Jessica seemed fascinated with my writing-- especially the fact that I had been published. She told me she'd actually looked up my previous book and ordered a copy online. She suggested that she could publish a book of my poetry and short stories using one of the many online publishing companies that allow authors to do so at no charge and put the proceeds in escrow for when I was finally released from the hospital. I explained that to publish any books in my name would make her a target of the same people who put me in Asylumland. I insisted she sign her own name to all the works I had given her and keep whatever she makes for herself and her little boy. After all, I had already outlived my son.
After class one day I managed to talk Jessica into taking a walk with me. We slowly made our way towards the wooded area where my lean-to was located before stopping in the field. "Is it true," she asked, "that you're some kind of guru with a secret place hidden in the woods?"
"There really are no secrets here in Asylumland," I replied. "Who told you?"
"Several of the girls seem to know about it," she smiled.
"Well that's several more than I've told about it," I complained. "Oh well, I guess it couldn't be helped."
"I hear you give really good back rubs," she smiled. "helps reduce stress."
"Have you been under a lot of stress of late?" I asked.
I know you're hoping for romance or some hot sex about now but it never happened. I told her how to get to the lean-to, met her there and gave her a massage. We caressed, kissed and held one another close but never went any farther. I've thought for all these many years I could have pushed a little harder and she would have caved but we both knew it wasn't meant to be. For her to have a relationship with a man slated to spend the rest of his life in an insane asylum would have been insane in itself. She knew it, I knew it and you know it.
A few weeks later she finished her classes, graduated and was never seen or heard from again. She was apparently very popular back at her college so when the other inmates started asking the next creative writing teacher about her we were able to learn that she and her son were doing well and that she had gotten a job as a school teacher. No word on if she had published any books.
Frank and I were going at it head to head. He wanted Irene and Sabrina and I wouldn't give them up. He offered a compromise, that I should give up one of the girls in exchange for another but I still refused. He threatened me, pushed me around. Hell, he beat the shit out of me. I tried playing a bad ass as a young man and wasn't very good at it. At my age I didn't stand a chance. Had GI Joe not broke up the fight Frank would have killed me or at the very least hospitalized me.
But I knew it was far from over. Sooner or later Frank would catch me when there was no one to lend me a hand. Then I wouldn't have my girls to dress my wounds and wait on me hand and foot during my recovery. Then it would be too late.
While Frank had made it seem as if he wanted to be in Asylumland I suspected different. My guess was that Frank simply saw us as fresh meat, new victims to plunder, and would quickly move on to greener pastures if given the chance. With Irene and Sabrina's help we set about a plan to help Frank escape. Of course, we didn't tell Frank we were planning his escape but we did manage to get word back to Frank that I was planning an escape for fear of my life. It was only a matter of time before Frank came hunting just like the predator I knew him to be.
In the meantime Frank went about terrorizing anyone who wouldn't let him have his way. His ability to throw his voice made for a very unnerving distraction to many in what was already unsettling confrontations. For some it was enough to push them right over the edge. Given Frank's predatory nature I questioned why he was allowed with the general population in the first place and not locked away in a room all by himself. All I could think of was that somehow, Frank had managed to slip out of one part of the asylum and into our part and had been able to go no farther.
Now I had to make sure Frank went no farther ever again.