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Category Archives: Short Story

The Little Black Box…

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Rebecca watched her father walked through the double door without looking back at her.  Her mother and husband were making a fuss over how she had been upset with the miscarriages and talking of killing herself.  She looked at her arm, the rubber tubing, the syringe, and felt the numbness that caused her to feel heavy, weightless at the same time.  Her vision blurring, the fleur-de-lis wallpaper in her mother’s living room became waves of beige and gold swaying in an invisible breeze.  The reason she was there dissolved into an ocean of oblivion.

When Rebecca began to regain her senses, she was lying on an examining table in a Shelby County Tennessee Medical Clinic, she recognized the doctor who had given her a shot at her mother’s place.  Standing in the corner of the room were her mother, husband and two sheriff deputies.  This time Rebecca did not protest when the doctor gave her another shot of his magic that sent her to a place where she no longer cared.  The wheelchair bumped over each crack in the sidewalk, each feeling as if she was falling into a crater.  The doctor and nurse put her in the back of a squad car as her mother began to tell Rebecca’s husband that his wife would never leave him.  She leans far into the back seat, and in her own heartless way said in a low evil voice.

“You see what happens when you try to disgrace me, putting you away for being insane will be more acceptable than have you leave your husband.  You’re a southerner for god sake, southerners don’t leave their husbands”

Her body quivering beneath the threadbare blanket as Rebecca fought violently against the straps confining her to a bed, her mind battled with drugged hallucinations; when she slept, they became chaotic dreams.  In the end she always gave in, lie quietly watching the unwanted souls shuffle back and forth in the dimly lit hallway.   Rebecca knew of Challis Manor, at the edge of the Appalachian foothills it provided medical treatments for the mentally ill, a place where wealthy Tennesseans paid to have members of their families placed to avoid embarrassment; Rebecca was not there because she had a mental or physical problem, it was 1959 she was there because she tried to leave her husband.

Rebecca struggled in the confusion, she had already undergone several shock treatments, and it had not taken away her need to be free.  She fought confinement, she fought treatments and she wanted her father to come and take her away.

A nurse brought Rebecca two small pills, it was extra medication and it could mean only one thing, it was time for another treatment.  They put her on a gurney and placed her in the hallway outside her room.  She could not stop her mind as it suspended itself between reality and the delusional.  Should she doubt herself, she examined the redness of her wrist made by her constantly fighting the heavy leather straps causing deep cuts.  Finally, Rebecca’s involuntary thrashing turned into calmness.

Rebecca’s mind seemed frozen in time and her body was controlled, but they could not free her of the madness of her confused memories.  She would drift for what seem like hours in hopelessness, her flesh burning, she wondered if she would ever escape her anguished nightmares of her childhood, her marriage, her life.

“Daddy”

“Daddy I’m afraid.”

“Daddy, are you there?”

Rebecca’s visions clung to her like the sweat that gathered and rolled down her face; she remembers a little girl riding with her daddy on the back of a fine Tennessee walking horse in an open field.  She felt someone pick up her hand, turning it was another white clad figure, the gurney was moving, and then stopped.  A glass syringe glittered in the semi-lit room; it was more medication to help them imprison her mind.

“Daddy, daddy are you there, I’m afraid.”

Rebecca knew about the small room designed for suffering; the plastered walls had cracks that snaked toward the ceiling like vines in winter.  She tried to open her eyes but the glare from the lights blinded her.  The room filled with people, nurses, doctors; one saying shock treatment again might be risky; somewhere in the distance, Rebecca could hear her mother’s voice fervently auguring with someone.  She could picture her mother’s face contorted with anger; her mother preferred a lunatic in the family instead of a divorced daughter.

White flecks began to explode behind the lids of Rebecca’s closed eyes.  Her arms and legs strain against the leather straps as convulsions, a reaction from the drug that raced through her body.  She opened her eyes and watched as the blood coming from her bound wrist spread across her pale flesh leaving a crimson trail down to the sheet.   She drifted among abysmal visions of pain and humiliation; traveling into a realm of kaleidoscopic dreams when she heard her mother say…

“I am paying you people enough to take risk, I signed a waiver, and I will be responsible for anything that happens.”

