A Short Story: In Sanity


    The clock on the wall ticks away the seconds. The hour with Dr.Rodgold came and went almost instantly. I guess I expected that, thats the way its been all month. It’s my last month here at the Ronwin Center For Troubled Boys. No matter what the name said, we all knew what this place was, an insane asylum. Not the kind with torture rooms behind every other metal door, where blood and sweat stains decorate the grey, cracking, concrete floor, or with guards and their vicious dogs standing watch at every corner, or where it seems like the sun never shines and grass never grows… But still not far from. The sun shines, but its too lonely, guards aren’t  everywhere but if you’ve been here long enough you’ll develop the constant panic and anxiety one gets when being followed, even if deep down you know you’re not. There are no torture rooms, as far as I’ve seen. But on occasion I see men in red uniforms scrambling into a seemingly empty room and a few hours later I can catch the nauseatingly strong scent of ammonia and other ridiculously powerful cleansers. Then the next morning after the scene, there would be cupcakes, a “Boy of the week” poster and a brief announcement celebrating “The release of another beautiful soul into the shining world”, all put together to distract the other boys from attempting to figure out if the boy was dead or was truly release. In the grand scheme of things I guess it was irrelevant whether or not he was dead, its not like any of us were really that close to one another. Upon arriving to our quaint little asylum, you’re assigned a number, and thats what everyone but your doctor knows you as. Its not against the rules to have friends, it just seems odd to call out something like “Hey 00166!” in the middle of the hall or lunch room. People do it of course, but only the ones who are 100% sure they’ll be stuck here for the rest of their lives. “Lucas…Lucas!”, Dr.Rodgold was snapping in my direction and calling my name. “Oh…sorry doctor, just got lost in  my thoughts again”. His eyes scanned my face for a long time, “Anything you’d like to talk about?” I tapped my foot once, then remembering I was in the office of a trained professional I shook my head. “Uh… no sir, just a wandering thought. Nothing to really fuss about”. We sat in a ponderous silence till the final  minutes of the session were over. He stood first, then myself, we shook hands and I walked out. The hallway looked almost holy, sterile white walls with blinding sunlight piercing through the well polished bars on the windows. I made my way down to the meal hall, my black rubber shoes squeaking with every other step. The roaring sound of people in the hall hit me first, followed by the stale stench of week old soup mixed with the wondrous smell of fresh bread. I trudged in, got a tray, loaded it, and went to my usual table in the corner and began to eat.

    The next few weeks went a lot like this, weekly sessions with  Dr.Rodgold, the loud meal hall, and all the faces that were familiarly unrecognizable. Every day was simply me going through the motions. But during me last week, things seemed different, people noticed me less. No one even glances at me in the halls, the staff paid less attention to my day to day activities. Even my last talk with Dr.Rodgold seemed weird. He was the one acting distant… Every other thing I said was followed by a very elegant “Huh?..What?..Excuse me?..”. Admittedly it was quite annoying, but I could hold my tongue.

    That Friday, March 15 2020, was my last day. I got my trunk, which upon arrival I had to leave in a secure room due to its “dangerous  nature”, and started packing my belongings. As I was packing, I dropped my snowglobe, the only outside object I truly cared about. It smashed into pieces on contact, glass, liquid, and glitter coated the floor. The base rolled under the bed, so naturally I kneeled down and wiggled under it so I could reach. Then all of a sudden I felt an electric shock at the base of my spine and in an instant I was paralyzed. Around me I could make out shadows, and distinctive red sneakers and pants. They lifted me, carried me off into a large black room, one to my knowledge never existed, and injected something into my arm. I guess I’ve got my answer to the inmate’s long unanswered question. And like that, I was gone.

*Original Story By Me



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