This Halloween, I decided to try something completely different. Last year, I was joined by some amazing authors with short little “bite-sized” interviews about their books and writing styles. I also participated in the Band of Dystopian Zombie blog crawl, which is going on again right NOW! I decided not to participate because of time constraints and personal stuff going on this month, but be sure to check that out. It’s a lot of fun!
This year, I had a fun idea to create a short story where each chapter would be flash fiction length (under 1000 words). Each of these chapters is written by a different author and you can find out more about them below their section along with an awesome giveaway (starting after today)! In the 7 days leading up to Halloween, the story will unfold. This was a fun experiment! It had a few kinks along the way, but that is to be expected with something new and different! I’m calling it “Ink and Mayhem Productions” (thanks Aria Michaels for the name idea)! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Walking down the dreary hallway, I pause and take in the cacophony of sounds. With every flicker of the overhead lights, a pounding sounds to my right. I smile and look into the window slot of the first room.
“Good Morning, Archie.”
Of course Archie doesn’t respond back; he just keeps banging his head against the padded wall. I continue my walk, making sure that everything is as it should be. Of course, it always is. I run a tight ship around here. This may not be the most glamorous gig, but I take pride in my work.
I close my eyes and breathe in the agony and despair of my workplace. There is something so beautiful and tragic in the broken. I’ve just started humming Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” as I make my way over to the nurse’s station to look over my charts for the day when Harold, my favorite orderly, walks up.
“You are one strange cat, Mr. Drake.”
“And how is that, Harold?”
“The fact that you can be so chipper… Have you looked around, sir?” He raises his hand, motioning to our rather dreary surroundings.
“If things weren’t broken, Harold, they couldn’t be fixed. And I’m a fixer. Take Mary for instance. She had her first round of electroshock therapy last night. When she screamed, all I heard was breakthrough. Silent since birth, and those screams? Those screams are like music to my ears. Sound. I gave her that. I helped her find her voice. That’s all you’ve got to do, son. Find the beauty in the madness.”
“If you say so, Mr. Drake. Are you ready for the craziness that tonight is going to bring?” At my look of bewilderment Harold laughs.
“It’s October 31, man. Every year like clockwork, we get one or two stragglers who think it’s fun to bust into the insane asylum.”
“Ah, that’s right how could I forget? Well, let’s be on extra guard then, shall we? We wouldn’t want to disappoint those looking for a scary time, now would we?”
“No sir.” Harold chuckles.
“Let’s go check on little Joan, shall we? She has her lobotomy scheduled for this evening.” I can’t help the thrill that shoots through me at the idea of little Joan’s lobotomy. It’s like a clock. All those delicate inner workings, sometimes they just need to be reset to start working properly.
We look through the window in her door, and my pulse accelerates and my palms tingle. Tonight, we will end her madness.
“She’s had almost ten electroshock therapy sessions, and she still hears the voices,” Harold says, shaking his head in dismay.
Joan screams at someone only she can see. She’s pulls her hair and tries to shred the skin on her arms.
“Tonight, Harold. Tonight we will exercise her demons once and for all. Tonight we will put the ghosts to rest. Tonight… we will be gods.”
Jaci Wheeler lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband and two precious kids.
Her love of literature began in Jr. High when she was introduced to Lowis Lowry’s books. Since then she has had a passion for writing Young Adult books, and creating strong female leads. When she’s not writing she is advocating for Autism Awareness and involved in the deaf community.
Her favorite things to do are play with her children, craft with her friends, sleep while her husband watches movies and indulge in her favorite addictions: Coffee, candy and shoes.