9.12.2011

sanctuary {and that's all she wrote}

Sunday was the only day we got away from the asylum. Larissa and I snuck into the staff headquarters every Saturday night and washed our clothes so we'd look presentable. After all, it was an asylum. It's not like it was  the top of the Chrysler Building. Besides, we'd be going to a place of propriety. A place of peace. The Cathedral. 
The asylum's supervisor, Zachary Danforth, thought it well for us to have some religion in our lives. Actually, it was nothing more than peace of mind. He always said that he would run for senator or some form of office after he resigned from supervising. He would be a shoe-in because of his work in the 'psychological industry'. Caring for those who couldn't care for themselves. And even if he didn't get in, he'd be a good bell ringer for the Salvation Army! 
I dressed in charcoal black slacks and a white top, with an overcoat to match the entire get-up. The clothes that I owned weren't good enough, so I just snitched some from the dryer. They probably belonged to the receptionist, who was the only remotely-skinny woman in the chop-shop (that's what I called the asylum). Larissa, who was of a bigger build, wore one of the nurses casual outfits, and pulled it off rather nicely. 
The asylum owned three buses, which fit nearly all the people who resided in perfect insanity. I say "nearly all" because there were some who weren't fit for the Cathedral. Not yet, anyway. Scratch that. Not ever. They'd probably burn in the fires of hell. Not like they'd care, or even notice, anyway. 
We filed out of the buses and walked into the Cathedral through the back entrance. Zachary (he hated to be called by his first name, but I did it anyway, I loved to interrogate him) said that it'd be more obscure, but really, everyone noticed our entrance. We were exactly seventeen and a half minutes late every week, a week that we'd have to do penance. Zachary said that if we were feeling especially holy that day, that we could even do confession after service had ended. To my surprise, some did feel holy. So holy that they confessed things that even put the priest in penance. 
We sat down in our respective pews just as the choir began their rendition of "I Will Follow Him". They were so talented that they sounded like that choir from Sister Act. Before Sister Mary Clarence showed up. 
"Their rendition of the song sounds like Lady Gaga on a good day." Larissa said shamelessly. Several people turned to give her a menacing glare. But she didn't care. I laughed silently. Larissa had been the only friend I had in the asylum. I know, it's awkward, and kind of stupid to make friends with an insane person. But really, Larissa's like me. She's perfectly fine! They just put her in for reason they thought would make her insane. It didn't mean she was insane. Right? Right. 
The sermon today was "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You." I didn't hear one word of the message. Actually, I take that back. After the priest said "Verily, verily, I say unto you" I turned on my iPod and listened to Green Day. It's not like I would get caught. My hair is so long Rapunzel's reputation would instantly be in jeopardy. And I'm exaggerating. 
Shirley Madonna was excused to go to the restroom about twenty minutes ago. This had to be a record. And no, her name really isn't Madonna, she just has an uncanny resemblance to the singer. Shirley has to go to the restroom every service. She comes back around fifteen minutes later with a sad smirk on her face, and on the way back in the bus there's a certain stench of marijuana. She's back now. There's that sad smirk again. 
Service is finally over. Confessions have started. Usually, this takes an hour or so, since there are alot of holy people. Larissa and I took this opportunity to slip out, and we left through a side door, and gasped at what we saw. 
"It's gorgeous," Larissa said, gazing at a white dress. "It's like a wedding dress. It looks like it should fit you. Why don't you try it on?"
"Rissa, are you insane?" I said, astonished.
"Actually, yes. Yes I am."
"Only according to Zachary." 
"Oh yes, Zach-Attack says that I'm as daft as they all get. But he's going to nurse me to health, you know. He'll try anything. And with the look in his eyes, I'm sure he meant anything."
I laughed at her words before turning back to the gown. "It looks like something the Virgin Mary would wear."
"It is. Some guy designed this dress and said 'if Mary was an angel, this is what she'd wear.'" 
I just stood there, dazed. 
"Try it on, Hadley. You know you want to. No one comes through this passageway! The only people who do are the janitors, and they clean it every Saturday night before the Monday tours." 
"How do you know the janitors clean it every Saturday night?"
"I wasn't feeling extra holy today. If I was you would've heard me in confession." She smirked.
"Snuck out again?"
"Thought I'd have some fun. It's not like the asylum is an online dating system. You don't have many compatible matches. Actually, in this place, you don't even get one."
"That's a lovely analogy."
"See, Hadley? You're talking about analogies and here you are stuck in a place for the brain-dead."
"Yes, thank you for reminding me of my unjust lifestyle." I noted sarcastically.
"Let's come back tonight. When the priest is just locking up. You can try on the dress then." 
Confession had ended, and sure enough on the bus ride back to the asylum (which I will never call home) the smell of drugs filled the air. You might be surprised to find that no one did anything about it, but the Mental Hospital of North Carolina wasn't all it was cut out to be. We stopped by McDonald's on the way back. Cheap, greasy fast food. Of course, it was nice to have something other than nutritious cream of wheat and oatmeal and bran muffins. Not to mention the Haggis for 'cultural flavor'. Nice one, Zach-Attack.
I realized then that Larissa hadn't given me a chance to say "yes" or "no" to the question of sneaking into the Cathedral tonight. I had better things to do. I didn't care about trying on some stupid dress. Even though it'd probably keep me from having the dream again. Again. The infinite loop that cast its curse upon me. But that didn't make me insane. No. No, no. I'm perfectly fine, okay? I don't care what your stupid DA people say. Or the landlord. He's the one who got me into this, anyway. So what, I scream a little. It's not going to kill him. Idiots. They all are.
I faced my thoughts towards the dress. White. Of course, the color of purity. With pearl cuffs, and an under layer of muslin. Perhaps it was something like my mother's wedding dress. If I'd ever seen it.
Try it on, Hadley. You know you want to. 
Okay, so maybe I did. I imagined I was back in the Cathedral. I was the Virgin Mary. No, scratch that, I was me. The dress wasn't hung in it's glass case anymore. I was wearing it. Two arched doors stood before me. My hair was let down. I was wearing makeup. Yes, makeup perfectly applied, that brought out the icy blue in my greenish eyes. Maybe I was to become Mrs. Mathis. Yes, getting married to the rich, handsome creative director of one of the most popular computer franchises in the world. I'd have two children. Damien and Savannah. I wouldn't be just their nanny anymore, I'd be their mother. Six year old twins; Damien with a massive interest in cowboys, and Savannah with a teddybear named Rabbit. Maybe we wouldn't live in the mansion bordering Mansfield Lake. We could live in an apartment for all I care. No, scratch that. No apartments. Ever again. Maybe my mother would be at the wedding. Maybe my little brother (who would've been nineteen now) would be Mr. Mathis's best man. If my father came home...maybe my mother would have more children. Maybe those two cowards who deprived me of that would be caught and killed. 
The organ starts to play the wedding march. Take a deep breath, Hadley, this is the first day of the rest of your life. I open the doors. And step into a different world; a different life. Another chance that rested its gaze upon me. Thank God. 
I opened my eyes; found myself back in the bus again. We pulled back into the lot the asylum stood on, and filed out of the buses. Shirley was probably high by now, I thought. And Larissa confirmed it as though she'd heard me. I wouldn't go with her back to the Cathedral tonight. I felt as though I tried on the dress already. If I had left, I might get wacked with a ruler by Zachary, a feeling that so much as terrified the others who resided in the asylum. We'd go back to the Cathedral next Sunday, anyway. I could always look at the dress again while confession was taking place. But the next time Larissa wouldn't be with me. No, I'd go alone, basking in its glory. It was my fantasy. Sanctuary. 

