Protected: Chapter One

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Prologue?

Madeline sat and held her grandmother’s hand, tears slowing gliding down her face as the old woman ranted about the evil wolves roaming the hallways. The dementia came and went, the dark visions of monsters seeming to get worse each time. Sometimes Mama Evie would give quiet warnings, like the time she urgently whispered to Madeline that they must protect the children at all costs when the village was invaded, looking around wildly to ensure none of the monsters heard her. Other times were like today with her grandmother shouting at her about vile creatures appearing and wailing about the coming destruction of the world.

The nurse came in, syringe already in hand, followed closely by the doctor

”Her screaming is starting to bother the other patients” the doctor said gently. “We’re going to give her something to calm her down.”

Madeline nodded mutely as the doctor made a note in the chart, then left. The nurse approached her grandmother. Mama Evie, seeing the syringe, started to thrash.

“No!” Mama Evie shouted. “Don’t! They’re coming! We’re not safe!”

The nurse made soothing sounds and inserted the syringe into the IV port.

Mama Evie looked at Madeline beseechingly, pleading with her. ”No, my little Maddy, please …”

“Wait!” Madeline cried, “She’s lucid again.”

But it was too late. The nurse re-capped the syringe, having already injected the drug. Slowly, Mama Evie’s featured slackened and her arms fell to her sides.

”Don’t worry, this is really for the best,” the nurse murmured, patting Madeline on the arm and walking out.

Madeline allowed herself a few more moments of weeping before slashing at her eyes with her sleeves and telling herself harshly to let it go. She practised a few of the breathing exercises her therapist had taught her and, once she was calm again, reached out to take her grandmother’s hand once more.

—-

A few hours later, she was woken by her grandmother’s harsh whisper. ”Madeline! Wake up, Maddy! You have to get me away from here. They’re coming, Madeline, and we can’t be here when they arrive!”

Madeline shook her head and said firmly, “You’re safe here, Mama Evie. Nothing is coming to get you.”

Mama Evie rolled her eyes and gave Madeline a pitying look. “No, foolish girl, they’re not coming to get me. They’re coming for us all. We have to get out of here so we can prepare.”

Mama Evie held the button that moved her bed into a sitting position and started to push off the thin sheets. As she swung her legs over the side of the bed, Madeline leapt up from her chair.

“No, Mama Evie, you mustn’t!” Madeline tried to push her grandmother’s legs back up and on to the bed but the old woman refused to budge.

”I’m getting out of here. It isn’t safe. They keeping pumping me full of drugs to stop the visions and without them we’ll never survive. Don’t just stand there, Maddy, help me!”

Luckily, just at that moment an orderly was walking by their room and saw her grandmother stand shakily against Madeline’s protests. He went to the nurse’s station and soon three hospital personnel were in the room. One gave Mama Evie a sedative while the other two got her back in bed and wrapped her arms and legs in restraints.

“Is that really necessary?” Madeline asked.

”Doctor’s orders,” said one of them briskly as they filed out of the room.

 

Magic

I went to your class last night and it was magical. Not just the topic but the entire package. Yes, part of it was that you and they were there and hot and teasing and got me all flustered and lip-bitingly anxiously excited. Part of it was being in that space after so long away and realising that I made the right choice when I decided on a break, and that my pain was soothed rather than deepened at the knowledge that I am not welcome to proceed along the path I thought would be mine. A huge part of it was the conceptualising of magic as a reframing for the stuff we do that has the most value.

The best bit though – that was the witchy GQ of you and the delightful honesty of them. When you built them a boner and finally managed to embarrass them, it was beautiful because there is obvious joy between you and you shared it with the class so generously. I felt safe and comforted basking in that joy. I enjoyed the so-called humiliation afterward more than you can know. I babbled for a good hour and a half, with my cheeks flushed and fuzzy, high as the proverbial kite.

When I woke up this morning I had so much residual energy and jazz-handedness that I would swear the daily post prompt was “Magical” and I was thrilled to write on that theme. Well, thrilled to think about writing and you and them and other wonderfully magical friends in my life. Apparently the word is “identical” so the old adage of seeing what we want to see held true 🙂

Thank you. Thank you for the magic. Thank you for the comfort and safety. Thank you for holding space. Thank you for the flirting. Thank you for the deviousness and glee. Thank you.

“Ooooooh-ooooh-hooo, witchy GQ
See how high they fly-ay-ay
Ooooooh-ooooh-hooo, witchy GQ
They got the moon in their eye-ay-ay-ays”

In other news … the YA series name thing at the top of this post popped up in my feed as I was noodling and I adore it. A kitchen of amethyst and rain sounds pretty fucking magical to me!

Identical

Indifference

I’ve heard it said that love and hate are but too sides of the same coin. I remember once you told me that you weren’t overly worried about any negative feelings I might harbour toward you – that it was my indifference you feared. Well. I hate that I’m not indifferent. I don’t know how to get there. I want so badly to get there.

My life comes and goes around me. Things move on. Everything has changed and yet stayed the same. I’m so frustrated by the problematic individuals in my life that my therapist asked me to write a set of criteria / commandments that I want to govern the friends I make – and she, of course, asked me to track how well I can live by them as what use is a standard one can’t hold oneself to?

You don’t fit. You don’t qualify. You wouldn’t be able to meet these rules. I doubt I could honestly say that you are able to pass even one. Yet I long for you in the darkest recesses of my heart. I don’t talk about it. I’m not willing to suffer the scorn and reprimands, however well meant, of those around me.

Most days I manage to suppress the longing. I go whole weeks without even thinking of you. Then there you are, in front of me as though the universe just can’t get enough of that sick, twisting knife of the perverse.

I hate that you don’t care, that you likely never did. I hate that I probably don’t ever flit across your mind. I hate that I’m not indifferent. But I’m not.