Living Dead Girl ~Chapter 2

“I’ve got a job for you.”

“What?”

“A job. Get up.”

“Fuck off. I’m on vacation.”

“Get up. It’s time to work.”

“Mmmphf…”

I knew it was too good to be true, dammit. Couldn’t even get a decent night’s sleep in the nut house, for fuck’s sake.

Fine.

“Where’s the job?” 

“Here, in B wing. Name’s Colton. Darwin Colton. You’ve got about 20 minutes, then you’re on.”

“Shit.  Messy?”

“Quiet. In and out like a mouse, doll. Hard part’s over already, just a walk and a talk.”

“Well, less cleanup that way, at least. Thanks for the favor.”

“No problem, see ya next time.”

“Yeah, see ya.”

The shadow detached from the window’s ledge and slid out through the cracks between the bulletproof glass and the frame, inking its way back out into the night, and leaving me alone in my room.

Great, now to make my way down to B wing, alley of the lost.

I slide out of the sheets & slip into my fuzzy socks, you know the socks you always get at the hospital – the ones with the little rubber grippies on the bottom, so you don’t slide all over & fall down, causing hospital accidents & lawsuits? Yeah, those fugly slippers. I love these socks. Don’t ask me why.  I’m in a mental hospital, I don’t need a damn reason, OK?

At least they don’t make any noise as I move to my door & peer through the peekhole window, checking to see where the nurses & orderlies are. I know their routine pretty well, but every once in a while, they like to mix things up, & run random room checks just to screw with us.

Luck’s with me tonight, everything’s clockwork. 

Nurse Hannah is on desk duty, which means she’s got her phone open, & is playing games, Facebooking, scrolling through some dating app or other, and is generally not paying attention to fuckall. Good for me.

That puts Randy, the night orderly, on the roof, smoking, which he does every night about this time, because he comes in at about 15 minutes to shift change reeking of cigarettes & hits the bathrooms to clean himself up & spray room freshener in his pits, like no one notices that trick. 

Gotta love predictability.

I glide easy back to my bed & lift the mattress, taking out the skeleton key I hid in the springs – one of the tools of the trade I take wherever I go, & use it to open my door. Doesn’t matter the lock, it always works. In my line of work, it has to. Nature of the biz.

Hannah sees nothing as I work my way down the hall, and hears less, ear buds jammed tightly into her ears. 

God, if she were any less clueless, she’d be a toaster.

B wing, here I am.

Key to the automatic lock, a soft click, a passive buzz, and I’m through the door & down the hall, slicker than snot.

Which door?

Oh…he left it cracked for me, how, thoughtful…wait.

Yeah…sigh…

That’s a slippered foot sticking out of the door, dammit.

Five little gray fuzzy socked toes stuck in the door jamb peeking out at me.

Darwin?”

“Darwin Colton?”

“Help!”

“It’s OK, I’m here to take you home.”

“But…but…”

“I know, honey, it’s OK. Take my hand.”

“Patsy?”

“Mmmpfh…”

“It’s time to get up. There’s been an incident.”

“What?”

“We need all the residents in the hall. Get up, please.”

“Fine.”

I stumble out of bed and blink my way out into the hallway, pushing my rat’s nest hair to the back of my head. Not nearly enough sleep in this damn place.

After “head count” is over, they shoo us back to our rooms to get dressed for the day & for breakfast. Whoopee.

“Didja hear?” Tommy hisses in my ear while we wait in line for the food. 

“What?”

“Some guy on B wing cacked it last night! That’s what the head count was about, they think someone helped him!” Tommy’s face is almost gleeful…sick little shit.

“Oh yeah? Who the hell would do that?”

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Living Dead Girl -Chapter 1

“Hello, my name’s Patsy,” I spoke, mostly to the floor.

“Hello, Patsy”, disembodied voices echoed back at me from the circle I sat in. I refused to look up…there was no point.

“Did you have anything else to tell us today, Patsy? Why you’re here, maybe?” The cool, soft voice of Dr. Tellman (yeah, irony there, am I right?) cut through the gloom of the purposely-dimmed room from my right. She kept us in a semi-darkened state to “free our inhibitions and allow us to speak easier”, or something like that.

“I’m here because the State thinks I’m nuts, that’s why I’m here, Dr. Tellman”.

“And what did you say to them to give them that impression, Patsy?” Still, with that same easy, coaxing voice. God! She could sell milk to cows, which would be difficult, because of the whole lack of communic-

“Patsy?”

“Oh, sorry, Doc, woolgathering. I told the State’s doc the truth, is all. And he marked up my sheet like a game of tic-tac-toe. Next thing I know, here I am with the rest of the Cranks, Tanks & Yanks.”

Creaks, whines and rustling met with that statement, & I knew I touched nerves, and got some of them curious. 

Off to me left, I heard 

“Whatzat? Whatchoo said? Cranks, Tanks & Yanks? Zat some kind of insult or sumpthin?”

“No, not an insult, Tommy, it’s just my own way of describing this place.  You see…Cranks are real crazies, through no fault of their own. Something’s wrong upstairs, & they can’t help it. I feel bad for them. 

Tanks are the ones gone crazy because of drugs, alcohol, or both. They did it to themselves, so they get no sympathy from me.

And Yanks, well…those are the poor ones that been through hell so bad, abuse, war, rape, you name it, they’ve suffered & seen it, and they can’t contain it inside their brains by themselves. They get yanked all over by others, put through torture so horrible, ain’t no one should have to go through that shit, specially not alone.”

