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About AusGlitterati

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    Books, shows, games, movies, writing. I like to spend as much of my free time as I can in another universe.

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  1. AusGlitterati


    Kelly's faith in her family was shaken when Tyson rang her up and asked her to visit some time ago. She realised he was telling the truth about them when he came home and Chase locked him in his room. Charlie's in much better hands since his huge meltdown! And things are looking up indeed! Thank you for the comment! ❤️ It's a possibility! Thanks for commenting! Yes! A bunch of nurses got together to pay Cynthia to treat Charlie and yes, Tyson's outbursts of abuse don't always end in disaster. (He's still a jerk!) Excellent question! We should find out together. And yeah, your baby Charlie is doing well for himself. ❤️ Thank you for the comment! Indeed! Thank you so much! Aww you'll make me blush :3 Tyson did indeed plan a lot of things. He took calculated risks that paid off - though he has no active plan at all for the future. As far as Cynthia goes, she will definitely see right through the holes in his story. Dr O'Connell likely did as well, but with a patient like Tyson, he might have believed it best to leave it all to the expert. Plus, when has Cynthia ever let Tyson get away with something when she's aware of it? Tyson's eagerness to stay (though he's very unimpressed with the tight security and lack of privileges in the HDU) is definitely alluding to his budding institutionalization - though how much of his attachment to the hospital was due to the dangerous and highly stressful environment of his home is unclear. Is he as scared of himself as he is of his parents? Big thanks for big comment!! ❤️❤️ It worked out in some ways but collateral damage is a problem he didn't prepare for. We have two more chapters so I hope it's a satisfying conclusion! Thank you much friend! ❤️
  2. AusGlitterati


    Hahaha! You don't sound like an ass. It was unlucky timing - it wasn't as though everyone conspired to separate them. I'm glad you liked the Charlie & Tyson bit! Thanks for the comment! 😘
  3. AusGlitterati


    "Tyson, can you hear me?" "Mmm no." "Okay, can you tell me how much valium you took?" "I dunno." That was a lie. Tyson had been meticulous in staging his suicide attempt. From his medication regime of valium multiple times a day for several weeks, his body had built up some resistance to the drug. He took enough to pass out for some hours, but certainly not enough to be dangerous - hopefully. It was risky, sure. A lot of things could have gone wrong. In Tyson's mind, it was worth taking a risk. It had to look authentic. Even if something went wrong, if Masha chickened out or failed in some way, his parents could not risk their son committing suicide in their care while they were still on the hook for his well-being. On the offchance they didn't send for emergency medical aid or he ended up dying, it wasn't as though he were in any worse a position. Chase had scared him. A trip to Sri Lanka, after his confrontation with the man who sired him, no longer sounded like a trip to Sri Lanka, but a way to make him disappear for good. With nothing to lose, why not take a risk? "How many roughly? Was it a lot? More than ten?" "I don't know! I don't care!" "Can you guess?" "Can you fuck yourself?" Tyson scowled at the paramedic in front of him, a middle-aged woman with the frizziest ponytail he'd ever seen. "Don't speak to me like that, please. I need to make sure you're okay," she replied coolly, not flinching at all as she stood at the foot of his gurney with her arms folded. "I don't want to speak to you at all!" "Why not?" Tyson didn't reply to her. Instead, he glared at her the way Edith glared at the gardener who once pruned their hedge the wrong way. She did look uncomfortable, but Tyson wasn't happy with that. It wasn't enough. He despised her. Not her, personally, but who she represented. That person who kept saving his life only to let him go right back to his family. The people too impotent to help him in the way he actually needed support. He was currently in the secure assessment room. It wasn't much different from the seclusion room in the AIU - small, stark and empty, the only furniture being the gurney he currently lay on. The two doors to the room locked from the outside and windows on three of the walls ensured staff could observe him at any time. The paramedic squawking at him was not alone, either. There was a member of security stationed outside the secure assessment room, always watching in case Tyson tried to hurt himself or someone else. He never stopped watching, the hatchet-faced prick. "Because you're a useless, fat, hideous fucking waste of space!" He roared at her as best he could, the effects of the valium still seriously sedating his body. She raised an eyebrow, peering at him as though he were insane. "Don't look at me with that fucking... face!" "Why do you feel that way? I mean, I'm only trying to look out for you." No, he told himself. If they cared - any of them - he wouldn't have had to betray the only people he loved. He wouldn't have to have lied, manipulated, cheated and broken rules to save himself from the brutal, abusive cycle he was stuck in. He was only fourteen! Why did he have to rescue himself? Why did he have to go this far to escape? Why did he have to gamble with his own life to have a chance of saving it? If they cared, they would have done something. Anything! Then to have that horrible woman speaking down at him as though she'd done him a favour... it was insulting! It was infuriating! "You're full of shit. Am I supposed to be grateful when you save my life against my will and throw me back to the fucking wolves every single time? Fuck you and everyone like you! Go away. I'm not talking to you. If you're not going to smother me with a pillow, then there's nothing I want from you. I don't owe you shit." "You know, Tyson, my job is to keep you stable from your room to the emergency room. What happens after--" "ARRRGH I don't care!" Tyson, angry enough to physically attack her but too sedated due to the valium still in his system, fell back and covered his face with his warm blanket. He was annoyed. He thought he would be happy. Everything he'd done since he realised he needed to actively change his situation had lead up to this. But though it had taken a tremendous amount of planning, manipulation, will and ruthlessness to achieve his liberation, his success left a very bitter taste in his mouth. Consequences that he dared not think about until after the fact had begun to worry him since he'd woken up in the emergency room. What would his success cost him? Would he end up a ward of the state like Charlie? Screwed in and out by the cruel, negligent system? Would Vlady and Masha ever speak to him again? What about Kelly? Who would pay for his sessions with Cynthia and Brianna? Would he be stuck with that idiot who thought the best way to treat Vladimir was to drug him and strap him to a bed? "G'day, Tyson. Let's have a chat. Okay? Just you and me." That wasn't the irritating paramedic or the security guard. Tyson peeked his eyes over the blanket to see if the familiar voice was indeed who he thought it was. Neil. He didn't look happy at all. Tyson, now feeling guilty and embarrassed as his anger slipped away, slunk back beneath the covers. He wasn't ready for