The Brighton…

 

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I recently research for a story I was outlining about the asylums almost 100 years ago. I did wonder if the patients of today get the same treatments. The answer is yes…

The facilities are cleaner, cheerful in many ways, however, the electrical shock therapy still exist; maybe a bit more human, but it does exist as well as cold bath treatments. Most of the control is by drugs, the dose of a drug is upped until it has made the patient more controllable.

We talk about “walls” keeping the US citizen and foreigners’ out, we talk about “civil rights” and we talk about conditions in schools and private homes. What about the home of the mentally ill? A short excerpt below give more thought on Asylums.

 

The Brighton…

 
Brighton was located in Illinois, a house of torture. In 1900, bleeding, freezing and kicks to the head, and shock therapy this best describes Brighton a home for the insane; and their treatment of patients until they were dead. It was Brighton’s’ policy for the insane, they received often physical abuse, water torture, and lobotomies, convinced it would eventually set the patients mind free.

There are those who believe that a spirit lives there today, a young girl, caretakers thought she had run away. They found her lifeless body in 1979 they called it an accident not a crime. Cold, lifeless and unclothed, how she had died no one would ever know. They say a stain in the shape of a human can still be seen on the floor where she died, and at night a ghostly figure floats up and down the hall, many have heard her cry.

A haunting you might say, Brighton a real life house of horrors where murder, suicide and brutality reigned while bodies frail and bloodstained were constrained. Closed, yes, but its dark history remains, buildings and tunnels crumbling and rotting, but the torture within those crumbling walls should never be forgotten.

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Many of these practices are still used today, like then, no one talks about it!

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

The Sinkhole…

 

The Sinkhole…
(A short-short story from a collection of memories from the author’s childhood)
The summer of 1943, my family became the proud owners of a “newer” icebox; the old one became rusty with the tiny leaks that allowed water to escape. A block of ice bought from the regular Saturday trip to town wrapped in burlap kept to ice cool all week, by Saturday morning the burlap wrap, which southerners called a “toe sack” lay in a lump of water. My grandpa and the one old mule we owned pulled the old rusty icebox to a sinkhole in the pasture. The ever-sinking hole was round as big as a house, the walls slanted toward a bottom that provided an ever-ending change throughout the year.

As children, my sister Billie Wayne and I knew not to go near the sinkhole, that it may sink into the earth and we would never be seen again. Of course neither of us we afraid of it! It was also the summer that my ten-year-old sister convinced me that she had a new place for me to play; excited I ran with her into the pasture and jumped right into the sinkhole. My only sibling always played her never-ending spiteful tricks on me; with the promise of playing “train”, she the conductor and me the passenger, she shoved me into the old icebox and shut the door. I could hear her laughter as she ran out of the sinkhole.

One would have thought that my grandfather would have turned the old icebox face down, but he dumped it, watched it slide into the hole and rode away; it landed on its back with door exposed. He was my daddy’s’ father, the one who ran off leaving him and his mother when he was just a boy. It was our mother who forced my daddy to have him come see us, she taught my sister to call him Papa, in time I would only refer to him as Mr. Johnson.

I do not want say that my sister shut me in the icebox on purpose, but as the years went by I did wonder if her constant tricks, comments and bossiness was in wanting to be an only child had anything to do with it? Of course, my mother wanted her to be the only child as well.  As a family, we had established our pattern for family life…my mother would always have Billie with her and tell me to run along with my daddy while she and Billie planned their day. Daddy tried to remember how long I had been gone, he begin to calling my name, even getting the old dog “Buster” to look for me.

Mother tried to reassure him that I was out in the woods somewhere; Billie Wayne continued cutting cookie dough without saying anything. My grandfather got on the old mule and headed into the nearby sugar cane field knowing that I sometimes stole a bit of sugar cane to suck on. Yes, at barely four years old I would play in the fields and woods, a wild child so to speak.

The grandpa was moving slowly hoping I would hear them calling my name when he thought of the old icebox. It never entered his mind that he might kill that old mule by running him so fast in the hot Alabama sun, but he jumped off his back, sliding down into the sinkhole. When he jerked open the door that I was blue, he hollered for my daddy while blowing into my mouth; now who would have known that he knew CPR. He didn’t he just wanted to get air into my lungs.

Daddy saw grandpa riding across the pasture toward the sink hole; he knew instantly that something was wrong he had never seen the old mule move so fast. Daddy rode across the pasture on Red, the big roan quarter horse hooves pounding the earth, Buster barked, it would seem even the animals knew that a threatening cloud had settled over the old Hamilton Place, the farm my daddy worked.

Daddy jumped into the sinkhole pulling me from my granddaddy’s arms, he climbed back upon Red leaving grandpa behind, and he rode to the gully where we went for water. Coming out of a big boulder was a stream of cold water, almost as if it had been frozen and was melting; it flowed into a rock where time had formed a bowl before it lapped into a small creek.

