Haplessly Ever After

Psycho and Stan's Excellent Adventure

Willie was alone, still waiting in his room when Stanley slumped in and plopped on his bed. Willie blinked, coming out of a stupor; he wiped away a suggestion of drool from his mouth.

"S'an?" No answer. "Hey, S'an da man, wassa ma'er?" The big guy emitted a cry of anguish as snot burst from his nose. "Was' wrong?"

"Cake!" Stanley cried. "There's caaaake and they won't give me any! They hate me!" The young man began to beat his fists into his thighs.

"Oh, f'crissake, knock i' off." Willie pulled at his arms but the other elbowed him away and continued to punch himself. "S'op—s'op! I'll ge' ya some duckin' cake." The fat man looked up through red rimmed eyes.

"Oh, really," he retorted bitterly. "And how will you do that?"

"I dunno…I-I can' go a'ywhere like dis—wait. Gimme one a' yer shir's." He pulled a T shirt from Stanley's drawer and donned over the hospital gown. Like the others, it hung to his knees. "S'ay dere. I be wight back."

Willie sprinted barefoot down the hall to the head station where the nurses and aides were enjoying squares of sheet cake on paper plates. It was a good time to sneak in a little party as the functional patients were in their sessions; only the zombies remained, seated in a circle, drooling at each other.

He banged on the desk. "Hey, I godda 'mergency here. S'anley nee's cake."

The caregiver gave him a look over the glasses on the bridge of her nose. "No, he doesn't. This is a birthday celebration for Nurse Janet, not patients." She turned to the other staff. "Did you see him bolt out of Annie's session? That boy can smell sugar at 400 yards." The group chuckled in agreement.

"Den give 'im a pill or somet'in'. He's bawlin'."

"That's not on his chart."

"But—"

"Is he in danger? Is he endangering you?"

"Uh, no' 'xactly, but—"

"Then let him cry it out. Stanley can't always get what he wants."

She turned from the young man back to her companions as Willie's eyes scanned the area. He plucked a paper clip from the desk and palmed it. Then the patient strolled back to his room.

But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

"Where's my cake?"

"Shuddup, dere's plen'y lef'." Willie produced the paper clip and proceeded to unbend it. "Da prob'em is ya don' have an order for cake on yer char'. So we fix dat. Gimme pencil."

Stanley retrieved a writing utensil from his desk drawer as his roommate picked the lock of the shallow metal box hinged to the foot of his bed.

"I'm not so sure about this." The big guy looked apprehensive. "Are you sure it's going to work?"

"Trus' me, I'm good a' dis." Willie wrote, carefully copying the handwriting already there, in the medication section of the file.

One large slice of cake to be given three times a day.

"And ice cream," Stanley suggested.

And ice cream, the younger man added.

"There." Willie smiled, slamming the metal file shut. He continued to pry open his own file and perused the chart, carefully writing at the bottom of the instruction sheet."

Give this pashent everything he wants. Order 7 nice clothes and 1 leather jacket. FIRE STEVE.

Their problems were solved. Holy brilliant brainbusters.

"What on earth is going on in here?" Nurse Sharon stood in the doorway, hands on hips. The two young men sat on the edges of their perspective beds with large, round eyes, hands folded. "Did you two tamper with your charts?"

"Yes, ma'am." Willie answered solemnly, as if he anticipated the question.

"I'm not going to ask why, I'm going to ask how."

"It was dat aide, S'eve, he's in here an' lef' 'em unlocked. I t'ink he was drunk. I'm sorry we w'ote in dem, ma'am, bu' we can' help it 'cause we're crazy."

"I see. And why aren't you two ready for bed?"

Willie rose and approached the nurse. "I hadda sit up f'minute. I'm dizzy, t'ink I gonna…" He collapsed into Sharon's arms, bringing the nurse down on top of him. She called for assistance on her walkie, and as soon as the nausea passed, the boys were tucked in for the night and lights were extinguished.

"Stan'ey?"

"I still didn't get any cake."

"Dat's 'cause we ain' done yet. Ge' me oudda dis s'upid t'ing." Stanley obeyed, nervously unstrapping the restraints. "S'it, I wish we had a flas'ligh'."

"Will this do?" The roommate held up a contraband clip-on light with which to read in bed.

"Perfec'," Willie produced Nurse Sharon's ID badge from the sleeve of his straightjacket. "We gonna raid da kitchen."

"Oh my god, no! We'll get in trouble. There's guards and security cameras."

"I got dis all figgered; I didn' get trained by Jas' M'Guire for nuddin'." He paused to ponder the significance of that name for a moment, then shook his head to clear disturbing thoughts. "Da shif' changes a' 'leven 'c'ock. Af'er while, desk guard will be 'sleep, an' we make our move. You'll haveta crawl t' keep under da cam'ra eye. Can you do dat?"

Stanley was caught up in the moment. "Yes, yes, yes!"

"Shhh!"