“And where would you put yourself in that labeling system, Patsy?” Dr. Tellman attempted to get us back on track, but I could hear in her voice that I had her interest.

“Nowhere, Dr. Tellman. I’m not in any of those categories, because I’m not crazy. But the truth sounds an awful lot like crazy, these days, so I might as well have a vacation, hmm?”

I could hear her pen scritching against her clipboard as she wrote notes, quick & efficient, just like her. If I concentrated, I could probably envision her wrinkling her nose as her ash-blonde hair fell over her eyes while she wrote, and her tucking it neatly back behind her ear, sliding her pen atop her ear to wait for the next thought.

“And what is this ‘crazy truth’, Patsy?”

“Well, that I’m a Reaper, and that I’m a living dead girl.”

Light #FamChallenge

And the light streamed in the window

As I lay, curled on the floor

Broken, just like the day before

Left behind, always left…wanting more…

And the light streamed in the window

Dust dancing in the air

Landing softly in my hair

Building up, slowly, everywhere

And the light streamed in the window

Softer now than before

Angled more towards the door

Knocking louder, the policemen swore

Flashing lights streamed in the window

Opposable #FlashFiction

“You’ll write what I want you to write, and that’s that, goddammit!”

Moira flinched as a meaty hand slammed the table in front of her, punctuating the sentence with a slap.

“No,” she breathed firmly, “I won’t. I’m not a smut writer, and I won’t start just because you’re threatening me. I write what I want, and kidnapping me won’t matter, you fucktard. You’ll never get what you want from me. Sick bastard.”

Moira could hear him grinding his teeth as he growled under his breath at her refusal, but she refused to cave in to his sicko demands.

She’d been here for just over 3 nights now, or 4 days…she couldn’t really tell. She knew she was underground in some kind of bomb shelter, since she could smell the musty, mildewy smell of old water on concrete, but he’d fixed the place up…almost nice.

Creepily so.

The walls were covered with faux wood panels, that had pictures and paintings hanging from them, to add some semblance of “windows”, even to having curtains hung around a few. It was – homey – and macabre, all at the same time.

The table at which she was now seated was real wood, a deep butcher’s block kitchen- style surface, ready to seat at least 6 people, but currently only holding her and an old manual typewriter, a fresh ream of paper, & a cup full of freshly sharpened Number 2 pencils.

Exactly like she’d told Author’s Gazette last month when she’d done that article about her writing habits, & her quirks about liking to have pencils on hand for the odd note-taking, twirling, putting up her hair in a bun when really getting serious, & chewing on the erasers when she got stuck on plot points.

“Alright. Well, you’ll stay here until you write what I want, then.”

************

“Are you going to write it yet?”

“No, go to hell, asshole.”

“Supper’s on the table.”

“Carrots and cheese sticks again?”

“Bologna tomorrow. You know you get meat once a week.”

“Fuck off”

“Write it.”

“Die.”

****************

“Maybe…maybe if I just… No, I can’t.  But…then he’d let me leave, right? Yeah, sure, after all this time…he’d just let me go. What, it’s been how long? How many weeks, months…ohh…god…so long…he’s never going to let me go…”

***********************

“Write it”

“Never”

“WRITE IT!! I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU!”

“THEN JUST DO IT ALREADY!”

“no”

“Then die”

“You first”

*************************

“Crunch…crunch….crunch…..”

“carrots all gone…hehe hehe…”

********

“OH GOD! What did you do!!”

The blood dripped from the table, smeared along the walls, spelling out “Never” before slumping into an indecipherable scrawl near the bed where the dead woman lay. All her fingers bitten off, strewn about on the floor and tabletop.

“No, dammit! I never got my story!”

He flipped her over onto her back, furious, noticing as he did so, that she was smiling, with her own thumb, firmly wedged in her own mouth and throat.

Well…it was an opposable thumb, after all.


Perspective – Flash Fiction

There was a dead body in the kitchen.

Again.

A heavy sigh escaped Jonah’s lips, deflating his hope of getting through this evening without drama.

How the hell was he going to explain this?

“Shit. It’s Thanksgiving, all over again”, he muttered to no one in particular. “Can’t I get even  one holiday off?”

Obviously not. 

At least this one wasn’t bloated and blue like the last one. Those drowned ones were the worst, in his opinion.  Impossible to dispose of them without making a huge, freaking wet mess all over the kitchen floor.  And the grout between the tiles was almost impossible to scrub completely spotless.  Totally useless, hard to clean up, & leaving a fishy smell around for days…But…sigh… Time to get to work.

An hour later, Jonah knew why the body had been in the kitchen, who had put it there, and what he was going to do about it.  

Absolutely fucking nothing.

The body was gone, Jonah’s specialty & his talent…to make the uncomfortable truths and the inconvenient secrets disappear.  It was all a matter of perspective.  

And his restaurant had one of the highest ratings in the city because of his personal outlook on life…and a cousin in the mob.

Kind of Scary

Say, has anyone out there ever experienced one of those LSD-style, funky haloes around their vision before a migraine? 

Either I had one of those, or something else is seriously going on, here. 

I do get migraines, occasionally, but I’ve never had the “halo” effect before.

For a few minutes, I thought I was either going to black out, or go blind.

Scary as hell, either way.