Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Window

Through my fingers I could see the clouds passing my window. The electric gridwork between the panes of glass ensured my safety. Or maybe theirs.


  1. The teacher tried to tell me that the wires in the glass are for strength, but I know better. Mother told me about the plans of evil men.

    "Watch the clouds," she said. "When the evening nimbis scuds across a slate gray sky, the time is ripe to make your break. The electricity in the atmosphere will draw the current from the window and you can smash through. You will find me. I trust you."

    I snapped a polaroid of the van that took her, but I can only see the letters H-A-L-L-A-S-Y-L. If only the teachers here could tell me, if only they could read. But their eyes work differently than mine.

  2. Through my fingers I could see the clouds passing my window. The electric gridwork between the panes of glass ensured my safety. Or maybe theirs.

    “Can I just say…”

    “Not talking to you. Not. Talking. To. You.” I spread my fingers out across the cold glass.

    “Okay, you don’t have to talk to me. But when we get out of here I’ll make it up to you. Promise.”

    “Hmpf. Heard that one before.” The clouds were sprinting now. Storm.

    “Oh goody, you’ve changed your mind!”

    “I’m not talking to you. I’m now talking at you.” I could never give him the silent treatment.

    “Well, it’s a start.”

    “Shut the hell up.” I left my view and turned toward the inside of the dismal room. “Sherlock Holmes. Really? Did you ever consider that your stunt would land you in this loony bin? And, of course, me with you since I’m always coming to your defense. Crazy by association.”

    “Hey, I’m just as smart as Holmes, and a lot more talented. Did you see the look on those cops’ faces when I figured out what was going on?”

    “You told them I killed Mr. Crusick and dumped his body in the incinerator!!!”

    “I solved the crime, Harold!”

    That was beside the point. “You know, I was so hoping that after the lobotomy we would at least get separate rooms.”

  3. I sense you behind me, evaluating me. A judgment. You, in your sterile reality; your law. I know you, or your kind.

    I spend my share of inordinate exhaustion in this cell. A caged animal with an appetite most unsavory. You know it. As you study me, you find your comfort in my incarceration. It may serve to be your undoing.

    Facing the wall, the roughness of the brick epidermis seemed to hardened itself against my will, to no avail. I could feel the mortar weakening, appearing to crumble at my beckoning,
    just as I could feel your knees buckle at the mere thought of my ravenous hunger. Turning slowly, I catch sight of the iron encased window. The sunlight is blinding. It burns through to the vacancy where my soul would reside, if I had one.

    Through my fingers I could see the clouds passing my window. The electric grid work between the panes of glass ensured my safety. Or maybe yours. False security on both accounts.

    Electricity would temper my resolve. I need only offer some sense of...reason, a sense of purpose. You will provide me with the details of your tragic youth; your hauntings and fears. I salivate at the thought.

    That's right, step closer. Closer. These iron bars will shield you. They will keep you from bodily harm. It is your mind I want...for now. It will be painless, really; as a lamb led to slaughter, assuring your silence. I love the sound of that. You despise my reference. I suspect it is time for our introduction.

    "Hello, Clarise!"

  4. Through my fingers I could see the clouds passing my window. The electric gridwork between the panes of glass ensured my safety. Or maybe theirs.

    I closed my eyes and counted to ten. Focusing on steadying the excessive pounding of my heart. Dr. Wagner had warned against wandering, cautioning that 'weakened system' couldn't handle prolonged reflection.

    "It's not your fault, Grace." He'd said.

    Just outside the smooth, cold glass beyond the now barren bluff, lies the body of my sister. Her grave marked only by small gathering of stones --one for her, and two for my mother and father, whose bodies were never found.

    If I'd known this was going to happen, I'd have never opened the door for the kind, handsome stranger with the sad eyes.

  5. Ooh, such good stories!

    B., I'm dense today. I want to be cool and say I get it but I don't! Really, what is HALLASYL? It's staring me right in the face, isn't it?

    Walt, you creeped me out! (in a good way. LOL) I'm going to have dreams tonight. aack!

    Emily, brava! Scary, sad...I want the rest of the story!

  6. Sorry Deb. It's "-hall Asyl-"

    Such good stories. I was worried no one was going to post!

