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Original Writing: Beth's Journal

This is a short prequel for my ebook Drowning Rapunzel to whet your appettie ;)

Beth's Journal (A Prequel to Drowning Rapunzel)
By Annette Gisby

Day 1

I can't believe Andrew would do this to me. How could he let them put me in here? How could he agree to this?

I'm not crazy, I'm not. But Andrew just nods and accepts everything the psychiatrist says at face value. I'm under stress; I'm suffering hallucinations brought on by grief.

Why won't anyone listen to me? They are not hallucinations, they are visions and they are real. I'm not seeing giant monsters or aliens. I see people; real people who are about to die, but no-one will believe me.

Harmony Hills, it sounds nice, doesn't it? Such a nice place so that the relatives won't have to feel guilty about sending us here.

Because Andrew's a doctor, they've allowed me a private room, they don't call them cells, but that's what they are. The room is plain, white paint peeling from the walls like confetti at some long forgotten wedding. A metal framed bed is the only furniture in the room, covered with a threadbare brown blanket. No concession has been made to comfort, as if they don't care whether or not we are. We are just inmates, with the same white smocks, white slippers and white dressing gowns. What is it with all this white?

There is a small window, but so high up that I can't see out of it. At least some light filters in, casting shadows on the floor, shadows of the bars that are there to prevent my escape. And if I did somehow manage to escape, where could I go, when it was my own brother who put me in here?

I'll never forgive Andrew for this. Never!


Beth's Journal
Day 7 or 8?

I don't know how long I've been here. There are no clocks, no calendars, no regular visiting hours. My psychiatrist is Dr. Willis, the same Dr. Willis who told Andrew that I am delusional. He insists I call him by his first name, Conrad. I don't and continue to call him Dr. Willis.

It annoys him and it affords me some measure of control. They can lock me up, they can drug me, but they can't make me say things I don't want to say.

Our first session is in his office. It's a man's office, all dark wood and leather bound books. There are no paintings on the walls, nothing that would make it even a little bit more homely. An office where men sit behind their oak desks and decide what is best for women, what is best for me. The same office where Andrew sat agreeing with everything that Dr. Willis said. Agreeing that what was best for me was that I be locked up. How can that be best for me?

"So, Beth. How are you settling in?"

I don't answer. I refuse to answer and he scribbles something on the notepad in front of him. It's balanced on his knees and I almost will it to fall on the floor. Fall on the floor and go blank.

"Beth, how can I help you if you won't talk to me?"

Still I refuse to answer. I just growl at him, baring my teeth and the horrified look on his face is all I need. He knows.

He knows now what I am. What he has only suspected when he talked to Andrew. What he would never tell Andrew. What he would never tell any relative.

He knows I am a maniac.


Beth's Journal
Day 20?

It's Andrew's first visit since I've been here. We are both sitting in the visitor's lounge, which is done up to look like a cosy living room, with a roaring fire in the fireplace (even though it's June and the middle of a heat wave) and the gaudiest purple wallpaper I've ever seen. But most living rooms don't have metal bars on the windows, nor nurses hovering around like guards.

Andrew sits on one of the sofas dotted around the room, so I take an armchair, as far away from him as possible without actually leaving the room. We haven't spoken to each other yet and I see him glance around the room, almost as if he's wondering if he's done the right thing by putting me in here.

"So, Beth, how are you?" he asks at last, not looking at me, looking at anything but me.

"Do you care?"

"Of course I care! Why else would I put you here? I'm worried about you, Beth."

"Really? And here was me thinking you were just worried that all your friends might find out you had a crazy sister!"

"That's got nothing to do with it," he persists.

"No? Then what have you told them? Did you tell them that you locked me up? I suppose you're going to tell me that being here is for my own good?"

"I can't talk you when you're like this," he stands up, ready to leave, unwilling to face the truth of anything. That's what Andrew does when things get tough, he runs away. I don't have the luxury of that option.

"Go, then," I stand up too, wrapping my arms around myself, trying to give myself comfort, when all I want is for my brother to take me in his arms and tell me it was all a mistake and he's taking me home.

"Goodbye, Beth. I'll visit again soon." He makes no move to approach me, no hugs, no kiss on the cheek. I glare at him, feeling my whole world shrink to this place, these locked rooms.

"Don't bother. Not unless you come to bring me home."

He shakes his head and walks slowly out the door, turning when he gets there to give me a wave. I deliberately turn away from him and face the fireplace, willing myself not to cry in front of him.

A nurse takes me arm and leads me back to my room. Once she's gone, I lie down on the bed and bawl my eyes out, like a child who's lost their favourite toy. The pillow is soaked with my tears, but still I can't stop.

I don't think I'll ever be able to stop.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 17th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Ohhhhh... very nice!!! You're teasing us, Annette, I just want to keep reading, and reading...!!!

Awesome prequel, it really piqued my interest. Thanks for sharing.
Apr. 18th, 2009 07:04 am (UTC)
Thank you :)
Apr. 19th, 2009 09:35 am (UTC)
Humm.... I might have to buy that book (or e-book, congrats!!!) sometime, after all. ;D
Apr. 20th, 2009 08:04 am (UTC)
Thanks, the ebook is out next Monday :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )