Twenty Years in a Sane Asylum

Twenty Years in a Sane Asylum

A Story by Rosie Brooklin
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The letter of a psychopathic woman, explaining her life in an insane asylum.

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To whom it may concern,

        When a girl is given eternity to do nothing but stare at cold white walls and think, she can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the thoughts that are trapped inside her head, begging to be set free. Emeline has been crying more and more often, begging that I share our tragic story. She would do so herself, but she was never given the priveledge of learning how to write. Consequently, I must bear this burden alone. I implore you to read this very carefully; examine every word and take it to heart. Our story is not one to be taken lightly, and my hope is that action will be taken once everything is understood. 
        I had done nothing wrong. I was not crazy. I was nine years old, and the year was 1855. I was a normal child, and my only fault was being born to a poor family. While mother worked in an assembly line at the textile factory, Father claimed to be searching for work. He lost his job due to injury from a hunting accident, so this was a believable lie, but a believable lie is all that it was. I knew what the reality was, but no one believed me. Every day, an hour after Mother left for work, Father would send me to my room to play with my new marbles that he had bought for me. He thought he could hide me from her, but I could hear her laughter from their bedroom. When I confronted Father, and told him that I would tell Mother if he didn’t stop, he said I was hearing things. He exclaimed that I was hearing voices and would be committed to the New Jersey State Insane Asylum as soon as he could sign the papers.
        I thought he wouldn’t be able to keep me in there. Surely, the doctors would see that I am in fact sane, and would return me to my home; maybe even a better home. So when he turned in the blanche papers with “lunacy” written in blood red ink, I thought nothing of it. I was and still am obviously not insane. I did nothing wrong, so they wouldn’t be able to keep me. It’s immoral and inhumane to keep a sane person in an insane asylum, so surely they would see that there was a mistake. I was horribly wrong. They clamped down on my shoulders with their pale, clammy, talon-like hands and drug me into a cold, white hell! They left me there for what seemed like eternity, alone. I couldn’t help but wonder about the psychopathic murderers that might reside behind the walls of my cell.         Sitting in silence for so long must have caused my hearing to advance, because I began to hear what was happening outside of my cell. The scratching and screaming from the maniac in the next room against those frigid white walls was enough to drive anyone to hysteria. Although I know this to be false, it sounded like she was in my cell with me. Her voice echoed, reminiscent of a ruthless killer in her mid-twenties. I could tell by her screams that she had spilt blood, and that she would no doubt spill more if the opportunity presented itself. While I was pondering this, the door to my cell opened, and I saw a sight that I hadn’t seen since God knows when: a human being. Not just the occasional hand and arm that slipped a poor excuse of nourishment into my cell; a whole, little person. She was an emaciated, quiet girl with a halo of curly blonde hair. As her escort, the nurse, pried the child’s hand off of her white cloak, she turned to address me in her stone cold voice,

        “Elenor, this is your new cell mate.”

I didn’t respond; I couldn’t even look at the nurse. I simply stared at the little girl. She stared back with big blue eyes, and held the skirt of her pink, lace dress. I’d never before seen such a perfect picture of innocence. We stood like that for what seemed like the longest time, just looking at each other. By now I was twenty-seven, and looking at her made it feel as if I had traveled back in time. She reminded me of myself when I was a child, before that wretched asylum stole my childhood. Suddenly the door closed, and we were both startled out of our dream-like state. I decided to try to figure out what her disorder was, if she even had one at all.

          “What’s your name?” I asked as softly and calmly as I possibly could.
          “Emeline. I like pink.”
          “Well, why---”
          “I like to rhyme all the time. Momma got annoyed with me, so she sent me here.”
          “So you did nothing wrong?”
          “I didn’t do nuth’n. Look at my purdy pink button!”
  
