Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Letter...Continued Part 5

Two weeks pass from the time the shop is "vandalized." The cops have no leads and although most of the merchandise was destroyed, no money was taken from the register or the safe. In the corner of the back hall leading to the restroom is the box from the Furman house. Sherry has been afraid to continue sorting through the junk in it. In fact, she can't even bring herself to touch it.

At her husband's pleading Sherry calls the psychiatrist he's found and meets with her. As uncomfortable as it is to see this type of doctor, Sherry appreciates Tom's loving concern for her well-being.

Darcy's office is cluttered and dark. This is their third meeting and Sherry is ready to end her appointments all together. She decides to tell the doctor everything.

"Sherry, over the phone your husband, Tom is it?" Sherry nods. "That's what I thought. Tom let me know that you've struggled with hallucinations and violent outbursts since you were a child. What do you think triggered these recent feelings?"

Sherry looks confused. "I don't have any history of mental illness. Are you sure Tom told you that? Maybe you have me mixed up with another patient."

Darcy smiles kindly, used to dealing with patients in denial. She tries another direction.

"Sherry, what do you think is causing you to have dreams that make you leave your home in the middle of the night?"

"I'm being harassed by a ...ghost, Doctor, to put it bluntly. I threw out a confession letter and sold this woman's family Bible. Now she won't let me rest. I see her in my dreams, and she puts her cold hands on my back and pushes me places. Last night I took a trip to her daughter's house. In the dream her daughter slammed the door in my face and called the police. During the day I see her pacing the shop, weaving in and out of aisles and up and down the staircase. I replaced all my damaged antiques and finally re-opened, but now I'm afraid I'm going to come to work one morning and find the shop trashed again. Please tell me how to get rid of this dead woman, Agnes Furman!" Sherry's tone reaches the point of nervous frenzy.

Darcy is writing in a notebook with a pencil. The scratch of lead on paper irritates Sherry further, reminding her of the times she took her road test as a teen and failed, distracted by the teacher's note-taking.

"What I think you need is a prescription. Darcy says, handing her a slip of paper to bring to the pharmacist. Take this once a day and the hallucinations should stop. If not, we'll increase the dose until the level is comfortable for you. "

Sherry stares at the prescription."But, I told you that this is something new for me. I don't think I need this drug. I'm telling you this dead woman is bothering me and more importantly, making me lose money. She destroyed over 4o thousand dollars of antiques in my shop. I'm completely coherent. I know what I saw! I'll get a copy of my medical records from my primary care doctor to prove to you that what you think about my history is a mistake."

"That's not necessary. Sherry. I'm giving you this prescription based on my observations of you in the meetings we've had. You can take it or leave it, but I promise, medication will make you feel better." Darcy puts her pencil down and it rolls off the pad, hitting the floor.

Instinctively, Sherry bends down to pick it up for her. She looks up to find another person staring back at her: a pale, gaunt old woman, possibly in her late nineties. Agnes.

"No good Tramp! She'll be with me when she passes, just like you! Go to my daughter and tell her you know the password is Shirley Temple." Agnes growls.

Sherry's knees buckle and Darcy catches her. "Sherry! Sherry!"

"I'm alright. Did you see her?! Her face was ...on ...your body. Did you hear her?! She called you a no-good tramp!" Darcy pales. Sherry sits back down while the doctor gets her a glass of water, and one for herself.

She leaves the office agreeing to try the medication for two weeks and see how she feels.

Tom fills the prescription for her. That evening, Sherry locks herself in the upstairs bathroom and turns on the shower. Then she flushes the entire contents of the bottle down the toilet.

"I know this is real." Sherry mutters. Desperate and afraid to go to meet the daughter of Agnes Furman with news about her recently deceased mother's trouble in the after-life, Sherry decides to turn to God, intending to go to confession tomorrow at the local Catholic church.

"In the confessional the priest can't accuse you of being crazy, or give you drugs." She reassures herself. Raised in a Catholic Irish family, Sherry had drifted away from her faith years ago.

"The priest will help me get the guilt of throwing out the letter off my chest, and get rid of Agnes. If she committed murder, what does that have to do with me? Just leave me ALONE, I can't do anything about it." She thinks, washing her hands. She turns the light off in the bathroom and gets the first good night's sleep in two weeks.

(more tomorrow...Click on the label "letter" at the top of the story to read all five parts.)

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Wow! This is pretty powerful stuff!

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.

Fondly,

Loren Christie

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