Neil. "Mate, we know you're more mature than this. Now, come on. Stop being silly. Let's talk face to face, man to man." "Can we not?" "I can't force you to talk if you're not ready, Tys. You know that. I'd still appreciate if you'd at least come out from under the covers, though. What are you afraid of?" "You're mad at me." "I'm not mad at you. Why would you think that?" "Did you see the video on the news?" Tyson asked him, exposing his face. He didn't bother with the innocent, vulnerable, wide-eyed routine for two reasons. One, he was tired of being insincere. Two, because it never worked on rigid, by-the-book Neil in the first place. "I saw it. I'm not angry," Neil approached slowly, and Tyson was relieved. He'd mistaken Neil's blank expression as anger, but it was tough to read him. "I'm upset that you were in such a shit position and I had no way to help you out." "Yeah... still, I'm sorry about. You know. Using your voice. I had to." "Don't worry about it. What I'm worried about is the fact that you tried to kill yourself again. So soon after we discharged you." Neil's pivot was amateur at best. Tyson would have rolled his eyes had it been anyone else. "Yep," he replied softly. The fact was that Tyson didn't believe he was ready to be out of the hospital, especially now. There was so much of him that was still intent on seriously hurting himself. Dying. Within the confines of the hospital, he could suppress those desires and compulsions with therapy, medication and the love of the Tchaikovskys, especially Vladimir. He'd grown to rely on the safety of the locked ward. As much as that place drove him crazy with boredom - a narrative he embellished to get himself discharged in the first place - he needed to return. He recognised that he was sick. That his brain wasn't working correctly. Cognitive dissonance, post-traumatic stress, depression, suicidal behaviour - he was very unwell. But the public mental health system was horribly flawed. They might not take him in if they knew the truth. He needed Neil and the authorities to believe his suicide attempt was genuine to make sure he ended up back there. "Okay. Thanks for being honest with me, Tys," Neil put a hand, covered as always in blue latex, on Tyson's brown fingers. Being honest with you. Hmph. Another lie. Everything was a lie. It was the Belmont-Lovett curse. "Sorry." "It's not your fault. Remember that, okay, mate? None of this is your fault. But that being said, we're all quite concerned about your well-being - for a lot of reasons. So I'm afraid I'll be taking you back into the AIU tonight. There's no way around that, buddy. That decision was unanimous and approved by Doctor Ellicott." Tyson sighed. "Kay. For how long?" "Overnight at the very least. Miss Cynthia promised she'll be in tomorrow to see you first thing in the morning," Neil explained softly and calmly. "And, Tys, because of the circumstances, you're considered an acute risk. That means we have to keep a very close eye on you - more than we can in the open ward. You'll need to spend tonight in the high-dependency unit." "No. That's bullshit," he began to argue, but Neil's solemn look gave him pause. "It's not without cause, buddy. I'll be blunt with you. You've got a serious record of chronic self-harm and suicide attempts. Not to mention, and I don't want to offend you, there have been times where you have been deceitful and resourceful to indulge in that kind of behaviour. Doctor O'Connell isn't willing to risk anything at all, particularly because of the last few hours with the chaos surrounding your family, so he's put you down for an immediate transfer to the psych unit as an acute suicide risk. I can't stress how important it is that you try your best to remain calm and collected, Tyson. If you fire up or try to abscond, the doctor might issue an order for restraints or sedatives, and nobody wants that to happen. I understand you're hurting, but please behave yourself. I know you can do it if you set your mind to it." The idea of being strapped to the bed scared Tyson. A few times he'd seen a new patient being wheeled into the HDU, secured to their gurney with some posey cuffs, and it chilled him to the bone. While he wasn't sure how serious Neil was, it certainly spooked him into a compliant meekness. After all, they hadn't hesitated to strap Vladimir down when he got... challenging. That was something Tyson intended to see done away with when he finished school and found his way into politics, he'd decided. He would bring a lot of reform with the public mental health service. More staff, more funding for patients and therapies and no more restrictive interventions that did more harm than good. People like Charlie would get the help they needed. They wouldn't be neglected because there wasn't a profit to be made from their treatment. Chase Lovett wanted to gut the system and throw those he considered useless to the streets. It wasn't good enough to simply escape from his toxic father. A good scandal would hopefully shock the public into reconsidering their vote for Chase's hyper-conservative party altogether. "Why are you here, anyway?" Tyson asked him. "Shouldn't you be in the psych ward? I didn't know you worked the ER." "I'm here to see you, buddy. When I heard that you were back after a valium overdose, I thought it'd be easier on you if I arranged to come by and keep an eye on you myself." "And easier for everyone working here because I'm a contemptible, loud-mouthed prick, right? Just like my parents?" Neil laughed, and Tyson even broke a smile. "That's not how I'd put it, but I know you can be difficult if things aren't going your way. I reckoned having a familiar face around might be less vexing for you while we figured out what's going on." "Yeah. It is, I guess. Thanks." Tyson was relieved that Neil didn't seem to be upset that the teenager had used his voice as a measure of proof of his hospitalisation in the video he took with Masha's phone. "What happens now, then? Where are Edith and Chase?" "Ahh. Well, the simplest answer is that they won't be coming to see you. I'm not clear on the details, but I heard that Mum's in police custody and nobody's quite sure where to find Dad. He didn't show up for his debate when your recording made the headlines, and nobody's seen him since." "What happens now, then?" "Well, right now, I'm waiting for the all-clear to bring you into the psychiatric unit for the night, and Cynthia will evaluate you in the morning." That wasn't what Tyson needed to know. "Yeah yeah yeah, but after that? Do I have to go home? Will I be released back into their care or what's going to happen?" "I'm not the right person to ask, unfortunately," Neil awkwardly chewed on his bottom lip. "I'm just a grunt. But if you're asking for my unprofessional opinion, then I don't believe you'll be going home to your family for a while. There will definitely be a large-scale CPS investigation. You made some frightening allegations against your parents, Tys, and then you attempted suicide while you were supposed to be on suicide watch. They're going to be in a lot of trouble." That was all the news Tyson needed to put his mind at rest. To know that he would finally succeed in getting away from the man and woman who spawned him as nothing more than a prop, who abused him relentlessly and cared nothing for him. Already, he felt as though everything might actually work out in the end. Maybe shit would come back to bite him - Vladimir and his family, most likely. It was the only way he could