The night attendant on his rounds hesitated at the sight of a faint light emanating from the kitchen. With trepidation, he reached for the walkie talkie and silently slid his ID card in the lock. The guard peeked into the cavernous room where his powerful flashlight soon pinpointed the crumb-covered duo sitting on the floor surrounded by a demolished sheet cake, lit by the open refrigerator door.

"Hold it right there, don't move!" The watchperson warily approached. "Who's there and what are you doing?"

Stanley belched.

"Havin' our cake t'erapy," the other replied. "Don' worry, i's on our charts."


The following day, the importance of security and adherence to the rules were the topics of every goddam session. All privileges for the two were revoked and the scofflaws got to sit out free time sitting in separate corners. Recreation session was spent in private conference with Dr. Ned, the demon group therapist.

"We're going to talk about safety. Do you two understand the repercussions of what you did?" Stanley rolled his eyes and Willie slid down in the molded plastic chair. "This is serious!" Ned barked, his temper already challenged. "I've yet to hear so much as an apology from either one of you."

Stanley hunched his shoulders timidly. Shifting uncomfortably, the big guy accidently farted, which caused Willie to slide the rest of the way to the floor with peals of unrestrained laughter. His roommate giggled in tandem as the doctor pulled the young patient back into his seat.

"You had better cooperate with me, mister, or you will find that I am your worst nightmare."

"I doubt dat," the young man muttered. As if this loser had any notion of Willie's worst nightmares.

Dr. Ned returned to his seat. "Well, are you sorry?"

"No," Willie retorted. "It was fun. If you gave people cake when dey need it, dey wouldn' have 'a sneak 'round an' be unsafe. You're all on some duckin' power t'ip an' we're puppets ya t'ink ya can p'ay wit'."

"It was fun." Stan, feeling suddenly brave, was inspired to agree.

Dr. Ned did not look up from the note he was writing. "Stanley, you would be wise to keep quiet right now. I don't blame you completely because you're impressionable and have been influenced by this deviant." The therapist returned his attention to Willie with a sneer. "Don't think I've forgotten that you tried to stab me, you little psychopath. I warned Gordon back then you should be in D Ward. That's where they put the other dangerous criminals, in restraints day and night, in cages."

Willie made a fake lunge at the doctor, but pulled back, grinning when the man jumped out of his chair.

"Da p'oblem wid psychos is ya hurt der feelin's, den dey stab ya wid da pen you're holdin'."

The two locked eyes. "Stanley," said Dr. Ned, "Go sit on the steps."

"But—" Tears immediately sprung to the big man's eyes.

"Just do it!" The doctor then spoke into his shoulder walkie. "This is Dr. Ned. Mr. Loomis is ready for his ECT appointment. He's waiting in my office."

"Ain' ya 'fraid t' be 'lone wid me?" Willie goaded the therapist.

"Not really. It's hard to take someone seriously who talks like five-year-old Elmer Fudd."

A minute later Vinnie showed up to escort Willie to the restroom. The patient was confused, as it was not his scheduled time. When they emerged from the toilet, Mitch and Nurse Annie were waiting with a gurney.

"Wassat?" The young man asked cautiously as the two orderlies lifted him onto the transportation and strapped him down. Annie prepared an injection. "Hey, whadda ya doin'?" Willie started to shake. "N-no, don' gimme needle, I didn' do nuddin', I swear, I was jus' kiddin'!"

"It's just a sedative." The nurse rubbed his arm. "I want you to count backwards from 100."

"No, p'ease don' gimme dat, I'm sorry, I won' do it 'gain." Mitch and Vinnie wheeled the gurney to the elevator, which would convey them to the basement ECT therapy room. "Where ya takin' me? I was jus' talkin', I didn' do nuddin' wrong!" He pulled violently against his restraints.

"Calm down, Psycho, you're not being punished; it's on your schedule. This is a treatment to help you get better. Count with me: 100, 99, 98..."

Willie whimpered as the attendant dabbed his temples with conductive jelly, placed the brace on his head and inserted a rubber guard into his mouth. If this wasn't his worst nightmare, it had just earned a spot on the list of top five.


Willie woke up in the infirmary strapped into a bed. He felt numb, disoriented and nauseated. The door was ajar and florescent ceiling lights exacerbated a pounding headache. For several hours, he lay there, unable to remember anything at all.

An angel wearing scrubs came into the room, took his vital signs and mopped his sweaty face. Willie thought about kissing her as she leaned with a Styrofoam cup of water and put the bendy straw in his mouth.

"You did very well," the angel said, smiling. "Go back to sleep now and I'll check in on you again in a little while."

"Don' go, I'll be quiet."

"I'll come back after I finish my other rounds."

"Don' leave me 'lone 'gain. I'm sorry, Maggie, I'm so sorry…"

"Shhh, everything's fine." She kissed his forehead. "Close your eyes."

Maggie snuggled up to him on the cheap mattress. Willie wrapped his arms around her, burying his face in the sweet, floral fragrance of her hair. Together, they drifted off to sleep.


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