meds onboard-the psych ward that wasn’t

Gut-wrenching. I read this with tears in my eyes.

traci foust

“I’m feeling much better now. Clearer.”

— Sarah Connor

Why do they have to call it “mutilation?” That’s such a murder word.

The nurse who checks my bag says I’ll have to leave my facial astringent and mouthwash in an assigned locker. “They’re hot,” she tells me. I will soon learn “hot” is psych-ward code talk for, Sorry, these items contain alcohol. Our facility has strict rules against clear skin/fresh breath/pulling an Amy Winehouse.

cutterIt’s my first night of a two week stay at the Crossroads Center for Psychiatric Caring. A palm tree infested facility stiffly posed between the cow patty waft of farm town concrete and wine vineyards. For reasons I’ll never be clear about, this hospital likes its adverbs, italicizing the word CARING on every sign, pen and document.  The nurse wears her CARING tag pinned to the breast of her Winnie the Pooh scrub smock because…

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About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found at and, and
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