sat at my head and feet. Crying was futile so I stopped.

    “What did I do? How could I deserve this?” I tried to speak calmly, but desperation made me whine. God how I hate whiners.

    “You don’t remember shoving that old lady? Or taking her wheelchair for a spin?”

    It had to be the thugs I saw earlier harassing an old woman earlier in the day. They probably pointed at me when they got cornered. Being homeless made me a scapegoat for everything.

    “Please let me go. It wasn’t me.” I pleaded. “I promise I won’t hurt anyone. You could take off this thing and just open the door at the next light. You would never hear from me again.”

    “Can’t do that, mister. We played hell catching you.” His pride was evident. All I could remember was being tackled in the park downtown, and a sharp pain in my butt. A few minutes later we arrived at the hospital. I was wheeled in on the gurney and left in a room with the lights off. About an hour later I was calm, but very scared when a doctor entered.

    With a deadpan face, he said, “Mister Johnson? I’m Dr. Everett. You’ve been referred to me because of some unusual things in your past. I specialize in multiples, and we think you might be one.”

    “Multiples? What the hell is that?”

    “It means you have more than one way of dealing with the world. You don’t always act the same, and you refer to yourself by more than one name.”

    Astonished, it took a minute to process that. Denial seemed best. “I’m not a multiple. I’m always Donny Johnson.”

    “Oh yeah? We’ll see.” He went over a chart he held, and turned the page. Then mysteriously, he turned around, spoke to the wall, and turned back around.

    “Mr. Cartwright? I’m Dr. Tovall. I see you are a multiple, according to your chart. We need to work on that, get you integrated.”

    “What the hell? I’m Donny Johnson. I’m not anybody called Cartwright. What’s going on here?” His face looked different, more accusing than at first. We spoke for about five minutes more, with him reading crazy stuff from his chart that he called ‘my history.’ Four years of it.” Then he turned to look at the wall again. When he turned around again, he smiled and cocked one hip while tapping his lips with the pen.

    “How long will you keep me here?”

    “That depends on the evaluation conference between myself, Dr. Tovall, and Dr. Everett.”

    Stymied by the implication, I asked, “Wait, what’s your name?”

    In a soft voice he said, “I’m Dr. Sarah Hofstadter. I’m pleased to meet you, Mr. Johnson, or is it Cartwright? Your admittance is signed by all three of us, so we’re jointly in charge of your case.”

  11. catbr says:

    The sound of the siren was almost deafening. It woke me from what I thought was a sound sleep, the best I’d had in years. I slowly opened my eyes. Why won’t that siren stop. Hey wait a minute, this isn’t my bedroom. Looks like I’m inside an ambulance…what the hell is going on? Why can’t I move? I’m in constraints of some type. Last night was all a blur, everything happened so fast. I was trying hard to remember something, anything to explain why I was in an ambulance restrained in a straight jacket like some wild animal. Nothing was coming to mind though. Maybe that goofy looking guy sitting across from me dressed in white could tell me.

    “Hey mister, can you tell me why I’m in this ambulance wearing a straight jacket? Did I do something wrong or what?”

    “You tell me. You seemed to have all the answers back at the hospital where we picked you up a few hours ago.”

    Hospital. What is this guy talking about. “Yeah well I forget. Clue me in a little. By the way could you take the looney coat off me. I promise I won’t bite.”

    “Sorry, no can do, doctor’s orders. We’re taking you to the Whispering Pines Facility. You’ll like it there so just relax and enjoy the ride.” He said looking at me with a smirk as though I had no rights or mind. I just could not remember anything at all and it was making me a little nervous. Finally we pulled up to the facility. I was put in a wheel chair and wheeled in through the front doors.

    “Just wait here a few minutes Mr. McCarthy. Our resident doctor would like to speak to you.” the nurse with the cold, steel blue lifeless eyes said. I need to get out of here fast. I was starting to sweat.

    “Well Mr. McCarthy, How are we today?” said the doctor.

    “Could you please take the restraints off me doc. I am harmless I can assure you.” I tried to give him one of my most sincere, pleasant, sane looks. However I didn’t think the sweat rolling down my face with the matted hair was helping.

    “Soon, if you can give the right answers. Do you remember being at your in-laws house last night?”

    Now it was starting to come back. My mother in law from hell was getting on my nerves last night as usual. After about 4 hours of drinking and listening to her usual continual insults towards me I seemed to remember lunging at her from across the table. “Yeah, sure I do. But I was a little bit tipsy and … well you know how that goes. So can we get the nice white coat off me now.”

    “I suppose we could take it off for now, if you behave. You are lucky that all your mother in law suffered from was some bruising on her neck and some very hurt feelings. You said some pretty nasty things to her. Do you remember that?”

    A smile came to my face as I clearly remembered shouting out a few long over due remarks to the old bag that I’d always harboured over the years, before the lunge. In time I would prove my sanity and be out of here soon enough. Even a saint couldn’t take that woman’s mouth without eventually cracking. The satisfaction of finally letting the pompous ass know what I really thought of her was going to be worth this whole ordeal.

  12. blanderson says:

    They were dragging me away in a straightjacket!? And it was a straightjacket by the most rudimentary of descriptions. As I struggled it felt as though I was wrapped in potato sacks. Mummified alive was a more apt description than a straightjacket.

    In some ways I am lucid, but in others I am in and out of consciousness. At one moment I feel agitated and struggle against their efforts, and the next moment I am smiling, almost euphoric. Who are these people dragging me away, anyway?

    Laughter. I can hear laughter.

    Occasionally one of them would drop his—yes, men, definitely men, though ugly—corner and part of me would slump to the ground. Drop his corner? Yes, there were four of them.

    I feel paralyzed. I struggle, though it seems like I barely move. I can feel the sensation of some sort of fabric wrapped over my skin, but at the same time I can’t feel a thing.

    “What are you doing to me?! I am not insane. Please let me go!”

    Can they even hear what I am saying?

    Now the sound of water. They are decidedly walking through water, though it is clearly shallow. The one nearest my left foot is the latest to lose grip and I drop into the water. I do not feel wet or cold. It is cold, though. I can clearly see the breath from each of my escorts as they carry me through the dark night.
    They heave me onto some sort of platform. Is it a wagon?

    There is another man.

    “Hey! What’s going on? Help me!”

    No reply.

    He pushes the platform away from shore. Yes, the water had to have been getting deeper, as the staff he uses to push the platform—no, a boat—from the shore is plunging deeper into the water. I strain to look back. No sign of the four who carried me.

    I should feel cold and wet, but mostly I felt weary. Maybe I am insane.

    The man with the staff considers me. I feel apprehensive, but at least he is interacting in his own way.

    “Ripe old nut, that,” he says in my direction. Then he turns his attention to the water.

    In the distance I see a glow. Juxtaposed against the escort, it’s truly lovely. The shoreline draws nearer and I yearn to get there. The desire to end this journey, be removed from this straightjacket and enter this—uh, not sure what it is—‘place’ causes me physical pain.

    Again, the man with the staff turns to me.

    In a craggy voice, he says, “Once here, they always want to go. Too bad, son, your friends didn’t pay for this trip. Nah, we’re not ‘cross yet.”

    I am insane. I deserve this jacket. Jacket? I’m not wearing a jacket, nor am I wrapped in fabric. These are my clothes. I feel so weary. Pain is setting in; unbearable pain in my body and mind. And it won’t stop. Ever.

  13. Minor says:

    I struggled to open my eyes but they were shut tight as if they had been glued shut with Gorilla Glue. Voices on my right drew my attention but I couldn’t make out who was talking. I lost consciousness once again, only returning from my dreams by the sweet coaxing of a familiar voice calling my name.

    “Stacy. Wake up darling. Stacy.”

    I opened my eyes to find a petite Phillopian woman smiling at me. “Good morning Stacy. How’re you feeling this morning?”

    I looked around the room nervously trying to recognize where I was but nothing was coming to me.

    “How are you feeling?” The woman asked me again. My heart was thumping out of my chest now that I was aware I was sitting in a chair in a straight jacket.

    “Where am I?” I asked barely above a whisper.

    The lady smiled even sweeter at me. “You’re at Mason Manor Psychiatric Hospital. I’m Dr. Marian Sylar. Do you know why you’re here?”

    “I…I…don’t know what’s going on.” I responded as tears flowed down my cheeks. She scribbled something across the yellow pad in her lap, then reached inside a folder and withdrew a stack of pictures. She placed each one of the twelve gruesome pictures before me without uttering a word.

    I recognized all twelve people and my heart almost came to a stop. “These are the bodies that were recovered from a crime scene down at the factory. Do you recognize any of these people?

    “Yyyess.” I stuttered.

    “The police recovered security footage where you’re clearly seen slaughtering a dozen of your co-workers. Do you remember any of this?”

    I felt as if a truck was parked on my chest. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and seeing. I wanted to wake from the nightmare and didn’t know how.

    “Why would I do this?” I managed to choke out. This couldn’t be happening.

    “Let me help you get to the bottom of this. Maybe we should start with yesterday morning. You woke up and then what happened?”

    I didn’t have much choice so I closed my eyes, sighed and thought back to yesterday morning. “I woke up around 8:30, showered, dressed for work and went down to the factory. I left around one because I had a doctor appointment and…”

    “Wait. A doctor appointment?” Dr. Sylar asked quizzically.

    “I…I…signed up for a program at the clinic. You get money for trying out a new sleep aid and reporting the side affects. I go every other day to Dr. Cornez at the clinic.” Dr. Sylar scribbled on her pad again and excused herself from the room.

    I was released after ninety days of observation and many sessions with Dr. Sylar. It was determined the sleep aid had caused me to hallucinate and slaughter twelve people. What the doctors had not figured out yet was the second identity most of the patients had developed due to their new sleep aid. I wasn’t just Stacy anymore, now I was Stacy and Cricket. Cricket being a homicidal maniac and Stacy being same’o same’o Submissive Stacy.

