Sunday, January 08, 2012


They're just lying to themselves, she thought as she stared at the doctors with contempt. They stood on the other side of the safety glass, conferring over what had just happened. They were undoubtedly trying to decide the best course of action for her. After all, it was her words that sparked the outburst in the common room. Therefore, the powers that be would hold her responsible.

Ella could never take this place seriously. Her doctor and her therapist both told her that she was only here so they could help her return to normal. She always laughed at that word. Normal. Such a thing did not exist. And when she tried to point that out, it only led to an argument. It wasn't worth Ella's time or energy to attempt a serious conversation with these people.

They considered "normal" to be anyone who was like them. As she watched them, she smiled when she realized that they were more like her than they cared to admit. Yes, they were on the other side of the glass. They worked for this wretched hospital and could come and go as they pleased. But deep inside, they were just as tormented as the patients they so desperately sought to cure. They just weren't as honest about it as she was.

To the outside world, she and her fellow inmates were deemed insane. They were viewed as abnormal. All because they did not conform to the things that society defined as normal. All because they weren't as comfortable, or may have been unable to disguise their abnormalities as all those "normal" people.

The thing Ella came to realize, however, was that all those "normal" people were just as sick and depraved as she was. They were just able to put on a smile before they left the privacy of their homes. The face they showed the world was the mask that convinced everyone that they too were normal.

But she could see past those masks. She could see the abnormal behind the normal. The hospital staff didn't take too kindly to her referring to them as insane in front of the other patients. They didn't like it too much when others started agreeing with her and laughing at the doctors. They were embarrassed. And now someone needed to be punished.

Ella had rocked the boat. She knew she wouldn't be sitting in the common room for much longer today. She wasn't sure where they would take her, but she knew it would be unpleasant. In a normal place, those in authority would never have been able to get away with the things she knew were being planned for her. But this was not a normal place.

This prompt brought to us by Sunday Scribblings. Go see how others were inspired by "Normal."


  1. The sadness of this post is that it is so true. One you have been diagnosed with any illness you are from then on abnormal, an interesting and sometimes a hopeless case. It is one thing to be detached from your work quite other to be unfeeling.

  2. What we deem normal behavior is only normal for our time and place, and as Old Egg points out, once you've been classified as "abnormal," every behavior will be suspect.

  3. An intriguing and thought-provoking write focusing on the abnormal mindset of the masses where the unfeeling mask is put up for everyone to see and not feel like an oddity. Yet, the same issue seen and analyzed from someone who has been termed by the society itself, as "insane", is something that makes the reader think.