Rebecca opened her eyes and looked at the mirrored window across from her; she knew behind it stood her mother, and husband.  The poignant smell of antiseptic became heavy in the air.  Rebecca felt herself losing control of her thoughts, her body; she could feel her eyes as if on a mission of their own dart back and forth taking in the limited boundaries of the small treatment room, a surge of electricity violated her body, her mind, and her senses.  A nurse had put a wooden paddle between her teeth; the electrical current coursed deeply into her brain.  If she woke, she would try to remember how she got into the asylum and who she was before she married the man her mother had chosen for her.

Rebecca’s eyes opened and were oblivious of the intense light invading her enlarged pupils; she tried to focus on a large mirror above her.  In its reflection was that of a young girl lying on a small narrow bed, leather straps on her arms, legs and across her chest, her skin had the bluish tint of death; her body emancipated, her hollow raven eyes seem more animal than human.  Then the lights became soft, a white garment of serenity blanketed the young girl.  Rebecca closed her eyes then opened them for one last look looked; she knew that she and the young girl were the same and would soon be free; she smiled.

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It was just a small black electrical box sitting on a chipped white enamel table, nineteen-year-old Rebecca her eyes now dark stagnant pools.  Before they wheeled her from the room she closed her eyes for the last time, she had firsthand knowledge of the power of the little black box!  It altered minds, made people submissive; her mother and her husband would no longer have to worry about being embarrassed, there would be no a divorce in the family, she would miss her daddy.  Rebecca knew that her mother and money controlled “the black box”!

Rebecca smiled; no one noticed that the innocent young girl had just taken her last breath!

 

 

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Second Anniversary…

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Today is the second anniversary of my blog Confessional Fiction, Free Verse Poetry, Prose, Non-Fiction and Art. During the last two years, I have been fortunate enough to acquire 1363 followers, 680 Twitter followers from the blog and 355,885 hits. 

All of this is because of “you” my followers, and those who drop by just to browse.  You have supported and help me get through serious health problems and the continued grief of a lost love one; this is because of you. 

Then, there are those of you who have become “Cyber” friends, and to these friends…you held me up when I was down and you walked beside me in spirit as I struggle to become healthy, write and create, a special thank you goes to you and you know who you are.

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree   

27.Night Dragonfly

NIGHT ANGELS

 

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Unyielding Heart – A 100 Word Story

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Unyielding Heart

Amy Dumont woke begging the world to stop; today her memories did not fill the emptiness left in an unyielding heart.  Her plan was to seal shut the door on life, quietly fade away.  She asks herself how others survive.  At times, she knew that her soul peaked over her walled up heart wanting to escape or be found.  She walked up to the grassy mound laying upon it a single yellow rose, softly she touched the headstone tracing the words Andrew Dumont; then looking to the sky she watched clouds part and said to herself  “Be patient doubtful heart”.

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_11?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree&sprefix=ann+johnson%2Caps%2C220

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2016 in 100 Word Short Stories, Death, Depression, Life, Love, Memories, Prose, Short Story, Writing

 

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Journey’s End

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Journey’s End

The essence of descent into life takes root in childhood.  Without choice, the journey in due course will end.  The caretakers of our childhood existence bestow the gift of direction upon our tomorrows.

The perception of childhood can be deceived. Livings within the shelter of acceptance in a world filled with make-believe.  Youth passes, living merely in the yesterdays of our minds.  Life becomes complicated and the visions of early days our minds eye suddenly becomes blind.

We must learn if what we are taught in the beginning is true.  One finds after they have walked the crest of mountains and in the valleys of discontent that the years one has are few.   If life is not what you wanted; it is time to follow your own path; you determine how your journey will end.

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

thBPHSKA15“Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish it.”

 

 

Click on author’s book page to view poetry and art books at Amazon.com

 

 

 

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2015 REPOST…The Black Box

The content below based on a true story developed from a book of poetry published at Amazon.com called “Adoration, Anger, Asylum and Aspiration”.  The poems were created from thoughts of a young girl confused about her love, anger from abuse and the actions of her mother and the older man she was forced to marry.  Aspirations became her final  voice, her desires, wishes, her thoughts on life and her lost innocence before she was placed behind the walls of an asylum.  This conversion from poetry will be Rebecca’s story, a story where death meant freedom; the story leading up to this ending segment shows the many years of pain and this is the last moments of her life.