secure his future, after all. Surely they would understand, though. Wouldn't they? If not, he'd have to convince them that he never intended to hurt them. Or break their trust. When all was said and done, Tyson's will to succeed had torn him from his parents' iron grip - a feat he thought until recently to be impossible. He was sure he could find a way to make it up to the Tchaikovskys. When Doctor O'Connell, a calm looking man with a long beard and a very old-fashioned sweater over a collared shirt, came back around and asked Tyson if he was willing to talk to him yet, the boy did so. He explained, though not truthfully, that he had passed out from the effects of the valium before he ate too many, but stressed that he intended to swallow all of them and never wake up again. Satisfied with Tyson's response and convinced that he was going to be medically stable, the middle-aged doctor turned him over to Neil. Three people wheeled Tyson's gurney from the secure assessment room all the way to the front door of the AIU. Neil, the security guard, and an orderly. The minute Neil's card key beeped the airlock doors open, the familiar noise made Tyson feel like he was home again. When he heard them lock shut behind him, he felt he was safe from Edith and Chase - and himself. The combined smell of the vanilla air-freshener and disinfectant in the reception washed a feeling of tranquillity over him, and though he was still very groggy and sluggish from the sedating effect of the valium overdose, he sat up in hopes that he might see Vladimir on his way through. He didn't. He saw some patients he recognised and some he didn't. Janet and Geraldine were in the nurse's station, but neither of them liked him very much. "Is Vlady here?" Tyson asked Neil as they wheeled him towards the locked door of the high-dependency unit. Neil beeped his card key against the heavy door and opened it up, wheeling Tyson inside. "Vlad went home today. Cynthia discharged him from our care this morning." "What??" Tyson cried out, his heart breaking in his chest. "What do you mean he went home?" "Shhh," Neil put a finger to his lips. "You knew he was going home shortly after you, mate. Now, remember to use your inside voice, please." "Can you at least tell him I'm here? Can he visit? Argh!!" Tyson sat up, beginning to panic. This wasn't part of the plan! His boyfriend was supposed to be here! "Calm down," Neil put a hand on his chest, a look of concern crossing his face. "You know friends and family are welcome to visit. I'll let Mrs Tchaikovsky know that you're here when I have a spare moment, buddy. But in return, I need you to promise me that you won't make any trouble. Out there, we like to cut you some slack, but in this unit, safety and stability for everyone is the number one priority." The security guard spoke outside with Neil while the orderly returned the gurney to the main hospital, and Tyson took the time to investigate his new room. It was very similar to his old one in design, but there were two main differences. First, there was a large window next to his door with blinds that opened and closed from the outside. Second, it was bigger so it could make room for his very own seclusion chamber next to his bathroom. How the hell could he feel in any way at ease with that padded closet there to remind him that he was so unwell that they were ready to lock him in there at a moment's notice? He imagined what it had been like for Vladimir while he was in here. Did he even live in this same room for those few weeks? Weeks! He was in here for weeks! The seclusion door was locked, but same as the blinds by the window to his room, they opened and closed by twisting a knob on the outside. A padded white monstrosity with only a mattress inside. Tyson felt himself getting upset by imagining what it must have been like for his boyfriend. Left in there, his mind fractured and broken, not knowing what was real and what wasn't. Being alone but also not, because a woman always spoke to him and a three-headed demon stalked him relentlessly. The people who were supposed to help him just left him strapped to a bed like that one because it was easier to manage him that way. And Charlie? The kid who was so ignored by the staff that he brazenly stole food from the kitchen and had teeth already rotting in his mouth. Before he knew it, Tyson was leaking tears. He was tired. Nothing was fair. Evan was the one who joined him in his room. "Hey there, champion. Not feeling so hot, huh?" "No, I'm fuckin'... fantastic," Tyson snarled at the baby-faced geek with the glasses and the acne and the annoying serene stupid smile on his stupid face. "With this shit mental health system and backwards rules and useless nurses. No offence." "Oh, none taken. You've had one hell of a day," Evan remarked, too frustratingly calm for his own good. It was annoying. "So, I'm gonna be here looking after you until handover at nine. While you're in here, I'm going to be checking on you every five to eight minutes, and I'm sorry about that. I know you hate the checks, but those are the rules. And remember, if you need anything at all, a snack or a drink or even just a chat, I'll never be far away." "Yeah. Whatever. If you have to gawk at me all night, at least don't talk to me unless it's a goddamn emergency, will you?" Tyson slumped down on his bed, curled up and turned over to look at the window. He wanted Vladimir. He was sure he'd see him again. He'd been looking so forward to it, but... he wasn't here. Fuck it all! He supposed it was a fitting punishment. After all, he was the product of Chase's sperm and Edith's eggs. There wasn't an ounce of decency between them. Maybe he wasn't any better than his mother and father. Everything he did to detach himself from them, after all, he'd learned directly from them. If Masha didn't think he was bad for Vladimir, she certainly would now. "If you feel like some alone time, then that's fair enough. Come out when you're ready. Charlie is on the couch if you want to say hello to him." Charlie? Ooh, Charlie! Tyson felt stupid. He was so busy mourning the discharge of his boyfriend - something he should have been thrilled about - that he forgot Charlie was still in the high-dependency unit! Though the last thing in the world he currently wanted was to give Evan the satisfaction of being right about anything, Tyson hopped up to his feet. Unfortunately, he had been rescued in nothing but his underwear, something he forgot to plan for, and he wore only a breezy hospital gown too large for him. He felt silly as he walked past his nurse and scanned for - there it was. A giant pillow and a boy attached to it! "C-man! Boy, I did miss you!" Tyson sat down in the cushy seat next to his little friend, and Charlie actually squeaked in surprised delight. "Tmffn!" He swayed his head back and forth, his words muffled by the corner of his snuggle pillow in his mouth. Tyson remembered how disturbed he had been by Charlie's appearance and behaviour when he first arrived. This time, the twelve-year-old's presence had the opposite effect. "Yeah. It's me. Looks like I'm your roommate tonight." Charlie nodded eagerly. Whether he properly understood the significance of Tyson staying in the same ward with him wasn't clear, but he seemed happy to see his friend. Tyson wondered about what went on in Charlie's head quite a lot. In times past, he would often watch the strange kid and see what he did with his time. Though everyone seemed to dismiss him as someone without a lot of brain