THE PROHIBITED: VIOLET'S JOURNEY

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CHAPTER 9

They slowly walked into the house. Caroline guided Violet to the kitchen table and sat her down in a chair. Violet did not move. She simply stared at the wooden grain of the table. Caroline filled a glass with water and took it to Violet. “Here, I want you to drink this. I think you might be dehydrated.”

Violet took the glass from Caroline and began to drink. She drank until the glass was empty and then placed it on the table. “Yeah, you’re probably right. I’m sure it’s dehydration. Will you get me another one, please?” Violet handed back the glass to Caroline.

As Caroline filled the cup with water, Violet’s phone began to ring. She didn’t realize that it was ringing at first as it sat atop the table. She was too focused on the grain of the table and the absolute inability to recognize or understand what she had just done. Caroline brought Violet the glass and picked up Violet’s phone.

“Hello?” Caroline asked as she placed the phone to her ear.

“Caroline? Is that you?” Delilah asked.

“Yeah. Sorry, um, Violet is here, but she’s unable to speak right now.” Caroline responded.

“What’s going on?” Delilah asked, concerned.

“I think you need to come home.” Caroline said. “I can’t explain why, but you should come home now. Bring Dr. Marsh with you if you can. Also, I think the entire staff should come home right away.”

“Is everything alright, Caroline?” Delilah was now very concerned.

“No. I’ll need to explain when you get here.”

“Okay. I’ll ask Dr. Marsh if we can cancel the rest of our appointments, and we’ll be there as soon as we can.” Delilah hung up the phone.

Three cars pulled up to the house. Delilah instantly knew that something was wrong. There was not one Normal protesting outside their home. They hadn’t known that ever to happen. Delilah jumped out of the car and ran into the house. The others, including Dr. Marsh, followed behind.

“Violet!” Delilah said as she walked inside. The house was filled with Prohibited all on phones, writing in notebooks, and computers sending out emails to other Prohibited and news organizations with responses to the day’s events. Delilah instantly recognized the scene. This meant something serious had happened, and warnings were being sent. This was not good. “Violet?” Delilah said again as she walked through the house.

Carline came out from an upstairs room. “She’s up here.” Caroline yelled down. Delilah turned to Dr. Marsh and waved for him to follow. He did. They ran up the stairs and into the bedroom where Violet was lying in bed. Caroline followed. Delilah observed Violet’s dazed appearance as she approached.

Delilah sat next to her on the bed and put her hands up to Violet’s face. “Honey? Violet, what happened?” Delilah tried to establish recognition into Violet’s eyes. “Violet, sweetheart. What happened?”

Violet looked up at Delilah, then at Dr. Marsh, and then at Caroline. She could not speak. Dr. Marsh placed his bag on the nightstand and began taking Violet’s vitals. He took the Ophthalmoscope and looked into Violet’s eyes. He took her pulse and listened to her heart.

“Caroline, can you get her a glass of water?” Dr. Marsh asked as he began to check her reflexes. Caroline went to the bathroom and filled a paper cup with water. Caroline handed Dr. Marsh the water who then gave it to Delilah. “Here, I want you to take this, Violet. It’s a mild sedative. It will help you relax.” He retrieved a bottle of pills from his bag and poured one into his hand. He placed it into Violet’s mouth as Delilah brought the cup up for her to drink. Violet drank without resistance.

“Dr. Marsh?” Delilah looked up at the doctor as he motioned for her and Caroline to follow him out of the room. Delilah helped Violet lay back in the bed and covered her with the blankets. They exited the room and shut the door behind them. Delilah was bewildered and looked to Dr. Marsh and Caroline for answers.

“She’s in shock. Her blood pressure and heart rate are a bit high, but nothing to worry about. Her pupils are quite large. The sedative should help. I’m going to stay until I feel confident that she is doing better. Something really affected her, but she should be fine, Delilah.”

Delilah watched every word as it formed and exited his mouth. She had faith in Dr. Marsh and his care for Violet. She looked at Caroline. “What happened?” Delilah waited intently for her response.

Caroline explained what had happened at the large gathering. She emphasized the chaos that ensued. She detailed the concern and urgency they had for stoppimg the negative media attention before it could get out of control. She explained how they warned Prohibited and their need to start a list of all who had been arrested so that they could account for everyone and their safe return. She went on to tell Delilah and Dr. Marsh about the ride home and arriving to see the large number of Normals who were protesting on the street. Dr. Marsh and Delilah absorbed what Caroline was telling them. They were equally concerned for the incident and aftermath at the gathering. There would be huge ramifications.

