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15 December 2007 @ 08:01 pm
 
Title: None (it probably did once, but I can't remember)
Story: Luke
Rating: PG
Genre: Angst, sci-fi/fantasy
Summary: Luke is a sixteen year old boy, who has been admitted into St. Bibiana's Mental Institution under the diagnosis of schizophrenia, often with violent reactions. However, is that really the case with him?

As a note, if I had continued this beyond one chapter, it would have ended happily-ever-after, despite how dark the story itself is.

 

A scream was heard throughout the white halls of Saint Bibiana’s Mental Institution. A group of orderlies—four, at least—were seen wresting a dark-haired teen into a straightjacket. Another was seen lying on the floor, cradling his leg, a pencil protruding, surrounded by dark blood staining the blue of his scrub suit.


The orderlies at managed at last to shove the struggling boy into the jacket, and to get his glasses away for all their safety.


The patient himself was only sixteen years old. From under his dark hair could be seen bright blue eyes, now wide with fear. He was calming down already, even while his legs were being strapped together. It was something he was used to. He was then picked up by two orderlies, who carried him to a white room and placed him on the mattress-like floor. A few moments later, the lock clicked, and he was left alone.


Luke momentarily considered struggling out of the straightjacket. That, however, required dislocating at least one arm, and he didn’t feel like forcing it back into place afterward. Besides, he deserved this. If he hadn’t panicked, Arthur wouldn’t have been hurt, and wouldn’t die. And really, he felt a strange sense of security in this room, his jacket taking away anybody’s expectations of him to move.


The teen relaxed, closing his eyes.


“Dear Saint, you have inherited a beautiful name—Christbearer….”


* ~*~*


Mama Muriel was given her name for her uncanny ability to calm and comfort patients. She was a large woman with dark skin and warm eyes. Everybody was grateful when she was around—it avoided much stabbing, biting, and scratching, which caused much drama among the staff.


The day that Luke stabbed Arthur, however, she was late. She phoned in from a café to inform them her car had broken down, and she would be calling a taxi, after she had managed to get a tow-truck. Therefore, the atmosphere around the interns and orderlies was very tense.


“He shouldn’t have grabbed the kid like that…”


“We should have warned Arthur about Luke not liking to be touched…”


“It’s not like we can send him away…the doctors would see it at as huge loss.”


“…But why?”


“Don’t you know? He was diagnosed with schizophrenia ten years ago!”


“….At six years old…?”


The event didn’t only put the employees on edge, but the other patients as well. They jumped at the smallest noises, and tensed when spoken to. After a while, it was decided that not much would be achieved that day, and the focus instead turned to preventing future episodes. So when Muriel finally made it to work, there was an eerie silence and emptiness that suggested the events that preceded her arrival.


Indeed, when she peered into the padded room, there was Luke, curled up and muttering to himself. She pulled a set of keys out of her pocket and let herself in, closing the door again.


“…it is for pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born into eternal life. Amen.”


Muriel smiled. “Praying to Saint Christopher again?”


“Francis of Assisi.”


“What’s he the saint of?”


“Against dying alone.” Luke opened his eyes. “Is it alright to have my legs untied? They’re going numb.”


Laughing, Muriel unstrapped his legs, and Luke pushed himself up into a sitting position against the wall. He then stretched out his legs and winced as he felt the blood rush back.


“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Muriel asked.


Luke sighed. Finally, he said, “Arthur—that new guy, y’know?—he grabbed me, and I panicked.”


“What did you do?”


“I stabbed him.”


Muriel winced. Just perfect. The one day she was late, and somebody just had to go get Luke upset.


“What were you doing at the time?” she asked, keeping her voice light.


“Drawing.”


“Do you want to tell me what happened when he grabbed you?” she continued. “Did you hear or see anything? Or were you just scared?”


“…”


“Luke?”


“…the cable broke.” The last part came out as a slight sob, and he pressed his head to his knees.


“Cable?” This surprised her. It meant absolutely nothing to her, but it obviously did to Luke. And she had no idea what kind of cable it was. But either way…


“Don’t worry about it,” she said, softly. “Nothing happened, other than a pencil embedded in him. He’s at the hospital now, and he’ll be back in a few days. All fixed up.”


~*~*~*~


I’m just about ready to quit. Thirty-thousand a year isn’t enough to put up with getting stabbed by sixteen year old boys, Arthur thought as he limped down the hall. He had a crutch and was bandaged and stitched, but it still hurt. He just wanted to get out of this hospital and home, where he could rest.


The elevator dinged, and opened. As he got in, he turned to look at the intern beside him.


“You work at a hospital too, huh?” the man said, smiling slightly. “I’ll tell you, they call you up at all hours, make you work long shifts, and don’t pay you well.”


“You’re lucky,” Arthur said. “I work at a mental hospital. On top of all that, I just got stabbed in the leg with a pencil.”


The other winced. There was a silence, and the other, less unfortunate hospital-worker got off on the next floor. The door shut and Arthur was alone in the elevator.


God, strike me down now. Just don’t make me go back to that loony bin…



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