My heels clashed against the cold marble floor, causing an echo to cry out in the silent hallway. However the silence being held in the hall wasn’t the good kind. No. It was the eerie kind that for some reason always made the hairs at the back of your neck spike to attention and caused goose bumps to scatter along your arms.
But that silence was normal at Brumous Prison. The prison was home to many evil criminals. Of course it had no infamous serial killers such as Ted Bundy and so on. The prison was mainly filled with people everyone else thought were normal, but were in fact found guilty of their crimes. However among those who were thieves and con men there were still killers. Cold blooded killers. And it was my job to talk with them.
Being the Prison psychologist in the male inmates wing I had to test all those who could potentially be insane and therefore I’d decide if they would face their sentences here or in a mental hospital.
Though none of my patients were Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy, they were just as cruel. They still had serpent blood coursing through their veins. They still had cold eyes I was forced to stare back into and their gazes made me sick to my stomach. It was those cold, cold gazes that often tormented my dreams and kept me up at night.
I had left work for 3 months. There was an incident, meaning I needed to take time off. I even saw a therapist of my own for a few weeks. But now I was back, ready to face the dark minds once again.
I was surprised at first they even let me stay after what happened, anyone could see I wasn’t in my right mind. It really fucked me up. But I was good at my job. Very, very good at it. Which was quite odd considering i was only 22, but I had always understood people. I was good at reading them so I did very well at my college, Stanford, so I was a good risk for anyone to hire. And here I am, 1 year after graduating.
Bag in hand, I pressed my key card against the pad and entered the ward. Nothing had changed, which for some reason shocked me even though I hadn’t been gone for long enough to return to dramatic change. What was I expecting? The world to fall apart while I was gone? No, because even if your world seems like it’s breaking apart and collapsing on top of you, the rest of the world continues to spin and carry one as if oblivious to what you are seeing. But that’s not too bizarre, all 7.7 billion people on our planet don’t just stop for 1 person.
Today I wanted to make a good impression. I wanted to seem together. I was together. I was fine. I had worn my favorite purple silk blouse and paired it with a simple black pair of pants and matching blazer. My hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail and I had only worn natural makeup. I didn’t usually bother with foundation because I was lucky enough to be one of those girls who had never really suffered with acne. This meant I normally only applied concealer, mascara, eyeliner and did my eyebrows. I also carried a Chapstick and gloss as in this cold weather my lips would often crack.
I liked winter despite its bitter cold weather and disastrous sickness. I loved wearing snug clothes that didn’t sexually exploit me or show my scars, clothes that just made me comfortable. And I lived for the moments that I could enjoy wrapped in my blanket with a movie playing in the background as I stared out my window watching the snow fall from the sky, landing on the ground. The scenery was always stunning, trees dusted in sugar like snowflakes. So beautiful and peaceful.
Compared to the sweaty, clammy summer’s spent in denim shorts that only caused pain and the eventual boredom of being able to do everything. But even when the world is your oyster and you have no responsibilities for weeks, it gets boring.
I was greeted by the head of the ward, and given my folders which were already full of the information about my brand new patient. Today I would just read through the notes, create a basic assessment plan and that would be all.
Because it was day 1 I wouldn’t launch straight into work and I didn’t need to be rushed anyway because I liked to be prepared before meeting my patient. I needed background information and so on just to save me the stress of suddenly being in a room with a maniac having read nothing about them. I had to be prepared.
With the folders in my arms I walked to my office. My boxes had been delivered here already so I began to unpack.
My office was decently sized. It had a desk, surrounded by a few chairs, a cupboard and a few other bits and bobs scattered around the place.
I started with my desk, placing pens in a pot and some notebooks in my draws. I then moved on to the cupboard that I filled with a spare outfit and other things I could need.
Everything was set out perfectly so I went over to the door and pressed on my name plate.
I took my mom’s maiden name because my dad took off before I was born. I didn’t hate my name, but it was so normal, so boring.
But it didn’t matter.
My mom died 3 years ago, just as I started college. I was an only child (my mom learnt from her mistakes when my dad took off) so I was on my own.
I guess you could say I had ‘daddy issues’ I never met mine and my mom was absent. That only pushed me to work harder so I could get away. I couldn’t end up like her. Lonely and poor with a child I could never love.
I sat on my leather desk chair as I prepared myself to dive into this case. I would write my notes and then see what I could gather from them.
