Home > Fiction > FF – Treatment Failed

FF – Treatment Failed

Here is my story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle. The picture this week was contributed by J Hardy Carroll.

To read this week’s other stories, click on the blue froggy.

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

Copyright J Hardy Carroll

 

Josie looked up at the burned out windows as she huddled in the shadow of the broken building. The other kids thought this place depressing but she liked it here. Sometimes she fancied that if she looked hard enough, she could see the ghost of her mother staring down. It made her feel safe.

Her mother had been a “resident” here at Saint Joseph’s Home for the Feeble of Mind until the Great Fire of 1972. They’d been trying to cure her of her compulsion towards arson.

Josie shook her head sadly. Guess it didn’t take.

 

  1. Holly
    April 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Scary!

    Like

  2. April 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Dark humour. I don’t think you need the last line. Might it be overkill?

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:50 am

      I quite like it but I can see why it’s not necessary. I think it depends on how much “humour” I wanted. If I were to remove it, I would change the name of the asylum to something more sensible to make the whole thing dark.
      Thanks!

      Like

  3. April 6, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    We have some buildings like that in Boston. I swear they are full of ghosts.

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:50 am

      I wouldn’t be surprised. Old buildings are like that!

      Like

  4. April 6, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Great! I wondered if Josie was going to decide some time to set her own fires. Fine work. 🙂

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:56 am

      Thanks – like mother, like daughter maybe?

      Like

  5. April 6, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I like the last line, made me laugh out loud (like really).

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Thanks! Opinion is divided on the last line but I left it in for a more comedic ending 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. April 6, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    another black week, 😉 great little piece

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:57 am

      I’m glad you liked it! Yes, dark again this week…

      Like

  7. April 6, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    I wonder what they would have called it today? Great names like that are sadly a thing of the past, they would have given it a new PC name not to offend the feeble minded residents! Those were the days… 🙂

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:58 am

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. I purposely used “1972” because I wanted a name like that.

      Like

  8. April 6, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Well done! That made me laugh out loud. Given the title, I guess I should have seen it coming but I didn’t!

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:58 am

      I’m glad you liked it! When I read stories I usually read the title last as I forget up front.

      Like

  9. Adam Ickes
    April 7, 2016 at 1:53 am

    I agree with Neil. That last line isn’t really necessary, but it’s still damn funny. Who gave mother the matches?

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Hmm, I wonder. Maybe daughter sneaked them in…
      The last line was for more of a comedy feel rather than “full dark” – see the reply I made on Neil’s comment 🙂

      Like

  10. April 7, 2016 at 5:51 am

    I guess it didn’t.
    Lovely story.

    Like

  11. April 7, 2016 at 6:50 am

    I agree with an earlier comment – the last line wasn’t needed. What a cruel name for an institution though! Good one.

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 7:13 am

      That’s the sort of name they used “back in the day” sometimes. Not any longer!
      The last line was for more comedy and less dark. Some liked it, some didn’t 🙂 (I’d have changed the name of the asylum if I removed the last line.)

      Like

  12. April 7, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I loved every word and what names Institutions and even wards were actually called back then! My goodness. No one would believe it now. That was polite compared to the reality. I will just go home now to my room in the “hopeless cases ward” and ponder the complete lack of trees or space at “Shady Acres!” 😉

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Yes, things were not quite so “PC” back then. As you say, the names these days are PC but usually bear little resemblance to reality! I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. April 7, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Josie, I hope you find your peace.

    Like

  14. mickwynn2013
    April 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Dark, witty and potent.

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you appreciated the dark humour 🙂

      Like

  15. April 7, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    A great and unexpected twist at the end, Ali. Well done. —- Suzanne

    Like

  16. April 7, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I like everything about this story, especially the last line and the name of the institution! A flashback to the olden days when things were coldly called what they were. Of course, the mother is clearly being framed for this one… the fire was probably started by a disgruntled caretaker…

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      Yeah. Who made good his escape. Sadly, seven staff and 20 patients lost their lives that day, along with one unfortunate possum who’d made his nest in the basement…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. April 7, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I guess its in the eye of the beholder. The doctors saw her as an incurable pyromaniac. I say she was a driven and determined woman out to set the world alight. Silly doctors trying to stifle her obvious success. Just jealous, I bet.

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Yeah, damn those doctors and their meddling ways. No wonder she acted out!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. April 7, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Awww, that is sad and very touching that she feels closer to her mother in a place her mother burned down.

    Like

    • April 7, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      I guess it’s the last place she ever saw her. I’m glad you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. April 7, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Oh, that was humorous! Great write!

    Like

  20. April 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I’m rather worried for Josie, as the last line makes me think she worried for herself.

    Like

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:45 am

      She could have the same problems as her mother…

      Like

  21. April 7, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    I guess not. Another clinical failure. I like it.
    Tracey

    Like

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Yes, though with it being back in the 60s/70s maybe they didn’t try very hard, sadly.
      I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. April 7, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Hehehe, I loved the last line. And the story. Subtle dark humour throughout (last line wasn’t so subtle, but funny).

    Like

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Opinion is divided over the last line but I left it in as I wanted more humour in the story and it made me smile 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. April 8, 2016 at 12:12 am

    That was great twist. Well done story Ali.

    Like

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Like

  24. April 8, 2016 at 2:45 am

    what a creative take on the prompt. well done.

    Like

  25. April 8, 2016 at 3:41 am

    It reads almost like a true story. Good.

    Like

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Thanks, I bet it has happened somewhere some time.

      Like

  26. Lyn
    April 8, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Nicely written. Great take on the prompt D-man!

    Like

    • April 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

      Like

  27. April 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Ah,. yes there are those who never can be cured…

    Like

  28. April 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Excellent! I really liked this story, Draliman. What a creative take on the prompt, and what a great last line!

    Like

  29. April 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    So it appears they forgot to hid the matches from dear old mom.

    Like

  30. April 8, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    The vote seems to be in to keep that last line – and I agree. However please save the possum.

    Like

    • April 8, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      That’s good, I liked the last line! Buster (the possum) will be fine – ES kills him off frequently but he always bounces back 🙂

      Like

  31. April 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Great story–I love that she feels comfort in this sad place, imagining her mom’s ghost. And a good twist!

    Like

  32. April 9, 2016 at 3:49 am

    This photo has given rise to a number of stories about institutions–often haunted ones! You have a somewhat different take on the prompt, and a slyly dark, humorous last line. Well done!

    Like

  33. April 9, 2016 at 4:16 am

    And to think his mother caused the place where she died. Now that is tragic all right. Great story, Ali.

    Like

  34. April 9, 2016 at 7:03 am

    The irony is, of course, amusing, even if the story is sad.

    Like

  35. April 10, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Dear Ali,

    I’m late and all the good comments have been taken. 😉 Quite a story packed into 100 words. Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • April 10, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Dear Rochelle,
      Thanks! At 95 words it’s probably the shortest I’ve ever written 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      Ali

      Like

  36. April 11, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Forgot to say I liked it too. 🙂

    Like

  37. April 12, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Fantastic take on the prompt and a great ending! Loved it!
    Heidi 🙂

    Like

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