activity, Tyson discovered there was a cleverness in him. Charlie was adept at stealing treats from the kitchen and hoarding them for himself in his pillow. Marvellous thing, that pillow he was so attached to. Snuggling and smuggling. As if he'd suddenly remembered something, he leapt up and disappeared into room five. One of the ward staff marched over to make sure he was fine, but Charlie returned quickly. "I did it," he explained in that uncomfortably juvenile whine. Tyson looked at the sheets of paper and smiled wide. Some days before his discharge, Tyson and Vladimir scribbled down some addition and subtraction sums for Charlie to solve in the HDU on the off-chance he might enjoy them. Charlie had smacked the papers away, so Tyson put them out of his mind. Yet here they were, and to his delight, Charlie had decided to work on them! Though he made a lot of mistakes, he proved he was still interested in learning. Not only that, he was proud of himself. Tyson could see it in his blue eyes. "You did!" Tyson wished he had a pen or a marker handy to draw big fat ticks next to the ones Charlie had done correctly - he often forgot to carry the one, but he was otherwise putting the numbers together very well. "You did a great job, too. I wasn't even here to help. See, you can do it all yourself! Maybe you can ask Cynthia if she can find someone to teach you full time?" Charlie shrugged emphatically then fell back to the couch. Tyson looked at him properly, and he noticed a few changes. The boy's curls weren't tangled and matted. Very unkempt, yes, but it looked like he'd actually washed and even brushed his hair recently. His nails were long and ragged, but clean. He didn't smell of stale sweat and grime and mould, nor was his pillowcase stained and gross. Tyson began to wonder. Cynthia had a habit of bending specific rules in the name of better care for her patients, and she had taken Charlie Maizels on as a client. Was she keeping him in the HDU while she began a regimen of care for him? It made sense to Tyson, at least. Charlie was a broken boy. Sexual abuse destroyed his growth as a person. He didn't take care of himself, and because he was prone to horribly violent episodes if triggered, the staff avoided their duty of care to him. The secure ward, with its high ratio of staff to patients and constant supervision, was a great place to help Charlie learn how to do things like shower, brush his damaged teeth and change his clothes. "Hey C-man, I'm just curious, does Cynthia see you for free? Who pays for her sessions?" Tyson asked him, wondering what answer he might get. "Evan and Neil and Awwice and Sue and Janet--" Charlie began to list off names of the nursing staff, and Tyson reeled back in surprise. "The nurses are paying for Cynthia to come in and see you?" When Charlie nodded, his eyes glued to the television screen, Tyson prompted further. "Do you like her?" The pasty boy nodded. Tyson didn't speak further, nor did Charlie, and they watched The Simpsons together. Tyson didn't see or hear much of the inane cartoon. He only spent time in thought. Earlier, he told Evan that he was useless. That nurses, as a general rule, were useless. But if what his friend said was true, they were paying for Cynthia to treat Charlie. They were giving him a real chance. It was a damn shame that patient confidentiality existed because Tyson had taken a personal interest in the poor guy and wanted to help take care of him. Maybe Charlie could use a friend. Tyson knew that's what he wanted from Charlie, at least. A friend to be with while they were stuck in limbo trying to get their heads back in the game. Dinner came and went. Tyson turned his nose up at the mushy veal and overboiled vegetables. It was painfully obvious when the Jae, the cute Korean cook, hadn't been the one in charge of the meal. He wouldn't be surprised if whoever cooked tonight just threw everything into the same big pot of boiling water. Charlie loved his meat, though, so he ate the veal from both of their plates. Tyson nibbled at some sludge that pretended it was pumpkin and took his antidepressant. After that, he glumly watched cartoons with Charlie, as all news channels were off-limits in the HDU. Nobody had updates for him about his family - or they didn't think he was in a state to hear about them, which annoyed him. The nurse's station was a big square with windows into both the open and high-dependency wards. Janet appeared from inside, a phone in her hand, and spoke softly over Tyson's shoulder. "Hey, your sister's on the line. Would you like to speak with her?" Kelly? Tyson had somehow completely forgotten about her. She must be livid with him. He didn't try to just tear their family apart. He ripped it out root and stem. "Why is she calling?" He asked tentatively, his heart thumping in his chest. The woman shrugged. He took the receiver, grimacing. "Hey." "Oh my god, what the hell? Are you alright? What's going on?" Kelly sounded a peculiar mix of panicked and relieved. "I'm really tired of people asking if I'm okay. I'm not about to die if that's what you mean. How are you, though?" "Um. I feel like complete shit, honestly! I mean, I should have told everyone what was going on, but I was hoping Mum might do the right thing. But she didn't. Then you tried to kill yourself, Mum's had a complete mental breakdown, your video is all over TV and the internet, and the cops have issued a warrant for Dad's arrest. So... yeah. Don't be surprised if I'm the next person who shows up in that ward." Tyson didn't know what to say. He'd been scared Kelly would give him a vicious tongue-lashing for what he'd done. Or that she would realise that the reason he'd been able to overdose was that he got her to smuggle those pills out for him in the first place. She was a clever girl, though. Every bit as smart as her brother - perhaps even eclipsing him. It was likely she did piece it together and decided it wasn't currently relevant. "Tyson? Are you there?" "Yeah, I'm here. Don't sweat it, Kel. Are you at home? What's happening with you?" "Oh, yeah. I'm home. The police only just left but there's still one undercover parked across the road in case Dad comes home. They were here for so long asking me questions about him and you and Mum and they went through your room and Mum's room and Dad's room and my room!" "What about Mum?" "The cops came after someone tipped them off that you were at home. Apparently, a lot of people rang up and asked them to see what was going on with you after the journalists started reporting and sharing your video. They caught her on her way out, Tyson. Like, with her passport! You were unconscious in your bed, and our Mum was trying to skip the country instead of calling an ambulance! Apparently, she's gone off the deep end, though. They arrested her, but Tys... she's in the Bennett Mental Hospital right now. She totally snapped." Tyson couldn't stifle the laughter that burst through his mouth. And when he started, he couldn't stop! The tragic irony of his mother being driven to madness as she tried so hard to live in denial of her son's own breakdown was just too much! "And that's... funny?" Kelly asked him indignantly. Tyson's reply was nothing if not flippant. "Look, Kel, if you want me to shed a tear about Mum, you're going to have to kick me in the balls a few times." "No... I know. I know. But what's going to happen to me? And to you? If Mum's insane and Dad's a crook, where does that leave us?" Tyson sighed and his grin faded. He had no idea.
