Short Story Review: “God Does Damn the Mind” by Marc E. Fitch

3 of 5 stars.

Insanity stands as the ultimate betrayal of one’s humanity by one’s own body. Or is it the ultimate freedom and bastion of truth unrestrained? Ah, but to tell the difference. Likewise, the psychiatric hospital [aka the insane asylum] plays the double role in horror as the sanctuary of hard truth and living hell on Earth.

Our patients, for the most part, preach their wish to die and when we try to prevent it, they get angry but still expect us to be able to “fix” them as you would a broken arm. It’s an impossible, Sisyphean task and generally you come to understand that the only cure for living is dying.

In this tale, Ginny, one of the older third shift employees at the psych hospital, seems to have crossed the line into the realm of potential patienthood long before anyone notices. Her tasks fall by the wayside as she cavorts with high risk individuals. One slashes his wrists after Ginny’s visit. This leads to more bureaucratic red tape than decisive actions:

A big to-do was made and a whole-lotta-nothing was actually changed. But that’s the way things are in the psych ward; people are dumped there by friends, family, and police and honest doctors want nothing to do with it, so it is, by and large, ignored.

Ginny starts in on unintelligible rantings to staff and more patients. Until another dies. And a third jumps from a few floors higher than recommended . . .

This tale appears in Whispers of the Abyss 2: The Horrors That Were and Shall Be edited by Kat Rocha. I received this new anthology directly from 01 Publishing through  
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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