Just the Facts

Started by Maude Tillery at Aug 08, 2020 9:58 PM
January 0, 1924
620 Views
59 Posts

Sarah Simmons (née Tillery)

290
?Years Young
4 Posts

How can I live without you, how forgo thy sweet converse and love so dearly joined, to live again in these wild woods forlorn?

Milton, Paradise Lost


"I think he wants you to eat your lunch, you know.  You have to stay strong." She smiled at her sister and patted her hand.

“I know, I’ll have it in a little while.” She promised, halfheartedly. She would, if she could get it back to her room, and not have to eat with everybody staring at her.

"So, what have you been up to?  Dr. Janos was talking to you about the movies earlier.  Do you still have a crush on Douglass Fairbanks?  I still like Valentino better!"

Sarah couldn’t remember a time when she’d been excited about heartthrobs of the Silver Screen. Well, she could remember it in terms of the images that flickered in her mind’s eye of course, but she could not summon up the emotion, the feeling of excitement about her visits to the moving pictures with her sister in the time … the time before all of this grey-green pall of permanent gloom had settled itself upon her from out of nowhere. It was like an alien color out of space had just descended from above one day, and covered her.

People talked about the death of the baby, but in her heart of hearts she knew that that wasn’t the whole story. The color had been there all her life. The joys of life had masked it, kept it at bay. What had happened, that had just opened a crack wide enough for it to spill out at long last.

Male heart-throbs wouldn’t do it, but there was one cinematic memory that managed to bring a real smile to her face.

“Oh Maudey, do you remember that film we saw, oh, it was a long while ago, you’d come home from College for some reason and, erm, something like Little Rich Girl, oh yes, Poor Little Rich Girl, and everyone in the town said that you and I looked just like Mary Pickford and ZaSu Pitts in it!”

She didn’t exactly laugh out loud, but she chuckled to herself and rocked a little in her chair. “We spent the whole rest of your visit calling each other… oh, whatever the characters names were.” She looked up at Greyson, for the first time properly.

“Oh, I’m sorry Doctor … Steele” she remembered.

(Janos’ voice, bristling with positivity, seemed to sound in her ear: even though he was right at the other end of the dining hall – ‘yes, even remembering someone’s name is a victory, another step up the mountain!’)

“It must be dull as dishwater for you, listening to us two reminisce over old times.” she smiled apologetically.


Dr. Greyson Steele

MD, Surgeon
144
?Years Young
83 Posts

"Mum's the word, goes both ways."


"Oh no, not at all Sarah, in fact, that is one of my favorite films as well," He said with a smile. "And yes, the two of you have the resemblances that are had to miss, even today." He would play along with the story, yes, he'd seen the film, and yes there was a resemblance there, so he was not outright lying about it. "Memories like yours are always something that brings joy, and are always well worth sharing."


Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


"Oh, no," Maude corrected with a smile, "that was 'The Little Princess'!  I was Sara and you were my faithful friend, Becky."  She had learned early never to condescend to her sister, or to placate her.  Sarah was smart and knew when she was doing that, she always had, so Maude had promised never to treat her like a 'fragile baby'. 

"I would read you the book, and then we'd sneak into the pantry and load baskets with food, then take it into the attic and pretended that Mr. Carrisford had left it for us!"  She smiled brightly at the memory, there had been some really good times that had brought them closer together, and she knew that even now, that bond as sisters was strong.

"And it was so exciting when they made the moving picture with Mary and Zasu!  Don't you think Dr. Steele looks a bit like Mr. Carrisford? Would you like me to bring you the book next time I come?  Or maybe 'The Secret Garden'?"


Sarah Simmons (née Tillery)

290
?Years Young
4 Posts

How can I live without you, how forgo thy sweet converse and love so dearly joined, to live again in these wild woods forlorn?

Milton, Paradise Lost


"Oh no, not at all Sarah, in fact, that is one of my favorite films as well," He said with a smile. "And yes, the two of you have the resemblances that are had to miss, even today." He would play along with the story, yes, he'd seen the film, and yes there was a resemblance there, so he was not outright lying about it. "Memories like yours are always something that brings joy, and are always well worth sharing."

