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Submitted on
June 3, 2013
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Trigger warning: Discussion of sanity and suicide.

The plan had been so simple. Thirty six hours in solitary confinement, Meredith was struggling. Last week this had all seemed so simple. So obvious. It seemed like she had devised the perfect escape plan. Things weren't working out as intended.

Firstly, and above all else - even breathing or thinking - there was the thirst. Her throat roared with it and she could feel its acidic anger snarl its way up and down her throat with each breath. She'd imagined discomfort, but not pain. She was starting to reconsider.

Her tongue was sore. The slab of meat in her mouth felt like unswallowed food as it got drier, and the taste when she could summon enough saliva to swallow was rancid, and reminded her of her ex boyfriends unwanted dry probings. In a desperate bid for freedom a few hours ago she had tried biting through her tongue, people did it in prison so she knew it was possible, but the pain was too sharp to work through and she didn't know how they did it. Meredith knew she should have hit Lucy in the face.

Hitting in the face was a sedate affair. As in, if you hit someone then your solitary confinement also included sedatives. Perhaps in the first waking moments as the sedative seeped out of her pores the pain would be dulled and she could chew through the easily accessible muscle in her mouth. She filed the information away for next time.

Next time. She was starting to come to terms with the idea that this might not work. Her stomach lurched further at the idea, already churning angrily to try and spur her into eating something.

The plan had been so simple - that was what made Meredith so furious - so simple, so she had been so sure it would work. She had trashed her room and then Lucy's (the stuck up Emped in the next room). She had been about to trash Nina's which would have been a shame because she liked Nina. She always gave Meredith her pills when she managed to get away with not taking them.

Right now, staring at a wall that was sterile but stained a grim peach colour, Meredith thought about the pills. Maybe that would help. She took shallow breaths and thought about all the pills she had lost. She knew by now her room will have been searched, it was customary when someone was placed in solitary confinement to take advantage of their empty room. The nurses ransacked the room and didn't even make much of an effort to hide the fact. Meredith had about 60 tablets in her collection, she had been well on her way to a lethal dose. Now it was all gone, and if they noticed that half of them weren't even prescribed to her it wouldn't be long until they punished Nina too.

Meredith started to cry. She knew this because her shoulders were trembling, her throat was convulsing as she gasped for air, whimpers of pain were slicing their way up and out of her mouth. All the signs of crying were there. Well, almost all of them. There were no tears. That made her cry harder, desperate, how could that be?

The plan was simple, so simple. Go to solitary confinement, don't drink the water. Eat the very minimum and if possible purge it when they stop watching. Then cry. Cry and cry and cry, until dehydration from all the tears puts an end to this misery. It was so simple, and it hadn't worked. So Meredith cried harder still because she knew that in twelve more hours the doctor would come to take her back to her room and they would realise. She'd be given fluids, and it would be over. The hope that it was over, was over.

Meredith tried to scream out her agony but her throat felt like it was on fire, she crawled towards the lightweight bucket that collected urine and knew there was no way to use it. It was a soft plastic that could be bent with too much pressure. It had no merit to pierce the skin and no small parts to choke on. She looked down at the yellow liquid and for a moment wondered if she should drink it. Her throat encouraged her, she was so thirsty.

It wasn't all piss, she reminded herself, trying to reconcile her thoughts. In fact a lot of it was the water she had thrown directly in there. She had weened herself off water to the minimal amount days before solitary began so not even half could be. It was the same as drinking directly from a river, she decided, and she had done that before.

A new idea emerged. Meredith glanced around to the door to see if there were any eyes peeking through the fabric. There weren't. Could it work? She gazed at the life saving substance and wondered if it could be her salvation from her pain. There was the throat, or the heart. She knew which was more important. It couldn't hurt to try, she thought, and then barked a short laugh bitterly.

She had grown calm by the new prospect of relief and decided the best way to go about this was to get herself as hysterical as possible so that her breathing was fast and undiscriminating. She sat next to the bucket and thought about her life. She thought about what she was about to do and all the many whys. She felt her heart become frantic and her thoughts become wild and chaotic. Before she could forget what she was doing she plunged her face deep into the bucket, submerging her mouth and nose in the golden water and tried to breathe.

Meredith woke up from a cloudy place in her mind. The sedative hummed in her veins like electricity, and reminded her of the ECT. It was unpleasant. She wriggled but found herself restrained. She sighed and slipped back to sleep, completely forgetting to chew through her tongue, as sleep took her back to a place where mother's kept their children safe from the monsters at night. She relaxed back into that place of safety and smiled at her mother. "I missed you" she said. Her mother nodded and then replied with Nina's voice, sounding tearful and afraid "Don't go". Meredith curled up into her mothers lap and closed her eyes "I won't".
I just wrote this. I wasn't intending for it to be part of the 100 themes challenge I'm doing, but when I was done it was very bleak, so I added the last paragraph which happened to tie the story in with the prompt Don't Go.

I wrote it because, as a crazy person, the concept of mental hospitals has always fascinated and terrified me in equal measure, and today I was thinking about it (it's been a long long long night) and I thought about a patient trying to cry themselves to death, and that patient in my imagination wanted me to write about them, so I did.

I left the ending vague. Some people may think Meredith goes back to sleep with the drugs in her system, some people may think she dies. It's purposefully vague because I wanted people to be able to decide for themselves. It's not a story about suicide, really, for me I mean. For me it's a story about desperation, and whether or not Meredith survives in your mind is irrelevant to her 'story'.

For the record, although this is fictional, I'd like to dedicate this to N... because if I ever wind up in the nuthouse I know she'd either break me out or restrain me herself to keep me alive and relatively (in)sane, just like she has for years.

♥ Kathryn O'Driscoll © 2013

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Craazhy Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Professional Writer
The narration is extremely snappy and clean. Most writers complain about not having a distinct voice in their texts, but you appear to have a solid one.

Your immersion into the perspective of this character is so very thorough and genuine. You've created tangible experiences, imagined powerfully visceral reactions and demonstrated a clear understanding of the human psyche (or at the very least, this dark corner of it). My only complaint is that the scene was mute. Even if the room is silent, you can still hear all those humming mechanisms within your head.

BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013
I love this comment, especially as its on something that I'm so proud of, thats so raw from me, that I was so anxious about sharing, because it reveals some really dark parts of my mind.... thank you so much... god... thanks..

As for the sounds, you are right, I will mull that over. Thank you for pointing it out! :tighthug:
Craazhy Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Professional Writer
I'm ashamed to say I don't provide the dA literature community as much feedback as I would like to. Convincing myself to do novel work is already a chore and that's allegedly something I enjoy doing. But, when I do comment, I try to make sure it counts.

I hope I didn't come off condescending. Remembering to describe sound is probably one of the largest weaknesses in my own narration, so I'm not trying to pretend I'm some kind of master.
exquisiteoath Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Student General Artist
A hard read, but worthwhile. I commend you for taking the difficult road of leaving the end ambiguous. I know there's a lot of internal and external pressure to make things tidy, but sometimes life isn't like that.

Sadly, all too often life is exactly like you've captured it here. And maybe more work like this making the rounds will help encourage conversations that need to happen.
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
I really appreciate you tackling this hard piece, it was difficult to write... I was worried people would think it was too over the top.. I really appreciate your feedback, I am proud of this one.
exquisiteoath Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Student General Artist
And so you should be.
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013   General Artist
Powerful and gripping read, dear friend! :tighthug:
BloodshotInk Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
:tighthug: thank you so much
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013   General Artist
you are ever so welcome! :heart:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So dark, and you kept it that way the entire time. I'm impressed.
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