Gears of the Sparrow (Excerpt)

In an effort to prove I’m not “All Talk”, get over my fear of being judged, and after some encouragement from the Writing Community; I decided to post an excerpt from my current WIP. If you feel the need to comment please do so. Otherwise, this is pulled from the chapter where one of my characters is being admitted to an Asylum after being falsely accused of killing her mother by her step-father. Please bear with me if you feel it’s missing context, it’s not the whole chapter and most of the scene is set up in the paragraphs previous to this. ~Hill

…“Recording on please Eileen” the man stated, “Yes Doctor” the woman replied, an audible click sounded somewhere above their heads.

             “Emily Springear, born august eighteen of forty-one. Mother, Anna Springear; deceased. Father Theodore Hester, deceased. Step-Father Lewes Springear.” He read from the paper in front of him then paused “Is this information accurate?

  He looked at her through narrow rimmed glasses. She sat in silence, staring at him, she’d heard his voice but it seemed far away. “Miss Springear, is this information accurate?” he asked again, an edge of impatience in his voice.

             “Yes… Yes it is” she whispered looking down, visions of her mother on the floor of their parlor swam in front of her.

             “Let the record show, at seven thirty-eight on Thursday, the second of May. Patient Emily Springear, Patient ID five-three-two-four-seven, start of…

 “Why am I here?” She asked suddenly.

 The doctor looked at her, a mix of impatience and annoyance on his face before he continued.  “…patient intake interview with Doctor Helio Ahmed.” He finished and scratched his name into one of the squares on the form.

             “Miss Springear…” he started, “Why am I here?” she asked again sounding impatient. He sighed, pulling the glasses off his face. “Miss Springear, do not interrupt me” he put the glasses back on then continued.

             He pulled another sheet of paper out of the folder in front of him and set it down on the desk. “Miss Springear, in the last thirty days, have you used any illicit substances such as drugs or liquid remedies, specifically those produced by the majick producers in Mavor?” She continued staring at him. He stared at her, pen tip touching the paper.

 “Miss springear, if you make me repeat myself again there will be consequences” he threatened. “No.” she replied.

             He checked off a box and started scribbling. “Thank you, in the last thirty days have you felt overwhelmingly depressed or angry?” he asked. “What? Yes! That bastard killed my mother!” she replied heatedly. He checked another box and continued writing.

             “In the last thirty days, have you had the desire to harm yourself or another?” His gaze glanced up at her momentarily before looking back at the paper. “What do you think?” she asked, a hint of anger in her voice. Another check, more scribbling.

             “When was your last menstruation?” he asked, not looking up at her. “That’s none of your damn business!” she growled, hands clasping the armrests, behind her the attendants stepped forward a few paces. Another check, and more scribbling, she started to suspect that something was wrong.

             “Are you with child?” he asked. “Does it look like it?!” Another check, still more scribbling.     

            “When the moon is full do you feel any marked change in your behavior or mannerisms?” he was taking notes at the bottom of the page now. “What does that even mean!?” she stood suddenly. The attendants appeared behind her and forced her back into the seat. “Miss Springear, it is common knowledge that a woman’s temperament is often determined by the phases of the moon.” She was about to open her mouth when she suddenly realized all she was doing was probably making things worse for herself.

             “Miss Springear, please answer the question.” Doctor Ahmed looked at her from across the desk. “No. I want to know why I’m still here” she demanded.

             His face remained calm and unchanged, “Interview completed, seven forty-five” he finished writing at the bottom of the paper, signed it; then pressed the button on his desk again. “Miss Eileen?” he asked. “Yes doctor?” the woman’s voice came across the ceiling again. “Please stop the recording.” He straightened the papers in front of him and closed the file. “Yes doctor” Eileen responded, and the speaker cut out.  

                “Miss Springear, you’re being admitted to Warenoak Asylum for a period of not less than six months so that we can better determine the cause of your mania.” He’d folded his hands in front of him. “What do you mean?! What mania?” she asked.

The doctors face was a picture of abject impatience and disgust “Miss Springear, as far as I’m concerned, I’m looking at a murderer. But the law dictates we have to prove mental competency to commit the crime.

             Her face turned white “You think I killed my mother, don’t you?” she asked, her voice almost a whisper. He looked back at her “I’m not the one that has to decide. Doctor Thompson will be your medical provider for the duration of your stay, he will determine the necessary medicinal protocols as well as a final determination in your competency case”. He’d reopened the file and was again scratching something.

             He closed the file again and looked at her “As for your accommodations” he paused before continuing, “Considering the crime of which you’ve been accused, I will be recommending to Doctor Thompson that you remain housed away from our regular patients as you are a safety concern. Do you have any questions?”

She stared at him.

He stared back.

Miss Springear…” he started.

No” she replied.

Pushing the folder aside, he nodded to the two attendants that had remained in the room during the interview. “Please take Miss Springear back to her room. Doctor Thompson will let you know where she is to be moved to.

Yes doctor” the men replied and with grips like vices, they pulled her from her chair and ushered her out the door. “Ow! Not so hard!!” she cried.

I humbly submit this piece of writing to the author gods and pray they don’t drown me in the blood of red ink.

©Nate Miller

Unscheduled Delay

Is a Change in Order?

Is a Change in Order?