  14. bookwormsub says:

    “Don’t send me back. Please.” I rocked back and forth on my bed, wrapped in my straight jacket, as my eyes roamed over the room. It was white with only the bed and a toilet for furniture and one window with bars.

    “Why don’t you want to go back, Kim?” The doctor spoke softly and her eyes were kind. I tried to like her, she was pretty – even with those ugly black frame glasses.

    I continued to rock on my bed, “I’ve said it all before.” I stopped rocking and looked at her, directly in the eyes. Isn’t that what they say a person does when they are trying to lie or hide something? Avoid eye contact? “Why don’t you believe me? I fall asleep here and I am someone else in another world.”

    The doctor only smiled, “Tell me again, Kim.”

    I sigh. What’s the use? They’ll never believe me. I begin rocking again. How long have I been awake? Two days? Three?

    The doctor sighs and leaves the room, taking the chair with her.

    I stare at the patch of square sunlight on the floor as I rock. I concentrate on the light, trying to not think about that other world or the other me.

    Adora. That’s what they call me in that other world. I murder and steal there. I don’t want to, but the punishment is worse than just obeying.

    Rock. Rock. The light climbs slowly onto the wall. Maybe if I just think about the good in that place. I frown, but there is always the bad. Like Him. I don’t like Him. He is the one that makes me do those terrible things. And he lies. He says he is my father, but how can he justify enslaving his own daughter? And he still hasn’t explained what is happening to me. Still, he was right when he said no one here would believe me.

    The light is just over halfway up the wall and my room is getting darker. Will I be able to stay awake for another night? Rock. Rock.

    Medieval times. That’s what the other world is like. Except for the magic. I smile. Even I had some magic for a while. Until I pissed Him off and he took it away. Slowly and painfully. He is like that. He loves giving pain.

    I open my eyes and He is standing above me. I look around and my room is beige with several pieces of furniture. Damn! I fell asleep again! I reach up and touch the scar on my cheek – my slave’s brand.

    “They didn’t believe you, did they?” He chuckles. “You have no freedom there, but you have it here. I can make it so you don’t dream anymore. So you don’t go to that other place anymore.”

    I sit up and look at him. What future do I have there? An insane asylum for the rest of my life? What other choice do I have really? I nod and He smiles.

  15. bookwormsub says:

    “Don’t send me back. Please.” I rocked back and forth on my bed as my eyes roamed over the room. It was white with only the bed and a toilet for furniture and one window with bars.

    “Why don’t you want to go back, Kim?” The doctor spoke softly and her eyes were kind. I tried to like her, she was pretty – even with those ugly black frame glasses.

    I continued to rock on my bed, “I’ve said it all before.” I stopped rocking and looked at her, directly in the eyes. Isn’t that what they say a person does when they are trying to lie or hide something? Avoid eye contact? “Why don’t you believe me? I fall asleep here and I am someone else in another world.”

    The doctor only smiled, “Tell me again, Kim.”

    I sigh. What’s the use. They’ll never believe me. I begin rocking again. How long have I been awake? Two days? Three?

    The doctor sighs and leaves the room, taking the chair with her.

    I stare at the patch of square sunlight on the floor as I rock. I concentrate on the light, trying to not think about that other world or the other me.

    Adora. That’s what they call me in that other world. I murder and steal there. I don’t want to, but the punishment is worse than just obeying.

    Rock. Rock. The light climbs slowly onto the wall. Maybe if I just think about the good in that place. I frown, but there is always the bad. Like Him. I don’t like Him. He is the one that makes me do those terrible things. And he lies. He says he is my father, but how can he justify enslaving his own daughter? And he still hasn’t explained what is happening to me. Still, he was right when he said no one here would believe me.

    The light is just over halfway up the wall and my room is getting darker. Will I be able to stay awake for another night? Rock. Rock.

    Medieval times. That’s what the other world is like. Except for the magic. I smile. Even I had some magic for a while. Until I pissed Him off and he took it away. Slowly and painfully. He is like that. He loves giving pain.

    I open my eyes and He is standing above me. I look around and my room is beige with several pieces of furniture. Damn! I fell asleep again! I reach up and touch the scar on my cheek – my slave’s brand.

    “They didn’t believe you, did they?” He chuckles. “You have no freedom there, but you have it here. I can make it so you don’t dream anymore. So you don’t go to that other place anymore.”

    I sit up and look at him. What future do I have there? An insane asylum for the rest of my life? What other choice do I have really? I nod and He smiles.

  16. igonzales81 says:

    “Doctor, he’s waking up.”

    “Good, good. Recheck those restraints, please. We don’t want a repeat of last Tuesday.”

    Something jostled me where I lay, and I felt something tightening across my chest and legs. As I regained consciousness, I realized that I was trussed up in a straight jacket and strapped to a bed.

    Looking up from my examination of my restraints, I saw several figures standing around the bed. Some of them were gazing at me, their expressions apprehensive. One of the strangers, a woman dressed in a white lab coat, was making notations on a clipboard.

    I opened my mouth and tried to speak, only to find that I had been gagged. The strangled murmurs I was able to get out caught the doctor’s attention. She looked down at me, and for a long moment she just stared, then a smile crossed her lips.

    “Well, I think we’re ready to proceed.” She nodded to a man standing across the bed from her. “Wilson, remove the gag. Carefully.”

    Nervously, Wilson did as he was told. “Where am I?” I asked when I could speak. “Who are you?”

    “One thing at a time,” the doctor replied. “First, do you know who you are? Do you know where you are?”

    I started to reply that of course I knew who I was, but then I realized that I didn’t. Nothing was clear, not my name, not why I was here, nothing. “What have you done to me?” I gasped.

    The doctor turned her gaze to a trio of people who stood at the foot of the bead. “As you can see, the subject has no memory of his previous life, or of the latest episode.”

    An elderly man in a suit spoke. “Hard to imagine that this is the same man who just killed five people. The strength and ferocity he displayed—it’s amazing. You’ve repeated the experiment ten times?”

    “Eleven,” the doctor corrected. “Each time we’re able to trigger a hyper-aggressive incident, and then return the subject to a state of calm, with no memory.”

    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’d never hurt anyone in my life. “Wait,” I said fearfully. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Please, someone, tell what’s happening!”

    “Of course, we typically keep the subject sedated between tests, but for the purposes of this demonstration, it was necessary to keep him lucid. Wilson, put him under again.”

    A glint of light on the tip of a needle caught my eye. They were going to sedate me, and who could say when I’d wake up. But what if what they were saying was true? Would it be better just to accept it? Or should I try to stop them? Could I try to stop them?

    With Wilson and his needle getting closer, I tried to break free of my bonds. Straining to the point where I could feel my own muscles and tendons tearing, I felt something give.

  17. Kerry Charlton says:

    Amy, you have given us an intrusive window to the descent into madness. It’s gut wrenching to read about Emily’s delusions and split personalities. Do you see a third chapter here? Possibility the restoration of Emily and turning the tables on Dr. Jeffries. How frightening for the doctor to realize he was about to experience the madness that Emily wandered through. Just a thought. You might want to give it a spin. I’d love to read it.

  18. Daffodils says:

    I dreamt that my husband was pushing my arms down onto my chest, trying to stop me from doing something while simultaneously digging my own elbows and fists into my ribcage. I tried to gasp for air but everything around me was black and endless, terrifying me , consuming me, taking it’s long black hand and long nails around my mouth, and whispering in my ear : “Don’t worry. This is where you are supposed to be.”
    Then I woke up. My body was stiff, but the earth was moving around me. I realized that I was being dragged on my knees, and two burly men in white coats were holding firmly onto my forearms, looking ambivalent, like this is a typical day in their lives. I looked down and gasped at the sight of a straight jacket around me. The black endless nothingness seemed like it was consuming me again. Was I still dreaming? I blinked hard and opened my eyes again, but I was still defenseless, being dragged across some beautiful courtyard, lined with spring flowers, and sprinklers going off at every corner. Could hell be this beautiful?
    “Don’t do this!” my husband screamed.
    I couldn’t remember anything. I started losing my breath. My head was spinning. I started shouting “You’ve made a serious mistake! I’m a good person.” They just stared into space, and chomped on their gum like a cow waiting for slaughter. Completely empty. Completely emotionless. Just pawns in a game of chess.
    Eventually they threw me into a padded room. It looked exactly how I imagined hell would like. White. Blank. Empty. Just like the endless nothingness, expect brighter; forcing me to see all the fears I have so decisively ignored. I started to shake. Then tears started flowing, and I hated the sound of myself, wallowing in my own self-pity. I felt so weak. But I had no idea where I was, or what I had done. Eventually I resigned, and tried to space out at the one crack in the cushion on the wall. I imagined how the crack had gotten there. Maybe someone tried to chew their way to freedom. I felt like there was no freedom for me, though. Even if I did escape, where would I go?
    “Will you be my best friend for the rest of my life?” my husband knelt down in a city street, and took out a tasteful diamond ring. No box. Ready for my ring finger.
    “Of Course!” I jumped into his arms and he spun me around. Heel out and everything. Just like an old movie.
    The door to my room opened, and a man with grey, slicked-back hair, and a brown corduroy suit walked into the room. He had a yellow flower in his pocket, and a leather briefcase. He sat down and opened his briefcase. The man took out a notepad, a pen, a pack of Marlboro menthols, and matches from some fancy restaurant downtown.
    “Cigarette?” He held out the pack to me with one sticking out.
    “Um..” I looked down at my arms constricted in the straight jacket.
    “Lean in,” he told me. I leaned in and took a cigarette from the pack with my lips. He lit the cigarette with the match, and I slowly sucked in, and let the cigarette hang in my mouth between inhales and exhales. He took the cigarette out of my mouth and took a drag.
    He looked at me, then smiled. He leaned in very close to me, and whispered in my ear, “Don’t worry. This is where you are supposed to be.”

