Friday, 8 August 2008

Beyond The Stained Glass Window: Meredith's Tale - Part 5

Another short snippet from the upcoming (and hotly anticipated, I hope) volume 2 of INSTITUTIONALISED. As always the usual caveats apply about this being a very rough first draft compete with possible (probable) typos and grammatical problems (I expect).

“He's been here again, he's whipped me, fucked me up the arse, he...” The girl's outburst had clearly taken the doctor by surprise, startled both her accompanying nurses; as one they the shot her a disapproving look, their faces registering the same unvoiced distaste.
The Aftermath of Denial
(Click title from previous part)
The sharp slap stole away her breath mid-sentence, truncating what would surely otherwise have been a long drawn out and distraught tirade - yet the nurse's palm had merely slapped playfully the girl’s left buttock, landing with little more impact than to ripple the flesh.
“Now, now; language, sweetheart, language. We certainly don't say the ‘F’ word, nor do we say ‘arse’. What do we say, here, when we mean to refer to our bottom?”

There came a bitter sucking-in of breath through clenched teeth - then a hesitation of a duration close enough to endangering her of receiving another such swipe that the nurse had actually drawn back her hand to shoulder height.

“B,BB, Botty, nurse; I meant my b,botty.” The girl fairly bristled at the childish terminology they demanded she use; the words seemingly sticking in her throat, causing her to splutter near incoherently.

"That's much better! Now, I'm sure that if there is anything at all amiss the doctor will be able to see it.”

Cold fingers slipped and slid across her the tender flesh of her bottom, feeling, testing, prodding; sliding to and fro across each cheek as if running along, exploring, the furrows and wheals she thought sure, she knew, lay raised, swollen and throbbing, inflamed and crisscrossing the once blemish-free satin-soft white flesh. She could feel every nuance, every detail, of that throbbing red meshwork she knew must surely now decorated her backside - she gasped with pain whenever and wherever a finely manicured fingernail was drawn across an intersection between overlaying ruts and ridges or when a pinch of flesh was rolled, however gently, between finger and thumb.

Then she gasped anew, more in shock than in pain; a new sensation, a ghastly sensation to one of her sensitivity - a gentle feminine digit explored first her intimacy, then probed the softly puckered entrance above. Behind her the doctor’s gently-considerate tones could be heard as noncommittal “hmmms” and “aahhs”…

The verdict, when it came, left her nonplussed, reeling - not least by the blatant way she was kept ‘out of the loop’, as if she were not capable of rational discussion.

“Well, can you anything here we should be concerned about?”

“No. Not really, doctor; although, there is this here, around her anus. Some sort discharge perhaps?”

“Well, yes. Although I'd say that it's more likely that she's had a rather unfortunate ‘accident’, although perhaps coupled with a reaction to her suppositories; she does look a little sore there. We'll have to keep an eye on that, but other than that, there doesn't seem anything else we need be concerned with here.

But other than that, you would concur with me, then; there is nothing in evidence here that might support these allegations of abuse she continually makes?”

“Pretty much; certainly I can't see any evidence to the contrary. She seems disturbed right enough but there is no physical evidence that I can see to corroborate her story”

The doctor turned to the other nurse, so far watching in reserve silence: “And what about you, nurse?”

“I think I'd concur, doctor; I really can't see anything out of the ordinary here, at least not physically. But as for her mental state; well, I guess that's a different issue entirely - some sort of psychotic episode perhaps?”

“And the way she reacts to tactile stimulation - what would you say about that?”

“Simply a psychosomatic response; it is real enough to her but it's symptomatic of her psychological condition, no more than that”

“Very well diagnosed, I'd say, nurse; that's exactly how I read it - a pseudo physical manifestation of the patient’s delusionary condition. There is little more than that at work here; I’m quite relieved to say that, to be honest with you - I would hate to think such a sweet girl had ever actually undergone the sort of ordeals she relates to us. Delusion, hallucination; call it what you will - it's sad but that's the truth of the matter…”

Behind her the two nurses rustled and bustled about. She felt her bonds slacken and then her chin gently lifted by lily-soft hands; the white coated doctor, all kindness itself, refastening the neck brace, then taking the opportunity to draw the distraught girl's attention to the flashing red light high up on the wall before her.

“Closed-circuit television; there's always someone keeping an eye on you here, you silly thing. Don't you think someone would have seen if there really had been anything untoward going on in here? Either I or one of my nurses would have been in here like a shot.”

Helping the girl up into a standing position the doctor couldn't resist landing a final playful slap on the plump ripe swelling of her right buttock cheek - a parting shot, leaving the flesh rippling in its wake. The girls yelp was met with a warm, if condescending, smile and a derisory: “silly pudding”.

