Writing Fiction I
December 13, 2000
With special thanks to my Daddy,
for putting me on the right track towards the ending I had wanted.
Daisy flew off to the land of fire hydrants. What a wonderful way to fall. Years away from something she knew was wrong, and miles away from freedom, she let herself go. Hydrants were such a peaceful folk. Never really bothered you, but boy they could tell some tales once you started talking to them. She was talking to the one on John Street about the fire of ’69. Burnt down a whole apartment complex.
“Gotta go now,” she said, “Have to face the bazaar.” She left for the land of flames. Cooling water fell upon her ashes, but nothing could stop her soul. How to escape prison? The deed had been done, the sentence cast. Who would dare fall with her?
Daisy could hear the angels singing, singing her to freedom. The Realm of the Insincere. She belonged there, but she wanted to leave.
Daisy awoke to mash the snooze button on her alarm clock. She rolled over and dreamt for a few more precious minutes.
She walked the line between light and darkness. She stood on a cliff. To her right was a grassy field of flowers and mountain rising up above her. To her left was utter darkness. Out of the darkness came a tube of light, but it had darkness at its core. It was coming towards her about to overtake her.
Daisy had to get up and face reality. She donned her Blimpey’s uniform and pulled her hair back. The spirit of her dreams lingered. They were so bizarre. What had she eaten before bed last night?
All day she made sandwiches and small talk like a robot. Came home and watched TV, had a snack, and went to bed. The memory of the deed was buried in self-defense. Couldn’t let it surface. That would be self-destruction. Daisy was falling. The being of light approached her. Trying to put its center in her. She saw herself reflected on its surface. It scared her into consciousness.
She looked at the clock. 1:35 AM. Clocks never lie. Unlike people. People can lie before judges. Under oath. Why was she thinking about that? She hadn’t lied. She wouldn’t want to lie. All she wanted was justice. And justice was served. Daisy went back to sleep.
9:00 AM. Stupid annoying alarm clock. It’s Saturday. She turned it off.
Oh yeah, the appointment with Dr. Green. She got ready, and drove over to his office.
“Come in and sit down,” the receptionist told her, “Dr. Green will be with you in a moment.” A moment could last forever. Like the moment when she…no, what was she thinking? Must have been a dream.
“Daisy White?” Dr. Green asked. He had a kindly old professor face. Graying hair and a large brown mustache. He shouldn’t be too hard to get along with.
She went into his office an lay down on his couch. “Now,” he began, “how about we start with you telling me why you are here.”
“Why?” Daisy repeated the question quietly. She felt so embarrassed. Crazy people go to psychiatrists, not her, not sweet little Daisy. Deep inside, she felt afraid. Shouldn’t Dr. Green know the answer? Daisy didn’t really know why herself. Something to do with the murder. Her anxiety. Her fear. But why? Really why? “I dunno…don’t you know?”
“Yes, I know,” Dr. Green replied soothingly, “But this is for your benefit. We need to get things sorted out in your mind.”
She sighed, hating to think about it, hating to relive the experience. “Nine days ago I witnessed a murder,” she began shakily.
Dr. Green’s face contorted into that of a demon. “Witnesssss?” it hissed, “You did more than witnessssss!” It’s eyes burst into flame and it lunged for her.
Daisy screamed and threw her arms up to protect herself. She could feel its claws digging into her shoulder, trying to possess her.
“Daisy!” It was the voice of Dr. Green. He gripped her shoulder firmly, willing her back into reality. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled.
Green relaxed. “Do you want to tell me what just happened?” he asked.
What just happened? Daisy shook her head to clear it. “Nothing,” she said, dazedly. “I—just—got scared.”
“Scared of what?”
“Demons,” Daisy whispered very softly. “I don’t know,” she said loudly to cover for the momentary slip. She lurked on the border of the cliff drop even when she wasn’t dreaming.
“Now Daisy,” Dr. Green coaxed, “That’s the one answer I don’t want to hear in this office. The truth is you do know why, and we just need to help you regress into your subconscious to find the real answer. We will try several methods to help you do this, but for now I just want you to think very hard and answer me as truthfully as possible. Why were you scared?”
