512 Words

Just Not Her Day

Lincoln Donald

Now that she had her own room---'isolation' they called it but she thought of it as 'privacy'---she treasured the hour or so in the early morning when the mindless lassitude induced by the medication had worn off and before the visions and voices returned. On most mornings she only had the visions to contend with before that pig Jamison arrived with the drugs, but sometimes the voices started badgering her before the pills sent them packing. She feared this would be one of those mornings.

The room was simply furnished with a hospital style bed, an uncomfortable armchair and a matching straight backed chair by the small writing desk which she used as a dressing table. It brightened as the sun came up and she slipped out of bed to open the venetian blind. Before she reached the window, four stubby fingers protruded through the blind and held down one of the slats. Knowing that the room was on the third floor, that there was no balcony outside, that the small window could not be opened and the sun was shining brightly, made no difference to the reality, to her, of the unblinking eyes which peered malevolently at her through the slit. She returned to bed and turned her back on the staring eyes.

A middle-aged woman, who had not been there before, now sat in the armchair, knitting.

"Hello, Mother." she said, but the knitter remained silent, just as she would have before she died.

Of the three of them, she was pleased it was her mother who sat there; the voices rarely came while she was there. At other times, it would be Kenny, her fidgety eight year old brother, who had been knocked off his bike and killed by a hit-and-run driver when she was just a little girl. On a few days it had been a tall, gaunt, gloomy looking man who she presumed was the father who died just a few weeks before she was born. She hated it when he came; he looked so sad and forlorn it made her cry and the loud, raucous voices filled her head.

Even though her mother was there, she could hear them now. Faint at first they became louder and louder in a never ending, unintelligible crescendo. Where was Jamison with her drugs?

The scream began to form and grow in the knot in her belly as she lay tightly curled with her hands pressed ineffectively over her ears. She tried desperately to hold it in. It escaped just as Jamison's keys jangled in the lock.

"No pills for you today, my girl. It's a jab for you."

Through tear filled eyes she saw the nurse snap on the rubber gloves, caught the glint of light on the hypodermic, felt the chill of the antiseptic on her thigh, then the sharp prick of the needle. With gritted teeth she knew she only had to endure the voices for another long minute before she and they were submerged in oblivion.

But she was hungry. She wanted her breakfast.

Copyright ©1998 Lincoln Donald. All Rights Reserved.

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September, 1998
Issue #29

512 Words