  19. jbathey says:

    A shaft of dawn pierces my right eye through the high, square window. I open my eyes reluctantly. I’m lying flat, arms in an unrefusable embrace around myself. Yeah, straightjacket. I look around. Gray. Everything is flat and gray: the floor, the ceiling, the walls, even my clothes. Well, they’re not my clothes, but they’ll do for now.
    My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth as I peel my chapped lips open. My stubble scratches at my neck. My greasy head sinks into the pillow. That’s the first night I’ve slept in three days. Can’t say I didn’t need it.
    Now, how the hell do I get outta this one? Prove my sanity? That’s a joke – I wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t already decided I was a nut. Besides, is anyone really sane? Not in my business anyway…
    Tony. He’s had it in for me for some time. He’s got money. He’s got connections. And, damn, he holds a grudge!
    “Ah!” my head is throbbing. What did they juice me with?
    Yeah, Tony – I know it was him. I gotta admit, this is pretty creative. But Tony doesn’t know that I can play games too. That’s what I’ll have to do: play the game. If I can’t make them think I’m sane, I can sure as hell put some questions their heads. That’s what I do. I get people to think things. And I get what I’m looking for.
    Shoes click down the hallway and shuffle outside my door. I listen to the keypad beep and visualize the four digits. The steel bolt disengages like a gunshot and the door yawns open. The doc saunters in, eyes on the chart in his hands. He’s six foot, conveniently scruffy, no glasses, build: suitable. Amateurs! They’re making it too easy!
    “How are we this morning, Mr. Doe?”
    Anonimous – I love it! “Well, Doc, I gotta say this is mighty inconvenient…”
    “So you have no recollection of how you came to our facility?”
    “Oh, not that. My balls itch something fierce and I can’t reach ‘em. Mind giving me a hand?”
    “Funny.” The door clicks shut and I jump to my feet.
    It only takes three minutes. Now the doc is on the bed hugging himself with a splitting headache. I’m in his shoes, pants, lab coat – even a nifty badge to help with security.
    The doc groans and peers at me through the puffy slits of his eyes. “Oh my, Mr. Doe! You don’t look well at all,” I smile, “Let me get you something for the pain…” He’s screaming like a lunatic before I shut the door. Like anyone here is going to believe him. Occupational hazard, if you ask me. I pop my shoulder back into joint and head down the hall.
    Now it’s time to find the case and get the hell outta Dodge! Your move, Tony.

  20. douglangille says:

    EDDIE ZERO
    ===========

    I didn’t kill him. He was already dead, I told myself.

    The room was pitch black when I awoke. I fell asleep leaning against the back of the door. My shoulders tingled with pins and needles as my circulation returned. It didn’t help much. With my arms restrained like they were, it was nearly impossible to take a full breath. My head swam as my eyes adjusted to the dark, the sparks and flashes of dust motes and retinal artifacts disoriented me. I felt awash in a sea of teaming life where there was only darkness.

    The power had been out for a couple of days, from what I could tell from the dim glow that ebbed and flowed through the wire mess glass pane in the door. There was no real way to be sure though. Time was elastic for me at the best of times. These days? Well, let’s just say things are different.

    The room was hot, stale and reeked with my own sweat and stink. And his as well, I suppose. I shot my foot out to kick him. It landed with a wet thud. In some ways, I was thankful for the dark. The air exchangers were out, but there must have been some venting somewhere. I heard my breathing grow frantic again, so I closed my eyes against the murk and did the breathing exercises that Doctor Goodwin taught me. She was my favourite. She always smiled at me. At least she did when she had a face. Bastards.

    We were in group session when the arse fell out of the world. Doctors Goodwin and Meier were running the show with a stuffed bear as a talking stick. Barry, Emma and Hughie had all gone first. It was only me and Haley left. I was getting bored and antsy with Hughie’s crying and whimpering. I could tell Barry was too. He started rocking back and forth. Haley got up and walked around her chair clockwise, then counter-clockwise humming a nursery rhyme. Meier had to get up and guide her back to her seat. Man, these people were nuts.

    Goodwin got a buzz on her cell. She glanced at the number and excused herself to take it. I watched her shapely legs swish away with approval. “I hate to see you go, but I love to watch you leave,” I mused. Then that damnable bear was stuffed in my face, blocking my view. Hughie shook it like a rattle. I wanted to punch him. That was probably why I was in restraints.

    “It’s your turn, Eddie, ” said Meier. “Do you have anything to share this morning?”

    “Fuck you.”

    Meier shook his head and bent forward to scribble in his chart. The bald spot on his head looked like a tantalizing target. Goodwin came back and put her hand on her colleague’s shoulder. She then handed him a note. His glasses fell from his face and dangled around his neck on the chain that would later facilitate his untimely demise.

    The double doors at the back of the ward burst open. I watched a small crowd of dishevelled people break in to the room. They were all bloodied and tore up, but moved with a swiftness I wouldn’t have thought possible. Immediate pandemonium erupted as a melee of gore and violence swept across the room. I was frozen in shock as I witnessed the escalation. Goodwin was tackled by three assailants who started eating her pretty face. Barry vomited all over his pyjamas, but it didn’t matter. He didn’t make it out of the circle. I don’t think any of them did. I’m not sure what outcome to wish upon them.

    Meier and I clambered over and around each other trying to get out the south door. I threw my body against the press bar and fell through. I started to panic and yell as I couldn’t get up. I was still bound in the jacket. Meier, wide-eyed and bleeding, helped me stand and we bolted to the cell block to hide.

    I didn’t realize until later that he had been bitten.

    • calicocat88 says:

      Wow! I was not expecting this turn in the story. Kept my attention the whole way. I could just visualize this and that’s something I think is extremely key–this is a very interactive story. I loved the MC and would really like to know what happens to this fellow. Makes me sort of freak out to be in his position. Very good story :)

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Oh you’re good… You would be crazy not to expand this into a bigger piece. I actually thought the MC was going to be the one to do the killing. Nice twist and Good job.

      • swatchcat says:

        I was getting into the MC having to cope with the darkness. You had me at the line: “She always smiled at me. At least she did when she had a face. Bastards.” The transition into the (zombie?) attack I fumbled on at first but as I continued reading I caught up. Surely not a normal day at the asylum. Nice one.

    • smallster21 says:

      I agree with swatchcat, you had me “At least she did when she had a face.” Eeek! My stomach turned upside down at that and I was both frightened and eager to know what the hell happened. You could try getting rid of the first few paragraphs. I went back to the beginning to reread, and I didn’t remember the first line. This story is great, but I think you should make the beginning have a bigger impact right away. Zombies, awesome! Lol :)

    • douglangille says:

      Thanks all. This was fun to write. I have a follow-up written. Probably one more to close out the story.

      • Jeanie Y says:

        I really liked your story. Can’t imagine being chased by zombies, but being chased by zombies while in a straight jacket adds new meaning to terror! Great idea!

    • Minor says:

      Awesome idea. Hadn’t thought about zombies at all. Great story!

  21. Kerry Charlton says:

    The Keeper

    Denton Hamilton regained awareness, strapped to a gurney, trussed in a straight jacket and riding in an armored vehicle. Two gunman sat in silence on both sides. The last thing he remembered was interviewing an English professor early last evening in his office at Harvard. He felt a needle jam his arm and everything closed.

    They had been breeched, not Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts And Sciences, where he sat as Dean, but The Francis Bacon Heritage.He was CEO of the philanthropic order. Within the Heritage, an order existing for 375 years, his title was The Keeper.

    Denton turned to his immediate problem, survival. The Order Of The Bard, who had kidnapped him, might have penetrated security but they had no concept of The Keeper’s power.

    Implanted behind his left ear, wired into his brain’s command center, a minature computer existed, so powerful, it could send electronic transmissions, launch cyber war and read the human mind.

    “Where are you taking me?” Denton said.

    Silence answered him. He had locked into the vehicle’s GPS and knew their destination, Tiffany’s in New York. ‘So they breeched that also,’ he thought, ‘the secret headquarters of the inner circle of The Heritage, the finders, the protectors and himself.’

    Three hundred years, both organizations had locked in battle over a hand written manuscript guarded by The Heritage. ‘Well, they won’t get it tonight,’ Denton mused. He had transmitted messages to the protectors to await their arrival at Tiffany’s.

    How they found that Louis Comfort Tiffany was the seventeenth Keeper, startled Denton. Sixty five feet below the floors of Tiffany’s, lay vaults of The Heritage, storing 47 billion in art, jewelry, gold and first editions. A private area held the manuscrpt, The Order sought.

    Denton knew he wife would be fraught with worry because he didn’t arrive home but he’d make a reasonable explanation to her. A lifetime of trust and devotion, surrounded their forty year marriage.

    Visualizing the GPS, the driver knew which dock to enter at the building.

    “Do you know where you are?” a gunman asked Denton.

    “Saks Fifth Avenue?” he said.

    The assassin placed his pistol to Denton’s temple. The Order needed him alive to operate the vault but reading the gangster’s mind, he knew better.

    “Take your gun away from my head, place it in your mouth and pull the trigger,” Denton said.

    The shot deafened the back area, spraying blood everywhere.

    “What in hell happened?” the driver said, looking at Denton.

    He returned the icy stare, reading his thoughts.

    “I can control your mind,” he said.

    “Release Dr. Hamilton immediately,” the driver said.

    As Denton stepped from the van, the protectors surrounded it.

    “Leave the driver alive,” he said as he entered the building. He showered, changed clothes and entered his private elevator.

    “Good evening Doctor,” the lift said. “Code please.”

    “In Hoc Signo Vinces,” he replied.

    Denton’s mind control opened the private vault. He put cotton gloves on, carefully turned an ancient, leather cover of the manuscript, reading hand written script on the title page,

    “Hamlet
    Francis Bacon
    September 1599.”

    • Amy says:

      Wow, incredibly imaginative. Your ideas are great. I might suggest more showing, rather than telling; the beginning was lots of exposition. Cool story.

