Straitjacket


Chapter I - Last Day

"So, James" Started the doctor – the bright luminescent lamp made his white coat radiate light – very annoying light.
"Tomorrow you will be a free man!" he said with the ever-present fake smile on his sharp featured face.
"I never did feel imprisoned!" I answered, my eyes narrowing from the fake illumination.
"Why would you? This is a hospital, not a prison" was his reply. He liked replying with more questions.

"A hospital? THIS IS A FUCKING INSANE ASYLUM. YOU DON'T HEAL PEOPLE HERE, YOU RESTRAIN THEM!"
Of course, I only thought this inside my mind. Saying such a thing would guarantee me another year or so here.
The staff in the 'Clinic of St. Peter & Saints" were very reluctant in letting people out. Subsequently they very much enjoyed "fresh recruits". I myself spent a year and a half of my precious life in this place.
I was supposed to spend only 5 months here, but then things got a bit complicated…
"Indeed" was what I said out loud – an ever-present fake smile on my face as well (You needed that smile here, but you had to make sure not to overdo it). Dr. Richards nodded and wrote something down in his notebook. He carried it around with him like a priest carries a bible.
It was a book you didn't want to see your name in. I didn't care any more however – the staff here were ordered to release me by court, as they extended my stay to the limit. Don't get me wrong – they would keep me here for longer if they could, it was thanks to my parents that the court order was issued in the first place. I was seventeen years young by the way – soon to turn eighteen. Spending the best years of my life in this forsaken place.

"Well, you were a good patient James" he said, making a long pause. "At least after the first couple of months" he finished. He was referring to my several so called "breakdowns" – which I faked when I was brought to this place.
"I'm glad you think so." At that Dr. Richards stood up and waved at the completely tinted glass next to the door – a buzzer made the door open and he got out – leaving the door locked behind him.
My cell – or "room" had your standard loony bin furnishings – the typical mattress covered walls and floor, a small window too far up to reach and look through, and way too small to climb out of, and a simple two-mattress bed. Nothing sharp, nothing hard, nothing too solid – nothing dangerous.
The only potentially dangerous object was the lamp, which hung way too high up to get to. There was also a water closet – just like the ones you get on planes or trains the only difference was that it was plastic. No danger here.
Oh, how they tormented me with that lamp – my eyes were very sensitive to light and brightness in general. Sometimes they kept in on throughout the entire night – resulting in many sleepless, restless, torturous nights.
I was lucky now, for just as the nice doctor had left ,the lights went out, and the sole illumination came from the dying sunlight outside. I panted around in anticipation of the following morning, when I would finally set foot outside of the walls of this institution.
After some time I threw myself on the bed and just stretched.
I was actually normal before I arrived here, or at least as normal as a bloke my age could be.

It all started a bit less than two years ago. I had just turned sixteen, and I suppose had too much free time on my hands so it came to pass that I got involved in a armed assault with a friend of mine. His name was Pete. Nineteen at the time, he had somehow managed to obtain a pistol from somewhere and decided to earn some easy money – and why not just do it with your naïve sixteen year old mate? It wasn't like he forced me to participate – I chose so myself, yet he was the initiator. The plan was simple – nobody was supposed to get hurt, we were to point the gun, threaten the cashier, get the cash and skedaddle.

Things fucked up however (as always). The cashier had a gun himself,Pete freaked and fired – missed the guy but hit some gas canister (who the fuck keeps a God damn gas canister in a liquor store?) it exploded, and soon the whole place was burning. Pete freaked even more and ran, forgetting about me completely. He got caught quickly though, so did I. The cashier had severe burns which almost killed him.
It was clear Pete was going to jail, whereas I (due to being under-age) was supposed to go to juvie hall. I was facing two years in the correctional facility. I decided to plead mental, and guess what – they bought it. A few white-coats examined me and said I had some kind of mental disorder. So instead of two years in Juvie – I got five months in this place. Seemed like quite the deal at the time. Poor Pete got four years in jail though. We still kept in touch however – letters, phone calls sometimes – I even sent him cigarettes through my parents. I suppose I should be mad at him for ditching me that day – but seeing as I would have probably done the same thing – I could not blame him. The only reason why I didn't run was that unlike him, I was in complete, paralyzing shock. In many of the letters I received from him, he explained how sorry he was for leaving me and for dragging me into the whole thing. I bore no grudge. He was a mate non-the less. Bad thing was that now he was an inmate.
I soon dozed off…


A/N – I hope you liked it so far dear readers, please review to let me know if it is any good and if you want me to continue publishing the story.