Odette rose from the concrete floor slowly, limbs heavy and numb, her eyes fighting to stay open. ‘Are they aware I’ve risen?’ she thought. She dared not talk for fear of being tackled to the ground. In this sedated state, Odette was able to think more clearly, but the toll on her body was…
Dinah spent most of her days drifting off, imagining. She’d had an episode, and had awoken to find herself standing naked on her bed and screaming. She had climbed down, feeling foolish, and reclothed herself hastily. Perhaps she’d had more episodes; perhaps this whole event was just one long episode. She couldn’t tell; time was running and blurring like watercolor paints.
When she heard the banging on her walls, she was sitting on her cot and humming to herself. Dinah immediately straightened up and looked for the source of the noise. Deciding that it was the left wall, she scurried over and called,
“I’m scared, too. This place is horrid; I’m afraid that I can’t help you. My name is Dinah.” She paused, afraid to be rude; but this was an asylum, and she imagined that regular etiquette didn’t apply. “Are you a proper mad person?”
Odette looked up quickly, and strained to try and see around the bars of her cell. She could not. “I’ve been ill for awhile now…it’s better to be considered mad than be called a monster.” Odette rested her head against the bars and sighed. “I’m Odette,” she laughed pitifully, ” I apologize for any rude behavior, they seem to have sedated me. I guess I deserved it, you know, I did, um, say some things.”
“Perfectly understandable,” said Dinah. “I myself was screaming quite loudly earlier; I apologize for the noise.” She was embarressed that she’d asked such a stupid question; of course Odette was a proper mad person. Everyone here was excecpt for Dinah.
“I don’t belong here, you know, Odette,” she said, her voice getting softer. “I’m perfectly sane.” Even while she said it she was beginning to doubt it. It was the cell, the unreal, creepy cell that made her think it; maybe she was mad after all.
“Nobody does Dinah. Not even us properly mad ones.” Odette said mournfully.”But Dinah, the sooner you admit madness, the quicker this will all end. We all try to deny it, but in the end… in the end it will be so much easier.” She reached her hand as far out of the bars and waved. “Living proof… sadly, I didn’t admit it fast enough.”
“But who am I to give advice? I’ve been disowned, widowed, admitted to an insane asylum, and I only turned 17 last week.” Odette laughed at herself slightly, “So it might not be the best idea to listen to me.”
Dinah jumped when she saw the waving hand, but then laughed, something she hadn’t done in a while, then stuck her hand out of the bars and waved back.
“I suppose they just got sick of me at home,” sighed Dinah. “But I don’t intend to sit around and stew in self-pity. We’ve…we’ve got to make the best of this.” Her voice didn’t sound sure, but she was trying her best for sincerity.
“I don’t want to go mad, easier or not,” Dinah continued. “This place is horrid and frightening, but it doesn’t have to be the end.” She hesitated. “Does it?”