There was no hole? Where was the hole? The gap between the fence panels was now securely
tied together with two bands of cable tie. I then realised that security had locked us in.
Laurence came running towards me and I motioned him back. “It’s been fixed. The fence is fixed.” And then
we both shat ourselves as a black clothed individual emerged from the bushes.
It was Smorgy. “He’s just gone. You just missed him.” By now Marlon was out in no-man’s land, and we ran
up and down the inside of the fence, headless chickens, looking for a way out. This was a first: locked in
a lunatic asylum.
There was nothing for it. I grabbed one the armchairs which was outside, climbed on it, and dragged
myself over the fence. The sharp points of metal on the top of the fence snagged my trousers and fleece,
and pierced the flesh of my hands. I got over with tour jeans and bleeding hands.
Marlon and Laurence faired little better but after a minute of scrambling, picking snagged clothes off
the metal points, and ripping fabric and flesh, we made it over.
The security guard finished his cycle of the asylum and settled back in his office. He was slightly
confused – he was sure that an extra armchair had appeared outside one of the ward windows. And on
his next round, the chair had moved, now propped against the fence. Damn vandals, thrill seekers,
arsonists, drunks and druggies. Couldn’t they leave the place alone?
He doubled-checked the cable-ties; they were still there. And so he continued his solitary round.
© Simon Cornwell 2004
(Extra thanks to Laurence and Marlon for the extra pictures after I lost one of my
camera cards. If anyone finds an 8MB Compact Flash in Hellingly can you let me know?)