Things had just seemed to get sicker and sicker for me. I looked at my grinning new friend; around at all the mess I was in, and tried to fully fathom the seriousness of my situation. Thinking initially that I was to be enrolled into university to study for my law degree, instead I had been duped, and now found myself admitted into a private psychiatric hospital where I was apparently in line to be given brain injury inducing cocktails of drugs comprised of pharmaceutical, psychoactive and female viagra compounds; all under the guise of legitimate clinical research. If that was not bad enough, it would appear that the whole operation was being run by my nemesis, doctor Medjuck, who had tried to conceal his identity with extensive plastic surgery, and his evil brand of psychiatry was being meted out by one Wrongful Death Rowan, probably the most dangerous psychopathic killer of all time! To add insult to injury (and in all likelihood brain injury leading to real, actual wrongful death) the entire fiasco was being funded by money from my own personal insurance policy!
I had just witnessed a complete session of this bizarre experiment. Two inmates had been forced to administer near-lethal dosages of powerful drugs, and the rest of us were made to watch the sickening results. The victims lay unconscious, no doubt already suffering permanent brain injury, and the doctor was nowhere to be seen. In fact, no one present made any sort of attempt to help the poor men lying inert at opposite ends of the room. We were all simply too immobilized with fear, knowing full well that we were under the steady gaze and observation of both the doctor behind his one-way mirror, and Wrongful Death Rowan who sat at the other end of the ward-room, remaining silent and omnipotent in his manacles and restraints. None of us dared move for fear that we would be the next to be chosen for this diabolical clinical research into pharmaceutical psychiatry.
Suddenly a loud buzzer sounded three times and a large door automatically unbolted and opened. The inmates quickly got up and clambered to hurry through it, Mickey slapping me on the shoulder and beckoning me to join. We all shuffled and cajoled each other in our haste to remove ourselves from this terrible ward of this nightmarish private psychiatric hospital, and I noticed that two of the inmates had been enlisted by some lab-coated guards to help the groggy, half-conscious victims along with us. I stood motionless; mouth open, watching, until Mickey gave me a shove. “Shake a leg Buster, or you’ll miss chowtime!”
|Ring The Dinner Bell|
So we made our way to the living quarters of the unit, and onwards to sort of concessions window through which we were handed plastic trays. From there we queued up to have our trays piled upon with the various foodstuffs that would comprise what was considered to be sustenance in here. The colours and consistencies being the only signifiers that one item was separate from the other; it was a collection of different kinds of slop. I looked at the mess with disappointment, I was hungry, but not that hungry. Frankly my meal looked like it had already been eaten once, and the parts that had not been fully digested and evacuated, had simply been regurgitated onto my plate. It even smelled like sick. Mickey snapped me out of it, prodding me. “Come sit with me and meet my boys! I’m gonna introduce you to The Crew!” Still preoccupied with the tragedy that was supposed to be my evening meal, I stumbled along behind him.
We took our seats at a long table at the end of the cafeteria, joining the few men who commanded this area as their own. The other inmates seemed to avoid this part of the room, most not even casting their eyes anywhere near it. Somehow, and I would assume it was because I was with Mickey, I was allowed to gain admittance to this rank of privilege and I nervously followed Mickey’s every move, wondering what to expect.
“This here’s the new guy!” Mickey introduces me, “You needn’t worry, he’s ‘one of us’!” He states with all assurance. The other cons look up and glare at me for a second before they all resume noisily shoveling the slop into their hungry gullets. Mickey is right at home here. He’s got green and brown liquid food running down his chin and all over the front of his shirt, and he’s waving his milk container around as he speaks, splashing it on his tray, the table, the guy opposite him, and me. No one seems to notice, they can’t seem to cram the watery mush into their mouths fast enough.
“You my friend can consider yourself to be a man of great privilege today.” The Rat informs, “For you have entered a very special club!” He winks, wiping his mouth with a piece of wonder bread. “You, my friend, have arrived!”
Again, I wasn’t really sure what he was talking about. So I got to sit at the “cool” kids’ table. Big deal! I had real problems; I didn’t care about the seating arrangements at dinner time, but no! This was of the utmost importance to Mickey for some reason. He went on to explain a little in his own cryptic manner.
“Let me introduce you to boys” he said as he put his arm around me in a fatherly fashion. “First we got little Dickie Pickles over here,” pointing to a hulking 350 lb. mass of person who was in the process of licking his tray clean. He looked up for a second and gave me a single nod of acceptance. “Then we have Tony the Shirt, he’s Italian, but we like him anyways, right boys?” to which they all laughed. I almost began to laugh with them until I caught Tony’s gaze, which said in no uncertain terms that there was nothing funny about it. Maintaining his jovial mood Mickey continues, “Moving right along, we come to a true Brother of The Cause, White Mike.” Presenting a bald headed youngster, “Them boys down there are Mad Dog, Booze, and Fat Howie…” pointing at 3 more shaven headed, tattooed musclemen who were busy checking out each other’s flexing at the far end of the table. “And last, but most certainly NOT least, The Man himself, Wolf.” Presenting me to one of the most intimidating figures I had ever encountered, and adding; “This is the only man you need to know.”
|The "Man" Himself|
Wolf eyed me for a split second and cracked a cynical looking grin. He held out his hand for me to shake, and as I took it he pulled me close to him and spoke into my ear; “We are your family now, brother. You can forget about the rest. You’re one of us. Welcome to The Brotherhood!” and he released me from his grasp, shook me by the shoulders smiling proudly, as the rest of the men all shouted “Mess with the best and fuck the rest!” and in lieu of 3 cheers they all called out in unison “Oi Oi Oi”
Much high-fiving and back slapping ensued. I was hugged and tossed around like a rag doll as Mickey looked on beaming with pride. They certainly were happy to welcome me to their special part of the dining area, and I wasn’t one to deny them their simple joys, considering how grim the situation we all shared could be, a little camaraderie and horse-play seemed small concession. But these guys were really getting into it. White Mike was marching in place, giving a stiff armed salute and singing patriotic songs in German, and Mad Dog and Booze were still in their brotherly embrace, engaging in a little brotherly French-kissing as well it seemed. Man, these guys really loved each other a lot!
Before I knew it, it was time to go back to our bunks, and while I had plenty of new questions to ask as to the nature of this “brotherhood” my new friends spoke of, or why they saw fit to include me, possibly I could have some of my other questions answered in the meantime. I needed to know what exactly was going on in this private psychiatric hospital that we were all incarcerated in. What was the purpose of this pharmaceutical experimentation? Was it some form of psychiatry, or was it merely clinical research? And what was the deal with the female viagra, anyways? The doctor, with his plastic surgery, spending my insurance policy on causing all manner of brain injury and wrongful death, could not be lawfully allowed to get away with this. How was any of this possible at all? Hopefully, after lights-out I could get a few questions answered…