Black Toads

By Jerry A. Marzinsky, M.Ed. C.P.C. — Keyhole Journey August 13, 2017

The following story is one of many stories that will be included in the book Jerry Marzinsky is writing.  This story is written here as a stand-alone piece to give readers a taste of Jerry’s work on the front lines as a licensed mental health practitioner, specializing in psychiatric care.  The patient’s name in this story has been changed to Lilly.
There is something I do not know, the knowing of which could change everything.”  — Werner Erhard.
Prelude:  The story you are about to read is a true accounting that took place while working as a psychiatric crisis evaluator in the emergency room of the Tucson Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona.  This story provides a rare insight into the psychotic mind and what drives schizophrenia as well as a unique perspective into the human condition and the unseen forces that affect us all.
***

BLACK TOADS

As I entered the psych ward, its heavy steel door slammed shut behind me with a metallic bang.  I headed for the psychiatric evaluators’ office to begin my shift.  Within the cramped work space, surrounded by thick sheets of clear shatter proof Plexiglas, two of my colleagues stared at computers.  To my right, a sudden movement in the annex snagged my attention.  Any quick movement in this place signaled trouble.  In the middle of the annex floor surrounded by other psych patients who watched from their beds, an attractive Caucasian female, like a drunken Kung Fu artist, flailed at the air.  Was she burning off nervous energy or fighting some invisible demon?  Sue, the psych nurse tapped my shoulder.
“That’s Lilly, she’s out there and getting impatient.  The police brought her in after she flew into a rage at her mental health center.  She signed in voluntarily but is demanding to leave.  I told her you’d see her as soon as you got in.”  Sue looked up with a sadistic twinkle in her eye and passed me a clip board of triage notes.
I punched Lilly’s medical record number into one of the computers.  Pages of history flashed up including a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.  She’d been terminated from her outpatient mental health center for not showing up for appointments.  This wasn’t unusual for schizophrenics.  Most outpatient mental health centers waited a while before terminating such patients, but not the one she belongs to which was paying off new office buildings.
I pulled up the result of Lilly’s drug screen.  It glowed like the warning lights on a doomed airliner: benzodiazepines, opiates, marijuana, and most notorious: amphetamines.  The pattern was familiar.  Although schizophrenics resisted the anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to them, they had no trouble self-medicating with virtually every addictive or sedating drug they could find to quell their auditory hallucinations.  Except for marijuana, the result was disastrous.
Hysterical sheiks followed by curses rattled the office windows.  I looked up from the computer.
“I’m not hurting anyone!  Get the fuck away from me before I kick the shit out of you,” Lilly was screaming at a psych tech.  Her long dark hair fell forward over one shoulder, partly covering a scowl and a tight lipped mouth.  She swiped it behind her ears and stood like an aggravated Rooster glaring at the tech.  Concerned that she was agitating the other patients, the tech, almost twice Lilly’s size, was attempting to get her to return to her bed.  He wisely backed off.
I turned to Nurse Sue, “I don’t think it would be real smart to seal myself up in an interview room with her right now.  Can you give her something to calm her down?”
“We gave her Ativan when she came in.  I’ll see if the doctor will order us more.”
Relieved, I returned to looking at Lilly’s extensive psych history.  As a child she had been repeatedly sexually molested and beaten by a drug addicted father who eventually died of an overdose.  At the age of sixteen, her mother abandoned her, triggering her first psychotic break.  Voices began telling her to kill herself followed by a suicide attempt that got her committed to an adolescent psychiatric facility.
Her first marriage was a disaster.  Her ex-husband attempted to drown her and at one time held a gun to her head.  The voices returned with a vengeance telling her that it was all her fault, that she was worthless and despicable.
After months of battering by the voices as well as her husband, Lilly snapped, locked herself in a bathroom and slit her wrists.  Her blood swirled down the drain as her husband raged outside the bathroom door before tearing it off its hinges.  Lilly was committed to a psych ward.
