AS SNOW DRIFTED IN 1971

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A BOY AND GIRL IN A PSYCHIATRIC WARD IN 1971

Submitted: April 26, 2015

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Submitted: April 26, 2015

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Snow drifted by. Snow drifted by the large window of the locked ward of the hospital. Yiska watched from the black sofa in the main lounge. White and pure. Cold and white. White as her wedding dress she wore to the church, but he never showed, and she stood at the altar alone. She watched the snowflakes drift. His best man brought a message: he couldn't go through with it. She refused to removed the wedding dress. She wore to bed that night and next day and only after someone injected her to sedate her was it removed and she woke up in the locked ward of the hospital. She wrapped the dressing gown about her. The snow seemed to be getting heavier. The hour was unknown to Yiska, but the night nurse was in her small office, writing notes. Other patients still slept in the dormitory; men in theirs and women in theirs. She could hear their snores or moans. Her wrist was bandaged where she'd slit it a few days before with a knife liberated from the meals wagon which came twice a day with meals. The nurse who stitched her up said it was just as well it was vein and not an artery as it would have been worse. The wound was sore. She sensed it still each time she moved her hand. Benny walked from the men's dormitory across by the night nurse's office and into main lounge. He walked to the window and peered out. How long has it been snowing? He asked. It was already coming down when I came in here a little while ago, she replied, looking at him standing in his nightgown and slippers. Peaceful looking, he said. He turned and gazed at her on the sofa. How's your wrist? She looked at her bandaged wrist. Sore. He looked past her. No one else up yet then. No, thank God. He sat down next to her and pulled the nightgown tight about him, tucking in the ends as he had no belt. Cigarette? He asked. She nodded. He took a packet from his nightgown pocket and offered her one and took one himself and lit both with a plastic lighter. She inhaled deeply; he inhaled half heartedly. Where'd you get the lighter? Same place I got the ciggies: one of the day nurses left them behind by error I assume. Why the slit wrist? Mistake. He raised his eye brows. Only a vein, not artery, apparently. Bit like your hanging attempt, she said, eyeing him through the released smoke from her cigarette. Second attempt, he said, exhaling slowly through his nose. How's your sex life? He smiled at her words. Same as yours, I expect. She inhaled and looked at the drifting snow. I ought to have been on my honeymoon a few months ago, she said, not looking at him, but at the snow flakes drifting by. Had the bastard showed that is. Benny looked at her beside him. She smelt of apples. He caught a glimpse of thigh as she moved her leg and moved the dressing gown. Why'd he not show? Because he's a cowardly bastard. Did you notice he wasn't keen? He seemed up for it. But wasn't? No I guess not, she said turning her head and staring at Benny. She sighed and inhaled the cigarette smoke. He smoked deeply and sat and gazed at the snow. She put a hand on his leg. You're the only one here to ask apart from the quacks. He turned and gazed at her. He placed a hand over her hand. Two lonely people drifting in an open boat, he said. On a rough sea, she added. They sat and held hands and looked at the snowflakes passing the window as they smoked. Once the cigarettes had been smoked, they stubbed out the butts in an ashtray. She kissed him on his cheek. He kissed her lips. They parted and sat gazing around the lounge of the locked ward. No where to be alone, she said. Unless, she added, looking at him, we go in the shower room. He looked at her. It can't be locked. No room here locks apart from the doors leading into the ward itself. Who cares, she said, no one will be up yet. He looked towards the passage. What about Florence Nightingale? She won't know or care. She seldom leaves her office, Yiska said. Do we dare? He asked. To eat a peach? Or walk tiptoe on the beach? She said.She took his hand and led him along through the long corridor to the shower room silently as they could walk. He sensed her hand in his. Warm and soft. They reached the door of the shower room and entered in and closed the door after them. It wasn't very big, but it seemed sufficient room if they set down just right. Turn off the light, she said. He pulled the cord. Dimness surrounded them, light from the corridor let in a vague light to part the darkness. She kissed him and held him close. He embraced her to him tightly. She lay down on the floor of the available space and lifted her legs and pulled him down between her. She kissed him before he could say anything. The space was cramped. He felt hemmed in; he couldn't stretch out his legs, but knelt there, hands on her hips. Pressing on her lips. She sensed the sore wrist, an ache in her back, a cramp in a thigh. Can't do it, he said, too bloody cramped. She nodded and said, we might if we're quick. She wanted to kiss again, but her thigh stiffened and she said, I got to get up, cramp. He tried to lift himself in the small space. Treading by her hip and one foot hovering over her visible vagina. He placed the foot on the small space of floor and stood up against the shower door. She pulled herself up by dragging herself up by his arm, her wrist sore as hell, blood seeping through the bandage. She rubbed her thigh vigorously with her other hand. Shall I do that for you? He asked, peeping out at the corridor. No, you'll turn me on more and there's no room, she said, rubbing the thigh, biting her lip. Blood seeped more through the bandage and he lifted her arm up. They kissed. They heard a voice coming down the corridor, the pitter-patter of shoes on the floor. They parted and held their breath. The night nurse walked by to the toilets next door and closed the door behind her.They stood in the dimness kissing, she rubbing her thigh, he holding her bloody wrist right up high.


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