“You’re kind.” Sarah said simply. “I’m glad Maude’s working with a good man.” She looked distant for a second “There’s so many bad people out there.” Her sister brought her mind back into the room by reminding Sarah which film they had actually seen on that rare visit home by her bluestocking sister.

"Oh, no," Maude corrected with a smile, "that was 'The Little Princess'!  I was Sara and you were my faithful friend, Becky."  She had learned early never to condescend to her sister, or to placate her.  Sarah was smart and knew when she was doing that, she always had, so Maude had promised never to treat her like a 'fragile baby'.

Sarah appreciated this and nodded, smiling, at being treated like a real person, not a patient, for a change.

“You’re right, I’m a dumbo.” She conceded. “To be fair, all those Pickford films are kinda …” Again, there was the semblance of a chuckle. She wasn’t in great shape, true, but compared to how she had been when she was first brought to the asylum, in a virtually catatonic state, she was doing well.

"I would read you the book, and then we'd sneak into the pantry and load baskets with food, then take it into the attic and pretended that Mr. Carrisford had left it for us!"  She smiled brightly at the memory, there had been some really good times that had brought them closer together, and she knew that even now, that bond as sisters was strong.

“And you had to stop me from climbing out onto the roof?” Remembered Sarah “Imagine if Pa had caught us? And I’d have told him I was looking for my ‘dead Father’? He thought we were both crazy enough already.”

"And it was so exciting when they made the moving picture with Mary and Zasu!  Don't you think Dr. Steele looks a bit like Mr. Carrisford?”

Sarah screwed up her face. “No. Mr Carrisford is ‘a man with a haggard, distressed face, and a skeleton body wrapped in furs’” she could quote much of that book verbatim, having read it so often. “And he had a mustache in the film. Dr. Steele looks more like the man from the shirt advertisements.” She decided. That was actually something of a compliment.

Would you like me to bring you the book next time I come?  Or maybe 'The Secret Garden'?"

Sarah smiled that tired smile again. She knew what Maude was lovingly doing, trying to balm her wounds in the joyful childhood of the past. She shook her head appreciatively.

“Can you bring me Paradise Lost?” she asked. This was somewhat out of character. She was an intelligent woman: maybe not to the heights of her sister, but still no dumb Dora. But that kind of highbrow, old school stuff had never been her bag.

 

 "I was Sara and you were my faithful friend, Becky" 


Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


"Oh, sure, I can do that."  'Paradise Lost' was pretty intense reading, at least that was what Maude had heard.  She'd never personally read it, at least past the first few verses, it was just too...drool, and Maude liked to read to relax, not to learn a moral lesson.  Her tastes ran more toward Dumas, Stevenson and Twain.

"Sarah, your loony doctor...do you like him?  How does he treat you?"  As far as Maude knew, Sarah was never so far gone that she wouldn't know if there was something amiss with what was going on here, and her opinion was important.


Dr. Greyson Steele

MD, Surgeon
144
?Years Young
83 Posts

"Mum's the word, goes both ways."


Greyson cringed at the phrase 'loony' when describing the doctor. He was positive that it would not go over well with Janos. Actually, he doubted the phrase would do well with any professional. He would watch for a reaction, not that he thought the man would attack her, no, far from it. Sarah would be the one at risk.


Sarah Simmons (née Tillery)

290
?Years Young
4 Posts

How can I live without you, how forgo thy sweet converse and love so dearly joined, to live again in these wild woods forlorn?

Milton, Paradise Lost


"Oh, sure, I can do that." 

They might not have seen that much of each other of late and, for better or worse, their lives had changed dramatically since they were children, but the sisters could still read each other like books: especially when they were talking about books.

“Oh I know, a little more heavy and old than I’m used to reading, but …” she looked into the distance, her eyes a little misty. “… it tells about good and evil.”

"Sarah, your loony doctor...do you like him?  How does he treat you?"  As far as Maude knew, Sarah was never so far gone that she wouldn't know if there was something amiss with what was going on here, and her opinion was important.

“My Loony doctor! Emil?” Sarah caught the look of disapproval on Greyson’s face.