The door to the annex office flew open with a metal click.  A psych tech barged in.
“Jerry, she’s not going to hold.  She says if she’s not seen right now, she wants to leave.”
I turned to Sue.  “Did you get more Ativan into her?”
“Just gave it to her.  It’ll take a few minutes to kick in.”
“How many?”  I asked.
“Maybe ten.”  I glanced at my watch and grabbed the clipboard.
“Sue, keep an eye on the interview room monitor would ya?  No telling what she’s going to do.”
Lilly watched as I approached and stopped just out of striking distance.
“Hey Lilly, I’m Jerry.  You wanna come tell me what’s going on?”
I looked for resistance, saw none, and led Lilly to one of the interview rooms.  Within the small room, florescent light illuminated a brown hospital recliner, an office chair, small table and battle-scarred walls.  When things went wrong, they did so quickly.  Over the door, barely noticeable, encased in a dark, plastic dome was a TV camera.  I motioned to the chairs at the back of the room.
“Take your pick.”
Lilly chose the recliner.  I was relieved.  She was a powder keg and it would take longer to get out of the recliner.  Lilly was surprisingly attractive, a marked departure from the usual disheveled psychotic females coursing through the E.R.  Shiny hair flowed over her shoulders framing beautiful brown eyes, flawless skin and high cheek bones.
I sat in a straight-back chair, clipboard on my lap, “What brings you to the Hotel California today?”  It was an opening I knew administration would not approve of.
“I’m real depressed and having horrible nightmares.  I can’t sleep.”
“I know you’ve heard voices in the past.  Have you been hearing them recently?”
“Yeah, sometimes,” she said hesitantly.
“I know whatever they’ve been telling you, is awful.”
“You got that right.  A couple weeks ago they said that if I would poke out one of my eyes they would leave for good.  They’re damn liars.  When I refused, they started telling me to kill myself.”
Lilly’s honesty was surprising.  It was rare for a schizophrenic patient who didn’t want to be committed to reveal such information.  I knew the voices raging in Lilly’s head appeared as if they were her own thoughts and was impressed that she’d realized that they did not belong to her.
“I had a patient years ago whose voices had told him the same thing.  After he gouged an eye out, the voices mocked him for being so stupid as to believe them.”
Without missing a beat, Lilly continued, “Last week, they got worse and my sister dragged me back to the mental health center and begged them to restart my meds.  After I’d missed a few appointments, the worthless bastards closed my case.  They set me up for an intake in two weeks.  I bought some Seroquel off the streets, but couldn’t find any more.  I just need some meds to get me through until my appointment.  I’m not going to kill myself and I don’t want to be locked on any psych ward.  Please just get me a couple weeks of meds and let me out of here.”
The system had long ago been structured to assure that patients first pay a psychiatrist for an office visit to get a prescription.  For poverty stricken citizens such as Lilly, who were precariously clinging to sanity, her request would be denied.  And yet, sixty miles to the south in Mexico, Lilly and millions like her, could walk into any pharmacy and buy the very same anti-psychotic drugs Lilly was begging for, made by the same companies, without a prescription and at a small fraction of the price.  The Mexican authorities understood that no one in their right mind would abuse such drugs.
Meanwhile, protecting itself from profit loss, the AMA and the pharmaceutical industry pushed through laws making it illegal for U.S. citizens to bring affordable, non-addictive anti-psychotic medications across the Mexican or Canadian borders.  If they want their drugs they must first pay the ransom of an office visit to a doctor.
