Work in Progress: The Voices Sing

Excerpt #2

See Excerpt #1 here.

Synopsis: Noah Winters hears voices and they sing. But they also tell him to do bad things. After listening to the voices one terrible night, he is sent to a correctional facility for an indefinite amount of time. While imprisoned, Noah has to find a way to appease his voices. The only way to do this is to listen to music, but music isn’t allowed on the premises. As his condition worsens, Noah takes it upon himself to make his own music with the help of a beautifully tragic and damaged companion. (This is a story in progress. Comments are welcome!)

A photo by Christian Bardenhorst.

Frank and I eventually reach the end of the lengthy hall and enter into a main vestibule painted in a severe medical white. A large administration desk is situated across the far wall; three women wearing traditional nurse outfits are quietly taking calls and entering data into the computers. Not one looks up as Frank leads me further into the lobby.

Several doorways branch off into different sections within The Ward. Faded silver plaques are placed next to each wooden door – reading Medical Center, Patient Housing Units, Courtyard, Therapy Rooms, and Auditorium. Past each door are several more halls that lead into wings of the building.

I have never been in the east wing. I hear that’s where the women are.

Though the hospital is three floors high, I have yet to spot an operating elevator and I’ve been here for four years. I keep asking Frank whenever I see him why there are no elevators. He never answers me. In fact, Frank has barely said a word to me since I’ve arrived. I’ve been kind to him – never taking him for granted, always asking how has day has been – but he never speaks to me. I’m not hurt by his behavior. Back when I was in high school many of the students treated me in a similar way. I think it’s my eyes.

Frank tugs my arm to the left, forcing me to shuffle towards the door that leads to the housing units. The rotund guard waves to a pretty brunette nurse sitting at the administration desk. She doesn’t wave back.

He slides his staff card into the lock and opens the door for me and gently guides me through. That’s what I like about Frank. He never pushes me.

Once I’m through, he motions for me to begin walking. He takes my arm again and we stroll down the passage. This hall is much different than the one that leads into the therapy section. Against the scarred, dilapidated walls of the therapy corridor, this hall is painted bright white with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the courtyard area. Outside, I can see the dark green lawn with red rose flowerbeds and a fountain placed in the center with a cherub perched atop the cascading waters. I laugh inwardly each time I see that fountain. An angel doesn’t belong here.


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