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[Yeah, I know Quinn’s not really a word. Time: 4 minutes]

Q is for Quinn

They say she went crazy, lost her mind in that place where there were already enough minds already lost to fill a barrel of monkeys. You could pick up a handful of rolling minds and play pool. Pinball. Marbles. Ha. Get it? Marbles?

So maybe it wasn’t that she lost her mind. Maybe it was that she found a different one. One that suited her better. Was more her.

After all, wouldn’t we all want to switch minds sometimes? Pick up one that was calmer or wilder? Dig up one that made us smarter, got rid of our issues, temporarily turned off our hot buttons?

She’s not young, you know. She’s got lines on her face beneath that white paint and latex mask. She’s seen a hundred patients, a thousand. Taken in a bit of each one as she helped them get to those crazy lock boxes in their head. Riddles and jokes. Two faces, crocs with teeth, worst nightmares. How much can you take before you snap yourself?

If you go and see her, she’ll remind you of your insecurities, your soft places. Her love is so pure. But not innocent. She knows what she knows and she’s put it away somewhere. Straighjacketed the bad bits until they’ll eat through the metal buckles and escape into the world.

You’ll stand there on the other side of the bars looking into her pale blue eyes, your mind filled with your own barrel of monkeys, your own loose crazies waving white jackets, your own riddles and wonders and secret identities hidden in dark underground places and beneath black masks.

Come on, she’ll say. Doncha want to ride your Harley?

And, for a long crazy moment, you’ll consider saying yes.


Read all of the Quick Fiction A to Z stories here.