  7. Through my fingers I could see the clouds passing my window. The electric gridwork between the panes of glass ensured my safety. Or maybe theirs.

    "It's a cold night," the man in the next cell comments.

    "The sun hasn't quite set," I tell him.

    "The moon will rise, the clouds will clear, and it will be a cold night. I can feel it," he corrects, rolling his eyes. He can be so smug, but I like that about him.

    We have a glass wall between us, without the gridwork, and I'm not sure what that means, but there is a small metal window through which we can talk.

    "This will be your first time, but you'll grow accustomed to the moon and its phases," he says. He's been saying strange things like this all day.

    A commotion outside our cubed enclosures drew my attention. The men in coats had come and gone all day. Now they were back. The last week they'd done nothing more than bring food each day, and now they brought clipboards and new faces.

    "Tiberius," the speaker said and I could see a tall, thin man speaking into a box near the front metal door. "Now that you have a female of your kind, we'll have more questions."

    A female of his kind? They'd grabbed me from my cell and shot me full of some sort of drug that stung in my veins for the first two days. I knew they were expecting something to happen and that's why I was on display, but I was tempted to go hide in the bathroom of my cube for the night. At least there, the scientists and the man beside me called Tiberius couldn't sit and stare at me.

    "Holy Shite," Tiberius says, scowling. "They think they've got the Discovery Channel, and they'll get to see some Wild Kingdom mating."

    "Between us?" I ask, nervously. "There is a wall between us. You must be some kind of stud if they think that'll happen."

    He grins and says, "That's not a problem."

    "No?" I ask.

    "Why do you think the walls are electric besides the one between us?" he asks, leaning against the outside wall that was mostly stone aside from the window.

    "I have no idea what to think. Nothing has made sense since I arrived," I say, sliding down to sit on the floor. I'd spent much of the first week alternating between screaming and swearing. Still, the food wasn't bad, and Tiberius was good company. Besides, I was supposed to be serving another nickel for armed robbery. This place was better than that place... somewhat.

    "You find her acceptable?" the scientist asks Tiberius.

    Eww. I look up at him. I'm not sure there is a right answer to this question.

    "She'll do," Tiberius says, grinning.

    Well, that wasn't a bad answer. He wasn't so bad himself. Still, he'd have a fight on his hands if he tried anything in front of the white coats--even if he could get through the glass wall. The white coats nod and wander off toward a small kitchen where our meals are prepared. A coffee dispenser has been percolating there for the last forty minutes.

    Tiberius leans down and whispers, "In three minutes, the moon will crest the mountains. Your skin will begin to sting. Stand to the opposite wall and wait until I can get us out of here. The pain will lessen when we're in direct moonlight."

    "We're getting out of here?" I raise an eyebrow. I like his smugness because he usually is right--this time....

    "Of course."


    "First, I'll break this glass wall between us with my claws."

    "Claws?" I repeat.

    He nods and his mouth twitches like he is amused. "If the window wasn't so high, I'd break through there. Instead, I'll break through our kennel's front and possibly kill a few of the white coats, and we'll be gone."

    Kennel? Weird choice of words. This was all weird, though.

    "Right," I say, equally amused. "You've been able to break through that electric fence all this time, and you just didn't feel like it?"

    "Well, I do have to wait for a full moon... and they mentioned they'd be getting me a female right after I arrived."

    My skin began stinging.

  8. Wendy, Wendy, Wendy!!!! This is AWESOME. Finish it...pleeeeese! Make it a complete story!!!

  9. Deb, I told you I could make a romance out of this prompt. I was waiting for you to come say, "Holy Shite. She did it."

    Okay, you can't see me, but I'm blushing. I did sort of like the characters in this story too, but I thought maybe it was just me.

  10. By the way, Deb, I didn't immediately get B's thing either. I had to stare at it for a while. It reminded me a little of following someone's car who has vague vanity plates. You just want to pull up beside them and say, "Dude, what does that even mean? Why did you pay money to have me staring at your rear end?"

    LOL. I'm so immature. I sort of want to get a vanity plate that makes no sense and then slap on a bumper sticker above it saying, "Stop staring at my rear end."

    I'm juvenile.

  11. The only thing I'm seeing here is Dr. Impossible from "Soon I Will Be Invincible," and that book did it way better than I could...