      • smallster21 says:

        Francis Bacon paints some freaky shite. I like him. I agree with Amy, very imaginative, and there’s a lot of exposition at the beginning that you could cut. Action, show now, explain later. And, you mention you are expanding this, so that will make it stronger, because things are a bit jumpy here and fleshing it out will make it flow very nicely. Sounds like you have some great ideas here, I’m intrigued! :)

    • douglangille says:

      Sounds like this is going to be quite the caper.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Thank you Amy for your kind words. You hit the mark on the telling vs. showing. I’m going to expand the story in order to accomplish this. By the way, I posted a comment on your wonderful story. It wandered to the top instead under your story. Wrong button again. Kerry

          • swatchcat says:

            This is an intriguing concept for the prompt given. Definitely goes to show with a little imagination one can come up with a story by using either one or all parts. You seem to have gone with the use of just the straight jacket and come of with the beginnings of a mystery, good job.

          • Kerry Charlton says:

            Thank you Smallster and thank you Swatchcat for you kind thoughts and suggestions. I love the prompts, especially the critiques. I learn so much from them. Had a hard time with this much story and only 500 to work with.

            I’m going to try an experiment with the next prompt if it fits, and write one scene only from a stage play. It may be a disaster but I’m donig it anyway. Thanks again. Kerry

  22. DredfulGames says:

    You wake up as your head slams against something cold and hard. Your head throbbing, you open your eyes and find yourself lying in the back of a van. You try to push yourself up to a sitting position, but you find your arms are restrained in a straightjacket. As you look around you see four seats, two on each side. The belt on one of them seems to be broken.

    Belts, you don’t like belts.

    As this thought passes through your mind, suddenly you feel extremely frightened of the straightjacket and start struggling to get out of it. You scream at the top of your lungs, “NO BELTS! NO BELTS! THE BELTS HURT ME!”

    You struggle against the jacket for a long time, but just as you think you’re almost out, the van stops. You find yourself saying words you can’t seem to stop, “They’re coming for me! They’re coming for me!”
    You start struggling even hard, but you get nowhere with your efforts and soon enough the doors to the van open and light shines in.

    Light, you don’t like light.

    Once again, as this thought enters your mind, you find yourself believing the words and reacting. You close your eyes and desperately push crawl away from the doors. “NO LIGHT! NO LIGHT! THE LIGHT WILL BURN ME!” you scream out. You feel terror as four hands grab you and drag you out of the van, but you keep your eyes closed the entire time.

    As the hands carry you, you hear whispering, talking, yelling, and even screams of pain. You know this place is hell. It must be. They are only hurting you.

    You should hurt them back.

    While keeping your eyes closed, to protect yourself from the light, you begin kicking out at your captors. You feel three kicks connect before more hands grab you and hold you down. As you continue to struggle against your captors, you hear someone moaning in pain nearby. You scream out, “I HURT THEM! I HURT THEM!” in pure ecstasy.

    You then feel a prick in your arm and you fade away.

    You awaken later with the straightjacket still on, but this time you are lying on a soft material. You keep your eyes closed, because you never know when the light could come. You sit there waiting. Eventually you hear someone come in. He seems to be speaking to you, but you ignore him. You already have people to talk to.

    Only talk to us.

    They tell you what’s right.

    That man is bad.

    They keep you safe.

    They’re just trying to hurt you.

    You will stay with them forever.

    We will keep you forever.

  23. Amy says:

    This is a continuation from last week’s prompt, “The Hidden Room”. Sorry it’s so long, but I had a lot of things to tie up.

    I awoke to an excruciating itch in the middle of my back and found my arms were bound at my sides, unable to scratch it. I pulled against the straight jacket, stretching its hold as far as it would go, but it was no use.

    “Containment, again,” Emily said from the other side of the small window in the door. “I’ve told you before, you can’t trust the doctors.”

    “Dr. Jeffries is different,” I yelled to her through the glass.

    “He’s no different than the others. He’s just a better liar.” Her voice was barely a whisper, but it still managed to travel through the thick glass of the window. I was about to protest when her face disappeared and was replaced with that of Dr. Jeffries’.

    “Good morning, Delilah,” he said as he entered the room. Instinctively, I tried to sit up to greet him, but the straight jacket held me tight to the bed.

    “I’m sorry to see you in containment again. This is the third time this week, isn’t it?” he asked as he sat in the paltry metal chair by the bed.

    “Did you take the map?” I asked, staring into his tempestuous gray eyes. They seemed so genuine; it was hard to believe he was as evil as Emily let on.

    “I did. I’m not sure how it got into your possession again, but this game you’re playing is very unproductive.”

    I sighed in frustration. The mystery of Emily had been my focus for the last few months now, and every time I got close to an answer, I was put in containment and the trail grew cold again. It seemed to me the game was being played by both sides.

    “Wait, what do you mean again? Emily buried that for me to find,” I said.

    His head dropped to his hands. “Yes, Emily buried it. And you found it. It’s the same every time,” he replied to the floor.

    Emily reappeared at the window, shaking her head. I looked from her to Dr. Jeffries, confused.

    “Delilah, I’m going to try something a little different,” he said as his eyes met mine again. “I have something I want to show you.”

    He pulled a file from inside his jacket and set it on my lap. He opened it up and held the first page up for me to read. It was a report by Dr. Jeffries dated about five months ago.

    ‘Emily is becoming more and more detached from reality. She is withdrawing inside of herself and has been entertaining her multiple personalities more frequently. I believe she may be a danger to herself or to others.’

    He flipped to the next page; another report dated about two months ago.

    ‘After the fire, Emily has completely withdrawn from reality. She has adopted an alternate identity and has created a game in which she searches for her past identity. It is my belief that her guilt over the fire has caused her alternate personality to take control. She has even requested to move to a different room. From time to time, she slips back into her intrinsic personality and becomes aggressive. Once sedated, her alternate personality emerges with no memory of what has transpired.’

    “I don’t understand,” I said. “You told me Emily wasn’t real.”

    “I told you Delilah wasn’t real; your mind chose to believe what you wanted to believe. After several failed attempts to break through, you insisted I stop using your real name and I relented. It may not have been a wise decision, but it did help reduce some of your aggressive behavior.”

    “But I see her sometimes… in your office. I see her now, through the window,” I said quietly. Emily’s eyes were wide through the glass, staring back at me.

    “You are referring to the floor-length mirror in my office that you stare into during your appointments. The face you see there, and in the window now, is simply a reflection.”

    “I don’t understand,” I said, shaking my head. This was too much; surely he was lying, just as Emily had said.

    “Please Emily; you must remember who you are.”

  24. “Go Crazy”

    “Men like him don’t go crazy.”

    Crazy? Jay struggled to focus his blurring eyes on the gruff-voiced man. No good. A tumbling stack of crates blocked his view. With a grunt, he lodged his elbow beneath him, levering himself up several inches. Until stars started dancing. Little specks of light leapt across his vision, spinning, twirling, twinkling. Jay feared them more than the darkness lurking at the edge of his sight, threatening to overcome him. Darkness allowed for dreams; light insisted upon reality.

    His fingers crept up to his forehead, eyelids fluttering shut, mind wondering what was wrong. He felt out of place, but his memories were splintered, a puzzle whose pieces were hopelessly scattered through his unconsciousness.

    Jay lurched forward.

    Fumbling, he threw out his other arm, tentatively preventing himself from slamming into the splintery wooden floor. He winced. Pain. That was new. Not right, Jay observed groggily, slowly dragging himself into a sitting position. Exhausted, he slumped back against the rocking wall.

    Walls didn’t rock.

    Jerked into alertness, his gaze flittered around the scene, scooping up every dreaded detail. Old wagon imprisoning him. Random strangers surrounding him. City men kidnapping him.

    Why?

    “Men like him don’t go crazy.”

    His eyes closed. His shoulders sagged. His mind crawled away to hide. Pegged by the king, was he? No doubt. No surprise. No hope.

    “Hey,” Jay croaked, still staring at the marvelous blackness captured by his eyelids. “Where are you taking us?”

    The same voice from before sighed before answering, “We’s takin’ you where we take all the crazies, son.”

    Jay released a low breath. “Why?”

    The old man turned his sad, kind, worry-lined face toward him. “’Cause you’s an honest human being, young Jay. Honesty like yours been deemed dangerous.”

    “Got it,” Jay sighed, leaning back. “Thank you.”

    Nodding, his captor plucked a pipe off the floor and stuck it in his mouth. He puffed on it for a few minutes, but before the silence drowned out further conversation, he offered Jay a few slow, thoughtful words. “I wouldn’t be too concerned, if I were you,” he drawled, staring straight ahead. “They’s gonna do all sorts o’ things to make you act all ‘normal’-like. But don’t you worry. Men like you, they don’t go crazy.”

  25. don potter says:

    My right arm itched by I was unable to scratch it, because of the straight jacket. Why was I in this thing? I can’t move; this is driving me nuts. Wait a minute, the only reason I’d be in restraints is if I did something crazy. What did I do? I can’t remember. Then how did I get here, wherever here is?
    Talking to yourself is not a good sign. But I’m a writer and often talk things through in my mind before committing words to paper. But this time it looks as if I’m the one that has been committed. That-a-boy, don’t lose your sense of humor.
    There was a noise at the door to the tiny, sterile room where I lay strapped to a gurney. Two men in white jackets came in and began to move me out of this modern-day version of a padded cell.
    “Where are you taking me?” I said the words but no sound came out. Drugged was my sad conclusion as my arms and legs did respond. Oh well, guess I’ll continue talking to myself for the time being. Couldn’t ask for better company I thought and laughed.
    No one seemed to notice.
    The attendants wheeled me to an office painted in the same hospital-white walls and ceiling I observed on the trip from the rubber room to this place.
    “Mr. Johnson,” a deep voice said.
    It came from somewhere behind me.
    “You are in serious trouble,” the man continued as he moved to my side. “The articles you have written are deemed treasonous and your television interviews may land you in jail for attempting to incite a riot.”
    “That’s no reason to shoot me full of drugs, put me in constraints and ship me off to the loony bin,” I tried to say.
    “In case you’re wondering, when the agents came to serve the subpoena you resisted arrest and had to be subdued and brought here for observation, where you’ll remain until it is determined if you are fit to stand trial.”
    “This is America. You can’t do this. I’m innocent until proven guilty. Get my lawyer, my editor, someone.” The words rattled around in my head and stayed there.
    “You may be with us for some time. I hope the doctors are successful in getting your thinking back on track,” he said.
    “I’m an investigative reporter. The government is hosing an unsuspecting public and I shinned a light on the wrongdoings. You guys should be locked up not me.” Nothing came out of my mouth.
    “You can take him back,” the man said after he pushed a buzzer to have the attendants return to the room.
    On the trip down the hall another gurney passed by. The person on it was a well-known reporter who had recently uncovered damning evidence against several government officials. I wanted to get her attention but did not have the energy or inclination to do so. Maybe we can talk after I take a little nap.