“I—I just don’t…”
“I can’t accept that answer. Think for a moment, Daisy. You don’t have to answer me right away, just sit back and think about it. You can answer whenever you are ready. What were you scared of?”
What was she scared of? Demons. That sounds like a schizophrenic maniac. Daisy is not crazy. Not crazy. Lots of people go to psychiatrists and aren’t crazy. She couldn’t be scared of demons that’s just stupid. She was scared of Harry. Maybe… Couldn’t be scared of Harry. He’s dead. She saw him die. Don’t want to talk about it. She does not want to talk about it. “I don’t want to talk about it.” Seems logical enough. Shouldn’t have to talk about what she doesn’t want to. After all, she’s paying Green.
His eye seemed to pierce her skull for a moment, as if letting her know that he was onto her strategy. He smiled an easy, nonthreatening smile. “Daisy, if you want to get through this you are going to have to talk to me,” Dr. Green soothed, “I am here to listen, and to help you figure this out. I’m not here to solve your problems for you.”
“But isn’t that…nevermind.” Daisy had to think. Not here to solve her problems. Wasn’t that his job? Solve her problems. What problems? Daisy had no problems. She witnessed a murder. She saw the dead body. Have you ever seen a dead body before? Recently dead? It looks almost alive, but there’s this essence missing. Instead of life you feel this overpowering lack. His feet were bare. Soft. No calluses. Dead feet. They had no more problems. Daisy had no problems. She had a steady job. No problems.
“Daisy? Did you hear me?” Dr. Green’s smiling face now had a distinctively sinister cast to it. “I need you to think aloud, Daisy. Quit retreating into yourself and think out loud. Think to me.”
“I can’t,” she timidly offered. Her sense of alarm was returning. Think aloud? Private thoughts! Not his business! “I’m not thinking about anything anyway.” A small lie offered up to the altar of prognosis.
Dr. Green smiled knowingly. “Well how about I help you out? I’ll provide a word to start you thinking, and you say everything that comes to mind when I say that word. Let’s start with an easy word…water.
“Water?” Daisy thought about it. How stupid. What did water have to do with her non-problems? “I don’t know.”
“Daisy that answer’s not allowed in this office, remember? You must say whatever comes into your mind, and keep talking, until I stop you. Let’s try again. House.”
“House. Home. Hole. Cave. Security. Uuuh…I don’t know. Stuff. Lot’s of meaningless stuff scattered everywhere. TV. News. Network. People. Lots of people interconnected by invisible binding strands. If one is severed the entire population suffers a loss. ‘Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for you.’ Those feet. Those pudgy feet. Disconnected. The strand is broken, freeing the soul. The others are alone. Afraid. “ Oh my gosh I’m doing it I’m giving into his tactics Noononononononononono I must stop. “Uuuh…I don’t know. I’m done.” Finished. Daisy feels violated. Unfair of Dr. Green to trick her so. He doesn’t need to know about the network, he doesn’t need to know about the feet, he doesn’t need to know any of her secret ideas.
She looks up at Dr. Green sullenly, noticing how his mustache tickles annoyingly at his fore lip when he talks. “Very good Daisy,” he praises her. Very good indeed. For him! “You have started on the path to unleashing your feelings.” Unleashing destructive force upon the universe. “Next word. Murder.”
You. She almost said it aloud. The blunder would have been too funny, but also dangerous. Murder Dr. Green in this room with the cord hanging from the blinds over there. Of course she wasn’t serious.
“Daisy? You’re supposed to think out loud, remember?”
Out loud? You liar. Never again will I think to you. I hate you, foul betrayer of souls. I cast you back into the hell from whence you came.
“Daisy? You did so well on the first one, now why don’t you try to do as good on this one.”
Hate you. Hate you. Hate you. Evil minion of Satan.
“Perhaps you’d like me to try a different word?”
“I think I should go now, Dr. Green. I think I am feeling much better, and I’m ready to leave.”
