Humor Flash Fiction posted April 15, 2012


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A wannabe writer loses it.

Temporary Insanity

by Spitfire

Optimistic me quit a secure, but boring job to do something  on my bucket list: write
the Great American Novel. For three years I slaved ten hours over a hot keyboard.
And what did it get me?  A half-wit shrink and a room in a psych ward.  

No, I wasn’t doing research for my best seller.  In fact, Death by Degrees had
been written, rejected, rewritten, rejected, rewritten again. I won't bore you with
details.  According to one fifty some e-mails, my novel did that.  With each
standard response, I lost more faith in my talent.  But love for  "Death" was hard
to give up.

See, I read all these inspirational Chicken Soup stories about famous books turned
down mega times until some publishing house took a chance.  Next thing you know,
the novel's a hit movie! Check out Gone With The Wind. Why couldn't that happen to me?

Okay, I'd hang on until rejection seventy.  Reached it two weeks ago.  All right,
eighty five be the magic number. It came in my e-mail junk box today.

I turned aggressive.

That's right-- I did the unthinkable.  I called Mr. Editor for an ear-to-ear confrontation.  

"What's wrong with my novel?"  I demanded.

He told me to ditch he computer.

I accused him of prejudice—against female writers.

"You know," he said. "I bet you make a mean apple pie."

I slammed down the phone, hoping to break his eardrum.

"Apple pie! " I screamed and ran to the kitchen, I yanked a long knife from
the butcher block.  "If I can't write, I'll kill myself." I yelled loud enough for my
husband to hear.  He arrived just in time to see the blade tap my throat.

Men always want to be a white knight.  He grabbed my weapon of choice.
I shoved him aside, ran to our bedroom, spilled out sleeping pills, tossed
them down without water.  Ha! What are you going to now, Lancelot?  

He fixed me!  Dialed 911 while I blacked out. Woke up when two cute twenty-
something paramedics wheeled me into an emergency room. A doctor
appeared out of thin air, bent down and asked, "How are you?"  

Stupid question.

I glared at him.  "I want to die."

Stupid answer.

Two interns tied me to a bed, hooked up an IV. The White Knight stood by.  If I
survived, divorce court was first on my list. My last thought before I passed out again.  

Slept like the dead –isn't that what I wanted?  Woke up hours later to the bleep-bleep
of monitors. Tugging a pillow from under my head, I held it over my face.

Damn.   The experts were right.  You can't suffocate yourself.  I returned the pillow
and passed out again.

Early morning I shook my arms and legs to rattle machines and get attention.  "I want
out!" I hollered.  A doctor, young enough to be my son, peeked in, recognized my
expression.

"Got rejected, huh?"  He smiled.  I didn't smile back. "Tough to lose someone you love."

"Not someone, you knucklehead!  Something! And I'm not telling you anything unless
you're a fuckin' editor."

Yeah, dumb me. I screamed the words out loud.

The baby-faced twerp backed out. I heard him say,  "Baker Act her."

Oh shit! I thought, recognizing the term.  That’s for the insane.

A policeman appeared. I bared my teeth. He cuffed my hands.  As if my
one hundred ten pound frame could overpower his Popeye muscles.

"Just taking you in for observation."  He pushed me into the back of a squad car.
The first thing I noticed was a gun on his side of the cage.  Unfortunately, the cuffs
dug into my flesh if I tried to reach anything.

Three days, I thought.  Seventy-two hours. That's all they could hold me.
White Knight signed the papers. But what really hurt?  I'd lost my love
for writing.

At least temporarily.



Flash Fiction Writing Contest contest entry

Recognized


Involuntary Baker Act: a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill. Without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others as seen by recent behavior. A law enforcement officer may transport an individual to a facility if the individual's behavior warrants it.
Story is 635 words.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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