She pulled a small pink button out of her dress pocket. She smiled with pride over her treasure, and I smiled too.              We grew to be great friends over the next few years. After Emeline arrived, I noticed that the scratching and the screaming in the next room had ceased to exist. I suppose the maniac died, or lost her will to disturb the others inside this hell. Although, it didn’t seem like much of a hell anymore. Emeline and I talked about our prior lives, and our future once we were discharged. She could never imagine what her future would hold, but I could. I would go back to my family and prove that I am not insane, and I would take Emeline with me, so she could prove the same thing to her “folks” as she called them. Fate, however, had a different escape planned for poor Emeline.
        Emeline got sick. She got very sick, and there was nothing I could do for her other than offer her some of my food to eat with her own. I watched her slowly deteriorate, and I started to hear the screaming and scratching from the other room again. Another maniac must have moved in. Emeline never heard the wretched sounds, so I deduced that her hearing must have gotten much weaker when the illness set in. She got to the point where she could barely move, and she couldn’t speak at all. I fed her day after day, and meticulously braided her perfect blonde hair. She always loved it when I played with her hair. I held on to the hope that the nurse would one day bring medicine with the food, and that I’d get to hear Emeline’s voice again. To my horror, the wicked, wretched witch never tried to help her, so Emeline died in my arms. I had nowhere to put her, so I laid her cold, pale body in the corner. Too grief-stricken to cry, I wallowed in sorrow and anger.
        I heard a knock at the door and knew it was time for my daily bowl of slop, but suddenly I heard her. I heard Emeline! She told me to get the nurse inside, and to ask her why she would let a little girl suffer. The door opened, and as I saw the nurse’s sleeve, I was filled with rage. I grabbed her cold, white hand and dragged her into the cell. Seeing the color of her uniform made me remember all that I’d gone through. The images of the white legal papers, the white, talon-like hands of the people who locked me in there, and the white walls of my hell hole flashed through my mind. Talking to the nurse wouldn’t be enough. I needed to escape and take Emeline with me. I grabbed the nurse and threw her down. I pinned her demonesque body  beneath me and strangled her until she turned whiter than her uniform. As soon as I felt her body go limp, I left her on the cold, white floor, and scooped up Emeline. I ran as fast as I could down the seemingly endless hallway, and realized something strange. There were no rooms next to mine.
        Finally, we are free. We are free of the hell hole known as the New Jersey State Insane Asylum. I am out in the public, where a sane person like myself belongs, and the maniacal beasts are where they deserve to be. All is right with the world, assuming we were the only sane people in that horrid place. When an assumption of this nature holds so much weight, it can not be left unproven. In light of this, I am leaving this letter at the doorstep of the local police station, hoping that whoever reads it might be kind enough to shut down their institution. It is of upmost importance that every single worker at New Jersey State Insane Asylum receives the death penalty. Otherwise, we will be forced to take personal action.

End them.

Ms. Elenor Symenthe Black
Ms. Emeline Joy Nivison

© 2018 Rosie Brooklin



Author's Note

Rosie Brooklin
I will take any and all criticism/compliments thrown my way. I've been thinking about expanding this into a book and making this letter the introduction; let me know what you think!

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Featured Review

Wow, this did not end up the way I pictured it would, but it is good. I think my biggest takeaway from it was the fact that insane asylums, when housing the sane, can make said sane people, insane. Kind of ironic, no? Did Elenor expect the workers at the asylum to get the death penalty for neglecting Emmaline to death? And did where you stayed Emmalines name, did you get the Middle and last name from the band Joy Division, or is that just a coincidence?

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

7 Months Ago

I didn't think of the band, but their names come from female serial killers in that place and era



Reviews

and develop it into a book because it is a unique read

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

3 Months Ago

That's a work in progress :)
Dear Rosie. A amazing short story shared. Great characters and wonderful story line. I wanted to read and know more. I did like the open ending. Thank you for sharing the outstanding tale.
Coyote

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

3 Months Ago

Thank you!
Coyote Poetry

3 Months Ago

You are welcome Rosie.
There are chances for edits that you will notice when you read again. Over all, I liked it.

