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SNOW ON THE LAWN (mobile phones not allowed)
Chapter Two – the story continues By Angel
also see chapter 1

The four letters HATE were tattoed on his nicotine-stained fingers. His grubby finger-nails looked like they hadn’t seen soap and water for at least a year and a smell to match. A New Patient! Haven’t seen him before, I don’t think. Hope they put him in the bath soon!

Anyway, it’s Ward-Round again today, and I’m next in. Last one to be seen again. I’m always the last one. And the doctor has stopped me from having visitors again.

“I was born in 1970,” I told the doctor, “the same year as Rum Rations were abolished in the Royal Navy.”

I gave him a hard stare but he didn’t seem to understand, so I went back to my trance-like state. There was no point to anything anymore, no reason, no purpose. Nothing meant anything and I couldn’t remember if it ever had done, so I just sat there, the most loneliest person on earth, trapped in a world I couldn’t understand yet couldn’t escape from. The doctor didn’t seem to understand, he didn’t even seem to notice me, just sat scribbling, like his writing was the most important thing in the world.

And then he said “Okay, Sally, we’ll leave it at that,” and left the room.

And I sat and sat, immobile and motionless, unable to move even if I wanted to, and I could hear people in the corridor outside, and they might aswell have been on the top of Mount Everest, because I couldn’t reach them, and I didn’t even wonder how long I would be sat there. I just sat.

And I sit there, sobbing to my heart’s content, alone with nobody, no visitors and no money to use the pay-phone on the sickly yellow wall of the day-room locked up in this hell-hole they call a hospital; but anyway, they’ve left the door to the store-cupboard in this tiny interview room a little ajar, so I open it and to my surprise it’s full of boxes of paper-tissues. I’m just opening the third box and my crumpled tears are overflowing in the waste-paper basket when the door opens and Nurse Kathy sticks her head round and announces
“Sally, you’ve got a visitor.”
I shout after her “but I thought I wasn’t allowed visitors” but she doesn’t seem to hear and a man comes into the room.

At first I can’t see that he’s the hospital-chaplain through all my wasted-tears, he sits down opposite me and takes my hand in his.
“Bless you, my child,” he says quietly. “What’s the matter? What’s wrong?”
“I’m not allowed visitors,” I say and sigh wearily. “Who are you?”
“Oh, I’m not a proper visitor really,” he sighs, “I’m just the hospital-chaplain; but tell me, my child, why, why aren’t you allowed visitors?”

The uncontrollable sobbing starts up again but when there’s a break in the tears I manage to splurt out “they stopped my visitors because I broke some cups, and now they’ve stopped them again and I haven’t even done anything wrong” and the tears well up again.
“Oh, my poor-child, you poor thing, but if that’s the worse thing you’ve done in your life is break a few cups then I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Listen I’ve got to go now but I’ll come back and see you tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll leave you this prayer-card” and with that he disappears out of the room but leaves the room-door open after him.

After a while I venture out onto the corridor, the prayer-card tucked safely away in the pocket of my black handbag, along with an old dog-eared photograph of my grandma, my only other possession.

Lady-Jane comes bouncing along the corridor and grabs my hand singing ‘Twist and Shout’ by Chubby Checker at the top of her voice. I can’t help but smile.

Chapter three.

We link arms and wander off along the corridor towards the day-room singing “Twist and Shout” at the top of our voices. The staff aren’t too delighted, one of them comes charging out of the office slamming the office door behind her.

If I were anyone else, they’d give me a double-dose of Largactil and send me to bed, but they can’t, their hands are tied by Dr. Freud who’s written NO MEDICATION in red ink all over my notes, and my medication chart. None of the junior Doctors dare disobey this consultant, despite his obvious grandiose delusion and a report from my previous psychiatrist stating that “I suffer from schizophrenia,” and that “I’ve got a lovely personality when I’m well, but am quite poorly at the moment.”

But anyway, they soon get Lady-Jane a double dose of Largactil and I’m left in the day room, staring out the window, looking at the lawn, now green that spring is on it’s way, and no sign left of my loved-one Puk and his footprint pronouncement.

I sigh and feel like kicking something, anything, but soon realise the futility of my emotions. I need something, anything, to hold onto. I reach into my handbag.

The prayer-card is still there. I dig it out, sitting, quietly memorising the words and the memories of my loved-one. I only knew him for a few months. And that bell-that ward-bell, its ringing again. But it’s not even visiting time yet. The chaplain again!? But no, this is a different chaplain – but he’s got a dog-collar and prayer-book as well. It’s Puk! I don’t believe it! it’ my Puk! Dressed as a vicar! Would you credit it! wait till I tell our Donna! Well tickle me pink it is. It’s my very own Puk! Oh my mascara! It’s in streaks down my face…oh I didn’t even put any lipstick on this morning, either!