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The Beast From Within

The Writers' Block #20 - Theme: Write, in the first person, a character different from you - mention 'green'

I stare at her badge. It claims she is a doctor. All pretty with her prissy hair and little flicky footsteps. She wouldn’t be so calm if she knew what I knew.

‘So, Joanna, isn’t it?’

I’ll play along and nod.

‘Do you know where you are today, Joanna?’

Is that a trick question? ‘Yes. Hospital.’

‘That’s right. Now, let’s see. Your chart says you’re married to Richard and you gave birth to a little boy three weeks ago. Is that right? And since then you’ve been very tired and reluctant to breastfeed.’

‘Is Richard ok?’ I ask, spitting as I shout the words.

She is staring at me now. Her head slightly tilted. Could I trust her with the truth? Would she believe me?

‘He is fine, Joanna. He’s outside and I’ll go chat to him in a moment.’

‘Is he safe? Is it with him?’

‘... It?’

Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that word. But what other word can I use?

‘Joanna, you’re looking quite agitated. You mentioned your husband and appear to be concerned for his welfare. What is the ‘it’ you referred to?’

This small woman may be Richard’s only hope to survive now. I’m lost. It got to me with its eyes. Those penetrating green eyes, glowing, challenging. ‘Kill it,’ the voice said, ‘before it kills you, before it kills everyone.’ Fangs where teeth will be. Claws instead of fingers.

‘It is a demon.’ There. Said it. Why doesn’t she react? How can she be so uncaring?

‘Do you mean Christopher, your baby?’

‘It is a devil. I must protect Richard. Don’t let it near him!’

She is writing this down. She has heard me. She understands and is calm so as not to cause panic. Of course. She is a very good doctor.

‘Joanna, may I ask you a few personal questions? You don’t have to answer them, but it would really help if you could try… Have a sip of water. Your hands are shaking.’

Are they? So they are.

‘How are you sleeping?’

‘I don’t sleep much.’ Tell her everything, then we can be rid of it. Together. Smother it. ‘I have to watch it.’

‘Watch it? Why?’

‘It breathes, menacing me; and I know it will attack us if I stop for just one moment. But I’m prepared. I have a knife by my pillow to defend us.’

She looks at me, judging me. What more can she possibly need to know?

‘Have you seen anything unusual or noticed strange smells recently?’

I shake my head.

‘Do you hear voices?’

I nod. ‘In my head. Telling me to save us from danger.’

‘To harm the baby?’

‘To kill it.’

She places her hand on mine. It is so warm and gentle. I trust her. I now like her short hair and heeled shoes. First impressions can be wrong, can’t they?

‘I don’t know why this is happening,’ I say. ‘Can you help me?’

She pats my hand. ‘You rest now, Joanna. I’m just going to chat to Richard and I’ll be back in no time. I may have a few more questions, if that’s alright?’

My heart races. I am concerned. What if she doesn’t come back? What if it gets her, too?

‘Now, Joanna, calm down. Everything is going to be taken care of. Would you like a little something to help you rest while I’m dealing with Richard?’

I nod again and smile for what feels like the first time in my life and she smiles back. So reassuring.

I lie back and stare at the ceiling, hearing her talking to a colleague as they leave me. ‘Check her blood for toxins and drugs. If clear, it’s most probably PNP.’

The beast from within me will soon be gone...


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