Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Brown (11/26/09)
TITLE: Outside My Window
By Amy Richie
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“I don’t think we have much choice,” that was mom. She always thought she had no choice.
Dad sighed heavily. “Honey, we’ll be there in just a minute.” Was he talking to me?
The hospital was large and extremely institutional. I said nothing as they led me down the deserted hallway. “It’s lunch time now,” the man was explaining to my parents. They nodded as he went on and on about doctors and medications.
It took hardly no time at all before we were in a small room. It was a plain room, with only a bed and a small stand. “A nurse will bring you clothes each morning,” the man told me. He was careful to keep his distance. I looked away from him, to the far wall where there was a tiny window covered with bars.
“She thinks she has been possessed,” my mother whispered to the man, unable to wait for privacy, “by demons.” She covered her mouth with her hand, embarrassed by the admission.
“That was months ago Margaret,” my father came to my defense.
“Yeah,” she was angry now, “and now she just doesn’t say anything.” She raised her eyes to the ceiling and shook her head.
“We’ll help her, we are here to help,” the man touched mom’s arm comfortingly.
Unable to watch any more, I went to look out the window. There was a large tree right outside. It was completely bare of any greenery. It was just a dark brown reminder of death. “Alice.” I heard my name called and looked around expectantly. The room was empty. The door was still open though.
I chewed my bottom lip and started towards the door. Maybe dad was calling for me. Halfway across the room I felt the coldness. I shuddered and tried to take a breath. The door banged shut loudly. No! I turned back to the window but of course it was no use. I couldn’t escape.
All of a sudden my body slammed against the wall as if someone was shoving me. “No,” I screamed. I was pulled backwards and pushed violently to the floor. Every muscle in my body tightened painfully.
“Alice,” dad called. I heard him pounding on the door, but he couldn’t get in. My head pounded against the floor again and again. The last thing I saw before the darkness pulled me under was that brown tree outside my window.
When I opened my eyes again I was laying in the bed. I could hear voices talking above me. “suicidal,” I heard.
“No,” Dad said loudly. “Something else is going on here.”
“Has she ever been checked for epilepsy?” another voice asked.
“Epilepsy?” That was mom, clinging to a medical explanation she could tell Father Abbot. She didn’t want him to be right.
I decided to pretend I was sleeping, really what was the point in trying to tell them what had happened. Maybe I was crazy.
“Alice.” My eyes flew open.
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