WHAT. THE. FUCK. Why am I strapped to a motherfucking bed, in a mother fucking white padded room. Where the hell am I? It’s cold here. I don’t like this. What is this place? Why am I here? Why the hell did I pass out so fast? Yes, I know I had a lot to drink, but that’s what I fucking do. I drink, I party, I have sex. I party with a rock band on a regular basis, and for fuck’s sake, I’m a satyr. What the hell happened?
I hear a series of clicks, maybe a jingle of keys, and the lock sliding back. The door opens. A man in a white jacket enters. I watch him warily.
“Where am I?”
“The Clinic.” He responds.
“What is the Clinic?”
“It’s the Clinic.”
Well, that’s fucking helpful, you goddamn moron.
“Why am I here?”
“I don’t know. I just came to make sure you take your medicine and that you aren’t in need of sedation. The doctor will explain it all to you.”
“When he can. Remain calm, or I will have to sedate you.”
“I’m not yelling, I’m not trying to attack you, I’m just trying to get answers. I think, judging by the situation I find myself in, I’m staying pretty calm, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Yes. But you do need to remain calm or I will have to sedate you. If you stay calm, and take your medicine, I will undo your straps, and let you stand up. But you can’t attack me. Do we have a deal?”
“Sure.” Fine lot of choice I have here, Captain Sparky. Just be thankful I don’t have teeth built to tear your cold blooded throat out…
I stay calm as he approaches me, and take the shot of whatever medication he has in that nasty little syringe. I have seen movies, read books. I know my best defense against this place is to cooperate to an extent. They need to feel that I offer no threat. I feel woozy. The room isn’t solid. There are no sharp lines on anything. It’s like walking through a cloud with all of this white. He’s talking to me. I only understand a few words. “Food… doctor see you… calm…”
Time passes. It could be minutes, hours, days, I don’t know. But the edges of things start to sharpen as the white cloud slowly starts to recede. Something sounds like a small explosion outside my door. The door shakes, as if something large hits it. I hear what sounds similar to a cry to battle from a deep, enraged voice. Then an orderly yells, “SOMEONE GET HIM DOWN!” The battle continues for a minute or so, maybe longer. The noise stops.
Another noise at the door. I almost miss it this time because the cloud still has me in its grip. A woman enters the room.
“How are you feeling?”
“Where am I?”
“You are at the Clinic.”
“Why am I here?”
“The doctor will explain that to you. You can call me Gail. I’m here to take you to get something to eat. The doctor will see you after you have eaten something.”
“I’ll help you up and take you to where you can get some food.”
She slowly approaches me, and offers her hand. I take it. She leads me down a hallway. I am still to fuzzy to understand which direction I’m taking, or how far we go. She brings me to a door; it appears to be a common room. There are others here, doing odd things. One is finger painting, another is crocheting. One man is trying to piece together a puzzle, but eats one of the pieces every so often, then grumbles later that he doesn’t know where that piece went. I’m in a damn nuthouse.
She asks me about what kind of juice I want and if a sandwich is ok. I say yes, and tell her orange. She offers apple instead. Fine. Apple. Whatever.
I wait. She brings the plate of food. No straw for the juice. I might stab someone with it, I guess. She leaves me alone, after telling me I can ask for her if I need her. Bitch.
The food helps with the fuzzy. Things become much clearer. I look around, and start noticing that everyone here is fae, like me. I see flickers of what each person is, but barely. The woman crocheting, she’s a boggan. The puzzle piece eater, his hair shimmers red, then back. Redcap maybe? That explains the eating. There is a pair of mouse ears. Pooka. The painter, I think she might be sluagh. They are fae, but fading so hard. They have lost hope.
The door opens, and they lead in a large man. He’s swaying on his feet. His eyes are glazed, and you can almost taste the rage pouring off him. They set him on a couch. He just remains there, staring.
