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Two Blind Men and a Fool

by Sherman Smith

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Chapter 43: John Doe

Elroy stared at his gatekeeper, a woman whose ample breasts brought little charm to her matronly girth. She was a gorilla, a ball-buster. Elroy could sense that she enjoyed inflicting pain as much, if not more, than he did.

They stared at each other through the barred glass of the ward door’s window. Her emasculating stare unnerved him, and that was her intent. Elroy knew that, and he refused to blink. He wanted to pounce on her and tear her limb by limb, but he couldn’t because he was afraid of her.

Here, she held all the power, and she bought none of his lies. And it was his lies that kept him here, safe from the cops and a long-term prison sentence he knew waited for him if the truth were to be revealed. He needed to bide a little more time, wait for her to let down her guard for just a moment, and he would make his escape. He stared at the bitch. It wasn’t her he wanted, it was Stella.

Nurse Moldawsky was about to start her usual rounds, which usually meant the patients deemed to be a threat to themselves or others were to be removed from the common area and secured back in their cells. St. Joseph’s Hospital had been founded in 1887 as a pest hospital, the cells designed to separate those with tuberculosis, cholera, and smallpox. The hospital had come a long way since its founding, but these few remaining cells were ideal for keeping the criminally insane from harming one another.

The patient she watched, one John Doe, was without a doubt one of the more dangerous she had ever encountered. Her problem was that she could not get rid of him. He had been delivered to her custody without an identity. He had been arrested for armed assault and robbery with a broken bottle. His victim had suffered multiple lacerations, and it had taken three policeman to subdue the attacker.

Without some proof of identity, they could not file charges. He had no identification and, since his arrival, he had refused to speak to her or to any of the doctors, at least not in a civil way. He was hostile, violent, and silent. They did not have enough to hold him or to release him. Was he insane, or just trying to outsmart the system? It was the latter, she thought.

She watched and waited. OK, Mr. John Doe, today we will see who is smarter than who, she thought as she waited for Doctor Weber and two of her strongest orderlies to arrive. One of the original arresting officers stood behind her.

Today John Doe would not be returned to isolation. She wanted to push her John Doe to the limit, to show his true colors, in front of an officer of the courts and a trained psychiatrist.

Their eyes locked.

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Copyright © 2013 by Sherman Smith

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