“Okay.” Delilah responded. “But why is Violet acting this way? She’s normally very calm and focused in these situations. Why is she like this?”

Caroline took Delilah’s hand and began speaking. “Delilah, I don’t know what happened. The Normals were screaming, spitting, and throwing rocks. They were out of control, and there were so many of them, but we were easily ignoring them. We were all making our way up the driveway when suddenly, Violet became enraged.”

“Enraged?” Delilah was confused.

“Yes. She turned and ran down the driveway, screaming and threatening the Normals. She couldn’t stop. I can’t explain it. She lost control and just went crazy.” Caroline explained. “I don’t know what happened. I’ve never seen her like that. I’ve never seen that from a Prohibited, ever. It was like,” Caroline paused. “It was like she was one of them.”

“What?” Delilah questioned, now even more confused. “Like a Normal?”

Caroline looked at Dr. Marsh, who appeared to be just as confused. He was an extreme sympathizer for all Prohibited. He housed them. He employed them. He gathered with them. He did this because he found them the most loving and peaceful people he had ever come across. He fought for them because they were pure, loyal, and devoted to peace. He made no secret that he preferred Prohibited over Normals any day. To him, Normals were complicated, selfish, and judgmental people. He didn’t consider all Normals to be this way, but a good majority of them. He found that the evolution of Normals had taken a dark turn when Prohibited came into this world.

Prohibited seemed like a mutual thread for Normals to behave appallingly and direct their insecurities and fears towards Prohibited, who could not fight back. If it weren’t for the sympathizers gaining in numbers, his hope for humanity would be completely obliterated. What Caroline was telling them made no sense to him, and he became even more concerned. “What do you mean, Caroline? What was she doing, saying?” Dr. Marsh asked.

“Well, I just heard her screaming for them to stop. I turned around, and she was running at them. It seemed like she wasn’t running towards them, but at them. She just kept screaming for them to stop and telling them to go away.” Caroline continued.

“What were the Normals doing?” Dr. Marsh asked.

“They ran. You should have seen their faces. They were terrified. I kind of felt bad for them. You should have seen the fear in their eyes. They weren’t expecting an attack from one of us. That was obvious. They did the only thing they could do, they ran. I’m sure they had no idea what she was going to do to them. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what she was going to do to them. It was so scary, Delilah. It was completely unexpected.”

Delilah removed her hand from Caroline’s and ran her hand through her hair. She looked down at the floor as she began to pace the hallway. Caroline and Dr. Marsh watched her. She was processing the unimaginable. Delilah finally stopped and looked back at Caroline. “So, after the Normals ran, what did she do?”

“Well, she just kept screaming and threatening them.” Caroline said, as the many conversations below continued while Prohibited tried their best to gain some control of the chaotic situation, continuing their calls and emails.

“Threatened how?” Delilah almost demanded.

“Well, she kept yelling at them not to come back, or they would be sorry. She wouldn’t stop.” Caroline paused and took a deep breath. “I tried to approach her, but then, she yelled at me too.” Caroline replied as a tear rolled down her cheek. “She screamed at me.” Caroline’s sorrow was apparent. For her, it was like a loving parent lashing out at a child for the first time. It had shocked her, but more importantly, it was a betrayal of safety. This was new to Caroline, to all who had witnessed it, even the Normals.

Delilah again ran her hand through her hair and took in deep breaths as her focus went back to the floor. “Wow. okay, um, okay.” Delilah fought for meaningful words but couldn’t find any. Dr. Marsh wrapped his arms around Caroline as she fought back the tears as a result of this new type of wound she was experiencing. No one had ever been confronted by a Prohibited, and now, she was the first. It broke her heart. Dr. Marsh comforted her. He knew what she was feeling. Normals did this to each other all the time. But this was new to a Prohibited, by a Prohibited. The Prohibited had protection from the hate and anger they experienced from Normals. It did not impact Prohibited the way Normals intended. This was a built-in mechanism for Prohibited that they were lucky to have. However, this mechanism didn’t respond in the same way when a Prohibited lashed out. This was a new type of behavior from a Prohibited, and Dr. Marsh would do his best to find out why. But for now, he comforted a distraught Caroline.