Well...here we go, first case of Alice Green’s return.
Hello Alexander Marino.
I had actually heard of Alexander. His gang had been on the news. He was rumored to be in the Italian mafia however that was never confirmed. What was confirmed was the overall 674 people he had murdered with his own hands, not including the rest of the people who had been slaughtered by the gang’s orders.
Alexander had been caught helping hold a drug empire amongst many other crimes, everyone knew he was in the mafia however people were terrified to make that link because of his brother, who is believed to lead the mafia. It was a surprise that he had even been caught because most people were too cautious to imprison a mafia member let alone someone with connections like he had.
Alexander’s file was just telling me about what he had done and how he had been caught. A snitch had come forward to the police after being taken himself. The information he gave the authorities had knocked 15 years off his own sentence. That is until he had been assassinated.
We had to be careful, it seemed like Alexander had people still doing his dirty work, I was simply a psychologist and didn’t want to get caught up in any of this.
I didn’t think he would qualify for his sentence to be switched to a mental illness plea. Sure he probably had anger issues but I doubt someone as cruel as him would get away with that. No, the judge would see straight through him.
However I didn’t doubt this would be one of my hardest cases. He was obviously very smart and would constantly be trying to trick me.
Maybe returning this soon was a mistake after all....no I would stand my ground. No one had faith in me but I would prove them all wrong. I was bored of everyone looking at me like I was glass- ready to shatter at any moment. Well I’d show them.
That evening I had driven home. I got my drivers license as soon as I could.
I was brought up in Colorado, so I got my license as soon as I turned 16. It was very important to me that I could be independent and being able to drive meant I was almost free. I could go anywhere I wanted after I saved up for a car.
My first car was only $700, I had bought it from a junkyard and it was old and pretty ugly but it still functioned well. I had saved the money for about 2 years since I began working at local diners and hair salons.
But once I moved here, to California, and got a better job it meant I could buy a better car and better apartment. And that’s exactly what happened. Now I had a five seater car that wasn’t covered in dust and had a working stereo along with a clean and spacious apartment.
Once I returned home I had a shower and got into some pajamas. I had a big day and I would go to bed.
My apartment had a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The kitchen had a bar in it where I would eat and work. I also had a lounge. Because I lived in the city, homes were expensive for what they were. I paid about double of what I would have for a house 2 times the size back in Colorado. But I preferred it here, so it was worth it.
I sat at the bar and ate some basic pasta and garlic bread (a favorite of mine) and read my book as I did so. It was always quiet in my apartment, I longed to have someone but I had serious trust issues due to what had happened.
I once again read Alexander’s file before scanning and adding to my notes on his case and then turned off my light and went to sleep.
“For fuck sake Alice, can’t you even keep your eyes off of my co-workers for one night” Ryan screamed in my face.
I was already crying. I knew what was coming and I was so scared. I was always so scared.
“Please, I swear I wasn’t...I- I only love you!”
I wasn’t lying. I hadn’t been looking at his co-workers that way. I had just been curious and bored so I just began to stare, unaware of what I was doing.
“Fucking whore, I’ll show you what happens to dirty sluts like you.”
I woke up soaked with sweat.
Another nightmare. These were occurring every night now. But I couldn’t tell anyone, they would extend my suspension and therapy, deeming I was still unstable to return to work. So I would just continue to suffer in silence.
I glanced at my clock.
There was no point in trying to go back to bed. Now I needed to shower so I would need more time anyway. I had to leave for work at 7 am, that was in about 3 hours so I was in no rush.
I sat on my coach reflecting on my dream. Ryan had been my boyfriend since university. I met him in Stanford. He was studying politics and I was doing psychology. He was 2 years older but that didn’t bother me. Although I had never admitted it to anyone, I was a submissive at heart, so Ryan’s dominating personality captivated me. But it wasn’t long before he turned abusive. There was a difference between being dominating and abusive.
The last few years that I had spent with him were awful. To cut it short I ended up in hospital traumatized and when work found out they put me on leave.
I didn’t like discussing the details, it just reminded me of the pain I felt. I wish I could forget but I had the scars to always remind me of my ordeal.
His marks would forever be burned onto my skin, and his cruel words would always taint my mind.
But I knew deep down Ryan was right. Maybe I was a whore. Maybe I was a slut. That was why nobody wanted me. I was disgusting.
I was broken.