  26. MCKEVIN says:

    I was sweating like a whore in church when the ambulance came to a screeching halt. The beige contraption around me prevented any arm movement, so I kicked the doors. A husky guard got out, swung the doors opened and yanked me to my feet.
    “Where am I?”
    “You’ll find out.”
    “Why am I-”
    “Like you don’t remember!”
    “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
    He snatched my collar and dragged me up the back stairs of what appeared to be a slaughter house or an asylum. He pressed a buzzer, placed his eye toward the security camera and a gigantic steel door parted like the red sea. He continued to yank me. Inside, the walls and floors were covered with white subway tiles.
    “Who are you?” I asked.
    “Shut up!”
    We stopped at an office door that read “C. Clinkscales.” The guard placed his fingers on the camera plate and we were buzzed in. A balding man rose from his desk examining me like a potential car buyer examines a new car.
    “What am I-“
    “You’re here Mr. Warren for your Psych evaluation.”
    “Why?”
    He motioned the guard to leave.
    “Murder!”
    “Who? “
    “Robyn Edwards!”
    He picked up a large syringe with urine colored fluid in it.
    “Doug’s wife? You got this wrong.”
    “Yeah, right!”
    “She jumped-”
    He walked towards me as I backed towards the door and stumbled to the floor.
    “I’d hoped you’d tell me the truth, but we have ways-.”
    “She jumped!”
    “Where were you last night?” He hollered.
    “With my friend Doug at his new apartment-…”
    “The police report said you pushed her”
    “I wasn’t even close to her!”
    “What’s your relationship to Mr. Edwards?”
    “I, We …”
    “Lovers?” He asserted.
    The last thing I remembered about last night was Doug pouring me a glass a wine and someone ringing his doorbell. I musta blacked out.
    “Well?” He moved closer.
    My mind raced. Seated on the floor reminded me of college drama club when we worked out our performances.
    “Look, I didn’t kill anyone. I had one glass of wine and everything went dark because I hold liquor or whoever was at the door, put something in my drink. Yes, Doug and I are… are lovers but he’s married…and his wife couldn’t handle…”
    “Two men…”
    “They have kids, married seventeen years and…”
    “But why did you have to kill her!”
    “I didn’t! I swear! If you undo this straight jacket, I’ll explain why. I’m not crazy! Please!”
    He stared through me as I focused on the syringe. He finally trusted me and undid the jacket. I scooped up the syringe and stabbed him in his eye and grabbed his desk phone to call Doug.

    Rinnnnnnnng.
    “Hello.”
    Washington, my ex, answered.
    “WHERE’S DOUG WASH?” I screamed.
    Silence…
    “WASH! What have you-?”
    Click!
    Dial tone…
    “done…”
    Terrified, I hurriedly pushed buzzers, exited the slaughter house and headed to Wash’s loft. I knew Doug was there because detectives don’t kill victims in their own homes. They do it elsewhere!

    • Jeanie Y says:

      Exciting story McKevin! When you were describing the asylum with the subway-like tiles, it felt real. I hope he gets there in time! :)

      • MCKEVIN says:

        Tracy does get there in time but he’s pays an awful high price for love. I’m glad you like and root for Doug and Tracy because they have been and will go through some things I can’t post here. I promise to let you know when the piece is finish. Hint: Installment two; Doug kids turn their back on him and enlist Wash’s help to avengeb the death of their mother. But there’s a price. The reader will find out how far people can be pushed. I’m loving this. Lol. Thanks for stopping by and reading. As always, you make me want to do better. Smooches.

    • smallster21 says:

      I was confused about what was going on here. Is this a slaughter house or a mental institution? If he is at this place for a Psych evaluation, why are they acting like police officers conducting an interrogation? Is Mr. Edwards Doug? And why would the MC’s ex know where Doug is? Maybe it’s just a case of backstory that would be discovered if this were drawn out.

      There were some nice similes here like “A balding man rose from his desk examining me like a potential car buyer examines a new car,” and the structure was interesting with the short quips and quick exchanges; it made the story very tight and fast-paced.

      • swatchcat says:

        I agree about confusing but only toward the end. The doctor or interrogator would address the lover formally where the patient addresses the lover by his first name.

        THIS LINE: ” “Look, I didn’t kill anyone. I had one glass of wine and everything went dark because I hold liquor or whoever was at the door, put something in my drink. Yes, Doug and I are… are lovers but he’s married…and his wife couldn’t handle” – was where you lost me. It doesn’t flow good for me at all. Also, it seems like you were trying to wrap it up too fast at the end. I would regretfully go over the word count if it meant better clarity. All in all though it was a fine story and the similes were enjoyable.

        • MCKEVIN says:

          It should read, “Look, I didn’t kill anyone. I had one glass of wine and everything went dark because I “CAN”T” hold liquor or whoever was at the door, put something in my drink. The other parts stand perfectly well on their own because this one part of a larger piece. Read my comments below. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m glad you liked it.

      • swatchcat says:

        Seee, gurrrr! Damned computer/internet! I had this whole thing done and hit submit.”We’re sorry but you have reached a number that is no longer in service, please dial the number again…or go screw yourself!” I hate this.

        Attempt #2 Basically, it’s good but there is a paragraph about three inches from bottom about liquor, it needs fixing please. Similes are great and totally understand Mr. Edwards/Doug thing.

        Sorry, computer about to be thrown across room, retry tomorrow.

      • MCKEVIN says:

        Why can’t the place be both asylum and slaughter house? (at least in the MC’smind) The guards (a better word would be goons.) are friends of Tracy’s ex, an ex cop turned detective, named Washington. The goons (his fellow detectives)create hell in Tracy’s life just as a favor to Wash. Yes Doug last name is Edwards. Robyn is Doug’s wife. Non commital Det. Wash has access to everthing in Tracy’s and Doug’s life and uses it to hurt Tracy. You’re a very sharp observer and can probably figure out any puzzle if given all the pieces. This piece is a continuation of a larger project . Those faithful posters that post here are quite familiar with the Doug and Tracy episodes. (See above Jeanie Y’s post.) So you would have to go back to understand all of what is happening with these two or wait for the novella which I hope to complete soon. Lol. I love writing their story because it’s unfolding like nothing I’ve seen. I know I’m onto to something because people are following and rooting for the characters and want story updates. I hope this helps and thanks for reading. I promise to keep you posted. Lol.

    • douglangille says:

      I like it although without dialog tags, I had to slow down my read. Great descriptions and overall quite exciting.

      • MCKEVIN says:

        Thanks for stopping by douglangille. Have you ever been so excited about writing something that it sometimes only makes sense to you? Lol. It happens when only you know where you’re story’ is going or where you’re characters have been. You forget sometimes to spell out who’s saying what to whom. I’m so guilty of that when it comes to the Doug and Tracy story. I created two characters, put them in a world I created and let them run loose by just being themselves. As a writer, I get to play God with a pen and I love it. Dialogue tags add to word count and I try to stay within the guidelines. Being God, I don’t have to but I’ll try to do better. Lol.

    • Craig says:

      Well done. Easily leads into a much larger story. Great dialog.

  27. Craig says:

    The drumming in my head got worse as I slowly came to consciousness. As I laid there un-moving, I thought, it must have been one hell of a night. I just don’t remember leaving the house. I tried raising my hand to wipe the crustiness from my eyes, but it was pinned behind me.

    “I must have myself burrito’ed in bed”, I reasoned, but with a few more attempts, it came to me I was restrained somehow.

    It was then I heard someone else near me, sobbing. I pried my eyes open and viewed, in the dimness of a single overhead light, a terrifying blonde with hair plastered to her face from tears, mascara running down her cheeks, and wearing what appeared to be a straight jacket.

    The padded van we were riding in suddenly veered around a corner and I rolled uncontrollably towards her. I couldn’t brace myself and, now fully awake with the sudden realization I was in a straight jacket, I smashed into her which started her screaming a high-pitched, utterly mournful screech that stood my hair on end. I quickly scrambled as best I could away and into a sitting position.

    “Where are we? What’s going on?” I screamed and frantically scanned the back of this vehicle. The girl just kept screaming like I was a knife-wielding serial killer or something.

    “What’s going on? I demanded again, but no response was coming from the girl.

    My nose slammed into the bottom of the van as it came to an abrupt stop. As I sat up, the squeaking of metal hinges let me know the doors were opening and the girl set off into a new fit of hysteria. It was harder to get to an upright position this time and the taste of blood burned from obvious pains on my face. I must not have gone willingly into this jacket, I thought.

    A huge hand reached in and the girl was yanked out the back. A voice rang clear, “Sedate her. They are both to get electro-shock in an hour.”

    A very large man moved into the van and grabbed hold of the back of my jacket. I was elevated as easily as a child and placed on the ground behind the van. A long needle was being pulled from a now comatose blonde.

