This week on the Indie Ink Writing Challenged I was challenged by Peter
His prompt for me was:
"A fictional snippet based around where your life would be if you had done ONE thing differently in your past. (Went to a different college / studied something completely different / married someone you dated in high school / etc.)"
She sat on the edge of the bed with her suitcase crunched between her ankles, her hands gripping the handle as though the floor beneath her would soon dissolve and disappear. The police cars passing along the small driveway lit the room up with green and blue shades of light, bright enough to have her squint and shrink down against the bed. In the darkened windows she searched for those familiar faces, their hands cuffed, their bodies like those of ghosts, their lives slipping away because of her words. No tears left her eyes but she knew she was crying as her body slowly convulsed, her vacant, breathless cries echoing about the green walls of the hospital room. What had she done?
She began thinking back to the moment she had been led around the labyrinth-like ward, her feet cold on the floor, her nails digging into her sides as she saw the female police officer greet her from the other end of the hall.
With a mild hello she extended her hand to her, only to return it to the other holding onto the briefcase that had in it the small printer she called a miracle of modern technology — the girl wouldn’t speak; she wouldn’t speak to the hand whose fingers would type down the demons squeezing her body into a little cube. Pushed into the doctor’s office she dragged herself to the chair at the furthest corner, her eyes examining books of psychoanalysis, schizophrenia, modern psychiatric practices: anything and everything on the white-painted wooden bookshelf that would have to stand her glares for the next two hours. Anti-depressant advertisements on the table, pictures of suns, of happy people…
“Now,” the officer clapped her hands together so loud the books seemed to shudder. “You do know that you are entitled to tell me nothing else but the truth, yes?”
“And that if you tell me something else it will have consequences?”
The woman’s voice was so high-pitched you’d think each sentence to be a question. She nodded, hugging her knees, blowing at her frozen toes. It was as though she was naked, powerless, the darling demons residing within each limb having her talk of things that were true but at the same time fabricated.
She watched the tiny miracle printer print her words up, her body trembling. But the demons were happy; oh yes, they rejoiced within her veins that the two monsters who locked her up in this labyrinth were gone. How could she cry on such a happy day?
But she did. She wept like the baby that was about to be taken away from her mother. She wept like her sister about to be taken away from her home. But most of all, she wept like the father, the innocent father who was crammed into a police car because of her daughter’s demonic delusions that, thanks to her brilliant ways of talking to nurses, were fed and fed until they were plump and full of life, ready to ruin lives and ready to give the nurses false joy in how they’d saved another young one from abusive, disgusting parents.
She kicked the suitcase aside and dove for the writing table, her stash of needles at the bottom of one drawer. It would end today. It would end on the hospital floor. Not very glamorous but it was enough.
It was enough.