After they leave, I make my rounds. I stop and talk to the boggan. I ask her why she is here. She tells me in a disjointed fashion that the doctor informed her that she had delusions of being something that wasn’t human, and that she’s not allowed to remember what she was before she came to the Clinic. I speak with the one I think is a pooka, she’s reading a book. Upside down. I ask if she’s enjoying the story. She gives me a detailed synopsis of something. Pretty sure it isn’t the book in her hand. I move on to the sluagh finger painting. The painting is dark, and frightening. It’s almost as if there is a person exploding on the canvas. I walk away without speaking to her.
I finally approach the large man they recently brought in. He is the clearest of all of them. He’s a redcap and obviously dangerous due to the amount of sedatives they pumped into him. I walk up slowly, making sure to stay in his line of vision. I sit in a chair near him, but not too far as to be easily overheard.
“You still know what you are, don’t you?” I ask him. I see the intelligence in his eyes when he looks at me, mixed with the rage pouring off of him. “Try your best to stay as calm as possible. The calmer you stay, the less they will sedate you. I promise you, we will get out of here. I don’t know how yet, but we will get out.”
I see the glimmer of understanding before he turns away from me. I stand back up, and walk towards the table I started at as the door opens to admit Gail.
“The doctor will see you now.”
She leads me down another series of halls. This time, I can track a little better as to where I’m going. She takes me into a section that is lined with offices instead of rooms for patients. She knocks on a door, and I am led in after a man’s voice says, “Enter.”
I stand there, until he asks me to sit. He continues to look at his papers. I don’t want to be in this room at all. I don’t want to feel as if all the hope is being drained from me. He looks up, and makes eye contact. My blood feels as if it freezes in my veins. It’s coming from him. I don’t want to be near him…
“Hello. My name is Dr. Wilkinson. I will be your doctor.”
“Where am I?”
“You are in a facility called the Clinic. We treat mentally disturbed patients.”
“Why am I here?”
“A doctor admitted you saying that you suffered delusions. He said you claimed to be half goat.”
“Well, that’s news to me. I have never claimed to be half goat. I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven’t seen a doctor who would even have an opportunity to diagnose me with delusions. Who is the doctor who signed the paperwork?”
“His name is Garry Thompson.” Garry… the man at the bar. He’s a dead man.
The conversation continues from there, with him telling me he knows I’m lying, and that every single patient he has in the building has told him that they were changelings, and that if I’m honest with him, it will go better. I know not to be honest about that. I know that’s why he keeps these people here. Their honesty has led to madness and their fading. He also tells me that I will have a week long assessment to see if I’m crazy or not, and that my phone privileges will be established after that week.
“I will say that you are almost too calm if you truly think you don’t belong here. Most people who feel innocently accused of anything are a lot more aggressive about it.” His voice is so cold that I get chills when he speaks.
“Fine, I’ll be honest. I’m furious. I am absolutely pissed off beyond belief that someone would falsely accuse me of being delusional and commit me. I am a band manager. I was partying on a night off with my band, and we were at a bar when this man came up and started buying me drinks. He asked about the club we have been booked at, and when I told him it was Wildwood, he asked about some incident with people with blue skin and a goat-woman. I laughed, and told him that unless if someone was dressed up as an Avatar from that movie, I was pretty sure people didn’t have blue skin. I went to get into my cab, and passed out. I woke up here. I’m positive I was kidnapped and drugged. So in all honesty? I’m livid, and I want out. But I also know that throwing a temper tantrum is going to get me nowhere but a nice poke in the arm and strapped down to a bed again. So yes, I’m staying as calm as I possibly can.”
He takes this in stride, and asks if I have any more questions. I tell him no. Gail returns, and asks if I want to go back to the common room, or if I want to go to my room. I say my room… I can’t handle being around anyone else right now.
I wake up to another orderly. This time, he offers me a pill to take. Apparently I cooperated enough that I don’t have to get a shot this time. I swallow it, and open my mouth to show that I didn’t hide it in my cheek. He takes me to another room where a female orderly takes over. She shows me where I can undress, and step into a room with shower heads on the wall. I shower, and then she escorts me to a smaller room where I use the toilet. It’s embarrassing to be watched.
