By Nicole Cater
Checks are a loony bin's way of stimulating the economy by creating a job. In essence, your friendly, local booby hatch has just helped six people realize their own little slice of the American dream. And here’s how it works:
Within the ward, there is some line that is only visible to sane people, e.g. nurses, doctors, techs, so on. It divides the ward into two parts, Ward A or Ward B. I never saw this line, but then again, I’m crazy, so why would I? Theoretically, there is a big board on each side of the line explaining who is who, what is what, and the meaning of life. But it’s all written in nurse-ese hieroglyphics, so the best you can hope to do is find your name and the nurse you are assigned to nag that day. Included in the board of dubious information are the shifts of techs.
Techs are people who spend eight hours of their day, one per each side of the invisible line, checking your whereabouts EVERY 15 MINUTES!!!!! This is their sole existence in life. If your door is shut, they open it. If you are in the bathroom, they are knocking on the door. They have notebooks so that they can check off that they have physically witnessed you. You don’t talk to the check techs; they are not there to help you; they will not help you; and if you should make direct contact, they will vaguely point to a nurse's station and wander off on their never-ending task.
And I do mean never ending. At night, when you are trying to sleep, despite all the noise and chaos, check techs are prairie dogging in your room all night. You’ll know a shift change has occurred because a new face is holding the all-powerful notebook. When they finish their rounds of counting you and make sure no one has escaped (a ground-floor facility with opening widows...some planner was not too bright), their whole process starts over again. I actually feel a bit sorry for these people. They must have some sort of "in" with the God of Comfortable Shoes, because as far as I could tell, sitting was a fireable offense for them. Believe it or not, the check techs actually become background white noise much sooner than you would imagine. Which is a bit scary.
This is our new Wicked Short Stories page with submissions from various Authors. Please look for bio-snippets about the Author at the bottom of the various pieces. Enjoy!