6. A NON – MURDER

Ian was sitting uncomfortably on his chair next to his defense attorney. There were more than a hundred people in the courtroom including myself. It was a big day. Jane Fields appeared on the stand looking frightened and panicked as if she was secluded in an isolated place away from human contact. She had black circles under her big, hazel eyes and her pale skin betrayed her fatigue.

I discreetly took my recorder out of my purse and placed it under a book I was holding. I pressed REC…

… … …

“Good morning, Dr. Hurts. I’m calling from the Faber Psychiatric Clinic to remind you of our meeting this evening,” said the female voice on the line.

“Yes, I remember. I’ll be there. Can you please tell me who’s hosting this meeting?”

“I’m sorry Dr. but the instructions were very clear. Under no circumstances are we to announce her name. Everyone will find out tonight.”

Ian hung up the phone without saying a word.

It’s a she… He thought to himself. A few days after Webb’s death, Ian had received an anonymous letter, inviting him to a staff meeting at the Faber Clinic. He was suspicious and worried that someone, somehow knew something about him. However, he was never the sort of guy who would just give in to his fears.

6 pm sharp. Ian arrived at the Clinic. Everyone was there waiting outside. He was a bit relieved that he wasn’t alone, and the meeting was real. He stepped away from the crowd and tried to light up a cigarette. He didn’t use to smoke, but after Lavinia left town he started experimented with the alcohol and cigarettes. The lightest side effect of a depression you might say. He struggled but didn’t manage to light it.

“If it won’t spin, it won’t light.” An old lady stood behind him offering her lighter. Ian looked at her. She was dressed in expensive clothes, hair tied up in a bun, pearls, and golden rings. He lit up the cigarette and hastily smoked, making a nod to the lady. He didn’t speak.

“Are you new here?” asked the lady.

“Two months now. You?”

“Me? Oh, young man, I’ve been here forever.”

“That’s strange. I’ve never seen you around before.”

“Oh, you will… From now on…” nodded the lady and left.

Everyone started gathering, going inside the building. Ian finished his cigarette and followed. The “party” was about to begin.

They all entered a big hall, which Ian had never seen before. He sat on the back and waited anxiously. People were whispering around him, laughing, and gossiping. It was only yesterday that they were affectedly crying over Webb’s open casket. Ian knew the quality of people – he knew all about it. However they appear – their false façade, it was the inside that show the true quality. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a familiar voice. He raised his head and saw the old lady standing on a pedestal. Two guards were standing on her right and left side. The room filled with awkward silence.

“Good evening everyone!” said the old lady on a microphone.

Ian was confused. Who was this lady? What was she doing up there?

“Many of you know me already. I see some familiar faces and some… not… so familiar ones. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rita Webb, mother of Dr. Benjamin Webb.”

Ian rolled his eyes. The room felt colder than ever, as if the whole rooftop was removed in the middle of December. He felt his hair stand on end.

“I’m the owner of Faber Psychiatric Clinic but not the manager. My son…” her voice trembled for a while. “…In his last will and testament, Benjamin made it crystal clear. His position as Head of the Clinic will be replaced by another… person. The new Manager, the new Head of Faber Clinic, your new Boss, will be here on Monday morning ready to take over. Due to this… unexpected course of events I believe that my being here is mandatory. There will be new rules, which will be discussed with the new Head of the Clinic and be implemented by the end of next week. Before this meeting comes to an end, I would like to ask from every one and each of you, before leaving this hall, to check the long name list on the door. Those whose names are written on the list will be no longer into our team. This is part of the new strict measures that will follow soon, as I… we feel that the safety of Faber Clinic has been compromised.”

Everyone in the room looked terrified including Ian.

“All right. That is it for today. Wait patiently for new information. Thank you for your attendance and your time. See you tomorrow and remember We save lives; we are Gods of the soul.”

Ian stood up and rushed his way to the door. He read the name-list three times. His name wasn’t on it.

… … …

“There was a part of me that didn’t wanna do this. When I killed Tomas, me ex-boyfriend, it was different. It felt different. I wanted to do this. I needed to do this. He was… destroying me. He was killing me. But she… yes, she deserved to die. Yes, she and her son deserve what they got. But it should have been him. Not me.” Jane pointed at Ian crying and shaking. Everyone in the courtroom started talking loudly.

“Order! Order!” shouted the judge as he hit the gavel.

Ian’s defense attorney asked one last question to the accused.

“Miss Fields… Did you kill Rita Webb in cold blood on a Sunday evening in her son’s office?”

“He made me do it, he did it, he…”

“Miss Fields, please answer with a yes or a no? Did you kill Rita Webb?”

“I didn’t want… I didn’t…”

“Miss Fields! Yes or No?”

Jane looked at Ian directly into his eyes, while he was sitting indifferent in his chair. She then let two tears run down her face and answered,

“Yes.”

… … …

On Saturday morning Ian arrived late at the Clinic. His delay wouldn’t go unnoticed if it weren’t for another incident occurring in the backyard at the same time. Two new female guards were beating the shit out of Jane Fields. Ian ran and pushed the two guards away.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“Who the hell are you?”

“I’m a doctor here. Who the hell are you?”

“We’re Ms. Webb’s new guards.”

“I don’t give a fuck of who you are. What gives you the right to beat a patient?”

The two women looked at each other smiling. Jane was trying to stand up with Ian’s help. Blood was running down her face.

“It’s the first day Doctor, so we let this one pass by. You need to go and do some studying. Hahaha…”

“What are you saying?”

“New rules man. New rules applied from today,” said the second guard.

Jane held Ian’s hand and squeezed it. He took her inside on his arms leaving the two guards laughing in the backyard.

He entered the Clinic and came across with two big signs made of stone, one on the right and on the left.

          10 NEW RULES APPLIED IN F.P.C.

By Rita Webb

  1. All guards will be females.
  2. Final decisions on any matter are made by R.W. (in partnership with L.K. if necessary)
  3. Staff is allowed to use physical violence to patients as a way to conform when line is crossed.
  4. Cameras are legally allowed in every space and room in and out of the Clinic.
  5. DBS and ECT can be legally used under R.W.’s supervision. ***
  6. All doctors will be evaluated every week. If they do not meet the requirements, they will be fired.
  7. Patients from other ethnicities are not allowed in the Clinic.
  8. Seriously mentally ill that cannot be treated can be incarcerated than hospitalized.
  9. Depression and Anxiety are not considered important mental illnesses therefore we do not treat them-accept patients.
  10. Binding contract forced to everyone working or hospitalized here that states: What Happens in F.P.C. Stays in F.P.C. If someone violates this contract, we have the right to act accordingly.

                  We save lives; we are Gods of the soul.

*** DBS = Deep Brain Stimulation / ECT = ElectroConvulsive Therapy – both refer to lobotomy.

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