I am escorted to the common room where they give me a plate of scrambled eggs on a slice of toast, and a bowl of fruit. I eat, and as I did yesterday, observe the others in the room with me. The redcap I spoke with is sitting on the same couch. I go and sit in the same chair, but don’t speak for quite a while. I let him adjust to my presence. I don’t want to piss off my best chance of getting out of here.
The pill they gave me isn’t as potent as the shot, but I can still feel my senses start to cloud. I know better what to expect, so I don’t check out nearly as hard this time. I sit there quietly until lunch is served. It’s another sandwich. This time, I can tell what I’m eating. It’s bologna. I hate bologna.
After lunch, Gail returns and informs me that Wilkinson wants to see me again. I can’t even bring myself to give him the title Doctor. He isn’t worthy of that title, no matter how many degrees he has.
“Good after noon.”
“How are you feeling today?”
“I’m still angry that I’m here, yet still trying to cooperate so you know that I don’t belong here. How are you?”
“I am doing well, thank you, although I’m not the one who matters here.”
“So about these delusions. Have you always felt that you were half a goat? Or is this recent?”
“I’m not half a goat. I’m a human.”
“Ok. We’ll talk about something else since you don’t want to be honest. How is your relationship with your father?”
“It’s wonderful, actually. My mother and father never married, which worked well for both of them, but I spent every summer with him in England. He is a devoted father. He taught me a lot about the music industry.”
“And your mother?”
“She’s a lovely woman. She gave me discipline when I needed it, and love even when I didn’t want it. She is the best person in my life.”
“Why did they never marry? And do you think that you make up these delusions to compensate for the fact that you grew up in a broken home?”
“My home wasn’t broken. They never married because I was the result of a one night stand while my mother was filling in for another band manager to the opening act for my father’s band. They didn’t have any feelings for each other than a strong friendship, and knew that a marriage between them would only lead to harming all parties involved, especially me. My parents both love me, neither are ashamed to be seen with me, I love them both to pieces. And as I’ve said, I don’t suffer from delusions.”
He continues to ask me questions for another half hour. I stick to my story of not having delusions. I don’t like being in the same room with him, but I refuse to give into his trap. He wants to have a reason to study changelings. I will not be one he studies.
After the interrogation, I am led back into the common room. I go to the chair next to the redcap. He hasn’t moved. He watches while I shake from the stress of dealing with that asshole doctor. I withdraw into myself.
A few hours later, when I finally stop shaking, I look the redcap in the eye, and say, “I can tell you are fighting them. So am I. Don’t stop fighting them. Please. Stay calm though, so you can regain a bit of yourself from the sedation. Don’t give in. We’ll get out of here. I’ll think of something. I promise you.”
Again, the orderly wakes me up. Same process. I swallow the pill, go shower and am led back into the common room. I am furious. I have continued to get angrier and angrier since I woke up in this Godforsaken hell hole. I switch back and forth between fanaticizing about how I’m going to murder Wilkinson and Gary in their sleep, and how I’m going to get the redcap and myself out of here. I will not leave without him, especially since the only plan I can come up with right now involves me releasing him from his restraints some way and kicking a hole in the wall so he can chew our way out. Plus, even though he doesn’t talk, I’m viewing him as my only friend, since he’s held onto himself in here better than any of the others.
I hear them call him John when they bring him in that morning. I don’t know his name, but I know it isn’t John. He doesn’t ever respond to that when they call it. I know it’s a form of rebellion. Don’t answer to anything that isn’t your name. They don’t know it, so they can’t take that from him. I understand him better every time I see him resist some more. He’s still heavily sedated, but it seems they haven’t had to use as much lately. I think he’s listening to me. I am not sure, though, because he never speaks. But his eyes aren’t nearly as glassy as the first day.
Anger still pours off of him. I don’t blame him one bit. I’m sure it pours off of me as well.
