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Institutionalized

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I began to open my eyes, only to see a piercing white hue all around me. All of my memories were flooding back to me, but the details seemed a bit fuzzy. As I attempted to get up, I realized I couldn’t move my arms. I was being constricted by a skin-tight straightjacket. My first instinct was to somehow find a way slip my arms out of the close-fitting sleeves. In some way I already knew my efforts would be useless, because if someone was to take the time to even attempt to tie me down, they should know what they’re doing.

That’s when it hit me, a constant soreness in my left eye. Whenever I blinked, the pain seemed to increase. It resembled the discomfort of a bruise, and a dry contact lens. The fact that I couldn’t move my arms to caress my eye wasn’t helping matters either. I looked around to see if there was any sign of life, but there was still nothing but white, illuminated by a single light bulb above me. I closed my one bad eye to try to put things into focus. The details soon began to come into view. The four corners of the room became visible, along with rounded creases in the walls. Every square inch of the room was padded. I knew I would end up in a situation like this someday, I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

As I squirmed around the plush floor, I noticed a crease in the wall began to shift. A door was opening, letting in an aroma of strong cologne. Two men entered, both of them wearing a suit and tie.
“Oh my god, finally!” I shouted “I was hoping to find a way out of here, but…”
One of the men began to hold me down as the other loosened the straps of my straightjacket. When the jacket was finally off me, I felt more liberated than ever.
“Do you feel better?’ asked the man on the left.
“You have no idea man.” I responded. “By the way, would mind telling me how I got here in the first place?”
“In due time, but for now, we shall proceed to the recreation room to watch The Muppet Movie. Would you like that?” I was absolutely dumfounded. I stared at both of them for about three seconds to see if this was a joke before I answered.

“Are you kidding!?” I asked furiously. “I just woke up in a straightjacket, and I don’t even know where I am! Where the hell am I!?” The two men stared at each other, and nodded simultaneously.
“You may come in now Donnigan.” said the man on the right. That was when another man came into the room wearing a Daffy Duck mask, and wielding a frying pan. He lifted the pan and that’s all I can remember of being in that room.

When I woke up, I was in a much darker room this time. I’m starting to have a bad habit of waking up in unfamiliar places. One thing that I was glad about was that I didn’t have a straightjacket on this time. I was able to get to my feet much easier, only to discover that I was in the middle of a very large gymnasium. There were two basketball hoops on each side of it, with lines on the floor outlining the court. I was in the center gym in front of a long fold out table. On the table there was a single lamp, dimly illuminating the gym.
“Hello?” I asked aloud. There was no response, but a seemingly long echo. As I turned my head to find signs of life, I still saw nothing but darkness, dimly outlined by the light of the lamp.
“Hello there.” said a voice behind me. I quickly turned my head, and I saw one of the two men from before. “Did you enjoy your nap?”
“Look man, I’m definitely not in the mood for jokes. I have no idea where I am, or how I got here! You better start explaining or else.”
“Fine, I will. But first, let me ask you two questions. Do you remember what you were doing before you woke up in the plush room?”
“Of course I do. I was in 7-11, picking up a Snickers bar. Now what’s the other question?”
“Well, what were you planning to do with that Snickers bar?”

Dear lord… I knew where he was going with this. He knows my darkest secret. Once a week for the past few months, I’ve gone into various stores to steal candy bars. No man has ever had a heart as black as mine. My conscience has been silenced to the point where I don’t even use it anymore. This psychopathic nature of mine has turned me into a shell of the man I once was.
“I was going to pay for it of course.”
“Listen, we both know what you were going to do with that Snickers bar. So many different candies over the course of the past few months have had the same fate”
“…How do you know this!? Have you been spying on me!?”
“You can say that, but we did it with good reason. You’re a sick man. We can’t have you out on the street with decent people. That’s why we’re planning to keep you here with us. We hope you enjoy your stay!”



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