  4. I'm very glad you enjoyed it! Tyson has indeed beaten his parents at their own game There is more to come! Cheers ❤️
  5. Oh gosh this is all very well though out and written Edith does repeatedly put her status & privilege (at great cost re her husband) ahead of her children. Tyson definitely has fallout to deal with - consequences for a lot of rule breaking, lies & machiavellian scheming. Masha, definitely, won't find it easy to digest that she was unknowingly an accomplice in such a risky gambit. Neil, also, was manipulated into being part of the scheme as part of the video (to reinforce Tyson's claim that he was in a local AIU) Tyson took with Masha's phone. He also played Cynthia, who trusted him. There's a cruel irony I intended to portray when Tyson used the corrupted methods he learned from his crook parents to get them off his back (which people are not going to be happy about) and in Edith's mental unraveling as she failed to do the right thing by her sick son. You're right! It's certainly not over yet! Big thanks ❤️
  6. Thank you dear! I'm glad you enjoyed it! ❤️
  7. I'm glad you're enjoying the crescendo! (Thank the lord!) Edith is indeed a victim, but she still didn't do right by her children - indeed, trying to flee rather than making sure her son was okay was her screwing up her last opportunity to do right by him. Having mental illness & struggles doesn't excuse maltreatment of others - something Tyson thankfully learned in therapy! Haha no spoilers, but your attention to detail is always exciting! Another detail of note - he has repeatedly doubted his readiness for discharge from the safe environment the psych unit provides, has the level of introspection to realise that he is still very unwell and has reflected on his eagerness to return. 👀 Oh gosh I'm both excited and terrified for your critique of CH23! Oooh movie & TV rights... hmmm... Thank you ever so much! ❤️ Have a delightful day!
  8. A little bit, yeah. I'm glad you're loving it, buddy! I was hoping you would! ❤️ Thank you ever so much for the continued support! Hehe thanks for the comment! Tyson has a good one to describe his daddy in the last chapter! Wig extinct? How do you always make up a new one?? As long as it's the good type of intense! I'm glad you're on the edge of your seat! I've already begun the next one! Yeah, Edith in this chapter was showing signs of a mental break & it's heavily implied that after Tyson's apparent overdose, she went over the edge! Thank you super much for the comments! ❤️ You funny bitch, that was so good I might just steal it for my next chapter!! Thank you ever so much! ❤️ Obviously I can't spoil anything! 👀 HAHAHA yes I love this! Girl you make me choke on my tea! Thank you for this! 😜 It's VERY fitting! Thank you so much! ❤️ Wow yay or wow nay? Either way, thank you! Have a great day everyone! I can't thank any of you enough! ❤️
  9. AusGlitterati

    Edith - You Lose

    Edith Belmont-Lovett Brain scans prove that there is a physical difference in a healthy brain and a sick brain. Any organ in the body can malfunction in some way, and the brain is no different. The word "mental" brings unkind stigma to people whose brains become unwell for one reason or another. So maybe the pills are making a difference. Hearing her husband descending the staircase to the ground floor, Edith quickly locked her phone and slipped it into her pocket. Kelly noticed this, shooting her mother a quizzical look, but a quick glare silenced her. She was a good girl, Kelly. She was obedient, knowledgeable and took terrific care of herself. She was beautiful. She would make a man very happy one day. A daughter anyone could be proud of. And she knew Chase was proud of her. Even if he struggled to show it. "Good morning," Edith stood to greet Chase, who barely looked in their direction as he walked through to the kitchen. "I need you today," Chase pointed to Kelly, pausing by the doorway. "After school. Make sure you look presentable. I'll cancel your tutors." "Yes, daddy," Kelly replied immediately. She looked pleased for the privilege of being a consistent part of Chase's campaign. People loved a man who raised such a fine daughter, especially one with such inherent disadvantages. It was a pity Tyson was so lost. He had terrific potential too, but he chose to squander it with mediocrity and his obsession with attention. With Chase gone and the door closed behind him, Kelly's face fell, which Edith noticed. What nerve. She should be proud. "What's the matter? Aren't you pleased that your father needs your help today?" She accused her, sipping from her glass of purified water. "Of course I am. I just have a headache," Kelly smiled like the dutiful daughter she was, but Edith wasn't satisfied. "Kelly, today is not about you. If you're not happy, then you need to get happy. Fast." When her daughter hesitated to reply, Edith knew for sure she was conflicted. That was bad. There was no room for error now that Chase's victory was so close. Otherwise, he would come down on all of them. "Have you given Tyson his breakfast yet?" Kelly asked her quietly, and Edith looked sharply at her. "I'm not his maid! I'm not taking his breakfast all the way upstairs! If he wants to eat, he can come down here and eat with us or he can go to school hungry!" She snapped. "School? Tyson? Wait, I'm lost. Why would you let Tyson go to school today?" Kelly asked her, apparently finding her words absurd. "I wouldn't! He's staying in his room until Wednesday," Edith looked at Kelly as though she were stupid, and the girl had the nerve to look at her as though she were out of her mind. Chase returned to the dining hall with a mug of coffee in hand, and both Edith and Kelly reflexively smiled once more. It did nothing to ease the thick tension that polluted the air around them. "You," Chase pointed at Edith this time, and she stood from her seat again. "If the press calls, let them know that the rat's doing well in his new hole. Make sure they all know he's gone." "Consider it done. But," she hated using that word with him. He didn't like it, and his frown reflected his indignance. "What if that Hodges woman tells someone that he's still in the country? What if that Ellicott woman or someone from the asylum mention--" "They won't," Chase snapped at her. "Not if they know what's good for them. The law keeps them quiet. Doctor-patient confidentiality or something. And if those other nuts say anything, so what? They're mental. Nobody will listen to them." Edith gave a short nod, but that wasn't enough