Image Flash #33
You may notice that this particular Image Flash is a couple days late. Well, that’s on purpose! This one is being released on Valentine’s Day and is about as close to romance as my writing gets these days.
Sister (patient) Valerie was in love.
It wasn’t (was) common for members of the Holy Tabernacle (Warren Asylum) to seek out romantic relationships. They were supposed to be focused on their spiritual selves (mental problems) and not the physical world. It was something Sister (patient) Valerie tried to do, but found herself constantly struggling with. Ever since the visits (shifts) from Hector, acolyte to Elder Antolo (server for lunch meal), had started, she found it impossible to focus. Her mind was filled with nothing but thoughts of them being together, his hands on her body, their flesh intertwined.
She managed to sneak from her prayers (room) one day, intent on declaring her love for him. There was no make-up at the Holy Tabernacle (Warren Asylum), but she did the best she could by letting her hair down, pinching her cheeks, and rubbing a ripe strawberry (bloody cut) on her lips. Her heart fluttered as she approached him that first time.
“I’ve been watching (stalking) you and have something to tell you. I think I love you. I would leave (escape) this place for a chance to share your life (suffering).” She said.
He smiled (frowned). He moved closer (away). He spoke (shouted). “Forever! (Security!)”
While this behavior was scandalous (common) for a Sister (patient), there was precedent (were consequences). The other sisters (asylum doctors) doubled her duties (meds). Despite this, Valerie discovered that it was possible to abandon (escape) the Holy Tabernacle (Warren Asylum). Once a year, on Saint Embers (spring cleaning) Day, any Sister (patient) wishing to leave had only to perform (execute) the right rituals (plan) and she could be free to choose her own path.
Sister (patient) Valerie made her choice. She knew that, though she would be leaving, she was following the will of her Sacred God (demented heart).
As the departure ritual (escape plan) dictated, she put on her best dress and covered her head in a crown of flowers (cage of iron). With the help (corpse) of one of the others (orderlies), she washed her arms in rose water (fresh blood). She took the wine decanter (stolen keys) and went down the hallway to the High Mother’s quarters (Head Directors office). She was sad (surprised) to see her go (there). They drank (fought) and Valerie hugged (choked) her. She took her time, keeping her arms wrapped around her, prolonging the goodbye (murder).
The rest of the day went easier. She went to the chapel (kitchen) and prayed for peace (turned the burners). She lit a candle. She took a blessing amulet (fire axe) from the church altar (emergency stairwell) and showed (used) it to (on) everyone as she made (carved) her way to the exit.
Outside, the wind smelled like summer sap (burning bodies) and freedom (death).
She felt happy and confident.
She set out to find her love.