I can’t remember what time it was. But I guess it was mid day. All of us were gathered in this small windowless room. There were around 9 to 10 of us ladies. Scared, uncertain, helpless… We’re all stuck here with no where to go, to hide or to run. A tall and fearsome asylum matron walked slowly around us. Every click of her shoe heels adds on to the goose bumps.. I remember we were not seated on the chair, because there weren’t any. We were half seated, half squatting on the cold floor. Of course, this didn’t help us in anyways, mentally or physically.. The tall sleek matron had a container in a her hand. I can’t remember what the container was made of, its shape and size. But what I could recall vividly was that the container had small , thin , rectangular wooden pallets in it and were were suppose to pick a pallet each . The pallet had a nice smooth finish, the surface wasn’t rough, just polished, with rounded edges. On each pallet, there’s a two digit number carved on it.
Almost after each one of us got the pellets, we were murmuring to each other what are the pellets for. We knew that this room is our ‘death-bed’.Thousands of the asylum’s occupants have met their tragic end here. We could not imagine how exactly. The other matrons seem to have a pact between them not to tell or share any of these details with the current occupants. There were no locks, chains or bolts, there was no electric chair insight. And there was the matron who was in the room with us. Despite all this, we were all still very nervous, and we chose not to talk about it, about being nervous and scared to death.
Our attention drew to one side of the room. There was a row of huge lantern-like thing, arranged around two meters from each other. Then it suddenly all made sense. The matron will lit each lantern. Funny, the skin of the lantern had Chinese scriptures written on the outside. And obviously had any idea what it said. The fire in the lantern is not the sort that you see during the Chinese Lantern Festival. It’ll be gigantic enough.. to kill a person. In other words, we will all be roasted to death. Gosh, I whispered silently to myself. This is not the way I want to die. I do not want to die (be killed) in an asylum. It would be too sad , too pathetic for my family members to only have this memory of me dying in an asylum. I can’t do this. I can’t suspend my mentality and surrender myself to this freaky matron no matter how good looking she was. Yeah, the matron was a Caucasian, with a huge forehead. It passed my mind that I might have seen this face somewhere before. But of course, the matron seems cold and ignored our sense of being. As if we were nothing, not even human.
The numbers carved one each wooden pellet which we picked indicates the number of water balloons that each of us will get. I looked at mine. ’20’. The number of water balloon which I will bring with me inside the huge lantern.. I looked around me, a few had a ‘9’ , ’11’ and another ,’18’. The matron told us that we can use the water balloon to ‘ease’ our suffering while being burnt.. Why do they have to make it so difficult.. would it be fun to watch people suffer. The matron looked too innocent for this even though I sense some evil going on behind those eyes and quirky smile she gave a second ago to one of the girls..
I could sense the sweat glands enveloping my skin surface getting activated… The other ladies around me were already sweating. Heart beat skipped a beat, and its was a tachycardia home run for the rest of us. Instantly at that moment, the matron said she needs to go to the loo. Nature call. I was leaping already inside. This could be my chance. I gazed to the other eyes around me. And there seem to be an automated mutual agreement that they are with me , and they support my next move, which is to run for the door. The washroom was in built. And its door was just next to the room’s entrance. I stood up. And another two girls (I don’t know their names) stood up with me. This is it. This is the moment. I quickly made a silent dash to the room door. No rusty squeaky hinges. Without even saying goodbye or thank you to the rest, I made it out the room.
The adventure didn’t end just yet. Afraid of being ‘spotted’ by any other matrons, I made my way along the corridor. It wasn’t exactly creepy, as the asylum, I guess, was a new one. Not the exact dungeon and hideous-like asylum you might have imagine. The walls were painted white, and the air wasn’t dense like the room. I had a sense of relief, but was careful not to over do it. .. I had no plans or idea of what will happen next.
The next thing I recalled I was walking pass the lift lobby. Cool.. I walked on… The feeling was so surreal as I entered this big-ass hall. Again, white everything.. If you’re an 80s baby, do you remember Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.. yeah, that kind of surreal feeling when both of them walked into heaven, to meet God. Well, not that I was in the hall to meet God. The awe feeling of being a tiny speck in such a colossal structure. Where in the world am I ?? Well, I know I am still in the asylum. humm..
From the activities in that hall, it must be a sorta..clinic.. for the occupants. There were lots of beds with white sheets tightly fitted on it. Most of them were empty.. I didn’t see any curtains to separate the wards but there were windows. Smiles. It was broad day light… All the staff were busy with their work and nobody seem to take notice of me or saw me a threat. I didn’t look like as if I am about to runaway. That’s vital.. Suddenly a fat red-head matron shoved me from behind, asking me to go to the ‘waiting room’.. Humm..ok..the ‘waiting room’ turned out to be a small circular space with curtains hanging from the ceiling acting as it’s wall. Funnily enough, the matron stood next to me in the waiting room. Then it was my turn to see the doctor.. Wow.. ok…so they thought I wanted to meet the doctor. I’m not sick and I don’t think I looked unwell in the patient’s ‘hospital costume’. And I even had an ID tag on my left wrist. I just want to get out of this place.
My turn to meet the doctor. Now, the face wasn’t familiar.. but the friendly doctor some how knew me. It was a guy doctor. I told him I had gastric. yeah rite… he inspected me.. saying not to worry, almost giving hope that I will make it out from this horrible place. He was right. He took a look at the ID tag on my wrist. It said , ‘Name : Nor Juliana Ali, Ward : Intensive Care’. And I finally woke up from my sleep. Freaky dream .
*And the tall, sleek Caucasian matron I was describing earlier on was Nicole Kidman ! Too much E! i guess.. 😛
Have a nice day and thank you for reading this. Hope you enjoyed it ! Cheers; misssJewelz.