~

 

The Black Box

Rebecca watched her father walked through the double doors of their home without looking back at her.  Her mother and husband seem to be talking to someone about how she had been upset with her miscarriages and talked of killing herself.  All lies!  She looked at her arm, the rubber tubing, the glass syringe, felt the numbness.  Her vision blurred, the fleur-de-lis wallpaper in her mother’s living room became waves of beige and gold swaying in an invisible breeze.  She became was suspended in an ocean of oblivion.

When Rebecca began to regain her senses, she was lying on an examining table in a Shelby County Tennessee Medical Clinic, she recognized the doctor, the same one that had given her the shot in her mother’s house.  Standing in the corner of the room were her mother, husband and two sheriff deputies.  It was fear that paralyzed her this time; but the doctor gave her another shot, this time she did not protest. It was then that the doctor and a nurse put her into the back of a squad car she could hear her mother telling her husband that it was almost over that his wife would never try to leave him again.  Rebecca felt her mother’s face close to hers as she leaned into the back seat, and in a heartless whisper said…

“You see what happens when you try to disgrace me,” then the spray of evil from her tongue continued, “Putting you away for being insane will be more acceptable than have you leave your husband.  You’re a southerner, a Darwin for God sake.” 

Hours later, Rebecca found herself quivering beneath a threadbare blanket, she fought violently against the straps confining her to a bed and her mind battled with drugged hallucinations that became chaotic dreams.  Each time she woke, she quietly watched what appeared to be unwanted souls shuffle back and forth in a dimly lit hallway.   Rebecca knew of Challis Manor, located at the edge of the Appalachian foothills.  It provided medical treatment for the mentally ill, a place where wealthy Tennesseans paid to have members of their families placed to avoid embarrassment.  Rebecca was not there because she had a mental or physical problem; she was there because she tried to leave an abusive husband.

Days moved into weeks as Rebecca struggled in the confusion, she had undergone several shock treatments, but it had not taken away her need to be free.  She fought confinement, she fought treatments and she wanted her father to come and take her away.  A nurse brought Rebecca two small pills, it was extra medication and it could mean only one thing, it was time for another treatment.  Nurses put her on a gurney rolled her into the hallway outside her room.  She could not stop her mind as it hovered between reality and the delusional.  Should she doubt herself, she examined the redness of her wrist made by her constantly fighting the heavy leather straps causing deep cuts; then after medication, Rebecca’s involuntary thrashing turned into calmness.

Her mind frozen in time and her body controlled, her madness brought confused memories.  She would drift for hours in hopelessness, her flesh burning, she wondered if she would ever escape the anguished nightmares of her childhood, her marriage, her life.

“Daddy, is that you?”  

Rebecca’s visions clung to her like the sweat that gathered and rolled down her face in her fretful attempt to get free.  It is hot, no one cared, and a white clad figure took her hand, the gurney was moving, and then stopped.  A glass vial of a syringe glittered in the semi-lit room; it was more medication to help them imprison her mind, again.

“Daddy I’m afraid.”

“Daddy, are you there?”  

Rebecca’s visions clung to her like the sweat that gathered and rolled down her face; she remembers a little girl riding with her daddy on the back of a fine Tennessee walking horse in an open field.  She felt someone pick up her hand, turning it was a nurse.  A glass syringe glittered in the semi-lit room; it was more medication to help them imprison her mind.

“Daddy, daddy are you there, I’m afraid.”

Rebecca knew about the small room designed for suffering; the plastered walls had cracks that snaked toward the ceiling resembling leafless trees in winter.  She tried to open her eyes but the glare from the lights blinded her.  The room was filled with people, nurses, doctors; one saying shock treatment again might be risky; somewhere in the distance, Rebecca could hear her mother’s voice fervently auguring with someone.

