Through the black acrid smoke and bright flames that were ablaze in my dream, the child walked out from within the fire and pointed at me.
Then, turned his palm up and beckoned me to come with his index finger.
As the hot embers encircled and danced around him, he stared directly into my soul, smiled a devious smile and said-
“You should be here with me….”
He then put the hand up to his mouth, blew on the muzzle of his index finger, turned, dropped his weapon to his side and returned to the blaze.
The bang on the metal door is what awoke me and prevented me from following the child into his abyss.
“Med time, Forty5.”
I got up from the bed and made a slow walk to the door.
The slot on the center of the door opened and a cup with a single pill and another cup filled with water were pushed through.
From behind the tempered glass window above the slot, the pill pusher said,
“I expect you to be shuffling around in a daze the next time I do my rounds like the rest of the psychos in this place. Swallow your pill this time. Don’t make us come in and force you again.”
Without a word, I looked him in the eyes and pointed my index finger at him. Then I turned my palm up and beckoned him to
him to come in, while wearing a devious smile across my sunken pale face.
He returned the smile with a missing front tooth and held up his arm which was in a cast and replied-
“I said us…..not me. I learn a lot quicker than you psyche patients do, which is why I am on this side of the cell and you are on the other. Take your pill.”
I took the pill and swallowed it.
I then put my index finger up to my mouth and blew on the muzzle, turned and returned to my bed on the other side of the sparcely furnished cell.
“Good boy, Forty5. Once you are nice and loopy, the doc is gonna come by for a session. Don’t worry….he will have back up, also.”
My name is not Forty5, by the way.
It’s the cell number.
I’m not the only Forty5 that has called this dump home. Evidence of their past occupancy are carved into the concrete walls like cemetery headstones. Names, dates, conversations, pleads for help, admissions of abuse and criminal acts by patients and staff.
The walls are a virtual soap opera of psychotic bliss.
The pills I am forced to take are Thorazine…..which are used to keep psychotic and schizophrenic people in check.
By, in check, I mean turning them into zombies that shuffle around in circles until then last coherent thought slowly escapes their mind and the drooling sets in.
Then hours of sleep.
I’m not crazy.
It’s just that no one believes that they are real.
That they will stop at nothing to get me to join them.
I thought the fire……..
But even death won’t…….
Sometimes the writing on the walls talk.
(Shuffle shuffle stop stare)
Beware of the listening bugs in the vents – November 1973 fourdefive
I pull my stubbed pencil out of my pocket and scrawl a sentence on the wall amongst the other cemetery residents.
(Turn shuffle shuffle)
I reach the bed, groggy….lay down and face the wall that I just wrote on.
As I surrender to the effects of the pill, my epitaph on the wall rings through my head-
And a child shall lead them – yesterday today n fourever Forty5
To be continued……