Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Short Story - Eddie's Upset by Victor Pile

Labour Community Short Story Project

Our local Conservative Party-supporting press, police and business community are so biased against the Labour Party that crime and corruption involving tories, even with eye-witness testimony, is completely ignored and never investigated. The Havering Witness was founded to lobby for investigations to be carried out.  We recognise the need for victims of injustice to vent their anger and we encourage them to write short stories for that purpose.  Real names are not used in any of the short stories published and not all details in the stories are actual events - a style of writing otherwise known as "faction".   

Eddie's Upset by Victor Pile


Eddie had a mental health crisis following the death of his pregnant wife Jenny in a car crash. Eddie visited the crash site and found half a tyre with two screws driven into the tread. He showed it to the police but they were"not convinced" it means anything.  Eddie continues to see doctors about his mental health and is beginning to rebuild his life. 

Dr Eric Hawkins was in his fifties with thirty years experience of psychiatry and today his face showed that  Eddie had made progress since release from psychiatric hospital. "Hello again Mr Ellis, please come in" said Dr Hawkins.

Before seeing Dr Hawkins as an outpatient Eddie had been in psychiatric hospital for six long weeks, he was taken there only hours  after the police had taken him out of his flat by force.  Eddie had wrecked the flat he had shared with Jenny and ranted like a madman for hours.  Eddie was taken to the police station and later referred to a mental health team.

Sectioned under the Mental Health Act, Eddie was put on Oakleaf Ward, the ward for potentially violent men. Eddie spent the first week in a separate room on suicide watch before being allowed onto the main ward.  He deeply resented his detainment and was already full of hate following the death of his pregnant wife Jenny. 

In a previous session Eddie told Dr Hawkins that he thinks Jenny and the baby were murdered and no-one will believe him -that was the reason for his behaviour that night.

"Have you been sleeping better since the last time I saw you" said Dr Hawkins.
"Yes, the tablets are working and I feel much less tired than I did" replied Eddie. He knew that Hawkins was only really concerned with potential suicide and public safety, he wasn't really interested in the deaths of Jenny and his child. 

Eddie had started to regret his last session telling Hawkins about Jenny and the baby  being murdered. He decided to steer away from the topic in this meeting.
"I've felt a lot better generally since the last time I saw you. I've even gone swimming a couple of times and had a full sunday roast at my mums" said Eddie trying to sound upbeat.

Hawkins didn't say anything or change his expression he just scribbled down a few notes.
"Are you still having nightmares or visions at all" ? said Hawkins

"Occasionally I have a bad dream but nothing as intense and violent as before. I don't get headaches every day and my stomach no longer feels twisted.  I'm able to read and listen to music without losing concentration and my mind isn't  racing with anger and resentment at being detained".
"Well that's very encouraging, you were in a different mood the last time I saw you, full of anger and frustration,  you told me that you thought your wife and child were murdered, is that still what you think ?" said Hawkins.

"I've calmed down since our last session, I'm starting to change the way I view things and not jump to emotional conclusions even though I still have a lot of grief to work through. I'm in a different state of mind now than when I first came out of hospital, more open to suggestions from my family and more willing to adapt to my circumstances."  said Eddie
"What about your bad dreams,  can you describe them to me"  said Hawkins

"The dream keeps repeating itself,  I'm awoken by someone shouting my name and banging on the door, in the dream I go to the door but I always wake up before I can open it."   said Eddie
"and how many times have you had this dream ?" said Hawkins

"I'm not sure maybe seven times since our last session, I have other less worrying dreams as well" said Eddie
"Can you describe them ?"

"Yes, in one dream I'm inside a church and two ladies are talking, they are laughing about something but I can't hear them.  In another dream I'm on a school trip and worried that I lost my wallet."
"You and Jenny were both teachers weren't you ?" said Hawkins

 "Yes, we met at work in 2009" said Eddie "We got married in 2012 and Jenny became pregnant in 2017, we waited to save enough money to look for a bigger place."
"And now all that anticipation of your own happy family life has been taken from you ..that is a tough situation and I'm going to help you get through you believe me ?" said Hawkins

"Well I hope that you can help me but I know it is going to take me some time to deal with it." said Eddie slightly taken aback.  "I'm keen to get myself together and not be a burden on others."
"Okay what I want you to do is to start thinking about the future but to take it strictly one day at a time and I do mean strictly.  Do you intend to return to teaching in the future ?" said Hawkins.   