She could picture her mother’s face contorted with anger; then remembered, her mother preferred a lunatic in the family instead of a divorced daughter.  “You see what happens when you try to disgrace me, putting you away for being insane will be more acceptable than have you leave your husband.” 

White flecks began to explode behind Rebecca’s closed eyes.  Her arms and legs strain against the straps as the drug raced through her body.  She opened her eyes and watched as the blood coming from her bound wrist spread across her pale flesh leaving a crimson trail down to the sheet.   She drifted among abysmal visions of pain and humiliation; traveling into a realm of kaleidoscopic dreams when she heard her mother say…

“I am paying you people enough to take such a risk, and I signed a waiver, what else do you want, this time, finish the job!” 

Rebecca opened her eyes and looked at the mirrored window across from her; she knew behind it stood her mother, and her husband.  The poignant smell of antiseptic became heavy in the air.  Rebecca felt herself losing control of her thoughts; she could feel her eyes as if on a mission of their own dart back and forth taking in the limited boundaries of the small treatment room, a surge of electricity violated her body, her mind, and her senses.  She bit a wooden paddle between her teeth in half as the electrical current coursed deeply into her brain.  If she woke, she would try to remember how she got into the asylum and the Rebecca that she was before she married the man her mother had chosen for her.

Her eyes were oblivious of the intense light invading her enlarged pupils; she tried to focus on a large mirror above her.  In its reflection was that of a young girl lying on a small narrow bed, leather straps on her arms, legs and across her chest, her skin had a bluish tint of death; her body emancipated, her hollow raven eyes seem more animal than human.  Then the lights became soft, a white garment of serenity blanketed the young girl.  Rebecca closed her eyes then opened them for one last look looked; she knew that she and the young girl were the same and would soon be free; she smiled.

It was just a small black electrical box sitting on a chipped white enamel table; nineteen-year-old Rebecca her eyes now dark stagnant pools as she was unhooked from the box.  Before they wheeled her from the room she closed her eyes for the last time, she had firsthand knowledge of the power of the little black box!  It altered minds, made people submissive; her mother and her husband would no longer have to worry about being embarrassed, there would be no divorce in the family.  Rebecca knew that her mother and money controlled “the black box”!

Rebecca’s soul smiled; she would miss her daddy… but no one noticed that the innocent young girl had just taken her last breath!

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Wild Mountain Rose

There is a legend upon Mossy Ridge children hear

while listening to the old folks weaves their tales around

their supper table at night –

About…

Two gentle spirits walking the rutty mountain roads under

the mystical Tennessee moonlight. These stories begin

many years ago about an old Cherokee and a little girl

he called his Wild Mountain Rose –

Folks …

First saw her drinking from a cool mountain stream all legs

and dirty yellow hair, abandoned by her family, so the story

goes, but no one is sure of that, if the truth were told. The

first time the old Cherokee saw her she was sleeping under

a bush folks call the Wild Mountain Rose –

Afterwards…

She was with him no matter where he would go. Folks would

say that without old Willie Youngblood she would not have

survived –

Willie…

Knew that without her, he himself would have died. The years

went by quickly and they both grew old, time had touched their

hair with gray –

And…

They could only dream about their younger days. One cool spring

morning, Willie woke to find her gone from his side; he sat for

hours head hung low as he cried –

Later…

He found her lying peacefully; she had died under a familiar bush

on a soft bed of leaves, a mournful death chant was the only way

the old Cherokee knew how to grieve.

Now if you know where to look, it is in the Tennessee Mountains

where Willie Youngblood’s Wild Mountain Rose can be found –

Beneath…

The damp rotting forest floor in a shallow grave, up on Mossy Ridge

near the entrance of Chicopee Cave. The following winter Old Willie

died, and they buried him next to his Wild Mountain Rose –

Folks…

Say in the moonlight two ghostly spirits can be seen sitting on the

banks of Chestnut Creek, or floating along the rutty mountain roads.

When the sun comes up, they disappear…

Or so the legend goes, but everyone on Mossy Ridge knows that it

is Old Willie and that golden haired pup he found many years ago that

he called his…

Wild Mountain Rose.

©2015.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in Poetry, Prose, Short Story

 

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