The Woman by Amber Jager

He sat alone in his chair, quiet for now. It is the first time all week that he has kept to himself, the soft slippers given to him when his daughter last visited settled calmly on the grey industrial-style carpet. All around him people mill about; those others that live here easily distinguished by their walking aids, grey hair, and shuffling steps. Slippers to match his own are extremely common, some marching slowly from place to place and others seated in chairs identical to where he now rests. Among the groups is the occasional younger person, the footwear being the comfortable easy walking style common in those that work in the medical profession. Not all are nurses, but all work taking care of those unable to take care of themselves any longer after the sands of time took their toll.

For the most part, everyone leaves him alone. Some smile over at him if they even bothered sparing him a glance, but he does not pay attention to them. His focus lingers on the far wall, waiting. The nurses call him ‘troubled’ and do what they can to keep him settled, but no one dares try to move him to another place with another wall to watch. This was the only place where there was ever a quiet moment. If ever placed somewhere else, he would fight and scream and demand to be placed in his usual chair.

When he had first moved into this place it had been different, of course. He’d had the occasional episode. Moments where his children were frightened by his rage-filled tirades, directed at empty spaces. He never turned on them specifically, but after one day where he had fallen after lunging at a lamp, they’d had no choice but to seek out somewhere that he could be kept safe. Since then, the episodes grew more and more common. The medication had helped in the beginning, but now he instead had straps carefully keeping his pajama-clad arms in place on the chair, which was securely bolted to the floor. Short of constant sedation, there was only so much that could be done for someone in his situation.

“Hello Mister Turner. How are we feeling today?” The voice came from his right but he didn’t turn. The nurse came to check on him every afternoon, and he didn’t dare look at her and away from the wall. He did give her a slight nod though, an acknowledgement of her greeting. Continue reading

Horrific by Amber Jager

They were all expecting a different result.  The world had sat by with bated breath, waiting, knowing that it just had to be so.  There was no other true option, was there?  The guilt was inevitable and undeniable.  The truth was a certainty, not a question.  Everyone knew. Everyone knew wrong. When the announcement came through the loudspeakers, it was as if the world truly paused.  It didn’t matter what language it came through on, everyone was receiving the same devastating information.  It was wrong.  It was so horrifically wrong that nobody could even respond for the seconds, and then minutes.  If not for the buzz of the loudspeakers, the silence would have been absolute. No one knew exactly where the first scream came from, but it was most certainly that of a woman, and unleashed a cacophony of noise.  Where a moment ago no one had spoken, everyone now was yelling at once.  Blood spilled within seconds of that first scream, and would continue to flow from man and woman alike throughout the rest of the night. Continue reading