Daddy ran tossing me into the ice-cold water, there is no explanation for what he did but the cold water shocked me into breathing. I would like to think that both God and Nature had a hand in keeping me alive that day through the hands of my daddy.

When daddy carried me into the house the first question my mother asks had I been swimming in the Pool’s catfish pond again. Daddy told her what happen, while daddy placed me on the bed my sister and I shared; mother continued to chastise me for playing in the sinkhole.

“You have got to stop running the woods and pastures, you should try to be a lady; more like your sister” She looked toward my sister with a pride.

I raised my head off the pillow long enough to see Billie Wayne smiling and when no one was looking she stuck her tongue out at me!

Billie Wayne passed away in 2009 at the age of seventy-six years old; we had become sisters and friends only the last thirteen years of her life. I maintained the relationship until she stops speaking in 2006; it took be those thirteen years to find out that she had never changed.

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

Rise and Kill the Beast…

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Rise and Kill the Beast…

 

She woke, rising from her bed; the next stop in front of the long mirror in her bedroom. My God, she thought there in the mirror was an old woman thin lips, long gray hair, crevices lining her face. She watched the face turn pale, fear rose from the pit of her stomach closing off her breath. Suddenly she grasps the sides of her face stretching her cheeks upward until the face was smooth. When had this happen, it was her face in the mirror! Was it during the dense darkness of the night that this happen? She open her mouth to say something, the words’ fell upon her ears anxious, a sham, her heart beat faster and fear hung in her mouth like hot lava. What is next, hopelessness, death? This is the stage in life that people pray to their God for their sins, or whatever they have done wrong, the end could be near, was this fear.

 
Where did the time go, the long dark braids, the nimble fingers and graceful body? The body that played tennis, rode a bike, skied over rough waters, time was so short. She was a person that shields her spirit from the darkest, deepest pits of the Hell and learns to tolerate life. Someone, whose body gave birth, lived with the Devil’s own spawn until her escape. The one who refuse to cry or shrivel in fear as she waited for the feel of a fist.
Someone who waited for the long fingers to clutch around her neck, then in the light of day hide the truth and lies, live in mystery so no one would know. She trembled but let out no sign of fear. The body allows tears to fall after the evil thing had gone away. She tried to flatten herself upon the bed made of stones, her mind fled before she could breathe the stagnant air before the extravagant retreat.

 
These pains were hard to bare, the Devil’s spawn wanted groveling, her throat already like splintered wood, why had fate brought her to this doomed place, imprisoned her to live and be lost forever. To live in torment and dire despair, her spirit continuous crawling through the fires of hell, and she wailed her doom to the pits darkness. Never knowing a peaceful life, a loving or genteel life denied. Her mind always filled with wisdom and untouched by the suffering. Sure, she was defeated, but she would someday rise and kill the Beast.

 

 

 

 

©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

Books can be purchased at Amazon.com – Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction

Misery’s Problems…

 

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Misery’s Problems…

 
Misery has sent many souls Hell. They condemn

themselves; a mournful cry comes from their place

of unrest. They cry for what they wanted in life and

did not get, they could not be satisfied with what they

had, misery prevailed. They have helped destroy the

earth.
In the beginning there was cold, unceasing and

relentless rain, there seem to be a mutation of the earth

as the decades went forward with minds unchanged.

Days were heavy with hail, turbid waters mixed with

cold and snow, fiery had a tight hold on the waters that

covered the earth, still many humans could not see the

doom and darkness upon the earth.
Their souls are putrid, the soil of the earth is foul, above

them the ravens swarm in and out of the acid sky, the

beast of the earth roams follow grounds. Each of those

misery humans fell to the ground gathering handfuls of

soil casting it into the hollows of the earth. They now

know that gluttonous greed will bring rancid air and their

belly’s growl like the beast of the night with hunger.
There are many who tried to save Earth, they toiled in the

dead ground and prayed for blessings, they watch the

writhing shadows of misery, it was too late. Everyone hungry,

cold, uncomforted, everyone will die for the mistakes of few.

The waters both salty and fresh began to dry, cracks became

vast and deep. The land was soft and filled with bugs and worms.

The air clogged their lungs they cried and they prayed it was

too late. Those who did not believe that one day we would destroy

the Earth now became sinful spirits living in irrevocable doom.
There are those that believed the earth was being destroyed,

there are those who tried to find a resolve for these worldwide

conditions. To those that did not believe the earth was dying,

became accusers living in great pain. Warnings from the sinners

were no more than strange words, there is no way that we can

reach perfection on earth, it is too late. It is not too late to resolve

misery’s problems, we must cease our downward path and heal

mother Earth.

 

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree.2018

 

The City of Destiny…

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The City of Destiny…

I have the key to the city of destiny.

