Special thank you to Synbou, who Beta read my draft. It was like old times, talking story to the confusion or annoyance to those around us (I.e. my husband an children).
This first came to me last year, when a Canadian soldiers was put on trial for doing some very horrendous things. I got to wondering what living through the horrors of war could do to soldiers. Some pay with their lives, other pay with their bodies, and for some it costs them their minds.
This story is completed, but I am still tweaking the details. Like most heavy stuff that I write, I need to take a step back, let it rest, then polish it. The rest will come when I feel it is tweaked enough to share.
Your comment may impact my polishing.
Part 1: Hell on Earth
Clayton Abernathy, once known as General Hawk, wheeled himself down the long corridor that led to the psychiatric unit of the Long Term and Rehabilitation Institution. Once a month, he undertook the two hundred mile trip to visit the occupants of the hospital. He usually spent the day with those who had birthdays that month. However, there were a few he visited every time. This was one of these men.
"How is he?" He asked Nurse O'Connell, who had once been called Nurse Maggie, even if her name was Christine O'Connell.
"Not good, Sir." Even if G.I. Joe had been disbanded for a bit over five years, and Clayton had been retired for about as long, old forms of address were hard to drop. "His periods of lucidity are growing further apart and are shorter. He's refusing to eat or drink. We've been forced to tube feeding." The nurse said. Despite her professionalism, Clayton could hear the sorrow in her voice.
"Is there anything that can be done?"
"We've got permission from the FDA to try an experimental anti-psychotic. It will be here next week." She sighed, "If we can get him there."
She nodded. "I warn you, it is not pretty. If he attempts suicide again, we fear he will not miss. So we are doing all we can to keep him safe from himself." She laughed. It was a low bitter sound. "I never realised until I started working here, how G.I. Joe training for resourcefulness could backfire."
At the ward door, the nurse swiped her card, and then held it open for the retired General to come through. They signed in. Then, she got an update from the orderly that was keeping watch over four monitors.
They went down another hall to the door at the end. The nurse held up her swipe card, but turned to the General. "Brace yourself, Sir." With that, she opened the door.