“Dr. Marsh?” Delilah finally looked up.

Caroline and Dr. Marsh separated as Caroline wiped the tears from her eyes. Dr. Marsh spoke. “Yes?”

“Any idea why Violet would have done what she did?” Delilah was hoping with all hope that Dr. Marsh would have a simple explanation of a one-time behavior due to medical reasons. That is not what she got.

“Delilah, I have no idea. I really don’t. You’ve never seen her do anything like this before?” Dr. Marsh asked.

“No. Never. It’s not like her. I’m just dumbfounded.” Delilah replied.

“Well, I suggest we get back to Violet and help her through this. Caroline?” Dr. Marsh looked at Caroline. Caroline nodded. “Caroline, the Normals who witnessed this will undoubtedly begin to get the word out quickly. I need you to do damage control as soon as possible. I’m sure the media will be on this soon if they already haven’t. So, here is what I want you and the others to begin putting out there. Explain that one of the Prohibited, do not specify that it was Violet, was in shock from the gathering and extremely dehydrated from being out in the sun all day. Tell them that she has been diagnosed with a bacterial infection, which quickened the dehydration process, and that she is gravely ill. Tell them that she is under a doctor’s care and receiving antibiotics and treatment. Tell them that the cause of any perceived aggression was due to delirium the Prohibited was experiencing. If you must, tell them that she was close to death. This needs to sound extreme and so outside the norm that it was a one in a million chance of ever happening.”

“Okay. We can do that.” Caroline acknowledged the plan.

“Good. I also want you and the others to downplay the event with Violet. Please make sure that our version is that she was incoherent and not aggressive. That what the Normals perceived was not aggression but extreme confusion from a person in life-threatening delirium. Do you understand?”

“I understand. We’ll get right on it.” Caroline turned to walk away.

“Oh, and Caroline, I want your first call placed to Micah Jenkins. I want you to tell him everything, including our take on the event. He should reach out to his contacts and begin to get the word out. I want the spin to be a tragedy of the utmost garnering sympathy for Prohibited, both from the gathering and with Violet. But again, do not bring her name up. He also needs to speak with his brother and convince him of what we are saying actually happened. We must keep the Senator on our side. If we’re lucky, Senator Jenkins will take a stand against the atrocities at the gathering and call for justice for your kind. Okay?”

“Alright. I will.” Caroline said as she rushed down the stairs. Caroline thought this was a great plan and was determined to make the world believe it.

Delilah and Dr. Marsh entered the room to see Violet lying on the bed with her eyes closed. Dr. Marsh walked up to her and placed his fingers on her wrist to check her pulse. Violet opened her eyes and looked up at Dr. Marsh. Delilah sat next to Violet.

“Much better.” Dr. Marsh removed his fingers. “Her heart rate has come down significantly.” He said to Delilah. “Violet, I need you to sit up so that I can check your blood pressure.”

Violet didn’t respond, but she slowly pulled herself up and extended her arm. Dr. Marsh placed the cuff on her and took her blood pressure. “Good. The sedative is working. Now I just need to look into your eyes.” Dr. Marsh rechecked Violet’s eyes. This time her pupils were average size and responded as they should. “You’re doing great, Violet. Much better.” He listened to her heart with the stethoscope and placed his equipment into his bag. He sat in the chair next to the nightstand. “How are you feeling now?”

Violet pulled the covers up to her chest and straightened them. “Better.” She whispered. Delilah reached for Violet’s hand and held it in both of hers.

“Violet, can you talk about what happened without getting too upset?” Delilah urged her while Dr. Marsh was still there to help out if things didn’t go well. Delilah didn’t know what to expect.

Violet breathed a few deep breaths and looked at Delilah. “I think so.”

“Caroline told us what happened, but can you tell us?” Delilah gently squeezed her hand.

Violet’s brow furrowed as she sought to explain. “I don’t know what happened. I remember pulling up to the house. I remember thinking that we had a lot to do. I remember thinking that I eventually needed to get down to the police station to see who was left and needed help. I remember thinking that I needed to call Micah Jenkins. I just had so many things to do. The gathering had ended so badly.” Violet took another deep breath while her face contorted as she explained.

