Fiction Contemporary Thriller

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

I’m in a room. It’s a small room. If I was taller, and I stood in the center and spread my arms wide, I would almost be able to touch the walls. Oh, the stark white walls. Stark white, and plain. Nothing adorning them. Nothing to look at. The windows too high to reach or see out. The only furniture is a bed. And the bed is bolted to the floor stuck in place. Even the blankets are white  and so are the sheets and of course a white pillow. It’s like being stuck in a blizzard of boring. 

I’m so bored. 

The door is locked and I can’t go anywhere. My meals are brought here. My pills are brought to me here. 

No one talks to me. 

I don’t even have books to read. 

I’m not allowed to have anything. All I can do is sit or lay on my bed and watch as the room darkens with the movement of the sun that I’m not even allowed to look out at. 

This is torture to me. I don’t even know how long I’ve been here now. Based on the shagginess of my hair, it’s been a while. I used to have a clean undercut. But that has grown out by at least an inch. I can only imagine how scruffy and ragged I must look. 

I used to be wild. So wild. I did what I wanted and went where I wanted. But now, I’m confined. A caged bird stuck in a white cell with nothing to even sing about. 

The pills they bring me do little to take the edge off. My mind races all the time. 

I pace sometimes. I jump and try to see out the window. 

I yell. I sing songs I remember hearing on the radio. I talk to myself. I recite passages of books or movies I had seen before being trapped here. It passes the time sometimes, but usually, it just incites my rage because I’m starting to forget. I’m slowly losing the memories of outside. I’m becoming dulled by this lack of stimulation. 

And then, just like that, it’s night again. The lights are dim. The nurse I hate most comes in. “Clara, it’s time for your evening pills.” 

“Fuck off. I don’t want them.” 

“Sorry you feel that way,” She mumbles. 

She’s not sorry. I can tell. 

“Open up.” She hands me a paper cup with the pills. 

“I can’t take all of these at once.” 

She rolls her eyes. (I thought nurses were supposed to show compassion.) “Take them however you need to.” 

I take one pill at a time, and chug water from the paper cup with it. Before I’m halfway done with the pills, the water is gone. 

“I need more water,” I informed the nurse. 

She gives an exasperated sigh, and turns to leave. I stealthily follow behind her with my cup of pills. 

Before the door snapped closed behind her, I jammed a pill into the lock where no one could sense it. She wouldn’t know I didn’t take all of them. I don’t know which of the eight pills I’m required to take twice a day I was sacrificing, and I didn’t care. I checked the latch, and it held. 

I ran back to my bed and sat patiently waiting for the nurse to return. 

She came back in with a fresh cup of water. “Thank you Nurse Wretched.” 

“I think you mean Ratchett.”

“No. You are worse. You are Wretched. It was intentional.”

She rolled her eyes again, and I swear she probably saw her brain, and I downed the rest of the pills in one swallow. She hastily left. 

I sat and waited for lights out. 

Once all of the lights dimmed (they never go all the way out) I made my way back to the door and pulled the handle slowly and looked out into the hallway. It was quiet and there was no one present. Just a long hallway of sealed doors. 

I padded along the hallway slowly and carefully. 

The light overhead flickers and I freeze and stifle a laugh. I can see the nurses’ station at the end of the hallway, circular and surrounded by monitors and charts. One nurse is sitting there, scrolling on her phone absentmindedly. 

I crouch low and scurry behind the desk. She is so distracted on her phone she doesn’t notice me at all as I spot a set of keys left haphazardly on the counter. There’s a key card attached to the lanyard, one that is used to go through security doors. 

My luck is too good tonight. I make a mental note that if I make it to the street, I need to play the lottery. 

My hand snakes up to the counter and I noiselessly get the lanyard into my grasp. The entire time, my breath is held and my eyes are glued to the distracted nurse. She’s giggling at a video that is playing before her eyes. 