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

4 Months Ago

Thank you! I'll look it over
[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Kay
This story hooks you in from the first sentence. It's an excellent ode to women who went through this experience during the 19th century, being admitted to asylums for ridiculous reasons. I found a list they used at that time, if you're interested: http://allthatsinteresting.com/reasons-admitted-to-mental-asylum

Great use of symbolism here, such as when the father isolates Elenor to play with marbles in her room, which foreshadows to Elenor figuratively 'losing her marbles' in an isolated cell at New Jersey State Insane Asylum when she was given over. Also, how the sudden appearance (entrance) of Emeline, representing purity and innocence, was followed with the silence (exit) of the scratching murderer next door. The emphasis on the color white ("pale, clammy, talon-like hands", "a cold, white hell", "he turned in the blanche papers", "the color of her uniform") really highlights the danger of the mind being left with only blank nothingness, empty of life and color, as you wrote at the beginning.

Looking forward to reading more. =)

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

4 Months Ago

I've seen that list! It's absolutely terrible what those women had to go through. I'm sure I'd be ca.. read more
GReat imagination put into this story - don’t know where u find this- well written and captivating- true in more than one sense - would make a great story/ book- sad though that some people get made to believe they are insane when they are actually not- 🌹

Posted 4 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

4 Months Ago

Thank you so much! I came up with this idea while in high school, after learning about how insane as.. read more
‘Thoughts In Time’🌹

4 Months Ago

Well done to you🌹
Wow, this did not end up the way I pictured it would, but it is good. I think my biggest takeaway from it was the fact that insane asylums, when housing the sane, can make said sane people, insane. Kind of ironic, no? Did Elenor expect the workers at the asylum to get the death penalty for neglecting Emmaline to death? And did where you stayed Emmalines name, did you get the Middle and last name from the band Joy Division, or is that just a coincidence?

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

7 Months Ago

I didn't think of the band, but their names come from female serial killers in that place and era
Finally....
" When a girl is given eternity to do nothing but stare at cold white walls and think, she can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the thoughts that are trapped inside her head, begging to be set free."
A gripping line,in my perspective it explores the confinement of a female into her gender role.It's quite a startling sentence
To do nothing is powerful sentence,there's this notion of female virginity,this innocence( by taking that line an dissecting as it if were a book of a thousand pages with that one single line.The powerful beginning is in parallel with the mournful ending(mournful of the end of these 'beasts).It's an incredible feeling of freedom after being constrained
I generally think you've ticked the boxes
1) There's this quite structured contextual reference which compliments the tone of your voice which is a distinct and independent to the other characters.
The idea of wasting away in a mental asylum has a "shock element" to it.
More 2 come.


Posted 10 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Bob Bob

10 Months Ago

not quite finished yet(merely the beginning)
Rosie Brooklin

10 Months Ago

Thank you! I love your comments so far and can't wait to see what else you have to say.
It is very engrossing. Sanity is upto the person's perception. I thoroughly enjoyed it and all the very best for the book. Looking forward to it.
Good day!!!

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

11 Months Ago

Thank you! Good day to you, as well.
At first I was enraged at the thought of someone wasting away in a mental asylum, when they were sane. As I read on it was clear she was not sane and that had me asking the question, do they ever know there is something wrong. Does anyone in an asylum think they belong there, or would they all feel normal yet imprisoned. Cool read, I am curious on how you would expand this into a book.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

1 Year Ago

Thank you! I'm expanding it currently, starting with her childhood. There will be much more characte.. read more
Liked it so much I bookmarked your profile.

Have a reason to spend more time on here.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rosie Brooklin

1 Year Ago

I'm flattered! Thank you so much

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Added on March 30, 2017
Last Updated on May 28, 2018
Tags: Psychological, suspense, thriller, first-person, horror

Author

Rosie Brooklin
Rosie Brooklin

TN



About
I am an aspiring writer with a passion for many different forms of art. These include literature, poetry, drawing, and music. I'm always willing to critique and looking for critiques, so feel free to .. more..

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