“You’re doing good, Violet. Just keep taking deep breaths. You’re doing wonderfully.” Delilah tried to give her comfort.

Violet looked up at Delilah and then at Dr. Marsh. “I don’t even remember seeing the Normals there. They’re always there. They’re like wallpaper sometimes. They are there, but you don’t even notice them anymore.” Violet paused and set her focus on Delilah. “I remember walking up the driveway, and then,” Violet began concentrating. “then, I just snapped. I don’t know why. Suddenly, I just felt this buildup of negative emotion. I guess that would be the best way to describe it. I don’t even know what to call it. It consumed me.” Violet began to cry. Delilah began to wipe her tears. “It was horrible, mom. Oh, my God. It was awful. I can’t explain it. It just took over, and I found myself running and screaming at them. Mom, I said such horrible things. I feel so bad about that. But it was like a dark fire inside that I couldn’t put out. It lit up and just got bigger until I couldn’t breathe anymore.” Violet’s tears fell down her face quickly. Delilah vigorously wiped them.

“It’s okay, baby. It’s okay. I’m so sorry, Violet.” Delilah tried again to comfort her daughter as she became inconsolable. “Violet, it’s alright, sweetie, you didn’t mean to do what you did. It’s not your fault.”

Violet looked directly into Delilah’s golden eyes. “But, mom, I did mean to do it. I mean, I didn’t, but once it took over, all I wanted to do was,” Violet paused as she began to cry hysterically. “All I wanted to do was hurt them. I wanted to cause them so much pain like they had tried to do to us for so long. I wanted to destroy them.” Violet’s words were fighting through hysterics. “I wanted them dead. I wanted them dead, mom.” Violet removed her hands from Delilah’s and placed them over her face. Her tears ran fast, and she was having a difficult time controlling her emotions. “It was insane, mom. Oh, my God! I can even explain it. I never want to feel like that ever again.” Violet fell into her mother’s lap.

Delilah began to stroke Violet’s hair as her daughter lay in her lap, gasping for air through the tears. Delilah looked up at Dr. Marsh with a look of terror. Dr. Marsh remained stoic. He knew exactly what Violet was describing. He knew this foreign feeling that she lacked the words to describe was an emotion that Normals easily felt. It was rage, anger, and hatred. As far as he knew, a Prohibited was incapable of feeling these emotions, at least to this level. As Violet and Delilah suffered in their confusion, Dr. Marsh sat in contemplation of what this meant.

“I can’t breathe!” Violet quickly sat up to face her mother. “I can’t breathe, mom.” Violet grabbed at her mom and clutched at the blankets. Violet was in extreme distress.

Delilah grabbed for her daughter, who was having some sort of medical emergency. “Dr. Marsh!” Delilah demanded a quick response.

Dr. Marsh got up from the chair and again removed the pill bottle from his bag. He took out another pill and took the cup from the nightstand as Violet flailed on the bed in sheer terror. She screamed that she couldn’t breathe. He placed the tablet in Violet’s mouth and put the cup to her lips as she drank. He placed the cup back onto the nightstand and took Violet’s hands into his. “Violet, look at me. I need you to look at me.” Dr. Marsh said, lovingly but insistent. Violet fought for air as Delilah stood up and let Dr. Marsh take over. She didn’t know what was happening to her daughter, but she trusted Dr. Marsh without a doubt. As Violet thrashed about as if she were drowning, Dr. Marsh fought to gain her focus.

“Violet, I need you to calm down. Violet, look at me.” He demanded. Violet’s eyes glowed in fear as she tried to focus on Dr. Marsh.

“I can’t breathe, Dr. Marsh.” She pleaded.

“Yes, you can, Violet. I need you to breathe with me.” Dr. Marsh began to inhale deeply through his nose and exhale slowly out his mouth as Violet watched through her tears. “Just like this, Violet. Breathe with me.” Violet struggled to mimic Dr. Marsh’s breathing pattern. In and out. In and out. Slowly Violet began to follow the rhythm of his breathing. “That’s it, Violet. You’re doing good. Just keep breathing with me.” Dr. Marsh continued to breathe in through his nose and out through his mouth slowly. In and out. In and out. After some time of the two breathing in a pattern, Violet began to relax her muscles, and the fear slowly lessened in her face. “Good job, Violet.” Delilah said from behind the doctor. “Just keep breathing.” She encouraged her daughter.

