The Warden

Valerie Thomas, a 55 year old woman, has been admitted to hospital having suffered a stroke in her home town. She is taken to the Prince John hospital where she is treated by a team of ward sisters who, Valerie believes, will nurse her back to health. But, just a few rooms down in the same corridor, the hospital's secret screams through the walls. A case that will test the boundaries of human nature and the true meaning of what can only be described as a crime against humanity - bullying.

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1. The Papers

15th May 1997

 

'You can't blame - look, it wasn't me! Alright? She fell. No - I mean she tripped. No, no - she fell. I watched her. I saw her. She pushed herself. She did it. She fell and she was weak. She was weak. I could have - no, I couldn't. I couldn't have helped her. No way.

 

It was the chair that did it. She fell over the chair. The chair. NO. Down the stairs. The stairs. It was the stairs! She fell down the stairs. 8 of them. No wait, 5. Yeah that's right. 5 stairs.'

 

Ingrid heard the soft chink of mug as they landed in the stainless steel basin sink through the walls as the pen quivered between her fingers. Although the room was awash with a pure white matt, it seemed dim and so her eyes had sagged as though they were  buttock cheeks aged with many laboured night shifts. Bloodshot stains scarred – if not her integrity – her inner glaze of eyeballs and her hair - strung in a tight bun - pulled her face taught like botox.

 She lifted her biro. The ink flowed heavy. She pressed cool hands, numbed and frozen with remorse, to moist sweat-beading temples. She inhaled a breath brimming with exhaustion and caught the sickly antiseptic, bacteria free whiff that lingered. Ingrid exhaled deeply and allowed the chair greedily consume her. Her eyelids fluttered momentarily until she fixed her position. She sat upright and arched her back to hunch over the form.

Between the nooks of cerebral muscle she may hopefully never have need to uncover, lurked what she could no longer admit she was and, instead, dictated all she feared she would never become.

 

"DETAILS" it read in bold, artistic lettering.

Ingrid's stomach churned and she fought back the bile that shot up her throat. Her heart hung heavy. She brought her pen close to the paper, hesitating for a matter of seconds before hurriedly scrawling what she had no chance of altering.

 

Please, she thought, forgive me.

 

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