Spoon-fed Memories

in finishthestory •  9 months ago  (edited)

This is my entry into Finish the Story Contest hosted by @bananafish.

Spoon-fed Memories
by @calluna

“When I was your age, I was quite the wild one. Ahhh that look, that ‘sure granny’ look, well if you don’t believe me.”

The underpaid nurse attempting to spoon-feed the elderly lady sat, heaped spoon waiting for a pause between words.

“I had quite the adventure, back when I was twenty-two, I never told your mam about this one”

Susie suppressed a sigh, every resident took her as a different relative. They used a warm, familiar tone with her, looking into her eyes, and seeing those of another. She’d given up correcting them, not one of them could remember her name.

“It was during the war, your grandpa worked intelligence out of one of those top-secret northern bunkers, that’s where he got that compass you used to love playing with.”

There was something about never been seen as herself that was starting to eat at Susie. At first, she’d pitied them, unable to see things for what they were, but as time went by, every word spoken to her, meant for another, began to cut.

“It’s been two months since I'd had a letter from him, and well, you can imagine what I thought when a man in uniform knocked at the door.”

Finally catching a pause in the residents flow, Susie swooped in with a spoon full of buttery mash, beaded with peas. For loud, sloppy moments the lady chewed, and trying to draw on her compassion, Susie smiled, scooping up another spoonful.

“Well my heart dropped and I nearly fainted before he could speak. That awkward young officer grabbed my hands, looking me firm in the eyes, ‘He’s not dead Mrs Ellerton, he’s fine, I just need you to come with me’. I’ve never packed a bag so fast in my life!”

Susie quickly exploited the dramatic moment, dropped another spoon of mash, this time laked with stewed beef and gravy, into the open mouth. She used to hate herself for finding those too far gone to chatter away easier, avoiding the talkers, but despite her best evasions, she’d got stuck with conversational Mrs Ellerton today.

“We sped down those country roads, whizzing up north, in hours. He told me nothing on the way, offering only that Nick would tell me when we got there. I’d had no idea what to bring, and had frantically thrown everything I could think of into my bag, as we drove up I began to realise all the things I’d not thought of, but there was no turning back, I could tell by the way that officer gripped the wheel we were in a hurry!”

Mrs Ellerton wasn’t letting up, Susie glanced at the clock, her shift was due to finish in ten minutes, but she couldn’t go anywhere until the old bag wrapped it up. Putting the spoon down, she tried to fight the rising anger, and decided to try and get Mrs Ellerton to cut to the chase.

“So why had your husband had you brought there?”


"The nervous young office's fingers beat against the steering wheel un-rhythmically. At the foot of the road leading up to the secret military compound, he pointed in the direction I was to head and bolted as soon as I got out of the car.

"I saw the broken wooden sign hidden within the heavy and dense fog that pointed north and read "Lake Thor." Of all the days to go on, Thursday was the day. The road was lit up by the hundreds of dancing fireflies creating geometric shapes.

"The Nestle's of the world had been depleting the lake water by bottling it and selling it to the local public. Your grandpa reported snippets to me of some secret military biological weaponized water operation being conducted in the area."

Mrs. Ellerton breaks from the story. "Pearl," she says slapping Susie's Knee, "he made us get our water delivered in a glass bottle from Arrowhead. We even had chemical removing shower heads." Then, she dives right back into story.

Susie's foot tapped and she looked at the wall clock. Five more minutes?

"I heard the faint sound of violin music grow louder as I walked the lit path. The music stopped when I got to the cold water's edge.

"A naked man with a neck the size of a Sunland Baobab appeared from the fog and approached me. He said, 'Shout to all the females that gave me chance. Feel me. I'll probably fuck it up, but it is what it is. Want some meth?'

"Reaching into my bag, I pulled out the "Light Sleeper" and said, 'Here is your fix.' He grabbed it from my hands and tossed it in the lake. My eyes watched the fog engulfed him. My ears caught the squishing sound of retreating boots.

"Music began to play again.

"The fog whipped up, encasing me in the eye of a hurricane and revealing a rocky waterfall. Nick, restrained by spiked vines, cried out something I couldn't hear from a hundred yards away over the noise of the waterfall.

"I looked down and saw a steel compass at my feet. I picked it up. As I started to walk toward your grandpa, a white horse came out from behind a tree."

Mrs. Ellerton stopped her story as she drew in a yawn that lasted fifteen seconds. When finished, she looks back at Susie. "Fracket. Where was I?" Her eyes darted at angels around the room as she searched for the lost information. "My eyelids feel heavy," she says letting out another yawn. "I'll take care of you in the morning, Pearl."

Susie took out her phone, looks at the time, opens the notepad app, and writes:

  • The effects of Restoril and Xanax crushed up and mixed into Mrs. Ellerton's food, followed by a splash of night quill in her drink, worked in under thirty minutes.
  • Some delusional effects, but nothing that cannot be waited out.
  • Wider sample of effects on others patience is needed.
  • Increase dosage when necessary.

When finished, Susie pressed the button that makes her phone go to sleep, wishes Mrs. Ellerton good-night and skips out of the room.


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Ha, ha. Nice original spin on this tale.


Wow... sinister. And realistic (that is, of drug experimentation on the helpless) as you take us into her nightmarish visions. A great job @tristancarax.

Naughty nurses ... f***in' people up.

I confess I tried to make sense of the story of the old woman almost towards the end...
I consider it a beautiful example of black humor with a realistic background!

This is what I had in mind - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neck_(water_spirit)

My original idea was play more with the nøkk. That would have been long. The drug idea popped in and then I found drugs that would make someone hallucinate and put them to sleep.

I also have to admit that I strived till the end in giving a pseudo-sense to Mrs Ellerton's musings. I loved the feeling of gradually perceiving her detachment from reality during the reading. Very surreal but, at the same time, it's an authentic and well crafed scene!

Even if you may not agree with me: I am glad that so much concentrated evil is little to be found, and that people are then still somewhat afraid to do other ills in such a way. The ensemble sounded a bit like an LSD trip. With the white horse and all the fog you created a mood. Well done.

I'd say we're largely ignorant of the devastating effects these types of drugs have had on the population. She might not be evil at all but simple doing what she was told was okay by her profession.

Yikes! That awful drug cocktail is nasty! Poor Mrs. Ellerton and the other patients... Now I want a continuation where someone comes in and shuts this bullshit down!

Some delusional effects...

Biggest understatement of the week! (You've got this squirrel going "RAAWWRR!" now.)

Ha! ya, ... to bad this is the normal. I mean, without the nurse at the beside, there are still pills in the homes of people who take them like candy.

Hello fellow potassiumnite! Finish the Story contest edition n. 37 has arrived.. will you be brave enough and try your pen with us?