I was a cog in this massive, despicable machine.  As a psychiatric evaluator, I was charged with dealing with and disposing of the deluge of psychiatric patients that continually surged into the ER threatening to bog down the machine.  Hospital administration demanded that psych patients be whisked out of the ER quickly and beds remain available for new patients.  Dispositions and placements had to be made as swiftly and accurately as possible.  Bad decisions carried grave consequences.  Final recommendations by evaluators were called into hospital psychiatrists who would never lay eyes on patients who did not need psychiatric hospitalization.  Psychiatrists relied almost exclusively on the advice of their evaluators with regard to admissions and discharges.  I’d seen suicidal patients released who returned home and blew their brains out.  It was always the psych evaluator who was fired, never the approving psychiatrist.
Lilly was high risk.  Not only was she psychotic, she had no meds and the hospital wasn’t going to give her any.  Her refusal of voluntary hospitalization left only two options: a discharge to the streets, or a document from me stating that she was an imminent threat to herself or someone else which would trigger an involuntarily commitment which was sure to enrage her.  I wasn’t sure she could hold up for the two weeks without medications.  After more than three decades on the front lines of mental health, I was aware of how dangerous the voices could be.  It was important that I know the number, strength and content of what the voices were telling her.
The only way to get such critical information in the short time I had was to show patients as quickly as possible and that I knew as much or more about the voices they were hearing than they did and significantly more about the psychotic world in which they were lost.  After they realized that, although I was part of the system, I was not of it, they would often cautiously begin providing the information I was seeking.
“They’re real bastards, aren’t they?”  I said to Lilly.
“Yeah they are.”
“Never say anything good, do they.”
“Hell no!”
“When was the last time you heard the buzzards?”
“Right after I got here, just before they brought me back here to psych.”
“They weren’t very happy about you coming in here were they?”
“No, they weren’t.  They were screaming at me to get the hell out of here before you guys locked me up again.”
“Are the voices strongest after sunset and between two and three in the morning?”
“Yes.”
“Have you seen shadows moving around in the dark at night, darker than the rest of the room?”
“Yeah.”
“What do they look like?”
“Three dimensional, shaped like people.  They’re darker than the rest of the room.  I’ve seen them walk through walls like nothing.”
“Have they ever spoken to you?”
“No, they don’t talk, they just watch.  Once I woke up and they were standing over me.  Now I keep the lights on all night.”
“If you look at them for a long time, what do they do?
“I only did that once after I saw a couple of them sitting in a tree.  When I stopped and stared at them they seemed to know and started coming toward me.  I freaked out and ran.”
Prisoners I worked with told me the same thing.  They were usually using meth.  So many prisoners saw them hanging around in trees that they called them the tree people.  They also told me that when they looked at them for a long time they came toward them.  A patient told me once that she could feel one walk through her.
“Have you ever seen their eyes?”
“No, they didn’t have eyes; there’s no face, just a dark head.”
“It’s good you didn’t.”
Lilly sat up straight in the recliner and pulled her hair back behind her ears, “How do you know this shit?  No one knows this stuff.”
“I do.  You guys taught me.  In a lot of places, sometimes thousands of miles apart, you were all telling me the same things about the voices and shadow people.  Are you hearing the voices now?”
“No, they’re quiet.  They’re wondering who you are.”
My suspicions grew.  Not because Lilly had given wrong answers, but because she was eagerly giving too many right ones.  For someone who didn’t want to be hospitalized, she was too forthright about her voices.  The sound of two psych patients yelling at each other reverberated through the door followed by a psych tech addressing the commotion and then it was quiet again.
“How many of them are you hearing?”  I asked.
“Two males and a screaming baby.”
A screaming baby.  Two voices were manageable, dependent upon their strength, but I’d never heard of a screaming baby before.
“Does screaming baby do anything other than cry?”
“No, but it almost howls when it cries and really makes me nervous.”
“What have the two males been telling you?”
“They keep insisting that my husband doesn’t really love me, that he’s only faking.  They tell me I’m fat, ugly, stupid and worthless, that people are running me down behind my back, and that nobody would ever want me.  They keep telling me that I’d be better off dead and should just kill myself and get it over with.  They keep saying ‘do it, just do it’.”
“Are you thinking about killing yourself?”
