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Royer’s Madcap Experiences: The Pledger of Allegiances

January 27, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

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By Ric Royer

Today, at the mental facility, a man approached me outside of the dining hall. He was small in stature with short-cropped hair that somehow befit his size and a generally staid, serious appearance– indeed, upon his initial approach, I was expecting a senseless row. Instead, after several uncomfortable moments of high scrutiny, the man suddenly dropped to his knees and said, “I pledge all allegiances to you, lord.” Concurrently, the tinny loudspeaker announced the general placement of cake and thus, frankly, I paid no attention to his proclamation.

Paddle ball games are a very popular leisure activity at Lankville insane asylums.

Paddle ball games are a very popular leisure activity at Lankville insane asylums.

Later, however, in the amusement room, the man repeated the covenant. As he knelt at my feet, I placed the flat surface of a paddle-ball game upon his crown for symbolic purposes and announced, “Do all see what Kevin has done?” The mass of lunatics stared fatuously and the ward later informed me that the man’s name was not Kevin at all but the scene was stirring nevertheless.

As a pledger of allegiances, thus, Kevin (for that is how I knew him) made it his purpose to prepare a flawless bedsheet and wool blanket for me each evening and to run a moistened towel over my toiletries and a squeegee across my vanity mirror. The tasks completed, Kevin would turn towards me and pronounce his only words of the day– “Lord, your forgery glass is cleansed”. (Kevin knew a mirror as a “forgery glass”). Oftentimes, I would find some tiny flaw in Kevin’s otherwise impeccable work and berate him over it for this was the crux of the pledger-lord relationship. Upon occasion, there were sexually-charged beatings in which I chased Kevin about the tiny cell– initially just grab-assing but then ultimately crushing him across the cheeks so that his head caromed to and fro in a most comical manner. He seemed to enjoy this tremendously and often squealed like a child.

It was not long, however, before Warden Jenness noticed our bond. He called me into his office– crowded with dead plants and mysterious species of cacti and delivered a forceful speech in a most efficacious manner. There being no response possible, I bowed slightly and left the room. For the first time, my short trip back to the cell was under the supervision of guards (one, a huge Negro whose strength was undoubtedly uncontested in these environs).

After that, I saw Kevin infrequently and he no longer met my lordly gaze. He seemed smaller now, more hunched. I could hear him talking to other lunatics at table. He spoke of getting a car and driving through the mountains, perhaps settling on boats. He was agitated, discontented– it was clear. There was money coming, he said, there was family assistance.

A storm hit. Two feet of snow were dumped about the grounds, cutting off all contact with the outside world. Although power remained on in the home, we could receive no reception of any sort– we had no idea what was happening. It was during this maelstrom that Kevin disappeared. He simply wandered off, barely clothed, into the sea of white.

I have had no pledgers since.

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