    “What’s going on?” I yelled wildly. My sweat drenched body caused massive shivers to cascade through my muscles. My thoughts raced, my breathing was in short, quick bursts, and my pulse was racing to match the pounding in my head. I was ready to start screaming, but I didn’t want to get whatever they gave her.

    A massive paw hit the side of my head, causing my eyes to blur and the ground to swell. I fell to my knees as I struggled to stay awake.

    “Shut up. The doctor doesn’t allow the crazies to speak.” growled the very large man as he jerked me back to my unsteady feet.

    “Crazy? I’m totally sane!” I screamed.

    “That’s not what the judge said. Gag him!” Ordered the monster of a man as he pushed me towards across the floor towards a door.

  28. JRSimmang says:

    Sometimes, when I leave the windows open, I wake up with a slight chill, pulling at my covers. I try to go to sleep with the covers already on, though, so I don’t wake up. But, sometimes I can’t help it, especially in the middle of summer, when the heat just lasts on through the moonshine, and I feel like tomato soup.

    I say all that to say that I’m not accustomed to waking up in the middle of the night hugging myself. Why do they call it a “straight jacket” anyway. It doesn’t keep anything straight.

    The two men were named Ajax and Phil. Nice guys. We probably could have been friends if it weren’t for the fact that they were carrying me from my apartment into the back of the lorry. Lorry. I love the names the Brits give things. Bangers and mash. Tosser. Kip. Dog’s bollocks.

    Ajax and Phil looked at me funny as they passed me into the lorry. I guessed I must be crazy. Why else would I be walked out of bed and into the back of a paddy wagon (that’s another British term)? Something was off, so I tried my best to tell them I wasn’t the one they were looking for. But, Ajax held up a photocopy of my license.

    “Man does this guy ever shut up?” Phil said. “He hasn’t stopped talking since we got here.”

    I didn’t know what he was talking about. I don’t think I’ve said a single word. Phil must be the quiet guy, you know the one. He’s the intimidator. He’s there to muscle people around and it’s easy to see why. He stood over 6 feet, packed on with muscle. His shoulders were as big as my face. And to top it all off-

    “Jaysus,” Ajax says. Must be religious. I can see that about him. He does wear a crucifix around his neck and I bet he has a tattoo of the Virgin Mary on his arm or leg or ribs.

    “I don’t.” He says, as if he’s reading my mind. Perhaps he should be the one in the straight jacket.

    They snake their ways, not snake, they were far too purposeful, and I’d hate to call them-

    “God, shut up, dude! I can’t hear myself think with you rambling like that,” Ajax shouted at me from behind the steering wheel.

    I got myself comfortable on the bench in the back of the lorry. Maybe this could be a welcome vacation. That’s about the time I felt Phil’s hands, warm like I thought they would be, clamp around my mouth. Hrfruh srf strruph. Thfhru nurhdurh in mrh arrmh. Oerch! Get..t…i.n…g…. s…..l……..e…………..e……………….p………

    • calicocat88 says:

      Very different :) I like it! So many possibilities with this guy. Maybe the two men, Ajax and Phil, are something supernatural that it seems they can hear the MC’s thoughts? Or maybe the MC is someone he doesn’t really no himself to be? Cryptic story here. You should continue it :) Love the beginning, BTW. Internal monologue had me chuckling to myself too.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Very good Smallster I mean JRSimmang. Good job…Lol.

    • smallster21 says:

      “Why do they call it a “straight jacket” anyway. It doesn’t keep anything straight.” Haha! Loved that line :) I love the humor in the narrative and laughed when your MC kicked back thinking the situation he was in had the potential of being a nice vacation. So, was he really talking out loud instead of merely having an internal conversation, or are the two men mind readers?

      • JRSimmang says:

        Smallster, nailed it. I figured his neurosis is the inability to filter.
        McKevin, Calicocat, Smallster,
        Thanks for the feedback. I’m going to try to expand this for sure, but I’m unclear as to which direction. I’ve made this character into someone who’s thoughts are public property. Perhaps, he overhears an important tidbit of information, and, like a parrot, repeats it back to whoever is listening. He could be very dangerous then.

    • douglangille says:

      nice piece. I hope you continue it.

  29. RGV says:

    Hey WD-ers! I could use some feedback. I’m working on a workshop game called Write It Forward.

    I start a story- you add 2 paragraphs setting up the next person (try to keep it under 250 words). Or use your own photos and paintings.

    You can follow any thread you choose

    Simply post your response in the comment section and the first line on my FB page- CORE Equestrian and Life Coaching.

    For more information and to play go to: http://coreeqlifecoach.blogspot.com/

    I hope to take the stories and publish the best of them.

    I look forward to your stories and your feedback.

    Thanks!

  30. JWLaviguer says:

    I hate those kinds of dreams where you can’t move. It’s usually because I’ve got myself tangled up in the sheets from a long night of restless sleep combined with tossing and turning. But this morning was different. I woke up and still couldn’t move. I thought I had really gotten myself into a fix with the sheets, but after my eyes adjusted to the dim light, and the cobwebs in my mind cleared up somewhat, I realized that something had changed.

    I wasn’t in my bed. I wasn’t even in my room. I figured I was still dreaming, but this one felt so real. I was in a straight jacket in a small, square room with white, padded walls.

    “He’s awake,” I heard someone say.

    “Hello?” I said. “Who’s there?”

    Two burly men in white scrubs came in and picked me up off of the floor and stood me up.

    “What the hell is going on?” I demanded.

    “Shut up or you’ll get more of what you got last night,” one of them said.

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said. “What happened last night? Where am I?”

    “You won’t remember.” A new voice. “You were drugged.” That voice. I’ve heard that voice before, but I couldn’t place it.

    “Who are you?” I asked.

    “Oh, you know exactly who I am,” he said. “I’m the man who’s going to kill you.”

    “What? Why? What the hell is going on?”

    “Let me tell you exactly how this is going to go,” he said. “I’m going to inject you again, but this time, you’re going to remain very awake, very aware, and you’ll feel everything.”

    “No!” I shouted. I tried to move, but the two orderlies shoved me up against the wall, one turning my head and holding me still.

    The needle went into my neck, releasing a firestorm in my brain. I tried to scream, but nothing came out. I couldn’t speak, couldn’t utter a sound. I couldn’t move, but every nerve in my body was alive. The orderlies threw me onto the floor, removed the straight jacket, and then lifted me up onto a gurney.

    “Now, just try to relax,” the man said. “This will be extremely painful.”

  31. smallster21 says:

    THE FLYING MONKEY WARRIOR QUEEN OF THE SEA
    (Sorry, a little long. I felt the story was incomplete without the blue bra, Elf brothel and flying monkeys.)

    “Ma’am, stop struggling. First, you chased away a bunch of kids with a flaming torch at the carnival…”

    “Whoa now, those weren’t kids.” Cat couldn’t believe it. Were they being serious? If it hadn’t have been for her, those bloody eyed redcaps would have slashed the crowd into a pile of mangled bodies. They should be giving her an award. It was Cat after all who had taken down the Goblin King, sliced off his head and kicked it pro football style into the air. The masses had been entranced as the head soared right through the hoop, landing in the lap of a carny who had applauded with glee.

    “Where are my lieutenants? They will vouch for me, clearly you were not there.” As Cat fought against the restraint jacket, an orderly appeared behind the grate.

    “What the hell did this one do Carl?”

    “Mark, this whacked bitch came up behind a carny down at Graverly Park, hacked off his head with an ax and then climbed a ladder to throw it through a basketball hoop. You know those tricky hoops with the tiny skewed regulation rims.”

    “Oh, but it was big enough for his head mind you. What a tiny head, can you believe how teeny it was? You’d think that the Goblin King would have a large head being he’s king and all.” She paused to see if they agreed, but clearly they didn’t.

    “It gets worse. The reason we took so long is because we couldn’t get her down.”

    “Down from where?” Mark frowned as he unlocked the grate.

    “Atop the tower where my Elf lover lives. I must tell you he was quite angry you did not let him finish,” Cat pointed out. She would have to explain this little mix up to Elderin Hardwood later. Or, maybe he will come to her rescue. That would be romantic. Cat clutched her hands together and sighed.

    “Dear Lord. No, you crazy ass, not a flippin’ sleazy Elf brothel. This infected little mind somehow disabled the Ferris wheel and climbed to the top.”

    “Cause I’m stealthy like that, like a flying monkey. Oh, not like from the Wizard of Oz,” she explained. Clearly they weren’t smart, they would get confused. “Like one of those monkeys that fly from tree to tree with flappy arms.”

    “You mean flying squirrels?”

    “Mark, don’t bother. Sit her ass down.”

    Cat struggled briefly as they tied her down, but then her eyes fell upon the woman behind the desk who was handing Carl paperwork. She quickly recognized the thick glasses and frizzy hair. That was a disguise. Cat could pick a Pooka out of an acre wide plastic ball packed bouncy castle any day. Those Pookas knew how to pull one over normal folk, but not her. She’d have to take that one out later.

    “So, Celine Crackhead Dion here stood atop that damn ride for five hours, her arms outstretched screaming ‘I’m the Queen of the World’ over and over before breaking into that Titanic song. And, you won’t believe what happened next. Staying in the moment, she took her bra off, which happened to have blue cups, and with a dramatic gesture held it out before tossing it into the sea of emergency personnel…and no,” Carl eyed Cat, “nobody caught it.”

    “Of course not, it sinks to the bottom of the sea and is reunited with Leonardo Dicaprio.”

    “Jaysus, let’s take her down to the east wing already.” Carl tightened the jacket before hoisting her up.

    “What’s there? A torture chamber? You won’t get a word out of me. I’ve spent weeks in the pillory, no food or water without cracking. Hell, I even Jeet Kune Do kicked my way out of the iron maiden one time.”

    “East wing’s for the criminally insane,” Mark scoffed.

    “Excuse me, I am not a criminal. Did I really do anything illegal? I mean come on, does anybody really give a rat’s ass about carnies, their creepy little buggers.”

