Letters From Warsley Asylum

A short story about a mental patient's plight and desperation to escape institutionalization. Contains triggers (e.g. suicide, self-harm, abuse)


1. Letters From Warsley Asylum

 I’m dying. Earlier this evening, I ensured it. The doctors came to give me my pills, not really caring whether I swallowed them or hid them under my tongue. Just so long as they could say they tried there were no issues. What the doctors don’t know is that, I not only held the pills under my tongue, but once I was in my own privacy, I removed them and put them in a pillbox in my trunk.

 I’m one of the luckier ones in this godforsaken rat hole of an asylum. Any of the ones in straitjackets or in the communal rooms have wanted to top themselves since arrival. I was treated in a rather special manner compared to them. I had one of the nicer rooms and was given a small trunk for keeping my possessions. Occasionally, I am allowed to leave the asylum with a friend but we can’t go any further than the street across from us.

 But it doesn’t matter anyway. Yes, I had those rights but I never got to use them. I had no friends or family who wanted to visit me. No possessions, except for the pill box I stole during a check-up. I was stuck in a room lined with mould encrusted wallpaper, curling at the edges of where it had been poorly pasted on to the “not-so dry anymore” dry wall.

 You know, this room drove me nuts. The metal frame of my bed creaked and groaned and the sound of screaming from the more lively inmates downstairs was the only soundtrack I had, I listened to it for every second of every day. The stench of damp, urine and blood was the perfume of this wretched institution. I blame it wholly for the worsening of my condition.

 I fucking hated living by now. When I was first turned in, I wasn’t even mad. That’s right, Warsley asylum’s slogan is “We take any case!” and most people misinterpret its meaning. I did too until I met the owner of this despicable, vile place.

 His own personality was viler and more despicable than this sanatorium could ever dream to be. He was a middle aged man. His hands were as damp as the walls of my room, his breath as putrid as the stench in the halls. His eyes were the worst; they were as sharp and shiny as the needles and syringes that the nurses stab into the unlucky ones on the bottom floor.

 I told him I wasn’t mad, that I was sane and he looked at me…with a smirk. His lip began to tremble and he squeezed his eye shut as his body convulsed. To my horror, I realised he was laughing. He was laughing at my pleas for help, laughing as I tried to convince him I hadn’t lost my marbles. Then he seized my shoulders and looked me deadpan in the eyes. With a slow and patronising demeanour he repeated the Warsley Asylum motto.

 It was at that moment I realised just how disgusting this asylum was. Warsley asylum was just for the people you wanted to get rid of. They would treat the sane so badly and never discipline the crazy and eventually any patient went mad. Even if they didn’t, even if they knew they weren’t here because of their sanity (or lack of), the doctors could always say, “They’re mad, don’t listen to them.”

 I realised at that moment, I had one option if I ever wanted to leave Warsley asylum. I realised that I had to leave life. So I spent the rest of my time trying to figure out the most efficient way to kill myself and get my message out. That is why this suicide note shall be hidden in a place only my mother would think to check.

 So what did I do earlier this evening to ensure my death? I swallowed all the pills I have been given over the last three months. That’s write Mr Erikson, I’ve killed myself, you can’t hurt me anymore! As I write the words seem to move about the page, swirling and dancing on the paper. The ink seems to glide along the page. I can see the faces that have been haunting since I was sent here.

 My last words? The ones which I will write on the page before I hide this note, go to sleep and hopefully never wake up? Warsley Asylum is not a hub of madness but evil.


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