for her husband, who came closer and towered above her, a mean glint in his magnified hazel eyes. He gripped her by the arm, and she forced herself not to grimace. It hurt. "Do you have a problem with that? Hmm? Anything you need to add? Any opinions you'd like to share?" "No. Of course not," she replied meekly, fighting the urge to cry out as he tightened his grip even further. "Good. I've had enough of you fucking everything up. You had one job, and that was to make these kids behave. You couldn't even do that. If I'd known my wife wouldn't be able to do her job, I would have picked one with bigger tits." With aggression, he shoved her backwards, almost sending her toppling over the chair. She caught herself, but only barely, trembling as she swallowed in her throat. "Take a change of clothes to school, Kelly. Don't bother coming home. Just get changed before you drive on down to the Fenton Street Hall. Wear something sensible, will you? You're the only one in this place with half a brain." "Sure," Kelly hastily abandoned her half-eaten cereal and got to her feet. "A dress? Or a skirt and a blazer?" "You look better in a blazer. And wear your hair out." Kelly, her head bowed, walked with poise and grace through the double doors towards the stairway, just like Edith taught her. After all, Chase liked it when girls were meek, obedient and classy. The young, blonde women he sometimes pawed at during his discreet evenings were much of the same. With his daughter out of the room, Chase shot Edith a menacing look. "Feed the rat. Force it down his throat if you have to." "I want to let him out." "What?" He snorted at her, screwing up his face. "I know where he gets his stupid ideas from, at least. He's exactly like you, Ede. Explains a lot about why he's gone loopy." "No, Chase, what you're doing is stupid!" She asserted, her body trembling. "The psych woman will know that he's not taking his pills. If Tyson gives her any indication at all of what you're doing--" "Oh, quit your whining, will you! All you ever had to do was to raise two good kids. Good thing Kelly is halfway decent - that's the main reason why I haven't decided to shove you in that jet with the other one!" She felt tiny. Powerless. Useless. Chase gripped her cheeks with his hand. "We're so close now, Ede. Once we get that nuisance out of the way and slam dunk the vote this Friday, I'll be the state premier. Don't worry, I won't forget how hard you and Kelly worked. She'll get married to a suitable partner and have his children, and I'll even fast-track her in the career she chooses - within reason. But if you let Tyson step out of line again... I'm gonna hurt him. Badly. And you as well." Edith was still feeling waves of nausea after her husband departed. They were nearly debilitating. The energy in the house had turned overwhelmingly negative since Tyson's first attempt at killing himself. It had become ugly and fearful. Chase was angrier than she had ever seen. When he was around, her chest tightened and her pulse quickened. Kelly was always quiet, terrified of upsetting her father in some way. She and Edith barely talked anymore. And every time Tyson acted out, Chase came down harder on her for her failure. Why couldn't that little shit just behave himself? Why did he have to be so defiant? So wicked? So immune to discipline? Why couldn't he just understand that the more he rocked the boat, the more his father would punish them both? The hideous memory of her bedroom door creaking open in the middle of the night played through her head, and dread filled her. Her skin quivered and went cold, and she felt dirty. With her hands shaking, she prepared breakfast for her delinquent son. He wasn't always a bad boy, she remembered. Before he became a recalcitrant, foul-mouthed thug, she and Chase both believed he had a bright future ahead of him. Intelligent, resourceful and determined to succeed in everything he did. Where it went wrong, she didn't know, but it was such a shame. He had everything. He could have done great things. But despite her best efforts, he was now determined to screw his life up. She unlocked the bedroom door, and the look of pure insolence on that child's face boiled her blood. He was in his queen bed, sheets pulled up to his chest and a novel in his hands. Every time she came in check on him, he seemed to be nose deep in another text. A fast reader, she remembered. He loved reading. He started when he was so young. Better with words and sentences than all the other brats in that specialist preschool. All he wanted for his fourth birthday were more books. He'd been so happy when he unwrapped them. Now, look at him. Sneering. Arrogant. Reckless. "What are you so happy about?" She couldn't help but ask, annoyed by how well he seemed to be taking his punishment. "It's Monday!" Tyson stretched, and she was taken aback by how much he'd grown since she remembered him. He was a late bloomer, but he was beginning to look less like the little boy that loved her and more like the young man who despised her. He had hints of a moustache forming on his upper lip, his face had grown more masculine, and he had hair growing under his arms. It didn't happen during his stay in the nuthouse, of course. She was hardly stupid enough to think that. But she didn't notice him growing up. She was too busy trying to make sure his father was proud of him. "It's the same as every other day for you. Eat your breakfast," she snapped at him, eager to crush his enthusiasm. Chase would only see it as an insult. "Did you just mix in some factory glue with milk? Because that's not fit for a dog. Even if me being a dog is the point you're trying to make," he turned up his nose at the cereal on the tray. "Did you bring--" "They're under the bowl. Take them and shut up," she glowered as she shut the door behind her, just in case "And don't you dare tell your father." "Yeah. No shit." Tyson took the valium and antidepressant that Edith had been smuggling to him under his bowls and plates from the day he arrived home, and he downed them both with a glass of water. She was no fool. She would not deny that there was a marked difference in the son she left behind in that hospital and the same boy in front of her now. He was still a shit. But the pills those quacks had him on were good for something, it seemed. Tyson two months ago would have reacted to the situation very differently, but he seemed happy about things. Maybe this move to Colombo with Dayani and his daughter was a good idea in the end. "Mum?" Tyson's voice