“No, I’m not gonna do that.  That’s what they want.”
“Good.  What else have they been telling you?”
“To kill my husband.  I’ve been married to him for nine years now.  They say he’s cheating on me and laughing behind my back.  We still love each other, but they keep telling me to do bad things.  I wasn’t sure I could trust myself, so I left.  I know he still doesn’t understand why.”
Lilly stared forlornly at the floor.  I sensed her loneliness.  She’d missed setting off the “danger to others” trip line that would have triggered a forced hospitalization.  Her decision to leave her husband demonstrated a loving and painfully sane choice for someone psychiatry would label a dangerous psychotic.
“Do you consider the voices your friends?”
“Hell no!  They try to convince me they are, but I know better.”
I was aware that a continual barrage of questions increased the likelihood of setting off the voices and backed off.
“Lilly, I’m impressed with how much you know about the voices.  You’re aware of how dangerous they are and that they can’t be trusted.  You recognize that although they sound like your thoughts, they don’t belong to you and they aren’t your friends.  Compared to most patients, you are light years ahead.  How long have you been hearing the bastards?”
“Since I was sixteen.”
“What’s with the screaming baby?”
“I had an abortion.  After having a DNC, I woke up from the anesthesia; I saw pieces of the baby and was horrified.  I started having nightmares of demons killing my baby.  A week later I had a dream of a baby screaming in pain.  When I woke up, the baby’s crying didn’t stop.  It turned into a high pitched shriek.  The windows in my bedroom shattered.  I got very depressed and couldn’t eat or sleep.  I started seeing shadows moving in the dark.  Then I had a dream that I was being crucified and another that I had opened a portal that I shouldn’t have.  I woke up; I looked at my alarm clock.  It started pulsing with light then floated into the air.  It was blinking 12 midnight then dropped to the floor and shattered.  The pieces swept themselves into a pile.  I started dreaming of strange symbols.  I painted them all over my bedroom, on the walls, on the rugs and then all over the house.  When the demons started coming through those symbols and speaking to me, I knew for sure that I’d opened a portal to another world.”
Her voice quivered with emotion.  A bucket clanged outside the door as one of the maintenance people moved through the hallway mopping.  The smell of disinfectant filled the air.  Lilly gripped the arms of the recliner as she watched me.  She was ridged.  I was sure that this was something she seldom spoke about and marveled at how similar her story was to the movie, “A Beautiful Mind.”  Since I’d never heard any other patient report anything like this, I assumed the symbols were a Hollywood embellishment.  Now I wondered where the symbols came from, what they meant, and what, if anything, they had to do with the voices.
“Are the voices you’ve been hearing the same ones you heard back then?”
“Yes, they’re the same.”
“What do you think they are?”
“Demons.”
Lilly watched my reaction.  I knew that if she sensed doubt on my part, she would clam up like the many before her.  The shouts of a patient demanding pain killers from Nurse Sue penetrated the door as I peered back at Lilly.
“Yeah, that’s what I think also.  I denied it for years until the evidence was too overwhelming to ignore.  Are you hearing them now?”
“No, they’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”
“Do you want to get rid of them?”
“Oh, God yes.”
“Are you sure you don’t have any use for them and want nothing to do with them?”
“Yes, very sure.”
“Ok then, in a few minutes, I’m going to tell you how to do that.  The voices aren’t going to like it and they’ll be screaming bloody murder.  They’re going to tell you that I’m stupid and crazy, to not listen to anything I have to say.  Then they’ll tell you to get the hell out of here and probably to run from the ER.  Don’t.  The annex door is locked.  They’ll call security and drug you up.  I’d also like your word that anything said in this room stays in here.  We both know that the voices aren’t good.  The Bible some twenty three times speaks of Jesus casting these demonic spirits out of people; psychiatry has since relegated those passages to the status of fairy tales.  If you tell any of the psychiatrists of our conversation here they’ll think we’re both nuts.”
