‘A PREMONITION & A PROMISE’
By Kaitlynn Flint 6/15/21
“Do you know why you’re here, Miss Creech?”
The young woman sat crossed-legged on the cold fold-up chair, glaring at the chubby man who sat across the table. She cocked her head sideways, her bangs falling over her eyes.
“Yes.” May Creech licked her lips. “You think I’m crazy.”
The psychologist pressed his lips together and sighed. “We don’t like to use that word here, Miss Creech.”
“But I’m still right. You think I’ve lost my mind,” she whispered. “And, maybe I have. But I know that if I did, I lost it in this evil place-- after I was locked up.”
“You think you were locked up? How so?”
She widened her eyes a little. “How so?” she muttered through clenched teeth. “How so?”
“Why don’t we change the subject,” He took a deep breath, looking down at the clipboard in his lap. “Last night, you said you had a bad dream?”
May sat up straight, leaning forward. “It wasn’t a dream. It was real. It was a vision. I was sent a vision.”
“From who? God?” The psychologist held back a laugh.
Her voice grew louder. “I don’t know who. God, the universe, a higher power? How am I supposed to know? I just receive these messages. I don’t know who sends them to me.”
The small room seemed to grow darker. The white brick walls seemed to cave in an inch with every breath she took.
“Of course,” said the man. “Well, what was your vision about this time, huh?”
She uncrossed her legs and planted her bare feet on the cool vinyl floors, lifting her chin. “I had a premonition… about this place. In two days, all of this--” she looked around the office. “--will be just a pile of ashes.”
The psychologist nodded, scribbling down notes on the clipboard. “I see. Two days? Why two days?”
She ran her fingers through her knotty hair. “I don’t know.”
“You’re sure it was two days?”
“Yes, I am positive.”
“Do you know what actually happens in two days?” he questioned.
May Creech paused, trying to remember. “Yes, I think so. Is it already June?”
“Yes, then I am sure I know. My brother… he’s coming to get me. He’s taking me home. Home. Yes, he’s taking me home!” A smile formed on her lips, and for a split second, she looked happy.
“Well, that is if you can behave yourself.”
Her happiness vanished, but a small smile stayed on her pale face. “Yes, of course. Only if I behave myself.” Then her smile brightened. “Oh, my brother is going to take me home!”
The psychologist checked his watch.
“I will be free!” She rocked back and forth slightly, excitement filling her. “I’m going to go home. I’m going to see my old father and my sweet mother. Oh, how I missed them!”
“About that…” the psychologist sighed. “Your brother sent you a letter five months ago, saying that your parents… they-- well. They died. Terrible car accident, you see.”
Her face turned a ghostly white, much whiter than her pale skin. She shut her eyes tightly as a memory of the crashed car burned in her mind. She rocked faster, wrapping her arms around herself in a hug.
She stuttered, “Crashed car. Crashed. Crashed car. Car.”
“Yes, I am afraid so.”
Her eyes flicked open, and she slammed her hands on the table. “I told you there would be a car accident! I tried to get you to understand! You didn’t listen to me! You didn’t listen to me!”
“That was months ago, May. Before the accident even happened.”
She growled, “Premonitions are visions from the future, you fool! I could have saved them!”
“Now, calm down, now. You have to behave if you want to go home, remember?” He looked at the exit and back at her. If she went ballistic, he might have enough time to get to the door. But he’s seen her when she gets upset. She’s fast, strong.
He began to regret not letting a guard wait inside with them.
Before he began to really panic, she stopped.
She sat frozen, dropping her hands in her lap.
Silence crept into the small space, making the psychologist feel uneasy. He had never seen her change moods so quickly. It was unsettling.
“Why didn’t you tell me my brother sent me a letter?” she whispered, her head hanging down.
“You weren’t doing too well five months ago. I didn’t want you to get upset.”
Five months ago, they started her on shot therapy and meds. It was the result of a failed escape.
A tear rolled down her slender cheek. “How many letters did he send?”
The psychologist shifted his weight in the chair. “A few.”
“Okay,” she looked up at him, her eyes red and puffy. “Okay.”
He raised his eyebrows. “What’s wrong, Miss Creech?”
“Did you tell me about my parents’ death-- just to get a reaction?” She wiped her eyes with her knuckles.
“No, of course not.” He shook his head. “Why do you think that?”
