by John Savage
Sandra Morrison was a new investigator for the state, fresh out of the academy. Because she would not be recognized, she was chosen to go undercover to investigate rumors that the female inmates of Stonebrook State Hospital for the Criminally Insane were being abused.
Once inside, posing as an inmate with the promise that head of the state Division of Criminal Investigations would ensure she is released after a month gathering evidence, she finds that the rumors grossly understate the conditions the female inmates have to endure.
Harsh conditions and daily suffering prevails. Punishments are dealt out for any reason or no reason. Instead of being a source of healing care, the institute is a hell pit of degradation and abuse. Sandy endures whippings and worse at the hands of an ingeniously cruel couple of administrators.
When the time comes for her to be rescued so that she can make her report, there is a little surprise awaiting her. Sandy faces a lifetime of torment with no chance of release, enough to drive her truly insane!
Published 3 / 2012 No. words: 37,150
Sandy was surprised when light flooded in. The lid was lifting, something she had desperately wished would happen for what seemed like a very long time. How the hell long had she been keep a prisoner in that box? In the dark and in total immobility, her mind had been playing tricks on her. She began to wonder if they had forgotten about her and she would stay in there until she starved to death.
Squinting to get used to the bright light, she saw Frank standing over the box. Slowly she lifted her feet. The muscles of her legs were stiff. Then his strong hands were on her, lifting her from the metal prison. Holding her upright with one hand, he closed the lid with the other, and then sat her down on it. He knelt and began unbuckling the straps on her legs. She looked down and noted that there was a red band around her legs right above the knees. When her legs had been folded, the strap tightened considerably and had been cutting into her for a very long time.
He was then untying the cord that held the rubber wedge in her mouth. It had been in place so long she had almost forgotten it was there. She worked her jaw around and almost said a thank you, but bit it back.
The white canvass straitjacket was still holding her arms wrapped around her body, and he made no move to release her from its hold. Instead, he placed a pair of shoes on the floor at her feet and told her to put them on.
Sandy slid off the box and looked down. There was a pair of shiny, black patented leather shoes, but she hesitated before putting them on. There must be some mistake. These were high heeled pumps, complete with pointed toes and slender, stiletto heels that had to be at least four inches high!
“You can’t be serious,” she told him.
“Put them on,” he repeated.
She pushed one shoe a few inches forward with her bare toe. “I can’t wear these. Without hands to balance, I’ll fall. Those heels are way too high!”
“Put them on,” he said, a little stronger this time.
Sandy frowned, but the look in his eyes was not humorous. This was not a joke; he was serious.
She slipped her toes into one shoe. The fit was snug but she managed to work her foot all the way into it. Then the other one. When she tried to stand, she tottered and almost fell. She had to lean against the box to keep her balance.
“This is ridiculous!” she protested. “I’ll fall if I try to walk in these.”
“Come this way,” he held a hand towards the door.
Sandy took a tentative step and her foot wiggled. Those heels were not only high, they were also very thin.
As she tried another step, being very cautious and slow, memories flashed into her mind of trying on her mother’s high heels when she was a child. She had gotten into trouble for breaking one of the heels. But here she was, trying to walk, bound into a straitjacket and almost naked from the waist down, save for that leather strap passing through her crotch, and walking in higher heels than she had ever tried. That strap between her legs was wide enough to cover her Venus Mons, but also rather tight and had been doing a good job of pressing against her sex for the last few hours.
The male attendant did not hurry her along. Apparently he was used to women having trouble walking in those heels. The only sounds were the click-clack of those heels on the wooden floor. Slowly, one foot before the other, make sure you have that foot planted firmly before shifting your weight. It was like trying to walk on your toes: not impossible but not very easy, either.
Too busy trying not to fall, the lovely young woman was not paying too much attention to where she was being led. Mostly she kept her eyes on the floor because that helped her keep her balance. Being able to hold her arms out to the sides would have helped but that was denied her.
Finally, the edge of a desk came into view and she halted. Looking up, she found herself staring into the eyes of a kindly, friendly looking priest. At least that was the first impression. He was middle aged, a little overweight but not too fat. His hair was going gray at the temples and he eyes were a pleasant pale blue. He looked very much like a priest she remembered from the wedding of a friend. He lacked only the vestments of office to complete the picture. He was smiling at her.
“Welcome to Stonebrook,” he said in a deep voice. For a few long seconds the two of them stared at each other, evaluating each other. This had to be Karl Houser, the superintendent of the hospital. The photo in the file had been taken at least ten years before, but she recognized him.
“I have been looking through your file,” he began, nodding to a folder on his desk. “Your case is interesting. Dr. Grant diagnoses you as schizophrenic. You have attacked several people and demonstrate pronounced hostility towards certain types of men. Although you can appear perfectly normal and rational, at times violent rages will overpower you.”
Sandy frowned. That was not what she was told would be in the folder. This makes her sound like a dangerous criminal! She opened her mouth to protest but then clamped it shut. She was confused, but if she openly stated that she was not as the file said, it might come dangerously close to blowing her cover. Instead, she had to content herself with, “I am not dangerous.”
It sounded like weak and lame the way it came out.
He smiled in a disgustingly fatherly manner. “If you say so. However, we cannot take any chances here.” He leaned forward. “And we know how to care for potentially violent people here.”
She went on the counterattack. “Why was I locked in a metal box? It was very uncomfortable, to say the least.”
“That is standard practice with new inmates,” he told her, that condescending smile never leaving his face. “It helps to show you that we are serious here and will not tolerate inappropriate behavior.”
“But I did nothing!”
“Consider it a lesson. I do not wish any inmate to form the impression that we are soft here. The sooner you learn that, the more pleasant your experience here will be.”
Pleasant!? What had happened to her upon arrival was close to torture. With a sinking feeling, she began to realize that the rumors of patient abuse might well be very true.
Again she was confused. Should she promise to be good? Or curse him? What would a real, truly insane patient do? Short, of course, of leaping over the desk and trying to bite off his nose.
She said nothing.
“You are a very beautiful woman, Miss Morrison. It is a shame that your mind is not a beautiful as your body.”
What the hell? He was coming on more like a lecher than a doctor of psychiatry.
“And why am I being forced to wear these high heeled shoes?” she said.
“You are less likely to run,” he told her.
Although that was true, if she really wanted to run, she could kick the shoes off and dash for the door. Not that running would get her anywhere, what with the straitjacket.
She wanted to snort disagreement at him. Instead, she went on the offensive again, or tried to. “How long am I going to have to wear this straitjacket? It is hot inside here and very uncomfortable.”
“You will wear it as long as you are a threat to yourself. Some inmates wear them almost constantly.”
Sandy Morrison had a very strong urge to reach over and slap that patronizing smile off his face. Lacking the ability to do that, she sniffed and said, “When can I get clothes back on? My legs are cold.”
She had the impression that he might burst out in laughter at any moment. Instead, he said, “For the moment, you are dressed quite adequately.”