Paperback & ebook, 143 Pages
April 6, 2021 by Burns and Lea Books
Patient Twenty-Nine, or Jane, is within reach of her heart’s desire: a home outside of Soothing Hills Asylum, where she has been raised.
Her sister Jules wants to take her in, and a man, Mason, is deeply in love with her and wants to care for her. But before Jane can leave, she must be examined by the Board of Lunacy. Jane is still hearing voices and songs from the cornfield outside the asylum, voices and songs that tell her what she must do, and that no one else can hear. So the Board may not allow her to leave.
But the asylum is becoming more and more dangerous. Its lead alienist, Dr. Frost, has disappeared, there have been frightening sightings of a woman in white, running through the corn at night, and perhaps worst of all: lobotomized women from the asylum are turning up pregnant.
Jane is desperate to get away and go to her new home. Mason and Jules only want to rescue Jane from the asylum.
But there is a complication: for Jane, the voice in the corn calls. And she must obey.
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 300 Pages
February 4, 2019 by Burns and Lea Books
Life for Patient 29 is full of medicated day dreams of a life outside the walls of Soothing Hills Asylum. But fantasies are not all that consume her. A monster roams the halls of the sanitarium she reluctantly calls home and three girls have been found dead. The dead girls share one common thread . . . each was 29’s cell mate. As the investigation gets under way, she retreats into her mind, listening to the voices that call to her. She is endowed with the cursed gift of perception. Through it, she hears messages carried upon the notes of music, discerns words hidden among the strokes of paintings, and minds pleadings for help from the corn field outside.
Could the key to the murders lie within 29’s broken mind? Mason, an orderly, does not see 29 as a lunatic and as his belief in her grows so does her self-confidence. The possibility of one day leaving the asylum seems less and less like a fantasy. But the monster has other plans for her. Leaving will not be so easy, at least not while she is alive.
“What is happening?”
The earth shudders—as if the heavens’ lightning and thunder have struck the soil and mated beneath ground, breathing growling life into the dirt. The whole of the cornfield quivers as if in fear.
Mason’s hand tightens, crushing my fingers, and his eyes pin me with warning.
“Do not let go, Jane.”
His eyes tighten and return forward, his face becoming grave as he desperately searches for a way ahead—the path before us grows steadily less visible as the mist of swirling fog seeps up to infiltrate the corn.
The corn shudders again, and we’re struck by a rush of air, as if the earth inhales like a dragon of old—and the mist is its bleary, vaporous exhale.
The only tangible remaining proof of the others’ existence is Jules’s hand, still holding fast to Mason’s in our human chain. Our quarry—Dr. Frost… my insane father—is nowhere. As if the bloody monster vanished into the ether.
There is another rumble and roar beneath our boots as the world jerks and lurches. My arms flail and pinwheel; I stumble, my knee striking the cold, wet ground. My plummeting hauls Mason backward, breaking his handfast with Jules.
“Jules!” Gooseflesh sprouts as panic hits my voice and spine.
My chest heaves, and I fight to maintain control. I care not. It matters not if we catch that lunatic. My solitary wish is for safety. For normalcy for my sister and me.
“I wish to be free of this wretched, preternatural patch of dying pig fodder,” I spit, my eyes meeting Mason’s.
He drops beside me, arms encircling me tentatively to set me back to rights.
“Steady, lass,” he says, dusting off my skirt. “We shall be out soon enough.
They canna have gotten far.”
As if in retort, the ground thrashes, and we stutter-step left and right, battling to remain upright.
“What is happening?”
“I dinna ken. Stay close to me.” Mason’s mask of calm is eroding, fear beginning to show in the thin, rigid line of his mouth. “Jonathon! Where are you, man?”
I clutch Mason’s shirt but summon my courage. I cock my head, listening. I frown. “I… no longer hear the music.”
The corn music, which has been my constant companion since childhood, is now conspicuously absent.
“We must return, mo chroi. Frost be lost to us. There be no telling where the aibhistear has gone. I’ll not have yer blood on m’hands. Especially not on his account.”
About the Author
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.
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Ends May 5, 2021