A Brief Aside

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I’ve not written today yet. But yesterday it was brought to my attention that someone else has a website called, ta-dah!, The Fairy Tale Asylum.

Oi.

So, I’m pondering another name. Not sure if I’ll just flip this around to The Asylum of Fairy Tales or come up with something different. Keep the phrase Fairy Tale? I think it definitely needs to keep the word Asylum.

All right. I’ve got to go write something in the meantime.

Writing at the Last Minute

Day Two of Story-a-Day May! I’ve spent most of the day getting ready for tomorrow.

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This Saturday I’ll be at an art festival. I’ll have art, copies of the children’s books I illustrated, and copies of my novel. But today I’ve had to run several errands and get things ready. I didn’t start writing until ten p.m. So, that’s my excuse.

Anyway, today I’m picking up Nurse Meredith’s storyline. Last year she was with Hannah for a brief time, and they set free several Asylum inmates. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow since I’ll be at the festival all day. We’ll see!

Thanks as always for stopping by.

Meredith cursed when she realized she’d lost the girl although she wasn’t surprised. The building was in chaos.

Meredith hid in the bathroom off of the admittance office. The bathroom ostensibly was for visitors, but visitors never stayed long enough to need a bathroom, or they were discouraged from doing so. Security would take a while to think of it as a possible hiding place.

She found specks of blood on her hands and arms. She rinsed off in the sink. Staying in the bathroom for long made no sense. Security would eventually come to it. She shook her hands dry. Security wasn’t what it used to be. Meredith blamed cutbacks. All the same, only a fool trifled with Security.

For the first time in a while, Meredith thought of the boys that had come to the door earlier. Maybe that’s why Security had been slow to lock down the building. What had Security done to those boys? Those boys and Hannah’s appearance were no coincidence.

Meredith checked her reflection in the mirror over the sink. The girl could be anywhere. With patients and Security running every which way, the girl could even be dead. But those boys could be only in one of two places. Of those two places, just one held any hope the boys were in any condition to talk to.

Something hit the floor overhead. Meredith glanced at the ceiling. She should set fire to the place and be done with it. Burning down the Asylum and everyone in it remained the most likely way to assure her own survival. If, however, Hannah had set things in motion, if change loomed, Meredith wanted to see if running was the best choice. So much power rested hidden in secret rooms, it would be shame to lose it all. What did she have to make her way out into the world?

The world. The idea of it distracted her from the noises and shouts coming from the surrounding rooms. A long time had passed since she’d been out in the world. What would it be like to walk its sidewalks again? And Meredith remembered something she hadn’t thought of in years, something she used to do before she’d taken the job at the Asylum. What would it be like now, to sit at a café, a book in hand, watching the steam curl up from a cup of coffee? She’d like to do that again. In that moment, her hand on the door handle, all she wanted in the world was a spring day at a sidewalk café.

All she had to do was break the hold the Asylum had on her.

All she had to do was burn the Asylum to the ground.

Back to the Asylum

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Spring is here. Sort of. In some places. More importantly, Story-A-Day isn’t far away!

A year ago I got my cancer diagnosis, had several surgeries, lots of doctor visits, and six months of chemo. I’m officially showing No Evidence of Disease (NED!). So, I’m looking forward to a saner year.

I’m waiting for someone to read and give me feedback on novel number two. (Always a nerve-challenging time.) So, meanwhile, I’m going to back over the stories I wrote last year, and I’m going to see what I can do with and where the characters ought to go next.

I think the story may get more intense. I’ve spent a bit more time this last year contemplating mortality, and it is coming out in my work.

We’ll see what happens.

May 31st!!!!! The end of the month but not the story.

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Wow. Chemo and exhaustion and the start of a story written. Thank you everyone who has kept reading. I wasn’t sure what to do for the last day. This isn’t the ending of the story, of course. More story is left to tell. Chemo goes through til October. Also in October my novel is published by Plum Tree Books!

