“On the Street” / A Memorable Fancy #403

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

     Certainly I wore torn old clothes when I went on a rant. Before I was put here, that was. “Shoes and shirts must be worn,” and mine were about as worn as anybody’s. Certainly I bathed not too often. This gave me a sort of license, you know, the clothes and the smell, and the remarkable fact of being female. What if I were to stand in the middle of Charles Street in a clean, pressed pants suit, waving my arms? How long would I last before they came to get me? After all, a nice lady like you couldn’t be doing this seriously, you must need Help.

     I did own a good pants suit, but I didn’t wear it around town back then – I learned early on that I could get put away for that, but of course I got put away anyway which is why I’m here, what the hell. Busy people in suits going to their busy busy businesses go crazy seeing crazy people in suits going crazy. But if I wear the dirt/smell uniform then I’m OK and people just shake their heads and sometimes even give me money. Especially if I’d spent the night behind the neighborhood MacDonald’s. They wrinkle their noses as they gave me money. I like to think that’s what makes the money come, but when I wrinkle my own nose no money comes out, so there must be more to it than that.

     I haven’t been out of Bad Shepherd in a long time. I guess there are still cars in the world, people, suits, wrinkly noses, money, mean what you pay not what you say, redeem this coupon cash value one billionth of a cent, do have your nuisance card with you? Have you been Redeemed? I didn’t know I was in hock. What is your account number? Gee, I thought it was your account number, Mr. Master Card. You own all the numbers; I just have a name.

[to be continued …]


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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

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

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

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