|Cass R (deistic) wrote in repose,|
@ 2019-07-11 00:47:00
|Entry tags:||*log, atticus mcvickers, cass reynaud|
Cass & Atticus: the lake
Who: Atticus M and Cass R
What: Early morning sojourns
Warnings: TBD, expect some mention of drugs/non-FDA approved therapy
They gave her back her clothes, old friends from vacuum sealed plastic, long enough for Cass to leave them again.
She left her clothes in a pile at the foot of the dock. Whose dock, she didn't know. She wasn't inclined to know, so she didn't, even if her feet were bare on the boards that had been wetly-trod by ghosts of people who could fill her head damply like birds if she let them, if the drugs would leave-go the choke-hold on her head and her heart and the space between her rib-bones. She left the skirt there and the shoes, and the shirt that took forever to button with fingers fumbling and fuzzy with medication that made her head ring like an empty bell. She left everything except her slip and her underthings.
In the institution they called it hydrotherapy. They called it that and for one man, the little man, the one whose white coat had larger shoulders than he did and who had a brother who had been ill, so ill he had required doctors and pills and rooms with doors that locked on the outside, it made everything better. She saw it, in the flinch of his fingers against the back of her hand as he tried to show a little kindness before they dropped her into ice-water, to make her malleable. She didn't know the theory. The theory was locked in books, and paperwork and she didn't care to find the contents and let them out. It didn't matter. They called it hydrotherapy as the pressure burned in her chest and in her nose and in her head and if she could, she'd have died a little just to spite them.
This was exactly as they might have feared. It was exactly, and utterly mad to jump in a lake that looked like oil under a dawn that had only really been a dawn for an hour and she jumped. The frigidity of the water knifed her kidneys and stole her breath and shocked her to ice and when she could breathe, when she could gasp, she laughed and palmed hair that had gone to seaweed from her face, from her eyes and began to swim. The ice rattled her teeth and punched her lungs but it was clean cold, the empty cold, the cold that carved open a vein and scratched out all they had put into them with little icy knives, patient and patient and coaxing.
She swam. Swiss boarding schools taught useless skills and occasionally one that could be put to use, years and years later. The one in Cairo, that had taught her to smoke. Cass kicked her way into deeper and deeper water and let the lake take her where it would, a wash of frigid, heavy water and a murk and a roil lower down, deeper in. She swam until her legs screamed and her arms ached and then she lay on her back and allowed herself to float, as the dawn rose and the sun broke, and she was closer - far closer - to the island than the shore.