Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Intake (Blogophilia 27.5)

The clock ticked in the silence.  The white face and black numerals in stark contrast against the padded wall. Or were they navy?   It looked like any other wall clock.  But, it wasn’t. It mocked him, laughing at his weakness.  Did it have to be so precise, detailing every second of the fucking day?  Absently, he rubbed the bruise on his head.  Who cares? There is no tolerance of error in today’s world.   He wondered if he looked at it long enough it would melt into something Picasso or Dali would have painted.

A laminated table with two chairs sat in the middle of the room.  His ankle is tethered, but his hands are free. A small bottle of water sits untouched on the table.  It could have just as well been a Nippitatum or Maderized wine.  It probably had some sedative to make him talk easier.  All there was to do was waiting.  A darkened window is set in the wall behind the empty chair.  He notices a small shadow moving on the other side of the glass.

When had come to, he was in a room with only the gurney and an IV tree in it.  The painted concrete blocks hurt his eyes. His arms ached from the bindings.  A trussed pig waiting for the fire. The face of a large black woman came through the fog humming a gospel song, her breath briefly awakening him. Looking at him as if he were an animal in a cage, she switched out the IV bottles.   The world became blurry again as she slipped of the edge of his vision. 

His thought swam back to when they brought him in.  He remembered a struggle on the gurney to try to escape and he felt a needle go into his arm.  Visions of Serj Tankian‘s face plastered with Demonseed tattoos danced a volta behind his closed eyes. A Rach barked incessantly in his ears.   Flashes of light and sound had surrounded him. And that smell of the Space Shuttle reentering the earth, it’s ablator glowing from the friction.

He awakens again and several men come in.  Loudly, they command him to stay perfectly still.  Two of them pin his arms as a third loosen the straps.  He is compliant and allows them to set him in the wheelchair.  The restraints are refastened.  A tunnel of white punctuated with brown patches flow by his side.  He floats into the hard chair and is tethered.   After a while, the door to the room opens again. 

A grey haired nurse enters. She looks her report and glances at the figures on the other side of the glass.   The feet and wings of an angel peek out from under her sleeve.   Jeremy knew the game.  What goes on behind the screen of the eyes?   Is he lying for some reason?   And what does she think of him? It is the pachyderm in the room.

The interview is recorded for posterity.  More than once, there have been attempts to subpoena them for court.  But up until this point, the client privilege has prevailed.  With a deep breath, she begins the interview.

“You are Mr.  Jeremy Allen?  Her manner is abrupt and she is in a hurry to get the interview done.   

He nods sleepily.  She makes a note and continues.

“How do you do, my name is Angela and I will be conducting a short assessment interview for our records.  We have your date of birth as November 26, 1984, is that correct?”

“Yes.” It sounds more like an ideophone  through the prescription haze than a real word.  Checking off the item, she continued.

“Do you know where you are?”

He takes a sip of the water and considers his options.  Won’t hurt to answer.

 “Some kind of hospital, I think.”

“Yes, you are at Regional Mental Health.  Do you remember how you got here?”

Jeremy grows restless and angry.  He thinks this bitch thinks she can control him.  How much cooperation with the enemy?  Anything he would say, would likely come back to haunt him.  The nurse grows impatient.

“Mr. Allen.  Do you know how you got here?”

He stares at the clock.  It shimmers and warps and its ticking becomes louder.  The window seems to be set in front of the wall.

“I … was in an altercation last night.  This girl complained that I … uh… held her against her will.”  He stopped and shrunk down in the chair.  “I remember the police coming and Sandra breaking free.  There was a …crash and then flames.”  The eyes narrowed. “The bastards burnt my house down.”

She writes this on her pad without reaction. 

“They shouldn’t have done that?”

“No.  I wasn’t hurting anyone.” He shifts impatiently in the chair.

“Did you have a weapon?”

“No.  It was just me and I wanted them to go away.”

Attempting to distance himself from the situation. Angela has seen it before.   He’s more oriented than most, but she goes through the questionnaire just to make sure.

“What is today?

A bit lost, he guesses.  “Tuesday.”

She notes he’s lost a day.  Not surprising since he’s been sedated since admission. 

“It’s actually Wednesday.  You have been asleep for about 36 hours.  What city are we in?”


“Who is the President of the United States?”

“An imposter.”  Jeremy’s eyes grew wide and inflamed at the question.  They were getting too close. 

Angela picked up on the change of expression.  She shifted her weight very slightly.
“Can you say his actual name?”

“Barack Hussein Obama.  Agent of Al-Quaeda.”   It came out as a low growl. 

She sighed and nodded towards the window.   He is pretty dangerous.   Drugs might help him in the short time.  But his level of anger can only be resolved with long term therapy.  And there wasn’t a snowballs chance of that happening.  More notes.

“When was the last time you saw a doctor for a physical exam?

Jeremy decided that was enough. 

“I’m through talking.  I want my lawyer.”

“Mr. Allen, I ‘m not the police and we need this information to properly assess your …”

Jeremy jumped across the table to try and grab the nurse.  The ankle tether caused him to sprawl out on the floor.  She jumped back and slipped out the door.  The large men came in quickly.  Jeremy screamed as they hit him twice with the taser and jabbed the syringe deep into his vein.  The Atavin only took thirty seconds and it was over. 

The men loaded him in the wheelchair and took him back to his room.   


  1. This is really good, now I better go back and see what came before.

    1. The related post is "The Test", although that actually takes place after the hospitalization. This is part of a much larger project I'm working on.

  2. Enjoyed this piece Chris. That one shot of syringe into the vein.,,I remember that vividly. Keep writing dark.

  3. This is promising to be an excellent book! This segment captivates the reader quite well and leaves him wanting more!

    Blue guy

    1. I'm trying to flesh out the story arc. This should keep me busy for a while.

  4. Ah yes! I am liking this story! 14 points Earthling! :)


    1. I liked the extra list of words. It made me expand a couple of places that needed it.

  5. This was engaging...keep on writing, Chris!


  6. Yowser - a lot of tension. Would love to see more.


  7. I had the perfect comment that I tried to write from netbook. this was truly amazing and the prompts only served to enhance it.

  8. more more more!! I want more! NOW. Great write. I seriously do want more of this story.

    1. I'm not sure when the next piece will be. I've got three of them sketched out.

  9. I agree with myself from 2 years ago but would add - very intense

    How did you get this old blog to repost?

    1. I just linked the original post link. It works fine.

  10. Frighteningly dark Christopher ... and very vivid, I was in the chair with him...
    being plunged in the deep end, so to speak, made my imagination work out loads of different situations it could be.. as the vagueness of his plight unfolds bit by bit.... brilliantly written... can't wait to see how it fits in with the rest of the story Christopher.. :-)

    1. This has been an interesting project. When I started, I thought it would only take a little while. But then, too many situation in real life came up that were too close to Jeremy and I kind of got frightened. Doing the research has been kind of tricky.