Friday, February 13, 2015

Chapter One reveal of Slumber

As promised every Friday will be a sneak peek into Slumber.
Today is the first chapter for you to read. The book will be released very soon! Enjoy and share. 

Chapter 1

I got here in the middle of the night. It was raining like crazy and the first person to meet me was Nurse Mary. She is a short and stout older lady who couldn’t control biting her lip—she still can’t. Rushing me inside, she pulled me into a bright white room. Rain dripped from my head and onto the floor making a small puddle at my feet. I stood there for a while shivering while she filled out the necessary paperwork. When she was done, Nurse Mary stripped off my clothes, but found it hard to do so with my shackles fastened.
“Please,” she begged. “Can’t we take off her chains so I can get her dressed?”
The man who shackled me nodded and got to work unlocking my hands then moving to my feet. It felt freeing to not hobble when she asked me to walk to the scale so she could weigh me in.
Once I was weighed, she led me to the showers, where she scrubbed my naked body with a stinging antiseptic soap. I cried not because the soap burned my skin but because the act was humiliating. No one likes to be naked in front of strangers. I would have rather stood all day in shackles than be scrubbed down like a dog.
After my shower, she towel-dried me and dressed me in a fresh pair of underwear and my white nightgown. Watching my old clothes being thrown into an incinerator, I got one last look at the blue dress I wore into the asylum. It didn’t strike me as odd until months later that I wore a fancy dress on the day of my arrival. Many questions went through my head on the first day, but what I was wearing was not one of them. Now I wonder what I was doing in that fancy dress.
After I was clothed, Nurse Mary led me to another room. This room was not as bright as the first, instead it was dark and dank.
I sat alone in the room, in a single chair waiting for someone to come inside. Fighting sleep, I sat in the dark, but it was coming and there was no stopping it. I fell asleep with my head against the wall. Finally, the door opened in a rush. I awoke and found myself drooling onto my knees. Dropping them down, I stood facing the woman who I would regard as the most terrifying woman I had ever met.
She exuded confidence, holding her head high as she stood in front of me. In her large hand she held a tiny cup as she smiled wickedly at me showing me that she was in charge. I got all of that in one evil smile and trembled at the sight of her as a light came out of nowhere and shone on her face. She had hair as black as coal and her eyes were just as dark. She looked exactly as a woman should if she worked in an asylum; she fit in here nicely.
“Rory, do you know why you’re here?” she asked coldly. I nodded as I stared at her dark plum lips. They were almost as dark as blood. I couldn't help but picture her eating hearts just before she came into the room.
“Rory, focus!” she snapped.
I nodded. I knew why I was here. My escort to the hospital informed me—although I don’t remember where or when he told me. He advised me to stop my sniffling that I deserved my punishment when he banged on the front door.
“Yes. I think … I think I killed someone,” I answered.
I still couldn't believe it was possible. How could I kill someone? I didn't remember my life before, so I wasn't sure of the circumstances. I didn't know the why’s, how’s, or who’s just yet. How did a girl who was popular and happy murder someone? I had hoped that I would find that out soon.
I hoped the fog in my head would clear and I would get answers. 
“Killed someone,” she laughed. “You murdered your own boyfriend! You stabbed him brutally twenty times. Afterwards you claimed insanity, and that’s why you are here. If you asked me my opinion, I would tell you that you had murderous tendencies all throughout your life. It’s just a shame no one caught it before that poor boy was killed.”
            “I didn’t ask you,” I whispered as the tears streamed down my face.
She leaned forward, placing her face so very close to mine. “What did you just say?”
I looked up and swallowed. She was intimidating, but how much worse could my life get? I was already in an asylum. What did I have to lose?
“You heard me. I didn’t ask you if I was crazy.”
The slap that came after struck me so hard it knocked me off of my chair. I lay on the ground with the woman standing over me. “Next time you mouth off, it will be worse than that,” she said. “Now get up and sit down.”
Standing on wobbly legs, I sat in the chair like a well-trained dog. I learned my lesson; back talking this woman was not to be tolerated. My sudden bravery was wiped out of existence with one slap.
“You’re sentenced to life in Spindle Ridge Asylum. You will be here for the remainder of your pitiful existence. So my suggestion to you is to do as you’re told. Got it?”
My head throbbed from the slap, but I managed a nod.
“Can I go to my room?” I asked, not looking her in the eyes.
“Of course you can. But first, your medication.”
She handed me the small plastic cup that contained three red pills and a small glass of water that sat on the table next to me. I took the cups and stared at them in wonder.
Would they help me get better? Or hinder my memories further?
“Look, we don’t have all damn day. Take the pills or we will force you to take them,” she warned.
I took the pills, chasing them with water. They went down slowly, dragging down my throat on the way.
“More water, please?” I begged.
“They’ll work their way down. Stick out your tongue,” she instructed. I did so, and she checked to make sure I swallowed the pills like a good little girl.
“All right, now let me formally introduce myself,” she began. “I’m the head doctor here at Spindle Ridge. My name is Dr. Malisa Fenwick, but you may call me Dr. M. I don’t expect that you and I should see too much of each other because if that were the case then it would mean you’re causing trouble. And trouble, Miss Rosenblum, would be most unfortunate. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.”
She looked at me and placed her slender and extremely long finger along my cheek.
“Yes, ma’am. I understand,” I mumbled.
 I could feel the effects of the medication taking a toll on me already. Either that or I was getting very drowsy from the pure torture of my day.
“I just don’t understand what I’m doing here, Dr. M. Why did I kill my boyfriend? Why don’t I remember that?” I asked her as confusion swirled around in my head.
I could hear myself slurring the words like a drunkard.
“Well, that will be visited in your sessions with your doctor; you can visit with him first thing in the morning. For now I ask that you follow Nurse Raven here to your room. Goodnight, Rory,” she said as a tall, slender girl entered the room and took me by the arm. She had jet black hair that was cut very short and her make-up was worn excessively thick. Her eyes were rimmed in black, and when she smiled at me, it made her look like an animal.
“Good night,” I returned.
“Sleep well, my pet.”
I stumbled through the room following Nurse Raven, but before I left completely, I looked back at Dr. M who had just referred to me as her pet. She waved to me with her long fingers and her red nails. And just before the door to the room closed, I saw her laughing. The sound it made was not happy laughter, but completely diabolical.

Copyright © Christy Sloat
Published by Anchor Group Publishing
March 16, 2015

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