“I know I’ve tried to tell them the voices were demons before.  They pumped me full of drugs.  I was in a fog for days.”
“If you do lose control and talk to any of the other staff about what we’re talking about, I will tell them that you’re delusional.  Do I have your word that this stays between us?”
“Yeah, I won’t say anything.  They don’t understand.”
“Ok, I don’t have much time.  There are a lot of people needing to be seen, but I can get you started in the right direction.  I’m going to need your help.  As soon as your voices start screaming you need to tell me what they’re saying.  If they can’t drive you out of this room they are going demand that you attack or even try to kill me.  As soon as you get out of here go find a pencil and paper and make notes.  They can and will erase your memory.”
She stared at the floor.
“I won’t hurt you,” she said in a low voice.
“I know you won’t, but that’s what they are going to tell you.  They see any attempt to expose what they really are as a threat.  I also want you to know that you’re not being held prisoner here.  If they get so loud you can’t stand it, feel free to leave, go back to your bed or walk around the annex.  I’ll move on to the next patient and get back to you later, OK?”
“Yeah.”
Lilly leaned forward in the recliner, brushed a strand hair away from her face, and planted her feet on the tile floor.  Her long hair flowed over her shoulders as she rubbed an arm to ward off a chill.  I noticed a scar across one wrist.
“The first thing I want you to know is that you’re not as helpless as the voices are trying to get you to believe.  It is possible to get rid of them even without drugs, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work and you’ll need a clearer picture of what they are.  Now I’d like you to think back to how you feel after the voices hit you.  How do you feel after they leave?”
“They usually come late at night.  After they’re gone, I feel fried, like I did when my ex-husband beat me and left me lying half-dead on the floor.”
“Doesn’t that strike you as odd?
“Yes, it’s strange.”
“Did you do anything during the night to burn up so much energy to feel so drained?”
“No.”
“So, where did your energy go?”
Lilly looked puzzled, “They took it?”
“They did and it’s the last thing they want you to know.”
I braced for the usual onslaught of electrical chill.  To my surprise, it didn’t come.  Lilly calmly looked at me.
“You’re not hearing anything?”  I asked.
“No, are you?”
“I can’t hear them, but I can feel them and it’s very unusual that they’re not screaming right now.  You’re not hearing anything at all?”
“They’re quiet.  I know they’re watching.”
The failure of the voices to begin an assault after informing a patient they were parasites was as surprising as going to the kitchen faucet, turning on the tap and no water coming out.
“Are you seeing any shadows?”
“No.  Not now, but there were a ton of them out in the emergency room before they brought me back here to psych, more than I’d ever seen anywhere before.”
“What did you see?”
Lilly stared at the floor.  She appeared apprehensive.  I put my clip board down on a small table and fully focused my attention on Lilly.
“There were lots of dark beings there.  Some were big and looked like evil angels.  Other ones looked like creeping shadows that changed into snakes and cats.”
“What were they doing?”
Lilly began to squirm.  Her face turned red.  She cupped her hands over her ears.  Then she leaped from the recliner.
“I gotta get out of here, now!”
She bolted out into the hallway then sprinted across the annex and headed for the bathroom, finding it occupied she frantically began to pace around the annex.  Her behavior attracted attention.  Other patients moved out of her way.  After determining that she wasn’t going to tear the place apart, I returned to the interview room and left the door ajar and scribbled notes, thankful the camera had no audio feed.  Moments later, Nurse Sue pulled open the door.
“Is everything alright?”
“Yeah, she’ll be fine.  We just got into some pretty heavy stuff and she needs some time.”
“We’ve got two more on their way in.”
“Ok, if she doesn’t return shortly, I’ll put her on the back burner.  Leave the door cracked, would ya?”
“Ok.”
I stared at the wall and wondered what she was about to tell me.  There was no option other than to wait her out; I returned to my case notes.  Minutes later, Lilly reappeared.