This is a part of the writing challenge that is being held at Forgotten Paper Airplanes! I heard about it from Qui and decided to do it. It was actually supposed to be posted on Saturday...but...oops. Sorry. What you've heard is from my latest novel {if I decide to put this in it or not} The Ongoing Screams. It's written in Hadley's {my main character} point of view. Speaking of which, I might spoil you with the story's prologue:

My name is Hadley. Just Hadley. I don't have a last name, (at least from what I can remember) I've been meaning to make one up for myself but I just never got around to it. From what I know my family was completely sane, but I was told that I was hit on the head a lot as a child, but I don’t remember anything of the sort. One night, terror struck. The only thing I could see was the full moon, and I the only thing I heard was the sounds of my mother screaming. I was tossed and turned around a lot, and eventually was thrown into the corner, where I’m sure I was forgotten. When daybreak came, I emerged to see my mother dead. Shot through the stomach, with her violet blue eyes wide open in shock. She was pregnant; a baby boy, the doctor said. There hasn’t been a night since that I haven’t relived that, and one day, they came and took me. They were tall and bulky and rough, and I was forced into a place that seemed like that night, only multiplied times one hundred. Screaming, clawing, and words laced with anguish, repeating, and repeating itself. I don’t know what I’m doing here; really, I’m a perfectly stable human being. My name is Hadley. Just Hadley. I don't have a last name, (at least from what I can remember) I've been meaning to make one up for myself but I just never got around to it. I know I'm perfectly sane. But the screaming won't stop.

Have a good day, dearhearts :))
-kiss kiss kiss, hug hug hug-
{pee ess: I'm going to be very, very busy over the next...maybe ten weeks or so. Which means I may not have much time to blog. More details will come soon, but for now I will say that in the future I may need some guest posters to keep the pace while I'm gone. Any volunteers?}
{pee pee ess: 199 200 followers! You guys are so nice -blush-}


7 comments :

  1. I'd love to volunteer, my blog is,candiopolis.blogspot.com I'm just getting started and this would help me out a lot:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! I would love to guest post for you!
    bethysblog@live.com.au
    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats on 200 followers!

    You know i'd be willing to post whenever!

    ReplyDelete
  4. story sounds awesome! wanna read it once you're done. pretty please with cupcakes!!!! *winks*

    Love ya dear!

    Love,
    Manda

    ReplyDelete
  5. love this post!! :D

    ps. congrats on 200 followers! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ditto^
    But one more thing..
    I know Emily already gave this to you today, but so am I! The One Lovely Blog award is again yours:) Sorry for the repeat, but your blog is so amazing!!
    http://origamiflower.blogspot.com/2011/09/omgp-i-just-won-my-first-ever-blog.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your such a fabulous writer, darling. Your writings put all my secret stories to shame=/

    Love you, dear:)

    ReplyDelete

sometimes i do not understand why you guys like me so much, but the fact that you do (and that you keep coming around) makes me happier than you can even imagine.

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