Violet continued to focus on Dr. Marsh’s breathing as if her life depended on it. To her, it felt like it did. She had been kneeling on the bed as she struggled for breath. As Dr. Marsh continued the breathing pattern while holding her hands, he began to help her lay back. In and out. Her face relaxed. Her arms relaxed. Her hands relaxed. “That’s my girl. Just like that. In and out.” Dr. Marsh said with genuine calmness as Violet slowly slid back into the bed while still gripping his hands and watching him intently. Her survival, she felt, was solely reliant on him.

The intensity of the situation gradually subsided. As Delilah watched in agony of her daughter’s pain, she realized that she, too, was breathing in sync with Dr. Marsh and Violet. She found this to be calming her as well. Delilah continued to watch as Dr. Marsh was able to release Violet’s hands and tuck her into the bed as Violet’s eyes began to close. They both stood above Violet for quite a while as she finally fell into sleep. With her daughter at peace, Delilah walked over to the curtains at the window and gently pulled them shut. The room was filled with darkness. Dr. Marsh and Delilah quietly walked out of the room and slowly closed the door leaving it slightly ajar, so if Violet woke up, they would be aware.

“What was that?” Delilah asked.

“Well, that, my dear, was a panic attack.” Dr. Marsh informed her.

“A panic attack?” Delilah questioned.

“Yes. A good old fashion panic attack.” He reiterated.

“I’ve heard of them but, I’ve never known anyone who had them.” Delilah whispered. “Do Prohibited have panic attacks?”

“Not that I’m aware of.” In all of his years as a doctor and especially as a Prohibited doctor, he had never heard of one experiencing a panic attack. This was a Normal’s behavior.

“What’s going on?” Delilah was desperate for answers.

“I’m not exactly sure, Delilah. But from what Violet was describing, it sounded to me that what she experienced in the driveway was extreme rage.”

Delilah’s eyes got exponentially bigger. The whites of her eyes engulfed the gold. “Rage? But, she’s incapable of rage. We are incapable of rage.” For the first time since knowing Dr. Marsh, Delilah wanted him to be wrong.

“All I can say is that what she was describing sounded a lot like rage and anger. I have felt it. Normals are very capable of feeling those emotions. You know that.”

“Yes. We see that in Normals all the time, but we don’t feel it. We don’t express it. We don’t act it out.”

“You’re right. However, Violet isn’t exactly like the other Prohibited, right? She is different. Maybe, she is capable of those feelings. I think she was capable today at least.”

Delilah thought about what Dr. Marsh was saying. “No. No. There is no way Violet could be capable of rage. Dr. Marsh, there has to be another explanation.”

“Well, Delilah, I could be wrong, and honestly, I hope I am. But there is nothing that I can think of that would explain her responses today. Plus, Delilah, a panic attack, which she just experienced, isn’t a condition that Prohibited experience either. And you saw it first-hand. You can’t deny that.”

Delilah knew Dr. Marsh was right. He was a great doctor, and she trusted him with her kind. For as long as she had known him, he had never been wrong before. However, a Prohibited experiencing these things was impossible, or at least it was before today.

“Listen, Delilah. She’ll be alright. I’m going to leave the pills here. If she begins to experience more anxiety throughout the next few weeks, have her take one. It’ll help calm her down. I’ll work with her on coping skills so that she isn’t reliant on the pills in the future. It’s going to take some time. I have a colleague who is a psychologist as well as a sympathizer. I think she would be happy to work with Violet. She can help her with the emotional aspect of all of this. How does that sound?”

Delilah was treading into new territory, and she had no idea what she should do, so she would rely on Dr. Marsh. He had never steered her wrong. “That should be fine.” Delilah nodded her head.

“I’ll call her tomorrow and arrange for her to make contact. For now, keep an eye on Violet. Make sure she eats and drinks plenty of water. I’m going to see if we have a list of the Prohibited and sympathizers who were taken into custody. If we do, I’ll take some people with me to the jail and see what we can do about getting everyone released. For now, you just worry about Violet. We’ll take care of the rest.” Dr. Marsh slowly opened the door as Violet was snoring. He got his bag and placed the pills on the nightstand, and exited the room. Delilah hugged him as she thanked him for his help. He walked down the stairs to the awaiting chaos of the main floor as Delilah went back into the room and remained there until Violet woke up.

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