It's a Madhouse

September 15, 2011
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The Happy Farm Psyche Ward was like Jackal and Hyde. In the sun, the massive institution sat in the sun like a fat toad sitting on its favorite rock. The blinds, half closed, giving it a unperturbed atmosphere. But during the night the building stretched out into the darkness, deepened by looming willows and the fog that always seems to creep up with the moon. The windows shine with yellow light that tint the ground below them with a pale glow that leeches all natural color from the world.

The doors of the van open and two large orderlies grab my restrained shoulders and heft me out of the padded area. I had the great misfortune of being committed to this nightmare during its nocturnal phase.

When I’m free of the floor, they drop me like I was nothing more than a sack of soiled pants. As I get up on my knees, I catch my first glimpse of my new home.

“RUN! NOW! RUN PAULIE BOY,” Ben screeches as loud as he can. The orderlies, seeing me flinch, hastily grab my shoulders and shove me to the ground. Their combined weight feels renders me motionless.

Finally Ben stops yelling in my head. When the orderlies sense that I’ve calmed down, stand up and grab the straps that hold my arms folded across my chest. The straightjacket is stained brown and green from the ground. This seems to anger Ben.

“Look what they did to our brand new jacket! Get ‘em Paul! Smack them in the face! In. The. Face!”

With Ben still ranting and raving in my head, the massive oak doors of the building swing open. Standing in the doorframe, bathed in the fluorescent light of the interior, was the warden. Stepping over the threshold of the house he studied me. Walking up to me, he placed a hand on my shoulder. His hand was bone thin and held on to my shoulder with the same grip a vulture would use to hold on to a piece of carrion.

“Welcome to the Happy Farm, Paul. We’ll get you felling better in no time.” His eyes shone with a gleam that kept me and Ben speechless. Motioning to the orderlies, he started back to entrance

“I don’t like this guy” Ben said to me. I silently agree.

As we near the door I can see other wards wandering around in white garments mopping, or sweeping even though the floor is spotless. The bright white lights burn in contrast from the pale yellow glow that came from the upper floors. Bringing me to a flight of stairs the orderlies grab my shoulders and escort me to the top. When reach the top, the orderlies turn me to my left and start dragging me to the wing to the left.

We walk down a long, dark corridor to my cell. One of the orderlies reaches for a ring of keys he has dangling from his belt. As his hand nears the clasp, Ben screeches as loud as he can.

‘RUN! NOW!” This strikes me as the right thing to do. I snap back my head as hard as I could. The orderly fell to the floor, gasping his shattered nose. Before the other could grab me, bolt in the direction we came from.


When I reach the flight of stairs, I sprint down them. At the last dozen stairs I miss one and tumble to the floor below the staircase. I can hear the orderly storming after me. I stagger to my feet and start running again down a hall.

Just as i was about to make it into a door, the orderly jumped on my back. Other orderlies grabbed my legs as the first on plunged a sedative in me. As the drugs took hold of my body, Ben grew quiet. I started to slip in to a sleep. The orderlies tried to give me some other drug to keep me from dying. It didn’t work. I slipped away with out the voice inside my mind.





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