"I haven't really given it a thought. I did enjoy my job, so did Jenny, even with all the stresses of teaching I still liked it." said Eddie "But my mental state now is very different and I'm not sure how long its going to take me to get back to where I was."
"In a way I'm glad you said that" said Dr Hawkins smiling "because I'm going to recommend that you take a break from teaching for at least a year. It is too stressful a job for you in your present state, it will place far too many demands on you.  Children and parents can be very selfish and aggressive these days, as you know ... I'd like you to think about doing something else for at least a year."

"Yes, I think you are right, I don't think I could face teaching a class at the moment and we wouldn't want the precious darlings upset because I lost my temper would we." said Eddie laughing "I do sometimes help my brother Stan when he is overloaded with work, he's in the building trade, and I like doing DIY anyway".
"Thats great !" said Hawkins "Are you able to say then that DIY or helping your brother could be part of your day to day planning for the future ?"

"Yes sure" said Eddie "My brother will be pleased to get some help from someone he can trust. He's always going on about family business and family history he's always wanted me to help him more". 
"Your brother really likes his work ?" said Hawkins

"Yes he loves it.  He's 'on a mission' he says ever since he was a boy.  Our dad did all the work on his house himself, he never used a tradesman and in those days he got a lot of abuse for it. Those self-employed builder types try and intimidate people into using them and they have nothing but contempt for DIY" said Eddie with some passion.
Eddie continued " 'You're taking the food out of our kids' mouths' they would shout to us if we were all outside painting the house, as if we gave a toss if scum like that starve to death !" said Eddie getting a bit hot under the collar. "So I've always had a lot of respect for Stan and his love of practical skills, he works for a council contractor and is always busy even at weekends."

"Thats good" said Hawkins "a different kind of work away from people for a while will do you good I believe. Just out of interest nothing serious ever happened between your family and the local builders you described ?" 
"No, not that I'm aware of anyway, Stan is bigger built than me and used to box when he was younger" said Eddie "He's no pushover and he knows quite a few people so I'm sure that I would have heard about any trouble by now." 

"Okay thats fine" said Hawkins "I'm going to write down a plan of action for you to follow.  Keep taking the sleeping pills for the time being and try to remember how often you have bad dreams. Take exercise, continue with your swimming and eat healthily. If you feel ready and willing, as you said earlier, start to think seriously about working with your brother. However please do not rush into anything. take your time, gradually get yourself used to the idea of a new job. Finally I'd like to remind you that teaching is out of the question for at least a year. Okay, how do you feel about all that ?" 
"Its fine" said Eddie "I'm to see you again in a month's time ?"

"Yes" said Hawkins "the receptionist will give you the details. Please use the plan as your day by day guide and don't rush into anything your health needs time to recover after such a shock.  See you in a month's time."

The receptionist gave Eddie his next appointment card and he stepped out into the fresh air.  "I fancy a pint of guiness" Eddie said to himself and headed off to the pub taking a short cut through the park.
"Alright Eddie ?" said Billy Boy at the bar smiling "how you getting on you silly old bugger" Billy always made Eddie smile.

"Alright Billy, I've just been to the doctors" said Eddie "He says I'm on the mend but to take things slowly".   "Well that sounds good" said Billy "don't do anything hasty get yourself going bit by bit like. My old grandad used to say best medicine is a good laugh.  Whenever he felt low he used to listen to his Max Miller record."
"Eddie ! you alright ?" said Stan holding a pint of orange squash. The days of having beer for lunch were long gone.  "Yea, alright Stan, got to see him again in a month's time" said Eddie "he seems pleased with me.  I have to take things slowly and I can't do any teaching for at least a year."

"You can come and help me then ! I've got painting and decorating work coming out of my ears" said Stan.  "Me and Billy Boy have been staring at walls for months we haven't even done anything wrong ! " said Stan laughing.  "Give yourself a couple of weeks break first and we'll see what we can do".
"By the way" said Stan quietly "I've taken that tyre down to my mate in the trade and it tallies with Jen's car and its last fit. What do you wanna do ? Try the police again or what ?"

"No, I won't bother with them again, they could have checked it themselves. They couldn't care less about us, their only worried about themselves and their masonic mates. I'm going to make a complaint and go from there" said Eddie.
"Is it worth it ?" said Stan "Remember that bloke died in police custody because he couldn't breathe ? It was all on video and still nothing was done about it. It's unbelievable, it really is. I don't want you getting your hopes too high with complaints."

"Yes, thats right" said Eddie, his face darkening. 
"Well you make the complaint anyway" said Stan "and we'll see what happens - one step at at time eh bruv ?"

"Yea, one step at a time" said Eddie and gave Stan a smile.   

Short Story - Bartles Avenue by Johnny Kingsley 

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