“I don’t know. I guess I find it very suspicious you’d wait to share this information with me until I had only two days to go home. Kind of makes me think you want me to stay longer.”
Bewildered, he opened his mouth to respond, but nothing came out.
“What’s wrong, Doctor Core? Surprised I understand your little game?”
“This isn’t a game, Miss Creech. I want you to feel better and go home.”
“But do you? Because I think you believe in my visions, and you don’t want me to use them for the greater good once I get out of this institution.”
His eyes dropped to the clipboard. “Why would you think that?”
“So, I’m right again.”
“You do believe in my visions.”
The air was now suffocating the psychologist. His patient’s presence was too intense. He had to get out.
He stood up with his clipboard, eyeing the door.
“I think we’re done for today.”
May stood, her hands swinging awkwardly by her sides. “Whatever you say, Doctor Core.”
He nodded and walked to the door. He opened it and looked back at the young woman. “Please, let me walk you to your room.”
She dropped her eyes to the floor and walked out of the office with the psychologist. A guard was waiting outside of the room, and when he saw them, he stood up straighter.
“Hello, sir,” grinned the guard. “How was today’s session?”
The doctor frowned. “Disappointing…”
May Creech sucked in a breath, gawking at the psychologist.
“That’s a shame.”
“Yes, indeed it was. Please take her to her room and make sure she gets her medicine. I do believe she isn’t feeling well.”
The guard nodded and stepped towards May, grabbing her upper arm with slight force. “Consider it done, sir.”
“Wait, no! I’m feeling fine!” May tried pulling her arm out of the guard’s grip.
The psychologist turned around and began heading down the halls. Another doctor walking in his direction stopped and asked how Creech was doing.
“She’s very paranoid, and she’s seeing things again.”
The guard pulled on May’s arm, signaling it was time to go. She kept her focus on the psychologist talking to the woman ahead of them. She listened with disbelief.
“Oh… poor girl.” The doctor said, shaking her head. “Do you think she needs stronger meds?”
“Yes, that’s probably best. I’m going to call her brother and tell him that she needs some more time here.”
May tried pulling out of the guard’s grip again. “No!” she yelled. “No! You can’t do that! I want to leave!”
The psychologist looked over his shoulder at the patient. “Yes, she needs more time here.” He said this to the woman but made sure May could hear.
She screamed and fought against the guard. “No! Please! I’m not crazy! I want to go home! I want to go home!”
The guard dragged her down the halls towards her cell.
The two doctors watched as the guard pulled her down the hall.
“Poor girl…” frowned the doctor woman. “Poor, poor girl.”
“Indeed.” agreed the psychologist, as he stared at his patient. She yelled and cursed, her eyes locked on the man. He winked once and then turned away.
“Want to grab coffee with me before your next patient wakes up?” the woman offered as they turned their backs to May.
“That sounds great.”
His patient continued to yell and scream, begging to go home. Crying for her brother. But they didn’t hear her. All they heard was a disoriented patient having another breakdown.
“May?” an unknown voice echoed in the halls, bouncing off of the brick walls. “May? You okay? May?”
The guard threw her in her room and locked the door. She landed on her hands and knees, gasping for air. Hot tears streamed down her face, making her vision blurry.
“May?” the voice spoke again.
She stood to her feet and looked around the room.
The voice was near; she could sense it. It was soft and soothing, and it struck her that it belonged to her brother. But where was he?
She walked in a small circle, her eyes searching the white room.
“May, you okay?”
Out of nowhere, a hand grabbed her shoulder. She jumped, looking down at the hand. When she looked back up to see who had grabbed her, she was no longer in the haunting cell. She was no longer barefoot and dressed in a nightgown.
She was outside, far from the institution. She was sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch of her family home, and her brother was sitting next to her, looking into her eyes.
“You okay?” he asked, worried.
May Creech panted. “I… I don’t know.”
“You zoned out a little. Looked like you saw a ghost.”
She cleared her throat, her head rushing and stomach turning. “I didn’t see a ghost.” She looked at her brother and pressed her lips together. “I saw a premonition.”
He sat back in his rocking chair, his eyebrows pressing together in confusion. “What?”
“Promise me, Mike,” she began, her hands trembling. “Promise me you won’t let Mom and Dad send me away.”
“Um…” he looked truly bewildered.
“Just promise me.”
After a few moments of pure silence, he nodded his head. “Okay? I promise.”
She smiled at her brother. “Thank you.”