“Asylum – XVI: Introducing Sugar Odette” / A Memorable Fancy #386

[Continuing the journal of Diane McMurphy, a patient in Bad Shepherd mental hospital, “The Asylum”]

     Sugar Odette is my particular friend. The hospital, not being able to enforce the absolute celibacy they’d like to see (which would however drive us totally nuts, thus justifying the hospital’s existence) acknowledges such relationships in a way that doesn’t commit them to admitting to the Board that any fornication is actually being accomplished. We have this ceremony in the day room, where Doctor declares us “com-panions,” eaters of bread together. We feed each other a few crumbs as if they were wedding cake or the Gawdful Host, then hold hands for a few minutes, and leave for our separate rooms. Patients here are not supposed to have sex, but some of us do, that is if we’re not so distracted by delusions or obsessions that we can’t attend to the job, or think we’ve done it and it takes several therapy sessions to convince us we haven’t.

     Sugar Odette came to Bad Shepherd about a year before I did. Some embarrassing personal history had caught the attention of the authorities, but only a few old wrist-scars now remain. Once in a while she back-slides and there are fresh scars in other places, but that doesn’t happen very often. When she slides she’s sent to Greenwall Gardens and I can hear her from as far away as my bunk in spite of all the padding, very sad sounds. After a few days she’s let out, sooner if someone in worse shape needs the room. She comes back to me, embarrassed at having “slipped,” as she puts it.

[to be continued …]


If you liked this post, please tell your friends. Subscriptions to A Memorable Fancy are also available on Amazon. See


See www.terencekuch.net for a profile of the author, publications, reviews, etc.

Terence Kuch’s speculative fiction novels * may be purchased directly from the publishers or via his Amazon author page, www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch

Review copies are available from the author at terencekuch /a/t/ ymail.com for:

    *The Seventh Effect: a thriller from Melange Publications about a new kind of bioterrorist plot against the USA.

    *See/Saw: a literary adventure from Ink Smith Publications about implanting memories, and a murder.

00 SeeSaw front cover small image

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: