Hostage In Her Own Mind

We call her the Emma Bruegel Project; she’s been in our care ever since her grandmother left her at the doorstep. She was twelve and yet there was a maturity around her that couldn’t be explained.

“But doctor, surely there is no reason for us to keep her here any longer,” the nurse eyed the auburn-haired girl with pity and remorse.

“Don’t be fooled by her calm and poised demeanor she is host to several fears and a phobia known to us as Agoraphobia.” It is a fear of places or situations that you can’t escape from. 

“But… but … she doesn’t seem the way you describe at all!” The nurse shaking her head in bewilderment looked at Emma as she continued to draw and hum to herself.

Both the doctor and nurse left as twilight stole the colour from day, Emma glanced up from her drawing, a satisfied and smug smile painted on her aristocratic features.

“My friends abhor this condition that I have acquired, or is this a facade that I with time have simply embraced and mastered? Such fools are they for they don’t know I fear what I am capable of and doing.”

Outside the wind rattled the windows as her heart shows her memories of years long gone. Memories of her aunt and uncle visiting for the Summer,

“Emma won’t you join us for brunch dear?” Her aunt an elderly and kind lady who was oblivious to the lecherous stares that her husband would give to the child.

Just then a knock sounded at the door and Emma was brought thundering back to present day reality. Her eyes welled up at the possibility of someone seeing her in this state so she pulled a silken sheet over her head.

The nurse entered the room with necessary dosage of pills unaware that she was hostage in her own mind.


Photo credits: Pinterest

Based on the poem Prologue – The Emma Bruegel Project

For Telling Tales With Magaly Phobias and Fears 🙂

Posted for ‘Pantry of Prose’ @ Poets United

32 thoughts on “Hostage In Her Own Mind

  1. What a powerful phrase, ‘hostage in her own mind’. This is such a tragic story. I love the way you have left so much of it in the unsaid – from where it speaks clearly.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Rosemary 😀 so glad you liked it ❤️

  2. Mary says:

    There is so much understated in this story. And I am left with the question what is real, and who is she really? I wonder what she fears or whether in reality she is not a danger at all!

    1. Sanaa says:

      Ah, mission accomplished then. Thank you so much, Mary 😀 so good to see you ❤️

  3. Sumana Roy says:

    This is so tragic for a twelve year girl to be captivated in her own story of perhaps unexpected brutality. You’ve sketched her so well. Beautiful.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Sumana 🙂 so glad you liked it ❤️

  4. Agoraphobia is so debilitating. She draws the sheet over her head as if she wishes to disappear. Poor girl, left on a doorstep at twelve.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Definitely 🙂 thanks for stopping by, Sherry ❤️

  5. dsnake1 says:

    i like the flow of the story, from the slightly innocent start of the story to the sad end of what is her fears.
    hostage in her own mind” is a great phrase to describe her condition.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Lee San 😀 so glad you liked it ❤️

  6. People–and some doctors can be the worse people–can miss so much when they fail to look under the mental sheets. To think that this girl, pretty much, imprisons herself in order to keep others safe. What mistakes we make, when we believe we have all the answers, when we don’t notice that that the little quiet girl–we often think too gone to function–is just using all her energy to keep from ripping someone’s head off. Terrifying (and so lonely), indeed.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Magaly 😀 so glad the story resonated with you ❤️

      (and thank you for the lovely prompt) 🌹

  7. Bjorn Rudberg says:

    The fear in this seems to stem from the kind an asylum can give. I would be terrified to be locked up like this, and maybe it’s the pills that turn her like this.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Definitely 🙂 thanks for stopping by, Bjorn ❤️

      PS: I have purposely set the story in this manner so as to deduce many layers of her personality in time to come. We can not say for sure if she is or isn’t aware of her condition as she fluctuates between madness and sanity every now and then.

  8. Rommy says:

    There are a lot of horrors hinted at here. I for one don’t blame the girl a bit for doing what she needs to do to keep herself (and those who are worthy of her protection) safe.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Definitely 🙂 thanks for stopping by, Rommy ❤️

  9. Chrissa says:

    When she pulls up the sheet over her head, that caught me, the way fear makes any separation seem safer than not.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Chrissa 🙂 so good to see you ❤️

  10. Myrna says:

    I love how you’ve painted this mysterious girl. You’ve left enough unsaid to tease our imaginations. Good writing Sanaa.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Myrna 😀 so glad you liked it ❤️

  11. I agree with Rosemary about the phrase ‘hostage in her own mind’, Sanaa, and the way you hinted at something about Emma that wasn’t quite right in: ‘She was twelve and yet there was a maturity around her that couldn’t be explained’ and her uncle’s lecherous stares.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Kim 😀 so glad the story resonated with you ❤️

  12. Old Egg says:

    Sadly there is far more abuse than most people realise. Possibly because children are considered to imagine things rather than be believed that they have been molested or interfered with often by a family member. Hopefully this will change for it has gone on far too long. I commend you Sanaa for addressing this subject.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Robin 🙂 so good to see you ❤️

  13. A terrifying and a tragic story, Sanaa. You’ve captured the essence of her fear so well with this allusion “her uncle’s lecherous stares”. How sad for the nurse to presume a dosage of pills would be a solution!
    Oh, and I do like the poem as well you developed this story from, they are both well written and affect.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Khaya 🙂 so glad the story resonated with you ❤️

  14. Carrie V. H. says:

    “Hostage in her own mind”….certainly there are many who have suffered with such a thing. This so wonderfully written Sanaa. Had me on the edge of my seat.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Carrie 😀 so glad you liked it ❤️

  15. Yes, your wrote it in such a manner that we understand where her terror came from without giving us the horrible details. I know what it is like to be a “prisoner in your own mind.” It was a very dark place, than thankfully I escaped.

    1. Sanaa says:

      Definitely 🙂 thanks for stopping by, Susie ❤️

  16. Vivian Zems says:

    Oh Sanaa! I like this. The innocent with the eerie mixed together. And a killer title too!

    1. Sanaa says:

      Thank you so much, Vivian 😀 so glad you liked it ❤️

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