broke through her daze. "What?" She snapped at him. Had he been saying something? "You're really spacey lately." "You can't fucking help yourself, can you? You always have to be an ungrateful little shit! Why?" She was shouting, her fists clenched. "What the fuck? That! That's my whole point! You hate me enough to literally deport me and lock me in my room like fucking Cinderella!" "I give up! I give up!" She stormed her way out and slammed the door behind her, grabbing a handful of her hair and tugging on it in frustration. Of all the impertinent children, why did she have to have that one? The only child in the world who could have been foolish and reckless enough to openly reject Chase Lovett! The little idiot. Why did he have to make everything so hard for her? And for himself? "Kelly, what the hell is taking you so long?" She marched down to her daughter's room and threw the door open. In many ways, it was similar to Tyson's. She didn't need her mother's wrath to encourage her to keep everything neat, tidy and ordered like a proper, privileged person should. "Why are you crying?" Edith asked when she saw her half-dressed girl quickly wiping her face and fixing her school tie in the mirror. "I'm sorry. I won't let Dad see me," the young girl quickly promised, and she began to slip on her blazer. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't. I didn't mean to." "Get yourself together," Edith warned her, standing behind her in the mirror. "Don't upset him." Kelly, to her credit, tried to calm herself the way she had been taught. She straightened her face, combed her hair with her fingers and took several deep breaths, but her jaw continued to quiver. "I can't. I don't want him to go." "You have no say in this." "I know, but it's really fucked up, Mum. Please don't let Dad do it to him. He's changed. I know he has." "Kelly, it's done. I won't hear another word about it!" She began to straighten a few stray curls from the back of her daughter's head, but Kelly, to Edith's surprise, threw her hand away. "Young lady, I--" "If anything happens to him, I will never forgive you!" Kelly hissed, emotions firing through her and making her completely irrational! "I can't believe you'd treat your own kid like this. What if that were me? You have to do something, Mum!" "What do you want me to do?" Edith heard herself whispering through a thick, strained voice, barely loud enough for her daughter to hear. "Grow up. Snap out of it. Nobody likes an emotional woman. Be rational and be sensible. If you toe the line, Kelly, you will be okay." Kelly peered at her through the tall, ornate mirror on the wardrobe and shook her head. The nerve of her! "No, I won't," the young woman sighed out loud before she picked up the handle of the luggage rack she used for her school books and began to wheel it out. Edith didn't have any plans that day. She was to stay at home and make sure nothing happened to Tyson, who needed to present as mentally healthy enough to remain outside of protective hospitalisation. Chase was going too far in her opinion, trying to lock Tyson in his room and starve him of his medication as a form of punishment. It was ludicrous! She didn't care how good Chase and his team of lawyers were. This was ridiculous. But he would not hear her opinions. She didn't like to disobey her husband. Her skin already squirmed with the memory of his touch, and she felt sick. "What's the time?" Tyson shouted at her through his door when he presumably heard her shoes clicking on the landing tiles outside. "A bit past eleven. Why?" She approached and put her ear closer to the wood. "Do you need some more pills?" When there was no reply, she rolled her eyes. She eyed the key stuck in the door, and she felt ill about what she was doing. But it was for everyone's benefit if he stayed in there! And his! He was safe in there. He couldn't hurt himself. And if she let him out and he did something awful, like throw himself down the stairs or cut himself again, she might even go to jail! Chase would... she didn't want to think about it. All the horrible things that could happen wouldn't if he stayed safe in his room. She wished Chase didn't break the boy's flute, at least. It kept him docile to a point. It was in the afternoon while she was reading the Shawshank Redemption when her phone rang. Seeing Lisa Johnson's ID, she frowned. Lisa was the wife of another conservative politician in a nearby electorate. She sometimes came over for dinner with her husband, Matthew, and brought their horrid little son Damian, a boy who was obscenely fat for a belligerent monster who refused to eat anything on his plate. What could that woman possibly want? She clicked to receive. "Good day, Mrs Johnson." "Hi, Edith, um, are you catching the news?" Lisa didn't sound excited, so it couldn't have been good news. "What's happening?" Edith frowned, immediately getting to her feet and advancing towards the living room. "It's Tyson! Do you want to explain to me what's going on?" Edith didn't like her tone one bit, but Tyson's name made her heart race! How could he be on the news? He was still locked in his room! She flicked on the television, and her jaw dropped. It was Tyson, alright! Speaking to a camera phone, it looked like! And behind him was the hospital! "... wear a [bleep]ing long-sleeve shirt every time I go out so nobody sees these scars. See them?" Tyson panned the camera over the ugly purple marks on his left wrist. "But since his career is more important than me, Chase took me home as soon as they were done stitching me up. My mum slapped me for embarrassing her, and Chase punched me a few times in the guts. But nobody believes this [bleep] because they only see how hard I work in school and how well I play the flute. So, yeah, I just hid my giant [bleep] scars and got lectures about attention-seeking and [bleep]t. Then since life got so much worse, I drank liquid nicotine. I woke up in the hospital again and stayed there for a while in intensive care because it [bleep]ed with my heart. Then they just let me go home. Hah. Load of [bleeeeeeeeeep]. That's Chase's world, you know? Suicidal people not getting the help they need, even when they beg for it. No, he takes them home and backhands them in the [bleep]ing face." Edith's world came crashing down around her. She dropped the phone, stunned, and it hit the carpet underneath with a soft thud. She watched, jaw open as her son aired more and more of their dirty laundry. Edith's throat contracted, and she began to have trouble breathing. I let