Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Doll...Part 2

Shelby has been committed to a mental institution for the murders of her best friends and the attempted murder of another man. She has no recollection of her actions and has just returned to her room from the first meeting with a new psychiatrist, Dr. Reuter

God. Why couldn’t I remember what happened, what I’d supposedly done? I stared at the hundreds of sketches surgical taped to my walls. My victim? I couldn’t imagine hurting a fly much less three people and a dog. I’d always lived a non-combative, strict hands-off kind of life. I looked at the police report again. I’d studied it every day for the last eleven months, yet not a single memory broke free.
It only listed two victims whose names had been blackened by the Sharpie groupie. I’d been found, soaked in blood, holding a knife, hiding in a closet—and this was my favorite part—screaming about a doll. The police hadn’t located a single doll in the apartment, which struck me as odd considering I made most of the dolls I sold at home and the crime scene photos showed a bunch on tiny little footprints leading away from one of the bodies and out the door as though the killer (supposedly me) had traipsed one of my creations through the blood.
I flopped on my back and held the paper at arm’s length in front of me. I had about three minutes until the light would automatically shut off. I shoved the report under my pillow and threw my arm over my eyes. What the hell happened that night?

When I awoke the next day I had a bruise covering most of my forearm and a throbbing behind my eyes that reminded of a hangover.  Usually, Britantha woke me at dawn’s early light for breakfast of slop covered eggs and the one cup of coffee I was allowed a day.
Instead of leading me to the dining room, they ushered me down the hall, one on each side as though I might try to bolt and break my way through the heavy unit door. I rolled my eyes and stepped into the office. “Wow. Two days in a row. I feel special.”
He looked up from his paperwork and came around the desk to dismiss my surly escorts back to duty.  He shut the door behind them and clicked on the in-use light. “I brought you something.”
With a grin, he handed me a bag with a golden arch logo on the front. I could have hugged him. I would have hugged him except for that whole hands-off thing that if violated could land a girl in the quiet room, hopped up on Thorazine, and drooling into her pillow for days on end.
I took one minute to wonder how he'd known of my Big Mac addiction, but dismissed the thought quickly. The smell teased me and my mouth watered as I popped a French fry. I closed my eyes and chewed, savoring the taste and the texture. Heaven couldn’t be so lovely. I glanced up at him. “So what do I have to do for you now?”
“Just tell me about the nightmare.”
He had a pen poised over a packet of papers.
“I didn’t have a nightmare.” I’d never, in my thirty years, had one.
He frowned. “The night shift nurse called me after we spoke the other day. She said she had to give you a shot to calm you down. You’ve been asleep for two days now. That’s how you hurt your arm.” He circled my wrist with his hand and held it up so we could both have a gander at the ugly purple blob of blood under my skin.
I yanked away and shoved a bite of two all-beef patties in my mouth then chewed thoughtfully.  “I don’t remember a nightmare.”
“You told her it was a doll. The doll did it. She wrote it in her notes.” I shrugged and kept shoveling the burger and fries into my face. “You don’t remember?”
He ignored my mouthful of food and read from his bible--my file. “She said you had some sort of superhuman strength and it took two security guards to hold you down so she could give you a shot.”
“She has to be talking about someone else.” Did non-combative mean nothing to these people? Swatting flies went against my better nature.  “And a doll did it?” What kind of crack-pot bullshit was that? I took a swig of the large soda he’d set in front of me. “What doll?”
“You tell me.”
“I don’t know. I’ve been here for how long and I just don’t know.”
He leaned closer, his eyes flashing what I assumed was anger since it matched the scowl and the tone he adopted. “But you do know. You. Know.” After a moment of staring at me as though he could extract the answer with nothing more than a look, he sat back, drumming the fingers of one hand against the other.  “The truth, Shelby, is you are the only one who knows what happened that night.”
“What about the guy who lived through it?”
“He won’t speak about it.”
“Then why should I?”
“Because you killed two people and you tried to kill another.”
I sat back as though he’d slapped me and the food in my stomach sloshed in an angry bid to make a reappearance. “I didn’t kill anyone. I couldn’t. It’s not something I’m capable of.” I shook my head. “I don’t know what happened that night, but I know it wasn’t me.”
“The police found a tiny little footprint at the scene.”

I held up my size eight-and-a-halfs. “Nothing about these bad boys is the sum of tiny.”