The song kept following her. There was no escape . . .
The Writer’s Cramp prompt: All of the public radio stations begin playing the same song over and over again.
They’re Coming to Take Me Away
The radio woke me. I smiled when I heard the song playing. They’re coming to take you away, haa, haa, hee, hee . . .
I chuckled as I listened, letting the piece take me back to my younger days when the song had amused me just as strongly as it was that morning.
Zany. Wild. Totally bonkers, I thought, chuckling.
“ . . . to the funny farm where life is beautiful . . .”
I sat up, slipped into the thongs I used as house slippers, and made my way to the bathroom where I showered and prepared myself for the rest of a rainy and very stormy Saturday morning.
Half an hour later, having munched on granola and sipped at my start-up brew, I returned to the bedroom and switched the radio back on. This time I shook my head with surprise at hearing the same nutso song.
. . .And I’ll be happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats . . .
I laughed and figured that Fate was trying to tell me something. Maybe my life needed a dose of crazy. Maybe Fate was telling me to yank the plug of normality and reach down for that part of me that was slightly demented.
I stretched my fingers, cracked a knuckle on my left -- the one that stiffened ominously in the morning -- and slipping into my old, comfortable two piece runner’s outfit, jogged in place for five. Then I hustled into my office/living room to greet my computer. As usual, its only comment was: “You’ve got mail.”
I ignored the reminder and, instead, opened the file of my newest book, When the Sky Turned Red. I reread the page I’d written the day before, and elevated my hands for the morning pounce. But I couldn’t begin; I’d forgotten my music.
My classical station was always set to the same channel as my bedroom’s radio. But what were the odds the radio would still be playing that same old song?
“Remember when I got on my knees and begged you not to leave because I’d go berserk . . .” the radio trilled.
“Enough!” I shrieked. I wiggled the dial to my second favorite channel.
“Now, they’re coming to take me away . . .”
“No! This can't be possible. This can’t be happening!” I cried out.
I rotated the radio's dial from station to station. All of them were playing the very same song, all of the songs in sync. “You laughed and laughed. I heard you laugh.”
“NO!” I howled. “This can't be! Something's gone loopy. You hear me, radio? You can’t do this. . .You can't!”
I turned the radio off, but it clicked back on and started once again. “I cleaned your house. I cooked your meals. . .”
“No! No! I don't believe it! I have to be dreaming this. I’m asleep, dog gone it! Asleep!”
But I wasn’t.
Once more I turned off the radio and watched, my eyes wide with fear, my mouth twisted in horror, as the button for Power indented itself and continued that dreadful song.
“Enough!” I screeched. “I can’t stand this!”
I ran to the front door, flung it open, rushed out into the pouring rain. Water deluged me. My long, shaggy hair drooped down into my face with strings of wet. My body shivered, but still I ran. I galloped full speed down the sidewalk, away from the horror, away from the call of the horrendous song.
And then I stopped. A neighbor had his radio on. The song, that appalling, heart-rending, soul-stripping song was still playing – attacking me, beating at the walls of my sanity, slipping its slimy tendrils of diseased need deep into my soul.
I reversed direction, sprinted away from it, but that did no good. All the houses were playing that song. Louder and louder. “But you just wait; they’ll find you yet . . .”
“No! No! Never!” I shrieked out, sobbing, pulling at my hair, clawing at my face.
I knew then there was no point in running further. That song would follow me wherever I went, wherever I ran, or hid, or dug myself down into the muddy, sour soil. It would always follow me. Follow me forever and ever, echoing through my brain chamber, down my limbs into the very marrow of my bones. It would follow me until every blood cell vibrated with the beat of it, until muscles, nostrils, tongue, toenails and . . .
“They’re coming to take me away, Ha, Haaa, Hee, Hee . . .”
Trembling from the cold and from my damp, dark fear, a fear so immense it was swallowing me second by second into flat white sheets of despair, I sank to the concrete -- a trembling mess of boneless mass.
It was hours or minutes later when they came to take me away. I welcomed them. I smiled -- happy, grateful. I stepped into their van without a moment’s hesitation, contentedly hugged inside the orange encasement they’d wrapped me into -- safely sandwiched in firmness. I chuckled as I stretched out on the vehicle's cot.
Everything seemed all so comforting -- the silence, the restriction, their clean white coats.
And then the driver reached over and turned on the radio.
“. . . with basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes . . .”
That song. That infernal song.
“All right. All right! You win! You win!” I yelled.
I opened my mouth wanting to let out all the madness . . . and to welcome it in. I let it flow all about me. I became one with the wild froth of it.
“They’ve come to take me away, Haa, Haa, Hee, Hee," I sang, and then I began to scream.
I screamed and screamed and screamed . . .
Warning: Play the following only if sanity is not an issue:
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