Sunday 29 March – Wednesday 1 April 2015
‘You said she was having an adverse reaction to the treatment, Emmett.’ Dr. Aloysius Hudson glanced over Camille who was sitting upright in her bed. ‘There’s nothing wrong with her.’
‘That’s exactly what I was hoping you’d say,’ Camille replied.
‘What? No, that’s not what I meant.’
‘And yet it’s what you said. Mr. Emmett witnessed it, and the recorder under my bed surely picked it up as well.’
The now pale doctor steeled himself against the nearest wall. Camille had him over a barrel with the photographs but he’d managed to prevent her extortion attempt from going anyway by administering the shock treatment, or so he thought. However, with the meddling orderly Byron Emmett as a witness to this meeting, there was no possible way that he could get around the woman. If anything happened to her now, he would certainly be top of a list of suspects. There was only one thing that he could conceivably do now in order to keep his head above water.
‘So what is it that you want, Mrs. West?’
‘Really? You have to ask?’ The annoyance in her voice was enough to make the good doctor shudder. ‘I want out of here. When we’re done here, you’re going to go back to your office, and you’re going to prepare and sign my release forms. You’re going to note that I am in perfect mental health despite the treatment that you administered, and you’re also going to put on that form that it seems that I was mistakenly committed to this facility. And Mr. Emmett here is going to go with you to make sure that you do it correctly and by the letter.’
‘And what if I refuse?’
Camille shrugged and playfully pointed under her bed and smiled.
‘Fine,’ he snarled, turned his back on Camille and pushed by Emmett. ‘But that tape and the photographs disappear if I do this.’ It was more of a question than a request.
‘Won’t see the light of day again, doctor. Be aware though,’ she chided, ‘Mr. Emmett knows where my copies of the photographs are, who I hired to take them, and a number of other details that I haven’t disclosed to you. Under my advice he’s also informed someone outside of this facility of the same information, just in case you get any smart ideas about silencing him.’
Hudson didn’t fully believe her threat of Emmett giving someone else any of the information but it wasn’t something that he wanted to test. His entire career could be brought into disrepute with those photographs alone, and if the facility’s board of directors got hold of the tape, he’d never work in any asylum again.
‘I’ll have one of the nurses gather your things so that you can leave tonight.’
* * * * *
The taxi pulled away from the kerb leaving Camille standing on the grassed verge in the clothes that she’d been wearing the day Oliver had her committed. He’d said they were going for a drive, nowhere in particular, just a drive to relieve her stress. A nice day out he’d called it. The last thing she’d expected was to be driven to the asylum and dragged kicking and screaming by two burly orderlies into the facility and sedated. Oliver had planned the trip to the second, and he’d forewarned his doctor friend to expect them. It was Hudson who’d administered the sedative as the two orderlies had strapped her down to the bed that she would call her own for the duration of her incarceration. She’d heard Oliver and the doctor whispering away, and she’d heard them toss Cassandra Paulson’s name around as well. It was then that she recognised the doctor as being the third party in the warped affair that Oliver was having. From her position at the kerbside, the front door seemed such a long way away.
The lounge room curtains parted and Oliver peered out into the darkness. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness outside, he focussed on Camille sauntering towards the front door. Hudson had promised that she wouldn’t be home any time soon and yet here she was on the stoop. He raced to the front door and opened it with such force that the handle left an indentation mark on the wall. Instinctively Oliver wanted to slap her as hard as he possibly could, but in the interests of maintaining a good reputation with the neighbours and anyone else who might see the interaction, he resisted that urge.
‘What are you doing here, Camille?’
‘I’m about to walk into my own home, Oliver, what does it look like?’
His face showed everything that Camille needed to know about her arrival. Oliver was pissed off and confused.
‘Your good doctor reconsidered his position on my mental health and decided that I really should be at home where I belong because there’s nothing at all wrong with me other than the fact that I caught you out. Now get out of my way, Oliver.’ She pushed him out of her way, stepped into the house, and placed her bag at the bottom of the stairs. When she turned around, Oliver was still in the doorway, jaw open and a look of shock on his face.
‘And by the way, Oliver . . . any second now Mr. Emmett from the asylum will be at the door. He’ll be here with a few of his colleagues from the asylum, and they’ll be taking you back with them.’
‘What?’ Oliver didn’t understand what she was talking about.
Almost gliding, Camille moved to within an arm’s length of her husband.
‘Well sweetie, you had me committed because I objected to you screwing our neighbour and you thought nothing of it. If there’s something that I’ve learnt from my time in the asylum, it’s how to survive and how to play as dirty as you. You’re going away to be assessed, sweetie, and I’ve got a feeling that you won’t get out for quite a while. After all, a few of those dirty little photographs that I have of you and Cassandra and Dr. Hudson have made their way to some of the senior doctors in the asylum, not to mention the board of directors. And that means that your little buddy Hudson can’t help you because he’s . . . having some work done, mentally speaking. Ah, here they are now.’
Oliver heard the footfalls of the approaching orderlies before he realised what they were going to do.
The two larger orderlies grabbed Oliver by his arms as Byron Emmett stood in front of him.
‘Now, Mr. West, we can do this the easy way, which involves you coming along of your own volition or, we can do this the hard way. The boys here would really like you to do this the easy way. It’s much less work for them. I however, if I’m being honest, would really like you to go the hard way. I’ve got a bag full of all sorts of medication in the bus and I’d really like give you some loving the way you decided your wife needed some, if you catch my meaning.’
Oliver struggled against the two orderlies. Byron smiled and stepped off to the side so that the orderlies could frogmarch Oliver to the asylum ambulance.
‘Looks like you’ve selected the hard way, Oliver. Brave man . . . brave, brave man.’
. . . To be continued . . .