“I don’t think that is wise, Daisy. I think we are onto something and we need to continue.”
“No, Dr. Green. I am leaving.” Daisy got up and crossed the room to the door, and made her exit.
Who did that psychiatrist think he was? Blasted idiot. Daisy left the office building and found her light blue coupe in the parking lot. Back into the escape zone. She started the car and drove home. Home. Her safety net. She cuddled the sofa and stared vacantly into the television. It was a murder mystery, and Colombo was confronting the murderer. No! She flipped to the news.
“In other news tonight, the trial of Ned Gerund drags on. Despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence against him, he claims to be the innocent victim of a framing…” Daisy stared beyond the TV screen into the land of dreams. She ate bugs. Delicious and nutritious. She stared into the black muddy heart of a giant dung beetle. You will be consumed. No. Who will be consumed? The dung beetle was going to eat Daisy. Daisy jolted back into reality. Luvs keep you drier than other diapers, and for cheaper too! Daisy flicked off the TV and walked to the refrigerator, in search of a nice juicy dung beetle. What? Dung beetle? Yuck! Daisy wanted a ham and cheese sandwich. Suddenly the sandwich looked far less than appetizing.
Daisy was scared. She felt like she was losing her grip on reality. “Help me,” she pleaded into the empty air. “Help me, please!” Daisy closed the refrigerator door and wandered towards her bedroom. How to stop this falling? She had to get away from it all. She had to remember.
Daisy had always been a victim. She was born into a poor abusive family. They spanked her when she pulled her brother’s hair and could never afford to buy her the genuine Barbies. She was always stuck with the generic Kelsey dolls. She was made fun of in school. Even her best friend Sam used to call her dolls trailer trash Barbies. She couldn’t get a good job because nobody liked her. They always made some excuse about how she hadn’t had enough experience or she needed more than a GED to work there, but she knew that wasn’t the real reason. Then she was almost murdered. Somehow she’d survived but she had to watch her boyfriend die in a pool of blood. Now she was going to a shrink for psychological help. And none of it was her fault. It was just how the cards were dealt.
Nothing was ever her fault. She never started anything. Never caused a problem. Never caused anything good to happen either. If only something could be her fault for once, maybe she would be happier. Maybe she wouldn’t be so incredibly bored with her entire existence.
Daisy eyed her bed. Clock. 10:26 AM. Too early for bed. Too early for a nap even? Daisy felt so bored. She sat down on her bed to decide what to do. Why had Dr. Green been so foolish? His evil countenance still burned in her memory. She should have stayed. She needed help. No she didn’t. She had no problems. She needed nothing. It’s good she left. But she needed Dr. Green to help her, tell her what’s wrong, prescribe a medicine, and let her go on with her life. What life? Daisy doesn’t have a life. Daisy’s a loser. Shut up! Daisy is not a loser—Daisy is a suppressed genius. That’s all. Suppressed genius. The genius laid down and stared into the patterns of her ceiling.
The cylinder of light haunted her dreams. She was trying to get away from it, but it chased after her, until finally she was pinned down. It surrounded her in light as its dark core passed into her inner self—Daisy woke up and slapped herself. 11:16 AM. Why had she fallen asleep? She hit herself again for emphasis. Stupid Daisy! Don’t sleep in the middle of the day. There are better things to do. Lazy Daisy! L-A-Z-Y!
Daisy got out of bed and wandered to the kitchen. No dishes. She went into the bathroom. What a mess. Daisy tried to clean the bathroom up, but her mind kept falling. No one could keep her from falling. The toilet grinned a monster grin and tried to flush Daisy into its filth. Wake up Daisy, wake up! But she was awake. Awake and miserable.
Perhaps she did need Dr. Green’s help after all. After all, he was a professional who knew what he was doing. Right? Maybe she should go back.
