Gaslit

Overbrook Lunatic Asylum, Cedar Grove, New Jersey | Google Maps

“You drove the car in the lake, darling. Don’t you remember?”

“I did?”

“You did.”

She looked down at her hands, her fingers tangled in her lap. It was so hard to keep straight anymore—these things he was telling her. The electroshock hadn’t helped like they’d promised. She’d no sooner make her way through the fog of it and it would be time for another session. She couldn’t even remember getting behind the wheel that night.

“And Amelia rescued the children?”

“That’s right, dear.”

It was so hard to wrap her head around it, all those things he said she’d done. And then to realize she’d imagined the part about walking in on him and the nanny.

He patted her leg. His hand felt cool, even through the thin fabric of her hospital gown. “Don’t worry darling. Amelia will take care of everything while you’re gone.”

147 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

22 Comments

  1. Isn’t the brain and/or the mind a marvellous thing. I am fascinated by the scenarios our brains construct for us. And how do you know what’s real, what’s true and what isn’t?
    Such is my brain/mind’s response to your story. For which I thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lately I’ve seen a number of movies/shows where it’s hard to know if it’s happening or if the person is imagining it. Glad it came across! Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve spent a lot of time reading about illusions, delusions, hallucinations etc; mental aberrations. It’s a subject that interests me, more so as a writer

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Was married once to a person who always had to be in charge and right and who had her own little world that people around her lived in. Makes it hard to think straight even without the electroshock added.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know the kind of person of which you speak. That would be a difficult marriage! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow. So sinister. Excellent pacing in this, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Aha, the title says it all! Great slow reveal (well, as slow as one can manage in 150 words) of the private hell he’s putting her through, and what we know is really going on. What a great bad guy to root against!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. Slow reveal–ha! The suspense won’t kill anyone in a 150 word story, will it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I think we’re safe there!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. lillmcgill

    This is a terrific tale. Loved it!
    Unfortunately, I think this has probably actually happened in real life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll bet it’s happened more than we want to think about. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  6. You build this so very well. I can feel her confusion through your words. And his betrayal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your great comment Lish. I’m glad it came across. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to accomplish just that, so it’s gratifying to hear 🙂

      Like

  7. […] of my comfort zone, which I’m told is a good thing for a writer. 😉 Many thanks to Josh and Karen for this challenge which is all about location, location, […]

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Karen,

    Something tells me the one thing in her memory that’s accurate is walking in on him and nanny. The rest I’m not so sure of. Sinister and well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You nailed it Rochelle, I think that is the only thing that is real. Great to see you this week!

      Like

  9. Ooh I love this story, reminds me of The Yellow Wallpaper, the short story, and all the betrayal and loss wrapped up in that story. Beautiful build up to the very last line.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Something does not seem quite right… Maybe she isn’t imagining anything?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re right! Thanks for reading Bernadette 🙂

      Like

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