this happen. This is my fault. "When my psychiatrist told Edith that I was too acutely suicidal to be discharged into her care, she cracked the [bleep] and threatened to force me out with lawyers. Literally! Because I wasn't ready to go home! When she couldn't, she abandoned me! Completely! For three weeks, I didn't hear anything from anyone! The only updates I got were from the TV, and that wasn't a lot! Because we're not supposed to see Chase Lovett on TV! He talks non-stop sh[bleep] about how we're totally f[bleep]g useless and a waste of money. Like we're not people. Same way he talks about women and people of colour and gays and lesbians and don't even get him started on transgender people. You know when he was younger, he bashed a gay dude called... Ira Goldstein? I'm pretty sure. Google it if you don't believe me. He beat up that guy so badly he was pi[bleep]ing blood for a while. He brags about it a lot, but for some [bleep]g reason, nobody talks about it now!" She left the television running as she back out of the room. Oh no. Oh shit. Oh fuck. Chase is going to kill me for this! Oh god. Oh fuck. Oh no. Scared, quivering, terrified, she charged up the stairway and saw the key still in Tyson's bedroom door. That kid had done it for both of them now. Signed a death warrant for both of them! She wouldn't be surprised if Tyson went permanently missing for this, courtesy of her terrible husband. She quickly unlocked the door and shoved it open. Tyson was sleeping. "Tyson! Get up!" She shouted at him, shaking in fear and panic. "Tyson! Tyson!! Listen to me!" Her son, however, remained motionless. Confused, she approached and put a hand over her mouth and cried out in horror. Was he dead? There was a handkerchief nearby on his satin sheets, and quite a few pills spread out on the fabric. Pills that looked like the ones he was regularly taking now. The valium. "Tyson, you didn't do this. No. No, you didn't this! You did not do this to me!" She grabbed his arm. It was the same shade of dark brown as hers in spite of his white father. She tugged on it, and she shook him. He refused to wake. He wasn't dead, she realised. He was breathing. As she fretted about what she was going to do, she spotted something in his hand. He was holding a screwed up piece of paper. Confused, scared, she pulled it from his fingers and flattened it out to read the seven letters scrawled into the page torn from one of his novels. YOU LOSE She let go and grabbed fistfuls of her hair, tugging on it with all her strength. The pain didn't make Tyson any more alert, though, nor did it stop Chase Lovett's touch from violating her. He was all over her. Oppressive. Terrifying. Relentless. Panicking, she fled. She ran into her bedroom and slammed the door shut behind her. She threw open her drawer and tossed everything out until she found her passport, and then she grabbed her purse from her bedside table. Heart thumping in her chest, she thundered down the corridor and down the stairs, and when she threw the door open, she almost ran into the police officers that had scaled the porch stairs. They began to speak, but she did not hear them. She was focused on leaving the country as quickly as she could! When she tried to slip past them, the biggest male officer promptly grabbed her by the arm and stopped her. "I'd like you to just stay put for now, Mrs Belmont-Lovett. We got a call from an anonymous party - they're pretty concerned about Tyson's welfare, so we'd like to check it out, okay?" Edith didn't hear much beyond that. Most of their words seemed to dissolve in the air and scatter like ashes in the wind before they made their way to her ears. She did hear a few things, but they didn't make a lot of sense. "...Upstairs in his bed..." "...Is unconscious but stable..." "...Ambulance on his way to Emergency..." "...If she knows the whereabouts of Chase Lovett..." "...Have to take her in..." "...Is unresponsive..." "...Needs a psych assessment..."
  10. AusGlitterati

    Truth Or Dare

    Oooh this is a very insightful comment! 😮 I'm flattered! I'm almost intimidated actually haha You're totally correct about most of it! Vladimir's outlook is much better than Tyson's because of his support base, even though his problems are arguably more difficult to treat. Tyson's mental illness is more complex than simple depression, but the hopelessness and chronic suicidal ideation is spot on! This is explored more in further chapters. Thank you so much for the comments! I really hope you're enjoying the story!
  11. Oh Decko dearest ahh if you trick me like that again I'll fucking kill you 😠 So Liz is such a sweetie - so supportive and loving, though she's in NO mood for Alex's crap, is she? Snapping her attention to what he's up to on his phone - which sounds suspiciously like it might have something to do with funding a repair of the bakery in the very near future! Alex please be a good boy. ❤️ MY POOR JEREMY! 😧 oh it's one tragedy after another for him. It's such a good thing he has Alex's support, though because the god in charge of his life is NOT a merciful god, is he? This was a lovely chapter, friend! Just as good on the reread! Thank you for uploading! ❤️ I'm very keen to see how things work out!
  12. AusGlitterati


    He certainly is! Thank you for the comment! Heh he's incredibly clever - but his home life is painfully unbalanced. A friend is just what he needs! Thanks for the comment!
  13. AusGlitterati

    A Bug's Life

    Thank you so much for giving the story a go, friend! ❤️ I hope it doesn't disappoint! Thank you for the kind words I hope it delivers!
  14. He certainly does! I don't think he'd imagine for a second what his boy has planned! Thank you so much for the comment friendbuddypal ❤️ I'm glad you liked it! I was scurred!
  15. He really is. I think he's right up there as the most reprehensible (hehe) character I've ever written. Edith's a different brand of ghastly (hehehe) Tyson is scared of his home and the impulses it brings out of him. But thinking of his future & especially Vladimir is enough to keep him satisfied for now. Which is special as far as his character goes. Thank you for the comment, friend! I always look forward to you! It wasn't easy to write! & you're right, that is the unfortunate truth for some. You're also spot on when it comes to Tyson's new perspective of his parents especially the turnabout with the shady warfare he learned from their example! Thank you very much for the comment! ❤️ Appreciated!
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