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E. A. Irwin ~ Dark Fiction Bender

P. A. Matthews
Official site for Riley McCabe series

Dirt Beneath the Shamrocks

Madeline

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 3:50 AM

 

Today's word is "Finger" and my take on that word.

 

 

Madeline

 

 

by E. A. Irwin

 

 

The tic in Madeline’s right eye worsened as she stared across the auditorium. Hundreds of blank faces, she hoped would remain humane, stared back. Sweat poured from every pore as she sat exposed and vulnerable to not only the audience, but to the inner turmoil stifling her mind.

 

Her handkerchief, gripped tightly in twitching, nervous fingers, had lost its soothing ability half an hour ago. Now, it lay twisted and balled in her hands like the emotions raging through her stomach. She had to do this no matter how loud the voices of opposition multiplied every doubt and fear until she felt ready to scream and run from the room. She had to openly come to grips with what her life had become no matter the consequences. She owed it to herself and to the countless people helping her not to let fear rule her life any longer.

 

Madeline surreptitiously glanced down the dais at Susan Rehnquist, the organizer of the forum. Kind brown eyes and a gentle smile were returned with a reassuring nod. Madeline closed her eyes, imagining herself somewhere else—anywhere but here. Was it really that important she take a stand? Here of all places? She could feign illness and leave the room; this audience would understand illness better than others.

 

What was that knocking sound? Madeline grabbed her leg to still the drilling drumbeat of her foot against the wooden floor. The demon was beginning his assault no matter how she tried remaining aloof and detached.

 

A feeling of desperation, bordering on anger, fused with the irrational thoughts in her head. Her planned speech began vanishing as she struggled to remain focused. She stared across the audience; some were lowering their heads, trying to hide their unease. Her new diagnosis had been heartbreaking. Were they passing judgment on her already?

 

The sound of a gavel pounding jolted Madeline back to reality. Susan stood at the podium bringing the meeting to order. “I would like to thank everyone for attending our Fourth Annual Symposium on Mental Health Awareness. Please welcome esteemed speaker and our fellow physician Dr. Madeline Cooper.”

 

Madeline walked slowly to the podium as the room seemed to turn on its axis. The demons in her head screamed with continuous shrill chants. You’re mad Maddie, no one’s going to listen to your insanity. Go home. Give up. They’re going to run you out of the medical field anyway, no one’s going to believe you. Just go home.

 

Madeline grabbed the lectern and breathed deeply. “Thank you for inviting me to share my story, Dr. Rehnquist. Tonight, I would like to speak on the subject of schizophrenia, my recent diagnosis, disease management, and the acceptance of people within this disorder group.” You can do this, Maddie. Remain focused, use all the tools the therapists have given you to help you cope. Help those who don’t understand the problem. You can do this. She gave the audience a bright smile she didn’t quite feel but knew would eventually become real. “With the help of my friends and colleagues, new treatments and medications, my future now looks promising.”

 

 

 

© E. A. Irwin

 

For more Tuesday Tales, please click on the picture and you'll be magically sent back to read more stores.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Writing

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12 Comments

Reply Davee Jones
11:40 AM on September 27, 2012 
I enjoyed the way you captured her inner turmoil, very descriptive and effective. Well done!
Reply J.P. Grider
8:15 PM on September 26, 2012 
I loved your opening paragraph. It was so strong and intriguing; really pulled me in.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
10:06 PM on September 25, 2012 
Thank you, V. L. If you felt the emotional impact then I have happily done my job!

V.L. Locey says...
Very nicely written! I could feel her tension and unease.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
10:05 PM on September 25, 2012 
Christina, thank you for taking time to read and comment. If only we could all be this brave in real life. I'm happy you were caught up in the emotion of the story.

Christiina Cole says...
Well done. I could feel her fears, and in the end I was applauding for her. The world needs this sort of bravery. Her courage is an inspiration.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
10:02 PM on September 25, 2012 
Thank you, Lindsay. I'm glad you liked the read and were able to experience her fear.

Lindsay says...
I could feel the angst she was going through. Wonderfully done.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
10:00 PM on September 25, 2012 
Jean, thank you. I'm pleased you thought the piece well written and you enjoyed reading it. :-)

Jean says...
What a powerful piece! So well written and emotionally engaging. I was pulled in right away.
Reply E. A. Irwin/Patricia
10:00 PM on September 25, 2012 
Thank you, Lena!

lena hart says...
Very suspenseful scene!
Reply lena hart
5:51 PM on September 25, 2012 
Very suspenseful scene!
Reply Jean
4:35 PM on September 25, 2012 
What a powerful piece! So well written and emotionally engaging. I was pulled in right away.
Reply Lindsay
2:34 PM on September 25, 2012 
I could feel the angst she was going through. Wonderfully done.
Reply Christiina Cole
10:12 AM on September 25, 2012 
Well done. I could feel her fears, and in the end I was applauding for her. The world needs this sort of bravery. Her courage is an inspiration.
Reply V.L. Locey
7:48 AM on September 25, 2012 
Very nicely written! I could feel her tension and unease.

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