“Can you leave the door cracked?” she demanded.
“Yes, of course,” I replied in a calm voice.
She shuffled past me and sat down.  She looked nervous.
“They’re strong buzzards aren’t they?”
“They’re screaming at me right now to get the hell away from you.”
“Yeah, they don’t like me much but they seemed more interested in shutting you up than taking a shot at me just now.  Do you think there’s any connection between those shadows you were talking about and the voices?”
Instantly, I was struck with a cold, electrical sensation that signaled an attack.  I’d felt this before.  I sensed the protective field surrounding me being compressed to a small fraction of an inch.  I began to fear its collapse and wondered if I would start hearing voices if it gave way.  My mind fogged up and I couldn’t think.  I struggled to formulate words to ask Archangel Michael for help.  The fog began to dissipate.
I looked up at Lilly to see her staring at me, “Damn they’re strong.”
“They’re telling me to beat the shit out of you and get the hell out of here.  The baby is screaming its lungs out,” she said with a trembling voice.
“Ok, let’s shut them up,” I said.
Lilly’s wide-eyed appearance added to my concerns.
“Can you hold?”
“I think so.”
I closed my eyes to pray.  The thought that Lilly might attack flashed through my mind.  I urgently asked Archangel Michael for help then imagined Lilly’s two demons being blasted out of her by intense bursts of white light then being ensnared in a net and thrown into a box-like prison of light with three foot thick walls.  I sensed the entities bouncing around in this container and imagined it sealed.  The chill vanished.  I knew this would only temporarily shut them up.  I had been told many times that the voices were able to hurl their curses right through the walls of light.  As bizarre as it might sound, I found that if I imagined a roll of duct tape unraveling around their heads and over their mouths, they could no longer speak, although some patients said they could hear them mumbling.  I imagined their mouths being duct-taped shut several times over then visualized the two entities bound together with more wrappings of tape.  I slowly opened my eyes and studied Lilly.  She lowered her hands from over her ears.
“Have they stopped?”
She looked down, then up at me amazed.
“They’re…. gone.  I….I don’t remember the last time it was this quiet.  How’d you do it?”
“I had a little help.”
“This is unbelievable!”  She said with teared eyes.
“Now don’t get to thinking they’re gone forever.  You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you before that happens.  We’ve only put them in jail for a while.  If you hear them again I need you to let me know immediately, ok?”
“Sure.”
“Ok, now listen carefully.  After you get out of here, you need to write down everything you remember.  Like I said, they can and will erase your memory.  You need to remember that these things are predatory parasites and that they are feeding off of you as well as the rest of us.  They hate all of us.  To them, we are nothing but milk cows.  They insert fearful and derogatory thoughts into our minds which generate negative emotion.  That destructive emotion is the food on which they feed and they drain us of it like we drain cows of their milk.  They can’t stand positive spiritual energy.  They absolutely hate the 23rd Psalm.  One patient told me that his voices responded to its repetition like worms being thrown onto a hot frying pan.  You need to remember that every negative thought that enters your mind is a lie they inserted there.  Every one of them needs to be challenged with the statement, “That’s a lie.”  If you are unsure if a thought comes from them or not, ask yourself if the thought is useful.  If not, disregard it as nonsense.  Don’t just try to ignore these horrible thoughts or they’ll just make them louder.  If you remember to keep challenging them, they won’t be able to drain you.”
“It sounds too easy.”
“It’s not.”
Lilly looked puzzled, “They will keep coming back?”
“Yes, they’ll keep coming back, sometimes for years, and when you least expect them.  They often come back when things go wrong for you and you get upset.  They will keep returning to test the waters and try to regain control.  If you keep your guard up and confront them with being the liars they are, they won’t succeed and will leave after a few seconds.  If you forget, they will start reeling you back in until they again have your thinking under their control.”
“Nobody’s ever told me this before.”
