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Out of the Shadows, Part Six

 

In the dulled white brick common room of an asylum like facility for women and girls, mostly girls, some of whom as young as just nine years old, most of whom are held against their will, Majella Smith has an inquiry to make.

This place is anything but kind to her, still, there are at least two individuals here with whom she can … confide in. Away from the steel mesh-covered windows and well away from the room’s only entrance exit, a twenty-four-inch screen television resting upon a containment unit twelve feet up off the ground is being watched by one person in particular. An orderly named Sammy has a re-run of a national championship boxing match on the go.

Everything from Sammy’s past has led him to be right where he is though in this moment that is neither here nor there and it is also everything at the same time. Majella notices the television, she notices what is being shown on that television and she also notices who is paying attention to what is being shown on that television.

There is something a little familiar and something not quite right in this moment. There may be an opportunity available to get at least a partial answer to something Majella has been experiencing for the most part of her life. In the three years, she has been held as a guest in this unconstitutional institution Majella has indeed learned to open up somewhat though only to the girl she shares a room with and to a certain orderly. To everyone else, she plays pretend.

Things flow better and are easier to a degree if she does not fight the more difficult moments, no matter how horrible and difficult they are. This particular orderly she has come to trust is one of the more pleasant members of staff and Majella finds it easier to talk with him than with anyone one else within the entire building and that includes her blonde haired roommate, a girl with whom only Majella has got to hear speak out loud.

The woman who had come to her so early on into Majella’s stay, rambling of a daughter, a sister, well … Majella steers clear of that person as best she can.

‘Hey, Sammy …’

‘Majella, how are you getting on today?’

‘Better than yesterday, still miss the family you know.’

‘I bet …’

‘It has been so long. They do know I am here, right?’

‘Oh I am sure they do’, this is a clear lie, even if he were no more than an ordinary orderly he would know better, he does not divulge certain information more so for the benefit of Majella’s mindset than anything else.

‘Then why don’t they visit? Why doesn’t anyone get visitors in here?’

‘It’s not that easy, we’ve been over this before. If things were easy then they would be just that … easy.’

Sammy is well aware of a number of things, even things that relate specifically to Majella and her very own nature. Within this place and for now, in general, he knows better than to discuss anything he knows with any the ‘guests’, there would be severe consequences if he were to even think about doing so.

He cannot interfere in certain instances no matter how much would like to. Majella is not just any guest and Sammy certainly is aware of this and of the connections to the blonde girl and to the older woman. He could become a kind of mentor to this girl and in time perhaps he will but for now he is more an observer. He can discuss a thing or two with her and know that she will work things out for herself.

Focusing on the television Majella asks ‘who is he? … the guy on the right.’

‘That is Paul Malone, the national lightweight champion.’

‘I have seen him before only he looked to be older, tired, in another fight, he gets hurt pretty badly. He loses his sight because of the damage.’

‘He is thirty-one in this fight. This is recorded from a little over a year ago so he hasn’t really aged since and he wins this one too, rather easily. I personally can’t see anyone beating him anytime soon. He is due to fight again this weekend but we don’t always know what is around the next corner.’

‘The fight I have seen, I see it in my dreams, daydreams and dreams when I sleep. I have seen it many times. It is the same fight I see over and over … a fight he has fought before … perhaps a rematch? Maybe it hasn’t happened yet … I think I am to stop it before it ever happens. Maybe I am crazy; maybe this is why I am here. Do I belong here?’

Sammy regards Majella for a moment. ‘Who am I to tell you where you do or do not belong? If I could tell you anything then I would tell you to follow your instinct. You will know what you will need to do when the proper time comes along.’

The on-screen fight does soon come to an end and it is as Sammy said, an easy enough victory for the champion. She knows what she knows, she doesn’t understand it, not quite anyway, still she does know … something. When she gets back to her side of the room she has been assigned to and has no choice but to share with one other, Majella notices almost straight away that something has been left for her under her the pillow on her bed.