It’s getting colder in here. I don’t think it’s the temperature of the rooms, but something else. It feels like there is no hope. No one is coming to find me. Well, that’s fine. I will get myself out, and that’s all I need to continue hoping.
Wilkinson questions me again after lunch, same as yesterday. We go around in circles. He accuses me of being delusional, of lying, and then threatening that I’ll never get better if I’m not honest. I tell him I’m being honest, and that he’s the delusional one, because goat people don’t exist. I don’t know what a changeling is, except what my nanny from England used to say about them when she told me stories.
“You best be good, lest the fairies come and sweep you away and leave a child of theirs in your place!”
I can hear her voice when I tell him that. He’s growing frustrated with me. I don’t care. I hate him more and more and being in that small office with him for even a few minutes leaves me feeling battered. I will not give in. I am Sable Cornick, daughter of Tommy Aldridge and Valerie Cornick, CEO of A&V records, manager of whatever band suits me at the moment, and Satyr. I will not let myself go. I love who and what I am. I will not let this monster take it from me.
I am returned, once again, to the common room. I sit and shake for hours near my redcap friend. I wish I knew his name. He has started to watch me out of the corner of his eye. After I come back from where ever my mind decided to go to shield itself, I notice him watching.
“I want to kill them all… Once we are out of here, I will kill them all. They will not take what I am from me. Fight with me. Don’t let them win.”
Pill, shower, breakfast. Contemplate murder. It’s been four days. It feels like four years. I will fight as long as I have to. I will not give in.
I feel myself slipping, though. I only have a few things keeping me grounded, making it easier to fight.
The first is my redcap. He is fighting. They are sedating him less and less. His redcap appearance is fading more, but the knowledge remains in his eyes. I think I am getting through to him, even if I only say a few words a day to him.
The second is my love for my parents. They do not know what I am, but everything they taught me, the love they gave me growing up, and the determination they instilled in me keeps me from just rolling over and letting the good doctors win.
The final is my hatred for the doctors. Wilkinson, for being such a cold hearted bastard. I swear, he KNOWS we are real. He KNOWS that he’s not treating actual psychologically impaired patients. It’s almost as if he wants to break us, to turn us into nothing but drooling bodies that can never function again. He picks us out specifically. It disgusts me beyond belief.
But Garry… my dear Doctor Garry Thompson. He by far has the most of my hatred. He is a kidnapper, a liar. He violated me with a drug to make it easier for him to get me into this hell. He will suffer. If I live to do nothing else because this place breaks me, I will live long enough to bury him in the ground. I will not be denied vengeance against him.
I am informed after lunch that Dr. Wilkinson will not be seeing me today. This definitely brightens my mood. I try not to let it show, though. I can tell they are always watching me. It’s why I keep my comments to my redcap so short and quiet. They want me broken, so I’ll let them think I’m broken. But not seeing Wilkinson definitely gives me almost a hopeful feeling. He won’t be able to try and pound away my inner self by twisting everything I say to him. I don’t have fight as hard today. A respite from the toxins this place spews is surely welcome.
The redcap sees something in my demeanor change. He becomes more observant of me. I must have not hid my relief as well as I thought. Damn. Oh well. It shouldn’t hurt him too much to see me have a little bit of hope return. Again, we sit quietly. I finally ask him if he would want me to read to him if I can find a book that hasn’t had too many pages eaten out of it. He barely raises an eyebrow, so I take it as a no.
“Well, I was just trying to find something to occupy us since the Doctor doesn’t want to talk to me today. I still haven’t figured out a way to get us out that doesn’t involve the orderlies catching me while I try to undo your pretty little jacket there. Maybe an opportunity will present itself. But to be fair, the best I have right now is you eating a hole through the wall and us taking off out of it. I’m still working on it, though.”
I see one corner of his mouth slightly turn up. I guess he finds me funny. Dinner is served, and I am led to the bathroom, then to my room. I lie down, and go to sleep.