Oh, if you can hear a nursery rhyme playing read Chapter 6, page 130 of the book to find out why or you could click HERE. Annoying isn't it?
The author has given permission for us to reproduce a few extracts which you will find lower down this page.
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Copyright: © 2008 Standard Copyright License
Written permission has been granted for this page by the author.
Extracts from INSTITIONALISED By Garth. P. ToynTanen
Extract 1 - page27
The flanking walls of
dark stone were surmounted by brick and then in turn by an array
of radially arranged iron security spikes, the whole being of
perhaps 4 m in height. As before so did these gates swing open
upon their approach but did so with an unhurried relaxed
attitude requiring that they momentarily halt, granting the
travellers a little time to absorb their surroundings before
moving on. In contrast with the first set through which they had
passed and that had seemed strangely un-remarked of by either
name or notice, here there stood to either side a pair of large
illuminated signboards proudly displaying an heraldic shield
device, like some early-age logo, surrounded by an ornate arcing
script of black edged gold lettering proclaiming: St Mary's
retreat and private sanatorium.
The final 200 metres
or so passed between neat hedges and conifers. A grand avenue of
topiary that could only hint at the formal gardens beyond,
around which they now skirted. Those symmetrical forms, so
beloved of the 17th and 18th centuries, presently lay unseen and
secret yet nary a car’s length to either side; each radiating
from an identically ornate fountain-centred fish pond and each
nested, private and protected, safe from the eye of any new
arrival or visitor.
Directly ahead and
looming increasingly large, emerging slowly from within the
shadows cast by the surmounting monumental stone staircase,
double gates of dark oak began to dominate the ground-level
façade. Lying central to the approaching building these lay
beneath the curves of the twin marble staircases that arose from
either side to meet at a pillar flanked terrace where upon
opened out the grand doors of the main entrance.
The drive way took on
a gentle decline, curving down to meet the gated archway at a
point sufficiently lowered, the girl guessed, as to provide
sufficient clearance for a coach and horses in days gone by.
They came smoothly to a halt, the dark oak panels dew-glistening
in the headlights and the whole taking on an unsettling
impression of prison gates, a vision made all the more concrete
by the opening of a door hidden inset within the left-hand gate
revealing to the probing fan of light the figure of a woman
dressed in the immaculate trim-belted and white piped navy blue
dress of a hospital matron. Her appearance was particularly
poignant to the girl, the woman’s status instantly recognisable
by comparison with her aunt’s own uniform that she had seemed to
have become so fond of wearing in recent times. Blonde hair was
neatly pinned in an austere bun above a face perhaps best
described as handsome rather than beautiful and possessed of an
aspect at first worryingly stern but that quickly dissolved into
a reassuringly welcoming smile, instantaneously
the scene far removed from the sinister overtones that had
seemed so tangible only moments previously.
Extract 2 - page 30
If not for the medical uniforms and a certain atmosphere of professional efficiency there was brought to mind the impression of a high-class hotel, a celebrity-ridden 'character' retreat of impeccable stately home or castle pedigree and suitably exclusive - mere wealth in itself would not suffice to give entry here.
Extract 3 -
She was glad when the evening finally drew to a close and she could return to the familiar comfort of her bed. Yawning, she pulled back the covers; no, nothing had been said, and for that she was grateful, but if she had thought that her indiscretions had gone unnoticed she was clearly mistaken and the extent of that naiveté was staring back at her. At first glance all had looked normal then with a double take it had hit her; a rubber mattress cover had taken the place of the bottom sheet.
The rubber cover
added to the humidity, kept her sweat around her and became
slippery with her juices. If anything it added to the piquancy –
more and more often she would awake to find her nightdress was
as stained as her sheets had been.
She had progressed to
caressing herself through the fabric, the satin offering a
subtle interface, prolonging still further the agony and ecstasy
of it. Again she could do nothing to hide the fact, nothing that
would assuage the mortification she felt, yet still nothing was
The nightdress would
be whisked away to the laundry pile and returned, magically, to
her pillow without comment, again, and again, and again. On the
third or fourth such occasion though, still without discussion
or recrimination, she found that her nightdress was now
accompanied by a pair of short legged knickers, her
mortification being completed by the discovery that the soft
satin disguised beneath a latex inner lining.
Extract 4 - page 59
Thrrack! The latex of
her knickers amplified the sound out of all proportion to the
actual force of the impact. Yes, it stung, but it was not so
THrrack! Harder this
time, painfully stinging despite her knickers’ intercedence.
That one really stung, but it was bearable. It was the shame
that was the hardest to bear, that and the humiliation of
actually having begged to be caned.
Extract 5 -
With the two girls
standing, hands on heads dressed in their corselets stockings
and rubber bloomers, and with both women now present there was
hardly any floor space available for the nurse to put down her
load, instead she divided her burden in two, passing half to the
mistress. For the first time Lavinia could make out some detail
amongst those shapeless folds of canvas. There were straps of
some kind, and sleeves. And then it had hit her: straitjackets,
they were straitjackets. Yes, indeed they were straitjackets and
quickly indeed the two miscreants were enrobed in the same.
They were told to sit on the floor, as thickly padded as the walls, as their shoes were removed. Again the nurse had left the room, returning, with only the slightest delay, carrying what Lavinia was later to learn were medical restraints, each consisting of two padded leather cuffs linked by a short, strong, leather strap.
These were quickly
affixed to each girl's ankles.
mistress had looked down on the two of them with satisfaction,
there were to be no words of explanation just a simple
instruction: " No talking". With those words both nurse and
mistress departed, the closing door sealing the room as
completely as to appear to practically evaporate, becoming part
of a seamless continuous padded wall. With the two girls seated
against the back wall there was little spare space and Lavinia
soon discovered it was not possible to fully stretch out, nor
could she topple over, her right shoulder was touching the right
wall and her left shoulder was only a very short distance,
perhaps two hand-widths, from the other girl's.
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......and then the nursery rhyme had begun; 'Boys and girls come out to play' apparently performed on a child’s xylophone. The affect on her companion had been immediate; within the space of a few notes she had begun franticly struggling in her straitjacket, rocking back and forth until, totally distraught, she had broken down completely, becoming a spasm-racked wreck of uncontrollable weeping.
Had Lavinia recognised earlier the implications, the pertinence, of the events unfolding before her then surely she too would have been struggling, both physically and mentally; the concern and sympathy she had felt for the girl might well have been inwardly transferred. For, in witnessing the girl’s reaction, had she not been gifted a view across time, a window into her own future?
(Ed. Can anyone let us have a copy of this tune played one note at a time on a xylophone? Big thank you if you can.)
Coming soon...VOLUME 2.
Confined in the Workhouse
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