Through me, you will find the entrance

to everlasting tenderness, to those

who are lost. I myself have built this

imaginary city from beginning to end

with wisdom and love. It has seen

many dauntless days. The entity of life

said I am deathless; I do not die. I feel

distrust, I am a coward in this city of

destiny.
Will you be fearful if I tell you that this

place is one of doom and darkness, one

of the damned, filled with heartless

secrets? As the darkness closes in on the

city, wailing begins loud the weeping

of unending pain. The voices with

passion filled the night, our souls

dancing in the wind. In this

everlasting night.
A Voice filled the darkness, do you fear

the Lord, the God of many, and then

this voice spoke of hope and death.

There is memory of them on the earth,

those lives that remain behind, and

their outcry does not reach your ears

in this make-believe place. Is there

justice beyond these walls, move

quickly or you will be doomed. The

souls are unnumbered.
I thought the whole city as dead, is

this retreat before everlasting life.

I saw the victims all naked and loud.

Weak and painful, some with blood

upon their faces. I gazed forward

and beg for daybreak to end all this

and me, wake me before it is too late.

Before me is nothing, a fearful abyss.
Then demons rose, one after the other

descending into the chasm. The evil

seed of the demon did this throughout

the endless night. I lay there silent with

an unspoken thought, he will come, and

he will spur justice and fear for those

that are within his reach, those that call

his name.
Then the ground began to tremble. It was

a terrifying sound. The wind rose and a

blood red moon cast its light upon the earth

where we stood. I sank further into the

dreadful dream hammering me with

waves of fear.

 
Wake up!

 

 

©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

A Place of Reality…

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A Place of Reality…

I have spoke of horrifying things, are these

weak words built from understanding. I am

neither a coward nor a saint, my thoughts

are clear, my plan open to change. There are

times when I live in the “Outer Place”, where

no one can get to me where no one knows me

where I will not be bothered by human drama.
There is no place that I can flee; I fear I was

born too early or maybe too late. At night I

dream of heaven, I traveled from star to star.

Do I have a wish in that dark realm, there

looking toward Earth I see the creation. Heaven

was not open to me, nor was Hell; the dream,

the darkness of night, it was a strange descent

into my place of reality.
It is there in reality that I search for truth, as I

dream, I follow a dark stream to the sea, and it

is there that I find a sacred place for me to

dwell. The place that I dwell is not for the faint

hearted, it is on this path that I find my true

worth, within time I find whom I may follow.

There are no more delays to this life; there will

be no more words. I must travel forward on

this hard and dreadful way.

 

©2018.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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https://www.amazon.com/Flying-Broken-Wings-Charlotte-Murphree/dp/1547051329/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1518720070&sr=1-1&keywords=ann+johnson-murphree

 

The Nightmare..

 

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Last night, I sensed emptiness, a darkness closing

around me. I wondered did I stray too far off the

path that God had set for me to follow in this life.

The darkness was bottomless and menacing it

would not release me from my fear. Terror like the

cold hands of death and panic assumed a position

around me.

I had let no one know of the fear that had imprisoned

my spirit and soul every night when I went to bed

the darkness suffocated me. I felt hopeless with no

guidance, the hours passed slowly, I do not wake.

When sunlight appeared in my window and the

night was no more, the desecrated black waste

hung over me. What was it that I experienced

during the night, Hell!

I rose from where I lay and found my feet up

on a another path that was unknown to me, it

was a lighted way and when I look back toward

where I had lay there was nothing but rushing

muddy waters. There should be no water where

I slept. My eyes surveyed all that and I stood

quietly in a whirlpool of my own fears. Why

can I not wake from this sleep?

Fear rose in my throat, choking me. I could not

breathe, the light of mercy will never shine

upon me again. I walked through a valley, I

tried to climb out, there was nothing in the

landscape before me or behind me, no sun,

no sky, no trees, no homes, nothing. I slumped

to the ground where I stood. There is no breath,

had creation ended? I lifted my head tossing

back the once brown flowing mane, suddenly

white as a winter’s snow.

I screamed this darkness does not own me,

nor my heart and soul. I had not been

unfeeling in life. Oh Creator cleanse my soul,

deliver me from this inferno where I stand

among the bones of those who have gone

before me. I heard a voice call to me in the

darkness, I wanted to wake from this

nightmare, I wanted to be safe, and I wanted

my spirit and soul to feel the sun as it rises

in the morning.

Here in this darkness my life is shown to

me, and I remembered everything, from

beginning to the soon to be end. I moved

slowly in the dense darkness, my mind

moved from time to time good days and

bad days. The abuse times still burnt into

my mind. There is no hope, no safe place

for me. What is that I see a sliver of

sunlight penetrates my eyes and mind?

I was not dead and I cried releasing

myself from the darkness and void that

had taken over my body and mind. I

live for another day, God has given

me another chance.

 

©2018elizabethannjohnsonmurphree