Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The New Book - A Short Clip

Hi Folks! Bright and sunny today (but cold-ish)... so I am bright and sunny - hurrah! I have been making good progress filling in the gaps and reorganising the story flow of the new book (I've still not got a sensible title though!). I thought you might like a short clip, so here we go. The whole thing will need proofreading at some stage so there may well be typos, but see if it whets your appetite - or not (don't be shy!).
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An Extract
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Even with the soft vinyl inner layer of the hospital-issue pyjama bottoms, and the close-fitting plastic incontinence underpants she had on beneath, the thin flannelette did little to ameliorate the discomfort of the hard wooden seat – already her buttocks were going numb, which ironically only served to make the griddle pattern of thin cane wheals crisscrossing her bottom throb all the more. No longer in contact with the ground, the naked soles of her feet now throbbed too, in the simple rhythm of her pulse. It was another irony; whilst her feet bore her weight, the aftermath of the doctor’s martinet consisted of little more than a fiery, overall burning sensation. Once seated, with her legs swept back beneath the chair and her hobbled ankles fastened by way of their leather restraint cuffs to two short lengths of chain that hung down from beneath the seat, it felt as if dozens of red-hot hooks were embedded in the undersides of her feet and were tugging rhythmically downwards in unison. Taken together these reminiscences of the cane and of the martinet were what had been responsible for the girl cutting herself off in mid-flow and also for the sudden contrite, apologetic retraction that had so quickly followed.
It was humiliating, but it was better than suffering a repeat performance. Besides, it was fear of humiliation, in a manner of speaking, that had earned her the six cuts of the cane across her bare behind and the twelve slashes of the multi-tongued martinet across the sole of each foot in the first place. Indeed, in a way the retribution, correction - call it what you will - had not been entirely unrelated to her tirade; it never was. The very best way to ensure receiving the attention of the doctor's supple length of rattan was to speak of being a volunteer behavioural research subject or to protest against the validity of any part of the doctor's diagnosis. But that hadn't been the cause on this occasion, not directly at any rate.
The doctor was fond of setting impositions to fill her time when confined to the tiny anteroom that had now become her home - to keep her mind active, the doctor said. In some ways she almost felt as though she should be grateful, after all, there was no window and once the heavy, padded, outer door had been shut, closing off the doctor's office from the prison-cell-like floor-to-ceiling hinged array of vertical steel bars that kept her secure, the silence was very nearly perfect. In fact the only thing that tarnished that perfection was the rushing-hiss of white noise - and that, she knew, was only there to make absolutely certain that her isolation was complete. Even that, though, was not entirely the truth; there were times, if she had been perhaps particularly stubborn, when that background mush would be accompanied by an insistent and repetitive beeping. It was not particularly loud, just an irritating little bleep that would constantly interrupt a her train of thought and that seemed to come at irregular intervals like a sort of modern electronic take on the Chinese water torture until she would find herself incapable of concentrating on anything other than trying to predict the next bleep.
On this occasion she had been set the imposition of writing an essay; 'How I Benefit from Being Kept in Long-term Residential Psychiatric Care '. But how was she supposed to write something like that, how could she? And then there was that adjective included in the title - 'Long-term' - that was surely there purely to increase her feeling of hopelessness. And it worked - she had put pen to paper, carefully copied out the title in the copperplate hand that was always demanded, then she had simply sat staring at it while weeping uncontrollably until the time allocated had run out.
Staring at her reflection in the mirror, at least one thing the doctor had just said rang true to the girl, the part about her looking like a prison-camp waif. The double chin was anything but waiflike, and the pyjamas she was dressed in were definitely not quite as baggy as they had once been - but with their broad green and white stripes and soulless, shapeless design, what else did they look like other than a prison-camp uniform? Crestfallen, she looked away, tears welling.

10 comments:

Charles said...

Top class as per usual
My appetite is certainly whetted.
I know you haven't been 100% recently but you still write very well. Can't wait for the new book.

But more importantly, take good care of yourself

Charles

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for that, old chap (or maybe not so old - who knows!) It makes all the difference, getting a little feedback – in either direction.

I have to admit, though, that I wrote that bit much earlier in the year. But saying that; I think I’m up and running again (until the sun goes in, Ha! Ha!).

Madmonkey said...

Strange, there are tags for: FORCED HAIR CUTS, HAIRCUTTING, HAIRCUTTING AND DISCIPLINE below this last post, but hair is not even mentioned once in the text. Were you going to post something else today and changed your mind?

Toyntanen said...

Oh, stop moaning! Only joking, Mr 'Madmonkey'. Yes, you hit the nail on the head - I was going to post up a section from the previous part but couldn't find a natural end point to close the extract, leave the reader wanting more and also have the extract make some sort of sense at the same time.

I hope to make a short posting tomorrow and if so I'll change the tags then - I'm out in a coffee bar at present and about to go in the gym for a workout (I'm thinking of setting myself up as a personal trainer next year - have I mentioned that? I can't remember). Thanks for pointing out the error by the way old chap! Ta!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant as usual. I love the concept of tedious impositions. And I think this is newish for you, the whipping of the soles of the feet. Don't forget the Scottish tawse across her palms at some point -- it does a girl the world of good to make eye contact with her disciplinarian as the strap breaks her down... "keep those hands up." Yum.

Orage said...

I've always read rather quickly, but not your books. I savour them sentence after sentence, slowly, often re-reading them for the sheer pleasure of lingering on the scene in my mind's eye.
This extract runs true to form. I love the way you describe her discomfort and only afterwards explain the reason for it.
I just can't wait to read the new book!

Orage said...

One question, if I may: what exactly is a personal trainer?
No, you hadn't mentioned that before.

summertime75 said...

I agree with Charles, I also look forward to the new book. Also glad to read that you are feeling better.

Anonymous said...

Typo? No longer in contact with the ground that naked soles of her feet throbbed too

'that' should be 'the'?

Love the lower picture with the nurse with cane. So much more humilating for the girl to be fully dressed with knickers down and skirt up showing her bottom. Sexy for the viewer too -- at least for me :)

rex_talbot at yahoo com

Toyntanen said...

Hi Rex!

Thanks for that, just the sort of thing we dyslexics read past totally unaware. Just changed the sentence (on both the original and blog version) to read - 'No longer in contact with the ground, the naked soles of her feet now throbbed, too, in the simple rhythm of her pulse' - which I think reads better. I also took the opportunity to change the tags. I left in the tags to institutionalized volumes 1 and 2 for those not familiar with the extracts from those volumes which I posted up so many moons ago
(it feels like)- remember this site is over two years old now!