Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Annie’s Greatest Escape Part-1

Annie's Greatest Escape-Sheva Apelbaum

Annie, the resident of room 337, sat and stared at a plastic tray that held a pile of pureed chicken and mashed potatoes. She didn’t feel hungry but with a shaking hand she lifted a spoonful of food and managed to swallow it down. From the neighboring room, she could hear a  TV broadcast of some neverending game show.  She wiped her mouth, leaned back in bed and closed her eyes. Soon she was fast asleep.

The tiny room vanished and turned into a big circus tent. She was 19 again, slender and beautiful.   Tied to a burning rope two hundred feet above the stage, she prepared to perform her famous high wire escape.  The rings master’s voice boomed, “Ladies and gentleman! And now Presenting lovely Annie, in her death defying act!”

As she struggled to untie her hands, thousands of spectators held their breath in terror. Seconds before the rope burned through, Annie successfully released her legs from the knot, caught the trapeze below her and swung into safety.  The crowed rose to their feet and went wild.  She quickly descended to the stage and bowed to her cheering audience. Back in her dressing room, she was greeted by bouquets of flowers and fans. 

While signing an autograph for an admirer, she felt a tap on her shoulder, she turned around and heard the words “time to wake up”.  Instantly, her vibrant dressing room dissolved back into her the dreary nursing home. 

The nurse was standing in front of her bed.  “Annie, it’s time for your evening medication. ” 

The medication made her drowsy. She didn’t know what the date or time was.  Her mind drifted back to that day not so long ago when everything changed.  She was standing on the driveway next to her house shoveling snow. The snowflakes were coming down in droves; it was cold outside and she wanted to clear the driveway so she could get her car out in the morning.  Suddenly, she felt her ankle giving way as she slipped on the ice.  After that, it all seems to have blurred together…the ambulance, the hospital and then ultimately, the nursing home.

An eternity has passed since then.  Every day, a family member would stop by to visit and check on her. That was nice but she missed her house.  Whenever she would ask to leave this place to go home, she was told that this was her home now because she can no longer take care of herself.  Every discussion always ended with the question “what if she falls again?”  This wasn’t a home. Home is where her memories, her cat, and her books were.  

The TV across the hall came on again. She heard the announcer say:  “And this concludes our screening of the Escape from Alcatraz. Join us next time for an in depth news report.”   Annie wished that there was some way to turn off that blasted TV. 

Wait! Did he say: “Escape from Alcatraz? Fancy that!” Annie thought.  “If someone successfully escaped from the most guarded prison, then why can’t I escape from this nursing home?”  she thought. “I wouldn’t even have to swim through shark infested waters, jump over barbed wire, or duck armed guards.”

A plan slowly started to form in her head.  At 10:00 PM, with all of the residents safely tucked in their beds and the nurses making the evening rounds, Annie started to work on a plan,  there was so much to do and no time to waste.

After breakfast the next morning, Annie wheeled down to the circulation desk. It was time to map the premises.

To be continued…


  1. Oh dear oh dear - my my my!
    First you evoke memories in me - and then you even did not finish the story!
    Please please let there be a happy end!!!!!!!!

    Another new photo! Love it!

  2. You grabbed me from the first sentence. I am patiently awaiting...(this is great--my dream!)