“And it’s unlikely anyone ever will again.  Now tell me about the shadows.”
Lilly hesitated.  With a far-away look she stared at the wall then whispered, “There were lots of them, more than I’d ever seen anywhere before.  Some had attached themselves to different patients.  There were two dark ones shaped like humans that had their hands on people.  I knew they were making them sick.  Some of the shadows were attached to different parts of people’s bodies.  I watched a doctor telling one man what he thought was wrong with him.  While he was talking, black toads poured out of his mouth and attached to the patient.  I knew that if he believed what the doctor was saying, he would get whatever disease he was being told of.  I also saw good angels fighting the dark ones.”
“Interesting.  What did the good ones look like?”
Suddenly, the electrical sensation returned.  My skin crawled.  I felt its pressure mounting and looked at Lilly, “Are you hearing them?  Did your voices break out?”
“No.”
“I’m being hit.”
“It’s not them.  They’re gone.”
“They’re trying to distract me.  So if it’s not them then who’s hitting me?”
“It’s their commander.”
Their commander!  It was another level that I remembered being told about by another patient years before.  They were adamant that I not hear what Lilly had to say.
I closed my eyes and reimagined the commander imprisoned in a box of light.  The unpleasant tingling dissipated.
I opened my eyes and saw Lilly watching me, “What did the good angels look like?”
“They were much bigger than the dark ones.”
No sooner had she had uttered those words than she stopped cold.  She cocked her eyes downward then looked up at me.
“They’re back but not as strong,” she said.
I stared in disbelief, “Ok, this time you get rid of them.  I told you what I had done; now you do it.
Lilly closed her eyes and spoke quietly, “Guardian angels, give me strength…”
“NO!  No.  Don’t pray for strength, they’ll take it.  Imagine them being locked up in a prison of light and being hauled away.”
Lilly closed her eyes, “Guardian angels please help me keep the voices away, please, please.”
She sat silently then slowly opened her eyes.
“They gone?”  I asked.
She looked down then back up dumbfounded, “They’re gone!  I saw them being tied up by my angels and told them they were a bunch of liars, that I wasn’t going to be tricked into believing anything they said again and to never come back.”
“Good for you!  Ok, now that you know you’re not helpless, you can start taking your power back.  After you get out of here, get onto a positive spiritual path and stay there.”
Nurse Sue tapped on the door window and pointed to her watch, the psych annex was overflowing and I needed to get back.
“What opens people up to these things?”  Lilly asked.
“Amphetamine is one of the most common things that lets them in.  Victims of severe physical, emotional or sexual abuse also gives them entry.  These things can smell painful emotion like sharks can smell blood.”
Suddenly Lilly blurted out, “Evil attracts evil and the evil I attracted when I was molested was passed to my daughter.  She was also sexually molested.  The man who molested her is dead.”
Her sudden proclamation took me aback, “What happened to him?”
She peered at me silently.  Then slowly, almost imperceptibly, a slight sly smile gradually morphed into a malicious, self-satisfied grin.  Stunned, I stared at the scuffed tile floor.
“Did I upset you?”  She asked in a soft, sympathetic tone.
“I guess I wasn’t expecting that.”
“I’m sorry,” she replied with a gentle compassionate voice.
***
Edited and contributed to by Sherry Swiney and Tucson Writers Group led by Ken Lamberton, author of “Chasing Arizona: One Man’s Yearlong Obsession with the Grand Canyon State”, “Dry River: Stories of Life, Death, and Redemption on the Santa Cruz”, “Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and Punishment”, “Beyond Desert Walls”, “Chiricahua Mountains: Bridging the Borders of Wildness”, and “Wilderness and Razor Wire”

Copyright (c) Jerry Marzinsky (2017) All Rights Reserved – you may send this document to others and re-post it as you wish, providing you do not change any text and give appropriate credit to the author and this link as the official source

 

Source

One response to “Black Toads”

  1. […] Article Here […]