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But Inside I'm Screaming

But Inside I'm Screaming

by Elizabeth Flock


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While breaking the hottest news story of the year, broadcast journalist Isabel Murphy falls apart on live television in front of an audience of millions. She lands at Three Breezes, a four-star psychiatric hospital nicknamed the "nut hut," where she begins the painful process of recovering the life everyone thought she had.

But accepting her place among her fellow patients proves difficult, and Isabel struggles to reconcile the fact that she is, indeed, one of them. As she faces the reality that in order to mend her painfully fractured life she must rely solely on herself, she must also accept an imperfect life in a world that demands perfection.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778313168
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Flock is a former journalist who reported for Time and People magazines and worked as an on-air correspondent for CBS before becoming a full-time writer. The New York Times bestselling author of But Inside I’m Screaming, Everything Must Go and Me & Emma—a Book Sense Notable Title and Highlight Pick of the Year—lives in New York City. You can contact Elizabeth through her Web site at

Read an Excerpt

But Inside I'm Screaming

By Elizabeth Flock


Copyright © 2005 Elizabeth Flock
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0778322106

Isabel picked at the ragged threads that once hugged a shiny button on the front of her blazer. Hunched over her keyboard and sallow-skinned from too much fluorescent lighting, she had won computer solitaire three times before she bored of it entirely and listlessly reached for the mouse to click over to the wires to see what was not happening on this slow Labor Day weekend.

Staring at her flickering screen, either at words floating in front of her or at playing cards triumphantly dancing off a full deck, was a relief from the noise in her brain: angry shouts shifting into one another like a Rubick's Cube. "You disgust me," her husband called out as her father's voice interrupted with "You have no family" and "Why do you even bother?" Alex again: "You're nothing, you don't even register."

She shook her head to put the invisible squares back into place.

"Hey, Jack, check out AP wires. Princess Diana's been in a car accident," she called out across the newsroom to the assignment editor, her ring finger finding its way to her front teeth. "Yeah, her Mercedes probably got a scratch and they're calling it a wreck," the overnight editor answered.

Isabel was filling in for the weekend anchor who wanted the holiday weekend off to spend with his family in the Hamptons.

"You think you can actually get away from this?" an unidentified voice snarled in Isabel's head.

She bit the skin around her fingernail. "I don't know, Jack. Look how many 'urgents' they've entered. Why don't we call the London bureau and see what they know."

"Okay, let's," Jack replied bitterly, knowing that "why don't we call..." was a direct order for whoever was on the desk to carry out the task.

You disgust me. Did you hear me? You disgust me.

Isabel shook her head again. To an observer it might have appeared she was dodging persistent mosquitoes.

As Jack hit the direct-dial button to London, the phones started ringing. Isabel picked up the first line.

"Isabel, it's John. I'm on my way in. Who've you talked to?"


"London just beeped me. You talked to Ted yet? I think he's making his way across town, too."

Jesus. "What did London tell you? Jack's on the phone with them right now -- I haven't heard." Isabel felt a knot tighten in her stomach.

"It's bad. They said they're going to coordinate with Jack to feed video as soon as the freelancer in Paris gets to the bureau. The car's all mangled, though. Should be good pictures."

"What about injuries?"

"London said they don't know yet. Listen, kid, we may need you to do a special report. You okay with that?"

No. Jesus Christ, no. "Sure," she replied. She had tried to sound convincing but was sure she'd failed.

"You sure? Ted's made the call that it's you and he's on his way in to make it happen. But say the word and we'll get someone else in. You don't have to do it."

"I'm fine, John." Isabel corrected her posture and took a deep breath in. "Seriously. Don't give it another thought."

I can't do this. Not right now. Not tonight. Please. But John was dubious. "Who else is in the newsroom?" "No one. Just me and Jack and a couple of editors in the back -- I don't know who."

"For chrissakes! Why hasn't Jack gotten backup in there? You're gonna need at least a couple of producers for now, until we can get our shit together and we know how bad this thing is. Lemme talk to Jack."

"Stand by." Isabel felt the thump of a headache gnawing its way to the front of her forehead. Her computer was beeping every two to three seconds with the same

"urgent" wire report that Diana had been in a car accident. She signaled to Jack to pick up the phone. He already had a phone on each ear and was no longer sitting back in his chair but was pacing behind the assignment desk.

Calm down. This is my last chance. Last chance. Last chance. So let's dance...the last Yes it's my last chance....

"Buckingham Palace confirms that Diana, the Princess of Wales, was in a serious car accident earlier this evening in Paris. There is no confirmation yet on the extent of her injuries."

Isabel stared at the AP report on her computer. She squeezed her eyes shut, opened them again, and tried to pretend her peripheral vision was not narrowing. "You think you can actually get away from this?" the voice asked again, its sinister laughter bouncing off the interior walls of Isabel's skull.

Not now. Please. Calm down.

Two seconds later the makeup artist backed away from her and then dabbed an extra bit of powder on her forehead.

"Okay." Ted Sargent was nervously arranging the two sheets of copy on the anchor desk in front of Isabel. "You got everything you need?"

"Yes, Ted," Isabel answered, her voice an octave higher than normal. "They're talking to me in my ear so, if you'll excuse me..." She was unaccustomed to having the president of the network news division looking over her shoulder.

"Stand by, Isabel," the voice came into her earpiece.

"We don't know when we're cutting in. Stand by."

Isabel had never done a Special Report. She turned in her seat and scanned the newsroom. Within minutes it had come alive, desk assistants, producers, writers -- many of whom she'd never seen before -- were scurrying around, diving for phones, typing on their keypads, combing through hours of Diana footage for the best shots. She felt as if she were on a plane, taking off, the cabin pressure adjusting and popping her eardrums.

We are interrupting this broadcast to bring you an ANN Special Report. Just moments ago, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Diana, Princess of Wales, has been involved in what they are calling a, quote, serious car accident in Paris. The extent of her injuries and the nature of the accident are not yet known. Once again, Princess Diana was in a car accident roughly one hour ago in Paris, France. Buckingham Palace is characterizing it as serious. We will, of course, bring you more information as soon as it becomes available. Please stay tuned to your local ANN affiliate for further details. I'm Isabel Murphy reporting from ANN headquarters in New York.

Isabel's lips moved as she read the copy again to herself. Her heart was racing almost as fast as her thought process.

I'm anchoring a Special Report for the American News Network. Focus. I've got to focus.

"Chip?" Isabel spoke into her microphone at a whisper and barely moved her lips, which were now magenta, the blue fear freezing out the slash of her red lipstick. "Do I have five seconds to make a quick call? It's important."

"We're in standby mode so technically no, but since we're waiting for the break to drop out of programming...if you do it've got about seventeen seconds until we're on alert. Go."

Isabel had already dialed the first nine numbers into the phone behind the anchor desk. She pushed the tenth on Chip's go-ahead.


Excerpted from But Inside I'm Screaming by Elizabeth Flock Copyright © 2005 by Elizabeth Flock.
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