    “I thought you said he was the Goblin King,” Mark mocked.

    Cat knew what she said. She was just trying to play them at their own game, but she had underestimated them. They were quick.

    They locked her up in a room with white padded walls, and as soon as they left she rushed to the barred window and whistled. A little pink bird hopped onto the sill and awaited her instructions. The little bird tied the note around its ankle before scurrying off. Cat leaned against the wall and waited. Soon Elderin would come for her, and those spawns of Satan would meet their fate. Cat, the Flying Monkey Warrior Queen of the Sea would prevail.

  32. swatchcat says:

    GIVE IN TO THE INSANITY

    I don’t know when it started but each day begins the same. I wake in a straight jacket, being carted off to Western State Hospital. I used to fight it. Admittedly that would make anyone seem off their rocker. That’s why patients start off in the jacket. Everybody screams, “I’m not crazy!”

    Now I just hang back and go with the flow. The head nurse always says if I cooperate I can go to the game room while paperwork is processed. Questions equal trouble. Wondering off also equal’s trouble. I have spent several failed attempts at escape sedated till the next experience.

    I figured out where I was by accident. I spotted a hole in the cloudy film on one of the windows. A delivery truck had the words of the hospital on the side. It was liberating and set me tumbling into a deeper state of confusion and desperation. Why am I here? Why won’t anyone tell me anything important? Patients, doctors, even the janitor all seem to avoid me like the plaque. On several occasions I did question my sanity, still do. Then I gain more bits of the puzzle.

    I am frustrated at the lose of time. I have no way to remember everything, there’s too much. I get lost some days; sedatives have been changed from pills to shots. I hate when the sleep comes. Sometimes I don’t make it out of the wagon before being put down till the next morning.

    This morning will be different. If I don’t fight, if I mind my manners, I will make it through till the night without a sedative. My plan, to stay awake all night and see if in fact there is something different, something that will get me out of this damned cycle.

    “Penney, do you know what day it is?” A voice came from nowhere. It came from everywhere, like an intercom.

    “Penney, listen,” it said.

    I lay blinded by white, total blinding white. I couldn’t move, I could barely breathe. I recognized this feeling. I was in the straight jacket.

    “Don’t fight it Penney, we’re here to help you,” it spoke again.

    I had to say it. I didn’t want to, all my being said I was sane and this was just some sort of joke. “I can’t breath! I can’t move! Help me!” I was yelling to the voice.

    “We love you Penney, just say it and it will all stop,” He said.

    I whimpered in defeat. “I am crazy.”

    “Again, Penney,” he wanted me totally less then nothing.

    “I AM CRAZY,” I yelled at the top of my lungs!
    “Good Penney, now go to sleep, it’s over.” I fell into total happy darkness and at this point it was okay, I was dead.

    • smallster21 says:

      Wow, lol, the past three stories were all posted in the past three hours, bunch of night owls here. Okay, so the story built up and built up and then I was waiting to see what was going to happening, what the ending would reveal…and, then she died. I was crushed. Did she really die, or was it a metaphorical death?

      • swatchcat says:

        That’s sort of the point. Insanity doesn’t have a point, nothing makes sense(so I would imagine). I wrote it more that she is truly dead but it can also be metaphorically dead because (once again I would imagine) to stop fighting that which you desperately hate or don’t understand or causes some form of pain, even happiness, results in death. Her cycle of the unexplainable, her cycle of craziness would never stop until she gave into it. If I could not fight to live no matter how hard and emotional. oh, oh, I think I have it. A bird fights to get out of its cage, to be free, it is its nature but, once out it most likely will die because all it knows is the cage. Once it gives in to the cage though it eventually dies anyway because it lives to get out. So, the bird gives up either way and dies. Does that make any sense?

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Sick, demented and dark. I loved it because it sounds so real. She committed mental suicide in order to get out of the hell hole she was in. Good job.

    • douglangille says:

      crazy is what crazy does. nice piece.

    • Kerry Charlton says:

      We’re all close to the line of unreality but the game plan calls for constant refusal to give in. You never quit, you never say never. You never say always. The spoils of life go to those that continue through the pain, the darkness and the hopelessness. An ultimate victory goes twin to twin with tenacity, stubbornness, single-mindedness, tunnelvision and above the fray, faith. A friend of mine who I refer to as ‘the great all-knowing’, once sad to me, “People are no damn good. Remember that.”

  33. nelleg says:

    “It was the bologna, I tell ya! That’s it bologna. There must have been garlic in it. Do they put garlic in bologna? Did you know I’m allergic to garlic? I know it’s a strange allergy but it’s true. My husband says I must be a vampire. Hmm. I hope he was referring to my allergy and not that I am a blood sucking abomination. Do you think he was referring to the garlic allergy? Come on you can tell me the truth. Are you married? Is your wife a vampire. You don’t talk much, she must do all the talking .Hey are you going to talk to me? Can you at least tell me what I supposedly did to get myself in such a bind? Hah, get it, a bind, you know because of the straight jacket. Maybe your wife is vampire and has sucked all the life out of you.” Lydia sat in the back of the little white van unable to stop herself. The laughter started bubbling up and before she knew it she was hysterical with laughter. The bald (apparently lifeless vampire) guard banged on the cage between them to try to quiet the roar of amusement that emanated from the back seat.

    “County we have suspect secured and we are bringing her in. Has Dr. Chapman been notified?” the guard behind the wheel spoke into his phone. “Great we are on our way.”

    “Suspect? What am I suspected of doing? I suspect that I have been set up. I’m innocent. What am I innocent of? Hey, you behind the wheel are you also married to a vampire? Not talking either? Why can’t you tell me what’s going on? Lydia’s laughter has now stopped and her voice is filled with building rage.

    “Quiet!” snaps the driver.

    “Quiet.” Lydia mocks him in a whinny voice.

    Five minutes later they pull up to the county lock up. The two guards take her in and sit her down in depressing looking room. A couple minutes later a nicely dressed older woman walks in and sits at the table opposite of Lydia.

    “Hi, Lydia my name is Dr. Kodi Chapman. Why don’t you tell me what happened earlier tonight?” The doctor’s voice was soft and almost hypnotic.

    “Why don’t you tell me? All I know is I had supper with my husband and then the next thing I know is the police is breaking down my door and strapping me in this thing. Do you know that you can escape a straight jacket by dislocating your shoulder? That’s how Houdini did it and Mel Gibson. Lydia’s head is spinning and a mind blowing head ache is starting to form.

    The doctor pulls out a bottle of pills, “Do recognize these?”

    Lydia glances at them and recognizes them right away. “Yeah, those are my husband’s he gave me a couple. I had a bad day and he told me that it would help me forget all about it. Then he gave me a bologna sandwich.”

    The doctor just shook her head. “He wasn’t kidding. You don’t like bologna do you?”

    “No. How do you know that?” Lydia head is pounding harder than ever

    The doctor started heading for the door “Because that’s the reason you gave for killing him.”

    • smallster21 says:

      I laughed out loud when Lydia made fun of her straight jacket. “Get it, a bind, you know because of the straight jacket.” Haha! Love Lydia’s random comments too. “Do you know that you can escape a straight jacket by dislocating your shoulder?” So, she killed her husband over a bologna sandwich, eh, well I hope you were going for satire, because I was laughing. Only thing, you start off in past tense then switch to present. Enjoyed it :)

      • nelleg says:

        Thank you and yes I was going for a satire. I’m glad you found it amusing. It was originally over 700 words but I was able to get it down to around 550, anymore and it wouldn’t have worked. Originally Lydia had more ramblings. During my edits I accidently cut the title: ‘No Bologna’.

    • Jeanie Y says:

      I really liked your story nelleg…funny in a twisted kinda way!

    • douglangille says:

      ok. this was funny. dialog worked well.

      • Kerry Charlton says:

        Personally, I might kill for a bologna and garlic sandwich, fried of couse, lots of mustard placed between two pieces of ‘white death.’

  34. Jeanie Y says:

    She didn’t do it herself, she would never get her hands dirty. Someone else was hired for the job, and they were very thorough. The cuts still itch, even though it’s been two weeks now. I almost died that day, blood loss can do that to you, but the intervention of my loving sister saved me.

    That’s her story anyway. Eliza always had a really good story, most just weren’t true.

    Identical twins just know things about each other, they just know. I kept my Robert away from her as long as possible, but after we were engaged, it was inevitable that they would have to meet. The spark was lit that cold November day, Robert standing there like a chiseled, glorious Apollo shaking the hand of that vamp I call my sister. I saw it in her eyes. Jealousy ruled her world. She always wanted what I had, and people were no exception, especially really handsome people of the male persuasion. I warned him about her, but he laughed and told me that I had a great imagination…one of the things he loved about me. I had no doubts about him; but her, diabolical doesn’t even come close.

    I’ve had lots of free time to think about how I ended up in the Psych ward. Two whole weeks of time, actually. When you tell people you aren’t crazy and your sister slit your wrists to get you committed so she could steal your fiancé, well, let’s just say I should have known better than to even go there. The doctors and nurses just look at me with that pitiful, sorry look and talk about how to best treat my unstable condition. Eliza comes here every day, the dutiful twin. She counsels my caregivers on treatment, her doctorate in psychiatry and all. She fills their heads with stories of my deranged past and pours the concrete, layer by layer, setting the foundation for my future.

    My future as a full-time madwoman. They can’t understand why I won’t see her.

    I try to tell them she has never been to medical school a day in her life! They just up the dosage on my meds and some days I can barely even think. I figured out a couple days ago that I needed a different plan, as nobody believes the truth. I just don’t know what that plan might be, but I’m working on it.

    Robert came in today to see me and I told him about the orderly that looks just like the guy who slit my wrists. He just stood up and left.

    I turned to look out the barred window and saw Robert going down the sidewalk, toward my car…my sister in the driver’s seat. Why is he leaving with her, in my car? I reach up and touch the bars on my window and notice my wristband for the first time. The name Eliza stares back at me.

