A Twisted Wisdom

A Twisted Wisdom

by Stephanie Colbert


Publisher Stephanie Colbert

Published in Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Meet Susan. She's pretty, intelligent, tough and mentally-ill. Based upon the true story of a woman who, when held against her will in a private facility, does the only thing that life has taught her how to do - fight. But even with all her struggles against the doctor who controls her fate, she is unable to prevail. This is just the beginning of a journey that takes Susan through many situations where her strength is put to test. But even with her husband, who loves her unequivocally, behind her, will she win?

Sample Chapter

Engrossed in myriad, often conflicting thoughts, Susan briskly walked across the pitch-black asphalt parking lot towards the building ahead. Although Susan prided herself on her toughness, she hadn’t always been that way. The circumstances that she encountered during her youth left her with two choices – give up or fight. She had chosen to fight no matter what and was known for her fiery temper, reflected in the fierce-looking dragon tattoo she’d had inked on her left upper arm as a reminder of her decision.

As Susan approached the large, three-story, red brick office building, the first thing she noticed was tall, narrow windows that were spaced relatively close together on each floor. Encased by pale gray trim, the windows were the only distinguishing feature about the otherwise non-descript building. Underneath where the roof peaked, there was a sign written in very large black letters that read “One Medical Complex." Every window that she could see had identical blinds with tightly closed slats, allowing little light to enter what were probably offices.

In contrast, Susan found the grounds highly distinguishable-carefully tended, raised beds, filled with an abundance of flora, engulfed the building. Soft, smooth-barked, young trees stood proudly, causing passersby to stare at the large, oddly-shaped crimson leaves that hid the branches underneath. Neatly trimmed round shrubs beautifully encased the mulch-covered ground between them. A multitude of blossoms enveloped the rest of the garden. By design, it appeared as if their seeds had been carelessly strewn, yet they somehow managed to land precisely where they belonged. Synchronicity and order were important to Susan; she couldn’t bear anything else. The leaves were painted with brilliant colors, ranging from vibrant pinks to, radiant reds, glorious yellows, vivid violets, and sunset oranges. Freshly cut St. Augustine grass hid the remaining area between the light pine landscape timbers that bordered the bed and the cold, hard cement curb.

In front of the building was a covered drive-through area intended for patients who were, in varying degrees, not ambulatory. As she crossed over, Susan saw the short sidewalk that led to a pair of double glass doors. As she opened the door on the left, she felt a blast of cold air, a welcome respite from the unsparing Texas sun.

The well-lit interior was soothing and helped put her at ease. Ignoring the descending elevator, Susan looked around until she finally located the stairs. Effortlessly she climbed; the only thing that slowed her down was her left hand, clinging tightly to the guardrail. For a reason she didn’t understand, she started to feel uneasy. I don’t know why, but something tells me I’m going to regret my decision. She almost stopped and then chastised herself. With determination, she cast the feeling aside and increased her pace. Don’t get soft now.

As she reached the second floor, she followed the sign pointing toward her destination and traveled no more than 15 feet before she saw the sign she was looking for--Suite 206. Dr. Frederick Duran, Psychiatrist, was proudly embossed in gold-colored letters against the background of the tinted white glass door. She hesitated, but for only a moment, then opened the door and entered her new surroundings, curious about what she would find.

The first thing Susan noticed was the absolute silence that permeated the empty room. There were no people talking in loud voices, as was the norm she’d found in most doctors’ waiting areas. Ahead was a counter with a set of frosted glass sliding windows. Susan walked across the room towards the counter and saw a sign-in sheet attached to a clipboard. It was blank. Odd, she thought as she wrote in her name and time of arrival.

After she was done, she waited impatiently at the counter instead of having a seat. A few moments later, a window slid open. And a young woman appeared; her name-tag read: “Dawn, Office Manager.”

Seemingly annoyed, Dawn picked up the clipboard, glanced at it and curtly informed Susan, “I need to make copies of your insurance card and photo I.D.”

Ignoring her tone, Susan handed them over and paid little attention as she made copies. Instead she focused on her surroundings. There was a matching couch and chair, with a coffee table and end table, whose wood and carvings, were identical to the legs of the chairs, and thus completed the set. Its presence overpowered the small room.

Then, startled, Susan realized Dawn had finished and was waiting to get her attention. After Dawn returned Susan’s items, she abruptly said, “Have a seat and the doctor will be with you shortly.” Then without another a sound, she closed the window.

Choosing the chair that was closest to the entrance, or exit, in an attempt to distract herself from the uneasiness she felt, Susan peered at the paintings hanging on the walls. They were non-descript and must have been chosen for their colors because they coordinated with the golden paisley fabric that covered the couch and chair. The overall effect Susan found to be hideous.

No more than five minutes later a door opened, and Susan had her first glimpse of Dr. Duran. Standing in the doorway with black-rimmed glasses, he looked like a professor who would have been more at home trying to inflict wisdom into bright, young, inquisitive minds. His light brown hair had evident streaks of gray at his temples, further accentuating his scholarly appearance.

Wanting to have the upper hand right from the start, Susan quickly arose from her chair and went to greet him. Looking him directly in the eye she said, “You must be Dr. Duran. My name is Susan Moreau and I am here for my 10 o’clock appointment.” Her actions reflected her attitude–she was determined to control the situation.


Excerpted from "A Twisted Wisdom" by Stephanie Colbert. Copyright © 2018 by Stephanie Colbert. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Stephanie Colbert

Stephanie Colbert

I could not publish this book under my real name because of the stigma attached to mental illness. I am a published author, having written for a newspaper for several years. I am currently working on my second book which is entirely fiction. I am enrolled in college and am pursuing a certification in copy editing. I live with my husband and two beloved dogs.

View full Profile of Stephanie Colbert

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