I pad my way quietly down another hallway. This hallway has the janitor’s closet, laundry, and the meeting room that has crime scene tape blocking it off. That was the meeting room where I killed my court appointed therapist a few days ago. I opened it with the key, the coppery smell of blood hung in the air, and it was still blood spattered. They had yet to clean it up. I’m sure it had been photographed already, more evidence against me. 

I giggle to myself looking at the paintings I created in her blood, swirls and flowers that were bright red when I painted them, now dark brown and dry. I close that door and head over to the laundry and let myself in. I should feel bad that I killed the pretty therapist. But I don’t. I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done. The plethora of therapists I’ve seen say I lack empathy. They call me a sociopath and a narcissist and there’s a long list of other diagnoses. I don’t know that I disagree with them, necessarily. But I also don’t care what they think. I guess that makes me textbook. But whatever. 

I stripped out of my white inmate pajamas and put on a pair of a dark blue scrubs that the cleaning crew use as a uniform. 

There’s no shoes, but how often will someone look at another person’s feet? 

I put the lanyard around my neck and head down the hallway. The nurse is still on her phone, and now a security guard is leaning over the counter peering down at her phone with her. They laugh at whatever is on the screen. He makes an excuse to reach over and touch her hair. He obviously likes her. He’s so absorbed in her, and she in her phone, I continue to go unnoticed as I slip into the stairwell. 

I open the door to the floor below mine and head to a random room. I use the key card and open the door and look inside. 

An inmate is laying on her bed, sleeping soundly in her white pajamas. She’s so drugged it’s almost as if she’s dead. I watch her sleep for a minute, but I’m bored. 

I close the door and wander the hall opening doors and looking for someone who is awake. I strike out with each room I peer into, but I do find the room where the pill machine is kept. I look at the ID card and see it is for a nurse. I laugh out loud as I swipe the card over the machine and suddenly all of the uppers and downers they use to ply us patients with is at my disposal. 

I unload handfuls of the uppers into my pockets after ingesting a few. I’m not trying to die, I just want to have fun. 

I look at the clock on the wall, I know they do bed checks sporadically throughout the night. I wonder how much time I have to get outside. But I don’t want to go alone. I hate being alone. I’m alone all the time in the room. 

For a moment, I almost regret killing Dr. Bennet. I would have liked to show up at her house if I make it out of here. But, she was leaving me. I was going to be alone. I didn’t like that. 

They still haven’t found another therapist for me. Everyone is afraid of me, I guess. I really don’t mean to hurt anyone. But in the moment, when I’m angry, well, I just can’t control it. Oh well. 

I keep going down the hallway opening doors until a nurse comes down the same hallway to do bed checks. There is nowhere for me to go. I smile at her. “Is this the floor that called for the clean up?” I ask thinking she will buy it that I’m a janitor who is hoping to be in the right place. 

“Um. No.” She looks at me confused. “Where’s your cart? … And your shoes?” The lightbulb goes on over her head. Her eyes get big. 

I just laugh and take off running. My sock feet make it hard to gain traction and I don’t have time to stop and remove them. I scramble past her, but she has shoes with rubber soles and traction. She’s also got a few inches on me and reaches me quickly, tackling me to the hard floor. 

I’m still laughing as my  head hits the floor. “Ouch!” I’m gasping for air as I’m pinned to the floor by the nurse. She manages to pin my arms under her knees as she sits on my chest. This could be fun if circumstances were different, but suddenly I realize the gravity of the situation. She’s pulled a radio out of her pocket and she’s contacting security. 

“C’monnnn.” I beg. “Please don’t do that.” I writhe under her trying to buy some leverage, but it’s to no avail, my sock feet keep sliding against the floor as I try to buck her off of me. 

She doesn’t even look at me, and she refuses to speak to me. My anger is mounting, but it goes nowhere. Two security guards have appeared and the bite of the needle is in my hip and my world goes black. 

The next thing I’m aware of, is being back in my white cell. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will I try again? Of course. 

April 23, 2024 16:16

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