    My piercing scream echoes down the hallway.

    • smallster21 says:

      I’m depressed just reading this…but not because it was bad, because of the tone of the story :) I could feel the MC’s anguish…or should I say Eliza? At the ending I wasn’t sure which twin it was, but I’m assuming Eliza, the evil bitch twin, tricked everyone into thinking she was the MC, so that she could run off with the husband. Good story!

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Jeanie Y, you put your foot in this! This is some Twilight Zone Alfred Hitchcock sh–. I love when a story makes my heart race and my head hurt and this one have me taking aspirins and afraid to open my door. This was dark and GOOD. Thank you for sharing this one with us. I hope you expand this. You should be writing a book anyway. (Smile) Glad you’re back. Good job. Is your child still writing? I hope so.

      • Jeanie Y says:

        Thanks McKevin! Don’t know how good the story was, but to be welcomed back in such a nice way is even more special! You made my day. :)
        My daughter is in everything musical, so doesn’t have too much time to write, but does when she can. She loves it, so I am sure she will swing back around to it when time allows.
        Keep on writing McKevin…love reading your stuff even when I don’t post!

  35. calicocat88 says:

    Eh…it’s another long one. Sorry guys :/

    “We’re not telling anyone about this,” Mr. Wolff looked hard at his son. “Do you understand me, Christian?”

    “Yes, sir,” Christian looked away from the silver locket in his hand and at the tiny young girl strapped to the gurney. “She’s pregnant. It isn’t right.”

    “What else would you have me do?” his father’s voice was as taut as a wire. “She murdered nearly the entire town. With child or not, is it right to allow your sister to roam the streets when she’s—“ He broke off, taking off his hat and smoothing down his hair only to place the hat back on again. “Your sister is ill. She is not fit for society.”

    “If it were me,” Christian said. “Would you have done it? Would you have locked me away without even a chance to explain? She’s only sixteen.”

    “Erin doesn’t get that choice,” he said. “She’s made herself a threat to the country and therefore it is no longer in my hands. She is no longer in our hands, son.” He reached out hesitantly and placed his hand on Christian’s shoulder. “I fought with everything your mother and I have. You know I would die for you and your sisters. Thank God, Jorgia is too young to even understand what’s going on.”

    “You’re a liar,” Christian shrugged off his father’s hand.

    “What?”

    “You said Erin made herself a threat. She didn’t do this to herself. You did when you played God!” Christian watched his father’s narrow eyes darken and he expected a blow across the face. Instead Finneus Wolff turned silently and watched as the men in white poked and prodded his restrained and sick daughter.

    “She was dying,” he said. “I had no other choice. I don’t deny taking the injection. I don’t deny giving it to your sister. It made her well, but a monster. If it’s an apology you’re searching for, you’re digging a live man’s grave. Erin is alive regardless. I did what I could to preserve her life. Your sister belongs to the government now.”

    Christian shuddered as the last of the straight jacket was wrapped around his older sister’s thin waist. “Then my sister is dead.”

    * * * *

    Erin could do nothing but listen and feel as the men fussed around her. She even noted their heavy breathing as they restrained her to a bedlike structure. It was clever of them to inject her with a temporary blinder. She wondered how they had known…

    “Excuse me, but I’m her brother,” said a deep, insecure voice.

    “Let him through,” Erin commanded and she thought she heard the sudden rustle of whispers and then the crunch of gravel. She felt a hand gently touch her cheek and then across the small bump growing in her belly.

    “Tell me they’re wrong. Tell me everything—the destruction, the bodies—it was all a part of a natural disaster.”

    Erin’s heart hammered hard against her ribs, but her face remained clear of any emotion, but self-satisfaction. “But I did do it, Chrissy. I won’t lie. I can’t tell you that all those screaming women and their blubbering children didn’t deserve what I did.”

    “The town,” Christian said, not bothering to keep his voice low. “It looks as if it were hit by an earthquake.” He paused and she pictured him sucking his bottom lip into his mouth and looking off into the distance as if he had found something incredibly disturbing to watch. His voice was suddenly at her ear. “How did you do it? The officials, the doctors, no one will tell us anything. There’s word that you did this with…your mind. That can’t be true. ”

    Erin laughed, the chains around her waist clanking. “There was a time, little brother, when you thought your brain more evolved than mine. I think now you might want to reconsider.”

    “It’s not possible,” he said.

    “No, I’m sure it’s not supposed to be,” she said. “But if you check all the bodies I bet you won’t find one shred of my DNA.”

    “They looked like they were all strangled,” he said. “You never touched them, did you?”

    “You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to penetrate the human mind,” she said. “Disintegrate it from the inside out with the simplicity of my will. But don’t worry, brother. I’ll see you again.” Her voice went flat. “I have only just begun scratching off the names on my list.”

    “But the child,” he said. “Don’t you love your child? It will grow up without a mother.”

    “Sometimes we have to make sacrifices in life,” she said, and steeled herself against the gently movement inside her stomach. “Besides, will mother and father really let their grandchild go to an orphanage?”

    “So that’s it,” he said. “You’re giving up on us, on your baby?”

    “No, Christian,” she said, as the men wheeled her up the ramp. She felt the coolness of the shadows of the van as she was hidden away from the sun. It would be the last time she’d feel it’s warmth for a long time. “I prefer to think that this is just the beginning of the rest of our lives. I will come back and when I do I will be bringing all of Hell with me.”

    • smallster21 says:

      Mmmm, I think I like the POV switcheroo. For some reason, I don’t know why, I started thinking of the Hulk, lol :) The father seems to have some skeletons in his closet that appear promising. Interesting family dynamics, you have material here for a longer story.

    • Amy says:

      I enjoyed reading this. I hadn’t really intended to read the whole thing and was just glancing at the first postings, but it totally sucked me in. The subtle way in which you allude to deeper and darker things going on within this family than just what is on the surface is great. Nice work.

    • MCKEVIN says:

      Why do I get the sick feeling the father is the father of MC’s baby? Did the whole town know he was doing this to his daughter? Which would explain why killed damn near everybody. Good job I don’t usually go in for horror stories but when it is based in mental illness and human nature, I’m in. Good job and hope you develop this into something larger. You owe it to yourself and your reading audience here.

    • Jeanie Y says:

      This was really good. I would have kept going…and want to know what comes next! Good job!

    • douglangille says:

      ok. you hooked me. what happens next? great job on the dialog.

      • calicocat88 says:

        Thanks you guys :) These characters are actually just a part of something I’ve been working on for quite a while so I was pretty excited and terrified at the same time to do a quick little scene with them. I’m glad ya’ll enjoyed this :) Makes me happy to have struck your interest.

  36. JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE ASYLUM

    I was startled and jumped out of my chair at the sound of a loud crash and banging behind me. I nearly choked on my food as I spun around and was forced off balance falling sideways into the long banquet table then over my chair and onto the floor by a small crowd of patients stampeding and rushing to get away in a panic as if trying to get out of a movie theater after someone had yelled fire. Others were running toward the epic center from all directions of the cafeteria with the same motivating frenzy to get a better view of what was happening.

    I quickly regained my composure, stood on my feet, and was frozen with a paralyzing fear as the terror swept through every fiber of my body. I could not move and began shaking uncontrollably as the blood curdling screaming cut through me like a knife through a soft stick of butter.

    In a panicked frenzy he had knocked over a hand full of table and chairs and patients trying to get away. Slipping on some food on the tiled floor he was now laying on his side on the floor still running and waving his arms frantically.

    With only one arm still in his gurney he was mostly naked. His body and privates fully exposed. The weight of his body mostly resting on his hip propelled his body in a circular motion like the hands of a clock racing around the dial at high speed.

    The blood curdling screaming did not stop gushing and streaming from his lips. Crying uncontrollably and screaming hysterically with a bellowing, screeching high pitched chilling voice as he ran in place while laying on his side on the floor, but went nowhere other then in a circular motion.

    “ARRRRRRGH, ARRRRRRRRGH, THEIR COMING TO GET ME, THEIR COMING TO GET ME, I HEAR VOICES, I HEAR VOICES, ARRRRRGGHHH, AARRRRGHHH.”

    I was in horror watching this. Within minutes chaos began to erupt, some of the residents began throwing food and trays, others were screaming and freaking out running around tipping over tables and throwing chairs, it had turned into a full scale revolt and anarchy.

    Each ward of the nut hut that allowed patients to go down to the cafeteria for meals had two orderlies as escorts. The patients of the wards that had not earned and been awarded with privileges were fed on the ward as each had a small kitchen where the staff would prepare meals for those less fortunate patients.

    Staff and security guards from all over the hospital began flooding into the cafeteria. One stabbed the instigator that had started the ruckus in the ass with a big needle that immediately immobilized him as others held him down trying to stop him from running in circles. The rest of the cavalry attempted to restore order. Order was restored fairly quickly and soon we were all escorted back to our individual wards and wings of the hospital and the doors locked behind us. The cafeteria was closed for a week after that incident and all privileges were revoked. This happened on the fourth day of my stay at the nut hut and the first day I was given privileges to go off the ward.

  37. DDestrukt says:

    It was over before I even knew it had happened. I came round to the sound of metal doors being closed and then the grey light closing in, I could struggle as much as I wanted, squirm like a mouse caught in a trap but it was no use. My arms were bound tight, the straight jacket a cloth prison. So I sat and I waited. It might have been an hour or an eternity before I was sat in an office, it all looked so civilised, walnut desk, walls lined with books but there I was straight jacket still intact. I sat quiet, defiant and staring at the man in front of me, sharp suit, slick hair. “Do you know why you’re here?” His voice even and devoid of emotion. I simply shook my head not breaking eye contact.”We found her body. How long, for how long did you think you could pretend?”
    I couldn’t hide the smirk breaking across my lips. “Longer than you could imagine” I whispered, sliding the knife from my sleeve.

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