Steel-blue shoes on teal floor, Damon Foley paced in monochrome madness. The walls were robin’s egg blue streaked with cracks of indigo. The bed frame and desk were cobalt, the sink bluish gray. His navy jumpsuit covered skin with undertones of deep blue-green. Faint sapphire rays flickered through a sole window, barred. He was living a three-dimensional Picasso nightmare in Dry Gulch Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
How many years had he been walking this floor? How many conversations had he had with the director and a trickle of psychiatrists, caseworkers, orderlies, nurses and guards, trying to convince them he was not who they thought he was? When would they realize he was a good man with a wife and three children who needed him?
A bitter stew brewed where anguish, terror, rage, resignation, indignation, regret, apathy and sorrow clashed. The stench of buried dreams rose and slithered up walls. Ridicule echoed down corridors. He was quiet, his azure tears spent for now.
An attendant pushed a squeaking cart down the hall, stopping at doors to slide trays through narrow slots. The cart paused at Damon’s door; he grabbed his meal: blue-black minute steak, baby blue mashed potatoes, wilting lettuce in shades of gray-green. Next to his plate, a piece of folded yellow paper startled like sun after an eclipse. He opened it and read the message. “Head honcho retiring this year. Chin up. I believe you.” No signature. It could have been a hoax; cruelty thrived in this place.
He folded the note, put it in his pocket and walked to his cot. Palms pressing on a coarse, cyan blanket, he lowered to his knees, and prayed to be returned to the little town along the Bendy River he recalled in vibrant, multicolor hues; to read bedtime stories to Blanche, Ray and Carly Mae; to kiss Velda’s sweet lips once again.
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