The cage

Page 68… in a fiction series

It wasn’t the cab, it wasn’t the alcohol, and it wasn’t Miranda’s own desire that took her to Castle Rouge that dark night. A simultaneous race toward pain and pleasure, excitement and doom, was fueled by a condition far out of her control. A bipolar mixed state was cast upon her, leaving her helpless and in despair. Miranda was too detached from her world that night to fear its outcome.

Her shiny things no longer mattered, her diamonds nor her furs. All the money she spent with abandon over the past twenty years shattered like glass at her feet, her pretty black shoes now facing the end. With her head swimming in impulsive thoughts, now reaching deeper into the dark places, Miranda took her first look around Castle Rouge.  It would be the most disturbing part of her journey.

Miranda turned toward the man seated beside her at the bar.  He wore a black vest, no shirt, and leather motorcycle gloves.  In a way he looked like Drew– or was it her troubled mind wishing he was there beside her, protecting her from what might happen.  She looked at the man for a moment, but couldn’t be sure.

A cage door slammed shut, she heard a girl scream.  Was it her own voice?  Was she imprisoned? Some sort of trouble?

A man dressed like a pirate with a shiny steel hook walk past her, his date much younger and very pretty was his wench.  Her feathered mask covered her the way her velvet bustier did not.  It was Charlie Fine, the pirate who stole her away from Harry.  But was it?  His unmistakable red wirey hair was missing, and his eyes never met her own.  Perhaps she was mistaken…

Miranda was seeing color where there was none.  She looked past the horizon, through the faces and costumes of the crowd.  A cold wind embraced her and swept her away, back to Tommy’s Gotcha, her favorite Traverse City bar.  She was shocked to find that her old friends were really pirates, too… men to be shunned, evil dancing all around them.  

Vince the cowboy was no cowboy at all.  His loyal sidekick, Lester, mumbled in the dark beside him.  Attorney Joe Ramano was carefully folding a black pirate flag, and Miranda’s nemesis, Neil Lipman, was passed out cold, a puddle of urine under his chair.  The man in the navy blue blazer wore a patch on one eye.  She saw a pile of gold doubloons– beautiful shiny coins– stacked in front of him.  He studied her, said her name, and handed her something.  Miranda felt a chill.

Another scream!  She was afraid now.  Was someone hurting her?  Was that her own voice?  She wondered, but couldn’t be sure.

Miranda knew that hallucinations and delusions sometimes accompanied a bipolar mixed state.  But she was certain she wasn’t that far gone.  Part of her knew that this decadent place called Castle Rough was wrong for her, but a perpetual euphoria told her to remain.

“There is no escaping, Miranda… stay here… join in the fun.”  The Castle whispered her name in a voice that was deep and foreboding.  A strong, stone arm reached out, pulling her close.  ”What are you drinking?  Can I get you another?  This is the right place for you, Miranda… come to the party and play with me.” 

The voice calmed the mania raging  inside her.  Prehaps he was just another pirate… or maybe Castle Rouge was calling her, eager to show her the way .  The man in the long black cloak nodded in agreement.  So Miranda stayed, her pretty dress transformed into soft black leather.  If felt good against her skin.  She had joined the costume ball.

The girl in the cage reached out and touched her, a soft hand beckoning Miranda to open the door.  Another hallucination?  A girl who needed help?  She looked for the man in the leather vest, the one who reminded her of Drew.  Without his strength and wisdom to guide her, Miranda wondered closer.  Maybe the girl locked inside was really her. 

To be continued…

*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

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16 Responses to The cage

  1. Jan says:

    Getting sucked into this storm is so painful. You bring me right along with Miranda, and it hurts.

    • Linda says:

      We’ve talked about rock bottom before, and I have to confess that this is it. Now, what about the consequences…

  2. Ann says:

    Oh Wow, Linda

    I feel like I’m there … feeling, smelling, touching, hearing… Your writing makes words come alive.

    “Maybe the girl locked inside was really her. ”
    This is deep – I find it saddening and comforting at the same time. Sad because this could be her reality, but comforting because this may cause Miranda to seek help.

    Blessings
    ann

    • Linda says:

      A nice compliment… “feel like I’m there”… but frankly, I’m very glad you’re not! : )

      Madness is an interesting place. If Miranda was a science project and nobody got hurt, she would be absolutely fascinating to watch. I think she probably stepped into that cage very near the start of her story. Not sure if she’ll ever really make it out, even after the last page is written.

  3. Linda, I have long pondered where the title for this story – “Before the pirates came” – originated. Now it is all falling into place just as Miranda is falling out of reality and into the hands of pirates, real and imagined. I see now that your choice of title is perfect and illustrates your knack for non-linear thinking and story telling. This installment has temporarily sated my desire to turn to the last page, which is good because that impossible-to-satisfy desire was driving me nuts! Looking forward to the next few installments. Peace, Linda

    • Linda says:

      Non-linear Linda… that’s me! ; )

      Not sure how to tell you this, but the last page has recently changed. I’m rarely even one post ahead, so it’s easy to rethink the story a little. I’m not even sure if I like the new ending myself. Glad you didn’t pry it out of me early on. : )

  4. Larry Who says:

    Good writing is when you hope the character will head for the nearest McDonalds, buy a cup of coffee, and just chill out. Yet, you keep reading, hoping for a miracle.

    Okay, I’m ready. Let’s turn the page.

    • Linda says:

      No one who is driven by a mixed state can slow down long enough to stop for coffee. Or anything else. But slow down she must, and face what comes next. (P.S. McDonald’s coffee is my favorite.)

  5. Debbie says:

    Thank you Linda, for showing us what it is like through Miranda, to experience a mixed state. It sounds so scary to me. With no way to know what is real and what isn’t. I want to go get her out of there NOW! :) God bless you as you work through this story. What a really blessed project of His this is. love and hugs!

    • Theresa says:

      I echo what Debbie said!

      Hugs,
      Theresa

    • Linda says:

      The feeling of not understanding what and who to trust is the most dangerous part. Bad judgement can lead to so many other choices, and more consequences to face in the end. This was a horrible page to visit, I know… but to end the madness before Miranda hit rock bottom wouldn’t have been true to the story. Thanks for your patience. : )

  6. The Blazing Trail says:

    “…a bipolar mixed state.”An interesting place to be!
    http://wp.me/p27eXb-7p

    • Linda says:

      Hello Blazing Trail, and welcome…

      Interesting place, yes… a place anyone would want to visit for very long, no thanks. ; ) Your comment makes me wonder if you know someone with bipolar disorder and have witnessed this first hand. Do tell…

  7. NelsonRN says:

    Great read! I need to go back to the previous pages though :( I missed a lot…

  8. Linda says:

    Hey Nelson… Great to see you! Hope all is well with you and your family. : )

    You jumped in at a very creepy place in the story, (as if I had to point that out)! This is still the same project I’ve been writing since October! I expected it to be about five pages, and just got carried away… totally serious.

    I’ll be over to see your photo challenge… : )

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