Gentle and playful that slap might have been but it had flared instantly into a blaze of pain as if to confirm her delusion, if such it had been, to be in truth reality, no matter how improbable. Yet in the absence of mirrors, her neck immobilised in that support and her hands rendered useless, the words still ringing in her ears would likely be the only rendition of truth she would have access to for quite some time to come. Besides, these were health professionals; doctors, nurses. A lifetime of social conditioning couldn't be denied: these were trustworthy people - surely it was her judgment that was questionable here, her judgment that was at fault. Yet, for it to have seemed so real - surely that was delusion indeed. They had every right to keep the locked up; she was surely going out of her mind - she was going stark raving mad.

But to have imagined such disgusting acts; how could such vile filth be conjured by her mind, such foul and perverted thoughts? What did it say about her? What if it was some sort of suppressed desire, something she subconsciously yearned for? She had heard of such things; what if all those perverted desires were actually part of her - part of her true personality - what then? Surely she be judged insane - what right minded person could think otherwise? They'd keep her locked up in here or, worse, on the psychiatric ward with all the other poor damaged souls - those rocking back and forth, gibbering and slobbering.

In that moment the die was cast: she would say no more of the incident nor of that old rector or parson or whatever the old bastard had been. Nor would she speak of the abuse she had suffered at his hands and that she seemed to recall so clearly - her time kept under his lock and key. She would say nothing more about any of it - she would deny it all. After all, she had no wish to find that she had merely exchanged one form or imprisonment for another.

His had been a jail from which there had at least always been hope of escape. This captivity, she instinctively knew, would be different - this confinement would have legitimacy, would be all legal and above board and justified. Once they had someone locked up in one of these places, properly ‘put away’, the appropriate forms signed and the legal niceties tidied…well, that would be it for her. There'd be no escape from this establishment. Had she not seen the bars on the windows, mounted both inside and out, had she not already shivered before the cold steel of the security grilles, those solid locks and thick immovable iron bolts - all rendered in the same hygienic white as the walls, as if in disguise, as if to blend seamlessly with the other medical accouterments about. Why, they would be able to keep here as long as they liked… and even if she wasn't already insane, and she couldn't be sure she wasn't, she would eventually become so - they wouldn't have to lift a finger, this place, this... clinic, would see to it.

The wheelchair was rolled forward and the doctor, her smile never wavering, never failing to engender trust, gestured for the girl to be seated: “Come along, in you get like a good girl.”

Stiffly, hesitantly, Meredith Hewson worked her way towards her waiting transport, her legs slow to respond and heavy in their callipers; the latter's hinged knee joints, although not having been relocked, being nevertheless quite reluctant to bend without some effort. Before her the chair waited, its overly-thorough and extensive network of restraints rendering it to her mind more something akin to a mobile prison than an object of rest and comfort, however utilitarian. Indeed, she was quite reluctant to take her seat despite the unaccustomed effort of walking in leg-braces; yet a few words of explanation from the doctor were enough to warn her off from any thought of objection:

“For the time being we’re going to be leaving your leg support knee joints unlocked, other then when you are in bed of course. You will have to take it slowly but you'll find you'll be able to get around on foot, at least to a limited extent. But to and from the ward you must use the wheelchair, it's hospital policy, and I'm afraid the restraints go with it - we can't risk you falling out. Of course, should we encounter any problems, and I mean any problems, we will have no option other than to relock those callipers - after all, we can't have you undoing all the good work we've done. On the other hand, if you're good girl, take it easy, do as you're told, then we can slacken off those elbow supports as well. But as I said, any problems and you find yourself back confined to bed; sometimes we have to be a little strict simply to protect patients from themselves. For now though, it's back in the chair, I'm afraid; then it's off to bed with you -I think there has been upset enough for one day, don't you my girl?”

Wincing, yet trying her hardest to disguise the sharp intake of breath lest she be quizzed further as to the origin of her discomfort, the girl gingerly took her seat, an air of resignation and defeat coming over her as she did so. The implication of the doctor's little speech had been clarity itself: if she wanted a change of scenery, however bland that might be, other than the inside of her hospital cubicle with its white-curtained surrounds and heavily-draped silence, then she would have to be the absolute personification of compliance. Already all about her buckles were being fastened, straps tensioned, restraints tightened...
Derangement? Reality? Some blurring of the two, perhaps? Which do you think? To be continued.... But perhaps you can influence the outcome, twist it to your taste, after all; she's your Meredith as much as mine to play with, bend her to your will...let me know.

Copyright (c) 2008 Garth. P. ToynTanen

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