Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)
TITLE: The Suicide Room
By Sara Harricharan
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“She’s been in there all morning…Kelly’s tried to enter, but she won’t let her.”
“And Mr. Hidia?”
“I tried, Director, but he won’t spare the time to hear me out.”
“Did you tell him it was Jessica?”
“Every time. Maybe we should leave her.”
“Leave her be? In our best white room with a capacity for twenty-five people? We can’t afford to lose that—get her out of there! I don’t care what you have to do!”
“Perhaps shorter cycles?” Nathan rounded the corner, slowing as they approached the room in question.
“The system is perfect. She is not.”
“Then why isn’t the system handling it?”
“Chaos is part of the system. You cannot have chaos with only one person in the room!”
“What about the gun, the knife and a bucket of water?” Kelly shifted to her feet from the post of guard duty beside the reinforced metal door. “She’s got all of that, Nate.” Her head tipped slightly. “It’s chaos enough, Director. Any word from Mr. Hidia?”
“No. How did she manage that?” Director Anza demanded. “I thought that room was cleared last night! This completely skews our results for today!” She stood outside the room in question, scowling through the one-way glass, where she could see the teen pacing back and forth. The items mentioned were on a white round table soldered to the middle of the floor, with no chair.
Kelly scoffed. “For a mental institution filled with geniuses and doctors, can someone tell me what the real problem is? Why can’t we just reach in there and yank the girl out?”
“If it were that easy, I would have already seen to it myself.” Nathan sighed. “Extraction has already been attempted, she simply grabs the gun and almost pulls the trigger.”
“Then let her pull it.” Kelly snorted. “I don’t think she has the guts to pull the trigger, besides, she’s convinced she knows something and that’s enough that she’d rather have someone listen her out-”
“Have you offered paper?” Nathan frowned.
“Making a will…she might open the door for that.” The Director suggested.
I knew they watched me.
I could felt their eyes.
They stood behind that piece of glass.
That bulletproof piece of glass.
I scared them. I scared me.
This wasn’t what I wanted to do today.
The room was so white, my head spun. I couldn’t imagine it stuffed with twenty-five legally insane people. I couldn’t imagine the kind of people who crammed them into a room that breathed death—to take notes on the results.
How can they use people like this? They aren’t animals.
Sick people need help.
These doctors must be sick. They can’t even help me. I’ve been here all morning. No one has noticed. No one important, that is.
They must be playing with the temperature controls. I am so cold. My head hurts. I can feel the gun calling to me one minute and the bucket of water the next. It’s as if they have voices, whispering and telling me how easy it is to make it all go away.
Life doesn’t work that way. There is no easy, quick fix.
Death doesn’t solve anything.
My death won’t solve this. This institution is a joke. A nightmare. No one is listening to me.
I have to make them stop—there has to be a way to make them stop.
The knife is calling to me…I think I will listen.
My fingers curled tight around the plastic handle and even though it hurt, I started writing. Carving the words into the plastic tabletop, it took both hands and all my brain power.
The letter was long.
I had a lot to say.
Somehow they open the door. I waited for the guards, but instead, they pushed in a sheaf of paper and a box of pencils.
I rewrote my letter and stuck it under the door.
I asked them to deliver my message.
I hope they do.
“I do not have the time for this, Anza!”
“Please, Mr. Haidia…it’s a letter from your daughter Jessica.”
The man paused, a slight tremor in his voice. “Jessica…?”
He unfolded a thick wad of paper and the tremor in his voice turned to a paleness in his face as he read.
"Anza...What have I done?"
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