She needed a friend. Someone to hold her mind and control it, to keep her mind for her and help her harness it’s power. Someone to find her suppressed genius and admire it, worship it, allow it to run free yet hold it in check. Someone exactly the opposite of Harry. Harry the dork. The dead dork with the pudgy feet. Oh not the feet again! Why did he have bare feet? This one time he had taken his shoes off, and why? For her? Had it been for her free barefoot love? No. Harry was evil, and wanted to control her. He hadn’t cared one whit about her mind. Her protected fragile lovely mind, ready to bloom into the most beautiful of flowers for just a moment. Harry hadn’t appreciated this; instead he’d trampled on it, accidentally, with his clumsy booted feet. She made him take his shoes off because it was raining outside, and she’d just cleaned his apartment…
“Come in and sit down,” the receptionist told her, “Dr. Green will be with you in a moment.” A moment could last forever. Daisy tried not to think about it though.
“Daisy White?” Dr. Green asked, then spotted her. “Ah yes Daisy, I see we’ve come back.” Green smiled the smug all-knowing smile of a physician with the miracle cure. “Come on into my office and we’ll talk.”
Daisy entered the office and hesitantly sat on the couch. The door flew shut and resounded in its frame behind her. Dr. Green stood there smiling. “Since I started last time, why don’t you begin our little session this time,” he asked.
Daisy looked at him, then laughed. She tried to hold back the anger but it came out all at once in a rush. “You fraud!” she cried, “I’m onto your game now. I pay YOU so that I can do all the work! What a fraud!” She smiled, feeling good about getting that off her shoulders, feeling good about speaking her mind. Yes, definitely. She was feeling good.
Dr. Green smiled amusedly at her. “I suppose you could see it that way,” he said, obviously feeling no need to defend himself, “ but do remember, I am not trying to solve your problems for you, but only help you solve them yourself.”
Daisy snickered, then sobered. “Problems? What problems I have no problems I am fine and happy. Nothing is wrong at all I am just fine why did I even come here there are no problems I am doing great! No problems at all. Nope.”
Dr. Green sighed. “And the murder you witnessed?”
No please not the demon again. Please! Oh good no demons. Daisy sobbed mechanically. “I don’t know I don’t know I don’t even know what happened,” she wailed, “I can’t even remember it that clearly I just know someone died and I saw it and ooooooooh.”
Dr. Green made little soothing noises with his tongue. “It’s okay Daisy, just let it all out. Just keep talking.” Dr. Green sat down behind his desk and fumbled with something in one of the drawers. Click! Almost like the hammer of a gun being pulled back. The gloved hand shakily pulled back the hammer, and pointed it at Harry. Never again. Never will you humiliate me again, Harry. My thoughts…MY THOUGHTS!!! Green. Green is watching. Snap out of it.
Daisy drew in an elongated shaky breath. “Twelve days ago, I witnessed a murder,” the words came in well-rehearsed breathy segments, “I was at my boyfriend Harry’s house, and the demons came. They killed Harry and me. They killed us both and now they are going to kill you! You and all your children will die from the curse just like we did.” Did she say that? Or was it her imagination again. Maybe this is all just a dream.
“Could you repeat that last part, Daisy?” Dr. Green requested.
“I said I was at my boyfriend Harry’s house, when we heard a knock at the door. He went into the hall to answer it and there was a demon at the door. It attacked him and ripped out his heart with the knife and ate it. Then it attacked me but I escaped.”
“He went to answer it and I followed him. When the door opened there was somebody dressed in black wearing a ski mask and holding a gun. Whoever it was pushed their way into the house and ordered us to hand over all our valuables. Only we didn’t have any valuables and Harry started to run. Like a coward, but I feel so guilty calling him that.”
“It’s okay you have to come to face how you are feeling.”
“I feel guilty but that’s how it was. Not even a thought for me just—runs away towards the kitchen door and the person shot him. I saw the gloved hand pull the trigger. Everything slowed down. I heard the person breathing. So close to his head. Blood everywhere. He just died. I heard his soul screaming as he left. I know he went to hell. Harry wasn’t a good person. But nobody should die that way, right? Right? RIGHT? Maybe…I don’t know. I don’t know. I just don’t know.” Daisy broke into sobs again. No demons where were they why had they stopped tormenting her. She wanted to sleep. So crazy. Just sleep. She closed her eyes, but Dr. Green was getting up. Dr. Green wanted more.