“Oh Doctor Steele, I’m allowed to say that, I am a loony.” She said in her quiet, scratchy, matter-of-fact little voice, waving a fey hand at her surroundings “It’s Maudy that’s naughty.” She shrugged, pulling a prim and proper face.

She looked a bit absent for a spell, a pregnant pause that teetered on the edge of looking like she’d forgotten the question; then suddenly, she spoke.

“Emil is like our old school mistress Maude, Miss Markham. Do you remember her?” she asked. Of course Maude would remember. Little Miss Blue Eye, the class swot. “She had all the time in the world for you, all the help in the world for you, if she decided you were good. If she decided you were bad, well. Look out!” Her face contorted in fury, mimicking Miss Markham exactly as she slapped the table hard. Just like she’d been slapped.

Janos looked round from down the dining hall. He surveyed the situation for a second then turned back to talk to Nurse Coburn.

Sarah continued to answer Maude’s question.

“Emil is like that. But he’s decided I’m good. He … he has helped me.” She nodded, and looked at Maude with a shadow of an assuring smile. Then she shook her head. “Heaven help the ones he thinks are bad.”


Maude Tillery

Doctor
108
?Years Young
120 Posts

 When life follows the course of our desires, it is easy to be swept along without thought.
Elizabeth Blackwell


"You called him a 'loony' first!" Maude reminded her with a grin, then she shrugged.  "And I'm glad you're good, but you always are good."

That would be something she'd need to talk to Greyson about later, and she was glad he was here to hear first hand, so she didn't have to try to describe it, perhaps injecting bias without being aware of it.

"You'll stay good, won't you?"  Reaching out, she took Sarah's hand, looking into her eyes.  Still the older sister, protective, worried, Maude would do what was best for Sarah, and passionately wished she knew what that was.  At least today had given her some insight.

"Do you need anything else?  I'll be back in a couple days with your book."

 

 

 


Dr. Greyson Steele

MD, Surgeon
144
?Years Young
83 Posts

"Mum's the word, goes both ways."


“Emil is like that. But he’s decided I’m good. He … he has helped me.” She nodded, and looked at Maude with a shadow of an assuring smile. Then she shook her head. “Heaven help the ones he thinks are bad.”

Greyson's hackles went up at the last part of her oration. He wondered what exactly she meant by it, considering that many of the supposed mental health tools available to Doctor Janos could easily be construed as torture devises if misused.

"You called him a 'loony' first!" Maude reminded her with a grin, then she shrugged.  "And I'm glad you're good, but you always are good."

That would be something she'd need to talk to Greyson about later, and she was glad he was here to hear first hand, so she didn't have to try to describe it, perhaps injecting bias without being aware of it.

"You'll stay good, won't you?"  Reaching out, she took Sarah's hand, looking into her eyes.  Still the older sister, protective, worried, Maude would do what was best for Sarah, and passionately wished she knew what that was.  At least today had given her some insight.

"Do you need anything else?  I'll be back in a couple days with your book."


Dr. Greyson Steele

MD, Surgeon
144
?Years Young
83 Posts

"Mum's the word, goes both ways."


“Emil is like that. But he’s decided I’m good. He … he has helped me.” She nodded, and looked at Maude with a shadow of an assuring smile. Then she shook her head. “Heaven help the ones he thinks are bad.”

Greyson's hackles went up at the last part of her oration. He wondered what exactly she meant by it, considering that many of the supposed mental health tools available to Doctor Janos could easily be construed as torture devises if misused.

"You called him a 'loony' first!" Maude reminded her with a grin, then she shrugged.  "And I'm glad you're good, but you always are good."

That would be something she'd need to talk to Greyson about later, and she was glad he was here to hear first hand, so she didn't have to try to describe it, perhaps injecting bias without being aware of it.

"You'll stay good, won't you?"  Reaching out, she took Sarah's hand, looking into her eyes.  Still the older sister, protective, worried, Maude would do what was best for Sarah, and passionately wished she knew what that was.  At least today had given her some insight.

"Do you need anything else?  I'll be back in a couple days with your book."