In the meantime, I’ll post a few things here. I’ve enjoyed this month, but I’m glad it’s over.

Thank you again and again for being here.

Hannah peered under the door to make the hall was clear. She saw nothing but the tight weave of red carpet.

“Careful,” the old woman said, “They know how to lie in wait.”

But Hannah had gotten this far. She felt sure of herself. “We’ll be fine. They can’t know I’m in here.”

She opened the door.

The guard had her by the throat before she realized he was there. She grabbed his wrist. She kicked. He pinned her to the wall. He said nothing, and she couldn’t speak.

His stare frightened her more than his grip, and she slapped him to get him to speak if not to break his stare. She tried to kick him again, but a heavy feeling weighed down her legs. Moving was becoming more difficult while he stared. Her throat hurt. She looked away.

A strange gagging sound escaped from him. The noise pushed her fear further, but she risked a sideways glance. His face contorted. Suddenly, he let her go.

Hannah fell forward, and he fell alongside her. She screamed and pushed and kicked. He offered no resistance. It took a few more kicks for her to realize he wasn’t moving at all.

“What…” Hannah gulped for a breath.

The old woman stood there next to the body of the guard. “What happened?” Hannah asked her. Her eyes refocused.

The old woman held her knife. Specks of blood dotted her hand. She looked down at Hannah and her voice was calm “You mustn’t let them touch you because you can never fight back.”

Hannah slowly looked back at the guard. A stain grew in the carpet underneath his body. “You killed him?” she asked.

“I saved you,” she replied. The old woman reached out a hand to help Hannah back to her feet. “You’re in deep now, child. I hope you can run.”

May 25th. Did not miss it!

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Well, I missed yesterday, but I wrote something today. Thank goodness.

Hannah let herself be led out of the basement and into the hall. She didn’t trust this nurse, but she had no place to run.

Your heart is bent on chaos, the nurse had said. Holding the nurse’s hand Hannah knew it was true. Like her grandmother. Her grandmother caused trouble. Hannah knew that much. She slipped the metal pick-pocketing tool into her hand. If the nurse wanted trouble, she’d give it to her.

Nurse Meredith knew the Asylum and she knew how Security thought and acted. She also knew they’d checked this corridor already. They wouldn’t be back for a while yet. “You want to unlock everything. Is that right?”

“And what if I do?” Hannah answered.

“Then start with that door over there. I assume you’ve a key or something. I’m going to start on this side of the hall. You start over there.”

“Seriously? You. But you work here. Why are you telling me to—”

“Get to work, you little fool. Before Security starts thinking. Just unlock the door and move on to the next.” Meredith pointed. “Face what you wanted.”

Hannah hesitated, but she took the lock-pick and knelt at the door.

May 23rd and the long weekend looms

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I’m afraid I’m writing myself into a corner. Oh well. There are worse things. Tomorrow I go in for blood work to find out how my white blood cell count is doing. It was too low a week ago. Also, this weekend, I’m taking my son to his regional speed skate competition. Somehow I will write something.

Nurse Meredith understood the Asylum better than any of security or management. She knew that the basement had grown so good at keeping secrets that it would hold any secret for anyone.

The basement cameras didn’t fool Meredith. She’d long ago understood how useless those cameras were.

That the intruder turned out to be a girl surprised her, but after a moment’s reflection, it made sense. Meredith noted the bag hanging from the girl’s shoulder. “How did you get that?”

The girl shrugged. “I found it.”

“You found it?” Meredith didn’t believe that. “What’s your name, you little fool?”

“Hannah.”

Meredith laughed. “You break in, you steal, but you don’t lie. You really are a fool. Well, come with me if you don’t want to disappear into this place forever.”

Hannah remined rooted to where she was. Her expression revealed her confusion and fear.

Meredith took Hannah’s hand. “You didn’t come here for peace and quiet, did you?”

Hannah shook her head. This was the chance she hadn’t known she wanted. “Come with me, Hannah the fool. Because I know your heart is bent on chaos.”