“Daisy, this is very important, you have to describe the killer for me in more detail. This will help you to heal from this psychological wound.” Dr. Green’s voice was different now, more soothing.
Daisy eyed him suspiciously. Why did he want this so badly? What was his secret motive? She needed a miracle cure…a potion to ward off the demons. She was still feeling good, but she felt the need to cooperate with Green. Perhaps she could gain some insight after all. She proceeded with her rehearsed description. “Tall black turtle neck black pants black shoes black socks black gloves black ski mask what do you expect?” Daisy was feeling more frustrated than good now. Harry had deserved his fate. Running like a coward. Never a thought for Daisy’s safety. Just like dad and mom. Old couple with demons haunting them. Now Daisy felt like dancing. She had to dance. She had to know. She had to know about Dr. Green. She knew already.
“And his hands? Was he left or right handed?”
Then a moment of lucidity, when Daisy knew the perfect route to freedom. “Are you trying to get me to confess?” Daisy was dancing now. She was skipping in circles around Dr. Green, waving her left hand in his face. “Trying to trap me? Ha! It was a she, I think. She was left handed like me. Just like me, she was short and fat and the black did nothing to cover up her bulbousness. Just like me.” Daisy giggled and hoisted herself onto Dr. Green’s desk.
Green seemed to be getting nervous. He moved towards the intercom but Daisy sat on it. “Daisy, I’d appreciate it if you stay on the couch, please,” he stated authoritatively. Daisy just laughed at him and reached to the tape recorder he had hidden under his desk.
“Thought I wouldn’t notice this, huh?” she said, giddily. Then perspective changed and the world turned upside down. “No!” she commanded, using all her supernatural powers! “Thou shalt not turn upside down! And please don’t start to spin!” The world wavered, but stayed firm in it’s upside down position. Daisy had to flip herself into orientation with the upside down world to keep her vision strait. She held the tape recorder, still recording, aloft. “Admit it Dr. Green!” she shouted, “You killed Harry! Mr. Green in the kitchen with the revolver!”
Dr. Green grinned at her. “Is that a suggestion, or an accusation?” He pulled a small brown envelope marked “Case File” out from under a sofa cushion.
Daisy slithered to the floor, and reached up for the envelope. “Accusation!” she shouted. Dr. Green dropped the envelope into her open hands. She pulled out the three cards contained within and lay them face up on the floor. Kitchen. Revolver. The final card trembled in her hand before she turned it over. The blue magnifying glass on the back of the card wavered for a moment, then the card flipped over and lay exposed on the floor. Daisy’s own face stared back at her. Miss White.
She swallowed, and slowly put the cards back into the envelope. “I was wrong,” she admitted, and said no more. Miss White in the kitchen with the revolver. Miss White in the kitchen with the revolver. She lost. Miss White in the kitchen with the revolver. Me. I did it! Daisy in the kitchen with the revolver. I killed Harry in the kitchen with the revolver. All over a fight about dirty feet. Miss White in the kitchen with the revolver. Me. Me. Miss White. Daisy White. In the kitchen. With the revolver.
“Daisy. Daisy snap out of it. Daisy?” Harry snapped his fingers in front of Daisy’s face a couple of times.
“Huh?” Daisy jolted out of her reverie. “Oh sorry.”
“You lost Daisy. You and me both. Joe won again.”
“I keep telling you Green’s my lucky guy. I win with him everytime,” Joe said good naturedly. “It’s alright Daisy, next time I’ll let you be Mr. Green and maybe you’ll win.”
“No thanks,” Daisy replied, not looking at Joe as she spoke, “I prefer Miss White anyway, even if she’s not so lucky. She’ll get her chance.” Her eyes drifted down to the floor, where she was struck by a most annoying thing. “Harry, didn’t I tell you twice already to take off those muddy boots?”