I received word this morning that my corrections to the galleys that I submitted will be complete soon and at that point the book will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel and Xulon Press's websites. As soon as the book is available I will make sure you know as well. Here is a tidbit to whet your taste buds.
The ambulance lights undulated against the curtain's edge. Two nonchalant uniformed figures unloaded the stretcher and began to loosen the restraints that held the appendages of the new patient.
She was back. Word spread like starling chatter among staff and patients.
They led her to her room conveniently across from “The Quiet Room” and deposited her bag of belongings with a soft plop onto the bed.
High heeled black boots and large black sunglasses remained her uniform despite injunctions to remove them. She began to pace, staccato steps, the boots clapping the floor like applause accompanying her mounting panic.
Maria-the-Heavy came in: heavy because she was the head nurse, heavy because of years of overfeeding and indolence, heavy because of the sinking pit she left in the stomach of the new arrival.
“Welcome back,” said Maria in a voice singularly devoid of welcome. “Give me your sunglasses and take off your boots—you know the drill.”
The pacer halted and considered the implication of those demands: soul-theft—right through her iris blue irises. And the boots, she needed that rhythm to build the barrier around her. Every clap was the slap of a brick being laid about her, keeping them at bay and her being intact because right now, she could guarantee that body parts were about to detach and then how could Humpty Dumpty have any hope of integrity at all?
Maria stuck her head out the door of the room and called to several staff who were waiting, anticipating this inevitable moment.
“Cynthia needs a little help with her shoes and sunglasses.”
They surrounded her slowly, warily, encroaching step by cautious step: like hyenas circling a lioness. Caution, trepidation, and anticipation all dripped from their fangs.
With the suddenness of a tightly wound spring releasing, the lioness bolted for the door, quarter-backing her way through the wall of jackals. With the speed bred of a thousand encounters, the buzzer was rung, and the room filled with muscles flexed on squat men who lived for such moments...An injection appeared and, despite writhing screams, found its home on her thigh.
As she sank, deflating, the hands then removed her shoes, glasses and clothing. Gowning her in a hospital robe they potato-sacked her into the room across the hall, where she would remain until the medicines had their way with her: reducing her, ironing out wrinkles in her gray matter, fattening her up for the kill and untwisting her words—although the word salad was truly spectacular.
Days later-- weeks maybe?--the door to the Quiet Room opened and spewed its protégé. Subdued, dead-eyed, leaden bodied-- already thickening in the middle--- she wandered the halls apparition-like, acknowledging the cohabitants by a minute head nod and a split second glance at the eyes. It was a secret society of welcome: ranging from angry disinterest, to too friendly back-patting welcome-backing.
She remained silent, mouth taut at the corners. Fear had already accomplished its incineration in her bowels. This was the last stop. The last platform before the Crazy Train dropped her at her final destination: Greystone. That's where the doctor had told her husband she belonged; that she was, “hopelessly ill.” Even in her confused rage she knew that the word “hopeless” was a misnomer. God doesn't make “hopeless” people and there is no situation so far wrong that he cannot right it.