Sammy has done this, it must be. No one else could have organized such a thing and for this Majella is most definitely thankful. What has been left for her is a letter, a letter from Abigail, Majella’s eldest sister. The letter states the love the family shares her and it tells Majella she will never be forgotten.

Her father and her sisters will stop at nothing to ensure not only her return but her safe existence too. Majella is not all so sure that she will see daylight again but she will retain hope. Once she has this hope, the thoughts that her family are still with her despite what it is that separates them then maybe daylight will once again come her way.

This letter, what a mistake it proves to be despite the fact it gives Majella some hope that her eldest sister may be alive and well despite the vision of Abigail’s death Majella had before being taken away from her family.

In a place like where Majella is, there is nowhere to hide anything and someone is always watching. Majella should have known this; Sammy for sure should have known this. One of them should have tried to destroy that letter, Sammy for sure should have taken it out the way it came in but neither had spoken of it to the other.

What is to come perhaps is designed to torture Sammy as much it may be to set Majella onto a path for the incoming torture may just be flipped to work to an advantage, an advantage not only to Majella and Sammy but to Darkness too.

Evening comes on the same day the letter had been read. Two of the slightly older and a lot bigger ‘creepo’s’ dressed in white come to Majella and they, or rather one, in particular, are on the warpath. This bigger of the two creepo orderlies so happens to have that letter in his hands and it gives him an excuse, not that he needs one or has ever needed one. Without regard for whoever else may be near-by, this fellow speaks.

‘Where did you get this?’ he asks waving the letter half-crushed in his fisted hand. Majella flinches back a little. ‘Answer me, where did you get this?’

She doesn’t answer so he grabs the back of her right arm between the shoulder and elbow indicating to his companion that he should take a hold of her too. They take her with force out of her room and bring her forcefully down the corridor and into a darkened office-like room. Despite her reluctance and her struggle, there is nothing she can do other than being forced to enter this room.

They may be wearing white though they, particularly the larger fellow, are of a dark nature. If only they knew of the darkness inside of her with which she has still to discover of herself. Still, they, the bigger fellow more so than the smaller fellow, may not be able to help themselves.

‘I will ask you only one more time’ speaks the larger fellow. ‘Where did you get this letter? Who gave it to you?’

She still refuses to speak. Instinct and something else tells her that this guy will in due course die a horrible death, a deserving death, one she will not try anything to prevent. She also pre-sees what he intends to do to her right now before he begins to take his opportunity. She needs no second sight to know this and he does not wait for he begins to loosen his belt and remove it from his clothing.

‘I don’t think that is wise’ speaks the other fellow.

‘No one is asking you, you just do your job and keep watch.’

A door is closed and the room darkens further. The thought of using his belt to show her who is who is discarded and he drops it to the floor. He then begins to undo his trousers, as he does this she does see something within her own mind, she sees something clearly and in brief stints. She sees fire, tall flames of orange and yellow, present one second and gone the next then back again. He slaps her face to weaken her for what he is about to do. She had yet to fight, yet to struggle though the slap comes all the same.

As that slap hits her face, she sees more fire, this time a rather large ball of it, a mix of bright yellow and dark orange. There is nothing else, just that yellow and orange ball of fire and blackness all around it. It is a fire so full on that she can even feel its searing heat, its burning centre. As he pins her down he can smell something, he sniffs twice in quick succession and considers ignoring the smell but soon realizes that he can’t afford to ignore it.

‘What the hell is that?’ he asks.

Then he hears it, a crackling sound coming from a bottom corner within the room twenty feet or so behind where this fellow so happens to be. He turns to investigate and sees that a fire has broken out. Some sort of sheeting has burst into flames. He quickly fixes himself and in somewhat of a panic moves along with his companion to attend to a not so simple fire. Majella, fully aware of the ensuing panic, simply and calmly walks unnoticed out of the room she had been taken to, and then she moves down a corridor to an open unmanned exit.

A fire alarm sounds and the panic multiplies and it is not long before things are under control somewhat. Majella Smith at sixteen years of age, after three years of having been held against her will, is free and now alone. Little can she know that a man in black is near, hidden in shadow and it is he who ensured that the exit was open and unmanned.

 

 

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