Thursday, April 16, 2009

Delusion

Original Short Story by Bai Maleiha B. Candao
Photo by :Bai Shemz

Delusion of bizarre images occupy the mind of Jacqueline Beddet. What caused her delusions? She is a very pretty lady but her mind collapses when stress confronts her. Jacqueline was delusional owing to a painful past.

Her delusions would not stop and her family could not hide it any longer. Mr. Augustus Beddet, the powerful head of the Beddet family was forced to seek psychiatric help for Jacqueline. He paid a fortune to renowned psychiatrists from all over the world. Mr Beddet was known to many as very rich and influential, but his image to the public was not as white as that of the last snow flakes on the window pane of the eerie palace.

The palace stands mighty with expensive chandeliers hanged all around the place. Fierce guards circle the entire area with barking dogs upon the sight of strangers.

Mrs. Beddet is a soft-spoken woman who endured her fate after marrying the beast of Jacqueline's father. He got her pregnant after raping her. Jacqueline lived in the middle of this delusion.

Oh, Robert, where are you? Jacqueline quipped as she felt tears fell from her eyes. She missed him but her father was always between them. How could he accept Robert, who hails from a very poor family. But Jacqueline did not mind falling in-love with the son of their maid. As she wondered where Robert was, a knock on the door disturbed her and she stood up to open it.

"My baby, you have not eaten for two days. Please let the maid bring your food here".

"No mother, unless I know Robert is safe, I shall die not eating".

"My daughter, why be so harsh with me? I only have your welfare in my mind".

"How could he, mother?" "Why did father have to be so cruel?"

"My child, my child. Do not let this worry you. If Robert really loves you, he would find a way to have you. I shall help you. But please do not starve yourself". Sensing the sincerity in her mother's eyes, Jacqueline responded obediently.

Screams across the hallway occupied the palace. "Where the hell is Euntir?!" Mr. Beddet yelled at the top of his voice. "That man has to learn from me!"

Euntir came running as fast as he could."I am sorry Master Beddet. I had to make sure that everything is alright before you leave". "Everything is ready now, Master".

Euntir is the right hand of Mr.Beddet, who is always at the forefront of all conflicts involving the family. His house where his wife and two kids live was a gift from his master for his loyalty.

People however talk behind Euntir's back. They say that the house was a payment for his slavery. At 45, Euntir has done nothing but obey his master no matter what the odds were. He was there to protect his master from his wayward ways and worst were the murders that he committed.

Down the palace, an underground cemetery was hidden to hide the bodies of Mr. Beddet's victims. Who would dare to cross Mr. Beddet's path?

Not Euntir. Not even the townfolk for it was a public secret that anyone who disobeyed Mr. Beddet would be sleeping forever under the palace, inside the cemetery.

Not even the authorities would dare to touch him.

Jacqueline was aware of what his father could afford to do. One of their servants told him that he saw Robert being dragged by their house guards. Later that day, Jacqueline was assured by Mr. Beddet that Robert went home safe.

But I kept seeing Robert in my room, Jacqueline told herself. I even talked to him. Does he know of a secret door into our house connecting to my room for he is always around as I could see and feel him. Most especially in the middle of the dark just right after the wind blew and cold arms hugged me but I could not see a trace of human form.

Is Robert communicating with me through mental telepathy that is why they hear me scream calling his name? This must be the reason that father had to pay all those doctors to cure me. But I am not sick. I know Robert is here. Here in my room.

Few minutes later, Jacqueline fell asleep, while holding her pillow relieving the longings he had for Robert.

Mr. Bedett caught Jacqueline and Robert inside the room making love. He ordered the arrest of Robert and from then on nobody saw Jacqueline's love again. Few months after he was lost mysteriously, Jacqueline always woke up in the middle of the night screaming Robert's name. Rumors circulated in town that she had gone crazy after Robert's vanished. His father started that rumor to stop Jacqueline from leaving the house to ensure that she stayed at home all the time.

It was Jacqueline's mother who grieved for her daughter's fate. But she had no power over her husband who seemed like a beast when mad. She knew what happened that night and she decided in silence that whatever she must do, she must think of her daughter's happiness.

A year passed and the townfolk observed that there were no longer doctors visiting the palace. The guards seemed silent and sober and dogs stopped barking. Not even the palace maid were not allowed to speak. They seemed to have turned mute and deaf.

The vehicle of Mr. Beddet did not leave the garage. Not even Mr.Augustus Beddet's shadow was nowhere to be seen. Such a mystery enveloped the entire palace of the Beddet's family.

Suddenly an ambulance vehicle driven as fast as a lightning emerged from the empty street leading toward the palace. Bystanders watched with a surprise asking themselves who is to be brought to the mental hospital? Is it going to be Jacqueline?

After the ambulance left, another black car parked in front of the beddet's home, When the door opened it was Jacqueline smiling and still as beautiful as ever. She was alone when she entered the palace. She told the guards to open the palace gate wide to welcome all the condolences from the townfolk.

Condolences? Asked one bystander.

"Who died Mr. guard?"

"You will know when you come later. The coffin will be ready tonight".

Townfolk people started forming their theory. One said it must be Robert who is lying in the coffin. But who was brought to the mental institution? They could not stop theorizing. Everyone could not wait to see who was lying inside the coffin.

It was past seven in the evening and everyone was welcome with abundant food on the table. Although the food was delicious, the suspense of knowing who was to be buried was the focused of attention.

Everyone was waiting for the appearance of Mr. Beddet to explain why they were invited to that occassion. But no Mr. Beddet appeared, except Jacqueline who was very attractive in her red dress.

" Good evening friends and my townmate. I decided to invite you all today to make you offer your last prayer for my deceased father, Mr. Beddet".

Everyone was speechless. But why? How did he die?

Jacqueline seemed to know what they were thinking and told them indirectly, "My mother has to undergo psychiatric treatment".

The town mayor and Jacqueline talked inside the palace's library. It was a calm and a very confidential conversation. The mayor was a known close family of the Beddets.

Few days after, people heard that Jacqueline left the palace and went abroad. Nobody knew when she would be back. Euntir would take care of the palace as instructed by Jacqueline.

The people turned to the town mayor to explain what really happened. The mayor agreed to tell the people what happened for he promised to Jacqueline that he would not talk not unless she had already departed.

One person asked: "Where is Robert?"

The mayor said: "Dead. Buried inside the palace cemetery".

The mayor narrated that Mrs. Beddet killed her husband in defense of her daughter and she is now undergoing psychiatric treatment and could not be jailed owing to her lawyer's plea of insanity on the part of Mrs. Beddet.

So it was the ghost of Robert that haunted Jacqueline.She was not having delusions.

"After all what happened, how could Jacqueline be so happy?"

The mayor shook his head and said: She is free.
(Author's note: All names and characters in this story are not real and are mere products of my fictional mind.) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2009

2 comments:

marlene_howe said...

My kind of story! I love suspense stories like this one. I used to love watching Murder She Wrote primetime on tv. I have also read a lot if not all of Agatha Christie's books with the sleuths character of Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. And this one with the twist of love story, how can you not love it and ask for more? More please!

BAI MALEIHA B. CANDAO said...

Thank you dear Marlene..love you for your support...will write more on this genre. Mwah! :)

Empowered Women

Empowered Women