Group Meeting Chapter 9

Photo of Iris Carden's books. Caption reads: "Excerpt from a book."

Sorry, I haven’t written anything new for today. I’ve been a bit brain foggy. (See yesterday’s poem for an explanation.) Here’s something I wrote a while ago.

Chapter 9 Friday Morning excerpt from Group Meeting by Iris Carden

It was a very tense group.

“How did everyone sleep?” Sarah was becoming nervous about asking the simple question that she often began the morning session with.

“I didn’t.” said Chantal. She certainly looked like someone who hadn’t slept. Her face was ashen, and the dark marks under her eyes, were looking worse than before. “The girl who’s not there, or whoever it is, was throwing up all night again, and kept crying outside my


Sarah looked around the group. “Was anyone outside Chantal’s room last night?”

Bobby looked at his fingernails. Jilly looked at the floor. Johnno looked at the ceiling. Kirk, who had joined the group again, said, “The guard outside Chantal’s room didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary except for that horrible smell coming from the bathroom.”

“Doc’s coming to our meeting this afternoon,” Sarah said. “I don’t think we’re getting anywhere with this topic, until we get to speak with him.”

“Or after we speak with him,” said Johnno.

“Why do you say that?” Sarah wondered if she really wanted to hear his answer.

“Crazy things are happening in a building full of crazy people,” Johnno said. “Do you really expect any answer to that which isn’t crazy? You’ve fallen down the rabbit-hole Ms Counsellor. You’re going to end up one of us.”

“You’re not crazy,” Sarah said. “You’ve been sick, but you are recovering.”

“You don’t actually believe that, any more than you believe I’m ever going to get back my licence to practice medicine. We both know that’s never going to happen – the Licensing Board doesn’t like doctors who cut people into little pieces in their beds during the night.”

Sarah tried not to show her revulsion. There was a very good reason, she thought, why staff did not stay long.

“Let’s try to stick to helpful conversation this morning, shall we?” she said. “Your lifeskills session today is arts and crafts.”

“That’s useful for the real world,” said Johnno.”

“It is,” said Sarah. “Arts and crafts and other hobbies help people to deal constructively with stress. It’s an outlet, for all sorts of emotions.”

“So what are we doing?” asked Jilly, quietly.
“I believe Kara’s got you making mosaics today.” “Nice,” said Jilly. “That will be fun.”

“No, it won’t,” said Chantal. “Fun would be if I could get a proper night’s sleep, and all this rot would stop. Fun would be if whoever is doing all this stuff to me would leave me alone. Fun would be…. I don’t know! But making mosaics! That’s not fun! That’s stupid.”

“For once, I agree with the Primadonna,” Johnno said. “There’s not a lot of fun in gluing bits of tiles on things. And what are we going to do with these things, whatever they

are, when we’re finished with them? Give them as Christmas presents to our loved ones? Oh, wait, we don’t have any. Put them in our lounge rooms? We don’t have those either. Sell them at a street stall? Oh wait, we’re locked in. No street stalls for us. No Sunday morning markets. Nothing.”

“You’re making mosaics,” Sarah said. “That’s the program for the morning.”

“Great!” Johnno said. “I was just saying…”

“After lunch is free time. I think everyone needs a break. We meet back here at the usual time this afternoon, and Doc’s joining us. We’ll talk about the stuff happening in and around Chantal’s room, the girl that only Bobby and Jilly can see, and anything else that is bothering anyone,” Sarah said.

“Including the possibility that the girl is a ghost?” asked Jilly.

“Anything at all you want to talk about?” Sarah said.

“But we can’t talk about it now?” asked Jilly.

“I don’t think we’re achieving anything discussing this without Doc,” Sarah said. “I think we need him here.”

“It’s not a party without Doc,” Johnno said. He put his hands behind his head and stretched out. “It’s not much of a party with him either, of course.”

“She looked really sick this morning,” Bobby said. “If she doesn’t get some help, I think she’s going to lose the baby.” He said it with the same amount of emotion as if he’d said, “it looks like rain”. Whether or not the girl was real, Bobby would always just find her a curiosity. To Bobby all people were just a curiosity, not something real or important.

“She looks sort of thinner, even though her tummy’s getting bigger,” Jilly said. “And she’s really pale.”

“She’s always been pale,” said Bobby. “But yes, her legs are looking like toothpicks.”

“Stop!” said Sarah. “Let’s leave this topic until Doc is here with us this afternoon. Everyone go now – Kara’s waiting. Be back here on time this afternoon.”

Chapters of Group Meeting

Cover of Group Meeting by Iris Carden. Cover features photo of old, abandoned, abandoned grave.

Group Meeting

(Novella) In a facility for the criminally insane, a group of people with sinister pasts starts to be visited by a girl who doesn’t exist.

Reviews for Group Meeting:

Group Meeting is quite a spotlight into twisted minds and the depths of insanity…engrossing story by Iris Carden with quite the twist at the end…wow! – Dawn (Amazon)

Fascinating, with an amazing twist right at the end. Deep and varied Characterisations and emotive scene setting. It was totally unexpected, and surprised even me. Highly recommended. – Annie (Amazon)

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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