Madness

“Why is she here?”  The new guard pointed to a screen.

The other guard, who had been on the job longer, briefly looked up.  “Oh, her?  She stabbed another inmate.”

“Why is she screaming like that?”

“She’s nuts.  That’s why they have her chained, too.  Gotta keep her from hurting herself or something.  But she’s always screaming.”

“Doesn’t it get to you?  I mean, even if you turn off the sound, you can hear it through the walls.”

“Used to.  Learned to ignore it.”

“What did she do, anyway?  I mean, to wind up in prison?”

“Went on some kind of rampage.  Tore up a lot of people before they got her under control.”

“Her?  She doesn’t look like much.”

“Looks are deceiving.  Assume anyone in here would kill you if they could.”

“Oh.”

They sat for awhile, keeping watch on the monitors and filling out logs.  It would have been monotonous except for the screaming.

“I’m going to check on her.”

“Don’t bother.  You can’t let this sort of thing get to you.”

“It’s driving me nuts!”

“Suit yourself.  Just stay away from her.  Don’t do anything stupid.”

The new guard picked up the keys and walked over to the cell.  He opened the door to make sure she didn’t have some injury the camera didn’t pick up.  Faster than he would have thought possible, she leapt toward him, the chain breaking as though it were made of paper.  She grabbed his hand.

It only took seconds for him to shake her off, but by then the rage took over.  His world went black as his body rushed back to the desk.  Grabbing a pen, he stabbed the other guard in the chest with it.  He then began running through the prison, beating bloody anyone he came across.

She laid back down on her cot.  The madness had receded for now.  The relief was temporary, she knew, but it had been too long since she had last managed to free herself even for a little while.  Her eyes closed, and she slept.

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