30 Day Challenge: Day 13 – Perspectives (Novel Extract)



See Day 8 for Chapters 1 & 2.

Chapter 3: Melanie

‘How are you feeling today, Melanie?’

This woman is like a bad case of herpes; painful, irritating and ridiculously difficult to get rid of.

Sporting another outfit fresh from the run-away-from-good-taste collection, this time a blue and white striped top and white wide-legged slacks complete with a navy neck scarf that fully qualifies her to jump aboard ship and become a sailor, she walks into my room, bright eyed, rosy cheeked, talking to me as if I am missing a chromosome.

‘It’s a beautiful day outside. I’ll open a window and let some fresh air in, shall I?’

She bounces over to the window, opening it before I even have the chance to answer. She’s one of those people who are happy all the time – with every movement she exudes her joy for living; it’s sickening. You could tell her that her grandmother just died and she’d probably still have that wide, goofy smile plastered on her face. To me, that indicates insanity, but no, I’m the one stuck in this place.

Amelia walks over to me and begins undoing my restraints. I only have to wear them at night time now… Aren’t I lucky?

‘Did you sleep well?’

I’ve found that if you don’t answer Amelia’s questions, she’ll just keep asking you more. So, I have to throw her a bone every now and then. I just wish that it’d smack her around the head and kill her. Or at the very least give her some pretty serious brain damage.

‘I slept just fine, thanks.’

I don’t think I’ve strung a sentence together in the week that I’ve been here that hasn’t been laced with sarcasm. Richard always says that I’m ‘too sarcastic for my own good’ and that he never knows where he stands with me. Maybe that’s because he’s a fucking moron. How long has the man known me? You’d think after twenty years he’d be able to identify the difference between ‘Oh wow, that sounds great!’ and ‘Oh wow, that sounds greeeeeat.’

‘Good, I’m glad to hear it.’

Amelia’s wised up to it now though. At first she called me out on it, telling me that my use of sarcasm was ‘a classic Freudian defence mechanism’. Well, I’m sorry; what did Freud know? The freak wanted to fuck his own mother. Anyway, I think she’s finally realised that my sarcasm isn’t going to stop; it comes as naturally to me as repulsive outfits come to her. Now she mostly just accepts whatever I say as sincere.

‘Your husband called, asking after you…’

‘He’s all heart.’

Richard’s always been good at getting people on his side. Professionally he charms people with his good looks, his warm voice and his intellect – even his opponents are a little bit in love with him. He’s created a persona that is flawless. And personally it’s even easier for him. People look at us together and he’s the star; the honest, respectable hero of Oklahoman politics. And me? I’m the bitch.

And what can I say? I am a bitch. I’m the type of person that walks past a homeless person without it crossing my mind to give them my coffee or the change in my purse, whereas Richard would give them his wallet, cards and all, as long as a camera is rolling, that is.

Amelia’s fallen for him too; hook, line and sinker.

‘Would you like to talk about your marriage?’

I look at her; one eyebrow raises itself almost automatically. Have I wanted to talk about anything so far? The thing is, if you open your mouth to talk too much in a place like this, they’ll find a way to twist what you say to prove you’re insane. Of course, if you say too little they’ll call you a mute and surprise: you’re still a fruit cake. A sane person can’t win here, yet you’re still forced to play the game.

‘You seem to hold a very negative opinion of your husband…’

‘Well, he had me committed to a mental institution – I’m not exactly thrilled with him.’

‘Why did he have you committed, Melanie?’

Because he’s a vindictive, spiteful, manipulative bastard…

‘Your husband suffered several injuries to his person: bruises, nail scratches, bite marks… Do you know anything about that?’

Damn, he’s planned this well.


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