Beatriz Bentley: The Elements Game

It’s been a whole week; that’s seven days since I started high school. But who’s counting. I suppose a short recap is in order. Everyone in all my classes think I’m weird except for Jessica. She made me handshake people in the hallways and introduce myself to them. I felt like stabbing myself in the neck. 

To tell you the truth, the only mildly interesting thing that happened to me was in my Spanish class. Yes, I know, I’m Hispanic, but it never hurts to re-educate yourself in your native tongue, but I digress. His name is Tyler. He’s a green-eyed blonde haired senior. Most silly girls would find him dreamy but I’ve fallen for his brain. I heard around school that he’s suppose to be this science wiz and I’m hoping to check out his formulas. Thing is, he finds me annoying. 

He laughs when he gets nervous just like me. Ugh, that is such a girl thing to say. He mocked me the second day of class because I didn’t greet him. I just headed to my seat and sat there staring at my book pretending no one was in the room. 

He had the nerve to make up a song about me; “Rude Beatriz, never says hello, so I ask myself, why won’t she ever say hi?!” I gave him my signature evil eyes only to be mocked and laughed at by the rest of the class. I know I’m anti-social and lack charisma; my therapist is working on that.

Tyler could be such a jerk sometimes. Then on Friday, a strange thing happened, he gave me a compliment. I was discussing a formula with a fellow squint when he so abruptly interrupted us and praised me for knowing the correct elements. 

“Beatriz knows her elements”, he said. I tried not to smile but I was filled with joy that he acknowledge my existence and work. Here’s the kicker, I’m weird. I got angry about it because I didn’t want to smile. I didn’t want to feel like his praise meant something to me. I was furious. How dare he make me feel special. I’m not special. I’m just Beatriz.

I rolled my eyes at him and stormed off. He yelled, “What a psycho!” I hate myself sometimes. I plan on ignoring him for the rest of the school year. My therapist says I have deep emotional issues. I ate a whole bag of dollar store brownies and watched a marathon of Power Rangers. 

That night I dreamed I was playing an Elements Game with Tyler. His green eyes digging into my dark brown ones; sinking into my brain draining me of substance. His blonde buzz cut glistening white skin and weight-lifting muscular arms paralyzing me completely stupid. 

I woke up shaking. No more brownies before bed. However little did I know that there was more to these Element Games. 

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Grandiose 13: Room 217

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My feet tickled at the touch of the cold marble floor. I chuckled at this. The moon dances in my eyes while gingerly walking down the second floor hallway. There are glass walls up here too but just on the right side. It is past my bed time and it seems they forgot to lock my door tonight.

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It was a most fortunate night. My long red hair was behaving and I was discovering the second floor for the first time. Mind you, it was only a matter of time before they made the nightly rounds. I had to make this adventure short and sweet. I glimpsed into each room I passed, fancying myself a normal person. Most of the patients were asleep or appearing to be. A few of them were being naughty like me and walked about their rooms.

Gliding my fingers on the wall, I twirled with each step. My red hair shines like fire, caressing my olive skin. I run my hands through my hair and touch my face. My hands are cold.

“Elizabeth” a whisper came from down the hall. I stopped and waited for the voice to speak again. I was starting to think it was all in my head after a few minutes had passed, but then I heard it again.

“Elizabeth” a voice whispered again loudly from the end of the hall. I slowly walked down stopping once or twice debating if it was a good idea to do so. Perhaps at that moment, my brain was intoxicated by the thrill and new-found adventure, that I let myself be lured by a strange yet familiar voice.

The voice grew louder once I turned into the left, entering the B ward. My heart was racing with every step I took. Then the voice stopped once I reached the middle of the hall. To my left was a dimly lit room with just one light bulb that constantly flickered, Room 217. I could barely make out the silhouette of a man in a wheelchair with his head down. He wasn’t sleeping just staring at the floor, murmuring.

 

From what I could see, he had medium length blonde curly hair and chiseled features. I drew closer to his door to peer at him. I wanted to see his face; he looked so familiar.

“Elizabeth” I heard the voice whisper and quickly jerked my head around but saw no one.

“Who’s there?” I asked in a low voice but no one responded. When I looked into the room, I gasped. He was staring right at me.

“Henry” I murmured, feeling my heart skip a beat. A shiver ran down my spine and then I really lost it. I started screaming his name but he was hanging his head down again. The madness had really sunk in by now as I found myself trying to pry a door open that was bolted shut.

“Henry!” I bellowed, slamming my fists against the door, oblivious to the orderlies closing in on me. I kept screaming after Demetrius had slammed me to the floor. I suppose I had developed new strengths because Demetrius couldn’t keep me down. Three other orderlies had to pin me down with him for Nurse Janice to inject me with the tranquilizer. Even then, I was still kicking and screaming.

    “Let’s take her down!”

“She needs to be strapped down!” I heard Janice yell over my screams. Demetrius picked me up and flung me over his right shoulder. I was still yelling out for Henry. All that screaming gave me a headache. I guess that’s why I didn’t notice how we just kept going down. They were taking me to the dungeon.

The dungeon was where the undesirables were executed. It smelled like sewage and infested with monstrous rats that were not shy about biting you. The strong odors of decay, chemicals and filthy water caused your eyes to water. You could see the broken nails on the floor from patients being dragged to their deaths.  Death was never coy here; if it wanted you it would have you but today wasn’t my day.

We reached a room with old medical equipment and a vintage metal slab with brown leather straps running down both sides. Demetrius with the help of the other three orderlies laid me down upon it and strapped me in. Janice injected something into my right arm and slowly my eyes grew heavy. I could see her and Demetrius’ faces looking down at me.

“Who forgot to lock her in tonight?” I heard a male voice ask.

“Whoever it was is in big trouble” another male voice responded in an old Texas drawl.

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“She must never know” an unfamiliar female voice whispered.

“Henry” I said groggily, twisting my head slowly, side to side.

“There-there, rest now” Janice says to me as she pats my head. I begrudgingly obliged.

The next thing I knew, I was in Kauffman’s session room the next morning strapped into the white jacket. My hair was lying flat over my face so I shook my head to create space for my eyes to see.

“Oh, Elizabeth, you never learn do you?” Victoria laughed as she twirled her hair around her finer while popping her purple gum.

“Victoria” I say angrily.

“Don’t be upset, it ages your face dear” she responded coldly.

“You did this to me!” I screamed. She was now face to face with me; a smirk on her face.

“Prove it” she said, blowing me a kiss. I screamed.

“What’s going on?!” I hear Kauffman yell out running into the room towards me. I ignore him as I strain myself, trying to get out of the jacket.

“Give her a sedative” he yells at Victoria who just stares and smiles at me.

“Call Demetrius” Kauffman continues to yell.

“She’s Victoria!” I scream at Kauffman, but he ignores me.

“Help me” I cry but to no avail, he just walks away from me. This makes me cry. I had no real proof and all I would ever be was crazy without it.

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