Please note this is fiction and any similarity between real people and places is purely coincidental.
Paranoid schizophrenia is a subtype of schizophrenia in which the patient has delusions (false beliefs) that a person or some individuals are plotting against them or members of their family. Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common schizophrenia type.
Medical News Today
As the painkillers finally started to work their magic, Melanie remembered their last big fight. She was standing in her driveway, having returned home from work, when Kerry arrived.
Melanie remembered thinking “oh God, not now, I have no energy to spare”.
“You bitch,” Kerry screamed.
“It’s bad enough you’ve taken my husband, but now you’re trying to turn my children against me”.
“Kerry, what are you talking about?” Melanie asked wearily.
“Jason told me he wants to move. That he wishes you were his mother.” Kerry spat out, a stream of drool settling on her chin.
A BROKEN MIND
“Kerry, I know things have been tough for you. You need to get help. You have a problem.”
“The problem is you. You and your perfect home and your perfect kids and your perfect husband. You have everything and now you’re trying to take my kids away from me as well.
“Kerry, you’re not making sense. You need help. You’re crazy. You should see someone”.
As soon as the words left her mouth, Melanie knew she had said the wrong thing. She hadn’t meant to voice the words she had been thinking for months, but was just so tired and fed up with the accusations.
Kerry let out a blood-curdling scream, grabbed a rock lying on the grass near the driveway and lunged at Melanie.
The next thing she knew, Melanie was waking to the sounds of metal scraping against metal, strange beeping noises and swift footsteps. She had no idea how she had gotten to the hospital.
“Mrs Johnson, the police will be here soon to ask you some questions,” the nurse said, dragging Melanie back into the present and its nagging question, “what to tell the police?”
If she told them about the assault, the police would arrest and charge Kerry. She needed help and medical care, not being locked up in a cell until the justice system worked out what was best for her.
On the other hand, if Kerry had hit her a bit harder, Melanie wouldn’t be having this mental debate, she would be dead. That was a chilling thought.
This made her think of her beautiful kids and then she remembered to ask the nurse if she could find out where they were.
“Don’t worry about your kids, luv. Your friend, the one who brought you in, she said she was going to pick them up from school for you. Kerry, I think her name is.”
Melanie’s head was spinning. Kerry had her kids! The woman was out of control and now she had her kids.
“She said she’d keep your children with her at her special place in the Blue Mountains until you were well enough to get them,” the nurse continued as she straightened the sheets on Melanie’s bed.
“Doctor says you should be able to go home in a day or two. You were very lucky with that head injury.
“We’re organising a bed in one of the wards now. You should be able to move out of emergency soon.”
Melanie barely heard the nurse as she wrenched her muddled brain, trying to work out what she meant about the special place in the Blue Mountains.
The nurse started to pad away then turned and said; “Oh, I nearly forgot, your friend said to tell you an important message.
“I have it here somewhere,” she said as she searched the pockets of her uniform.
“She made me write it down, which is just as well, as it’s all gobblygook to me.
“Ah yes, here it is,” as she handed over a folded sheet of paper.
Melanie nervously opened the page as the nurse left.
The four words written on it made her blood run cold.
“Icaboo is no bluff,” the note said.
Clearly, it was a threat. “Icaboo” meant keep it secret and the “bluff” was the Blue Mountains cliff Kerry had threatened to jump from. If Melanie told the police about the assault, Kerry was in the perfect place to hurt her kids.
Melanie had no idea how long it would take the police to arrive, then the time explaining – it was too much time. She jumped out of bed, white dots warning her of impending unconsciousness if she didn’t slow down. She dressed quickly, despite the painkillers making her legs wobble. And was grateful for the $50 note she left in her skirt pocket, as her handbag was nowhere in sight.
BROKEN HEARTS AND BODIES
Later she wouldn’t be able to recall how she had bypassed the hospital staff. Nor would she remember the cab trip home to get her car or how she avoided a speeding ticket, or an accident for that matter, on the M4 motorway as she raced to the Bluff.
The picture when she arrived was one she would never forget. It would feature in her nightmares for years to come.
There were police cars and rescue vans everywhere in the small street where the track that led to the Bluff started.
Melanie frantically tried to push past the officers guarding the entrance to the track but they wouldn’t allow her to go forward until she told them her children were there.
As she half ran, half stumbled to the lookout, pictures of her kids at various ages flicked through her mind like a slide show on fast forward.
When she finally arrived at the lookout she saw Ellie huddled under a blanket; her tear streaked face the only part of her small body that was visible.
Two police officers were talking to Declan, who looked deathly pale and more like a five-year-old than the 10 that he was. Rescue teams were carrying a stretcher towards the track. Though the body was covered, Melanie knew it was the broken remains of her friend Kerry.
When her children saw her, they flung themselves at Melanie, talking at once, trying to tell her how ‘aunty Kerry’ had taken them here.
“She was acting crazy Mummy,” said Ellie through her sobs.
“She kept saying ‘a family for a family’.
“Then she just walked off the edge.”
This was the final part of the short story, Broken. I hope you enjoyed it.
Wishing you a gleeful week, Tamuria