Hearts for Bullets

Anna lost her brother at the age of 10. Ever since, she's been seeing his ghost. Her parents do not see him, and send her to a mental institution.

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2. We want them young

“Do you like it?” Anna asked. “The princess is me, and the prince is you!”

- “Anna darling? Who are you talking to?” Anna’s mum asked from the doorway.

- “Tristan.” Anna answered and smiled.

Anna’s mum sighed. “Anna, sweetie.” She said and sat down next to Anna. “There’s something you have to understand.”

Anna looked wondering at her mum. Anna’s mum took a deep breath, and laid her arm around Anna. “Tristan is... Not here”

“Of course he is!” Anna said. “He’s right there!” she stated and pointed at a chair.

Anna’s mum shed a tear. “You have to understand, Anna.” She sighed. “Tristan is gone.”

“You’re lying!” Anna said. “Don’t lie! I see him, he’s right here!”

Anna’s mum looked at Anna and sighed. “... Yes... Yes, of course he is.” she said and stood up. “I’m going down in the garden. Would you like to come?”

Anna shook her head. “I’m not allowed to go there.”

“What are you talking about?” Anna’s mum asked confused. “I never said you’re not allowed in the garden.”

Anna smiled. “Not you! Tristan! He says it dangerous in the garden.”

Anna’s mum shed a tear. “... Of course...” she whispered as she left the room.

 

“Let go of me!” Anna squealed as two men pulled her away. “Mum, help me!”

Anna’s mum hugged her husband as she watched her beloved daughter be dragged away. “I’m sorry Anna. It’s for your own best.”

Anna cried loudly and screamed for help. “Where are you taking me?!” she cried out. “I belong here! Tristan needs me!”

The two strange men pulled her out of the big house. “Wait, this is my house! I live here! You can’t just take me!” she screamed and tried desperately to escape the two men’s iron grip. “Mum, don’t leave me!” she screamed and watched her mum close the door to the mansion.

Anna’s heart pounded fast as she was dragged from her home. She cried loudly and hoped that someone would just help her. She was dragged through the mud and rain. Her white dress was covered in mud, and she couldn’t see her own feet. She looked around, hoping for someone to help her out of the pinch she was in. As she looked at the backyard, she saw a tree. The same tree, that had taken her brother from her a year ago. Anna stopped kicking and screaming, as she saw a ghostly figure stand next to the tree. “Tristan...”

The two men placed Anna in a small horse carriage. The carriage started moving, and Anna watched as she was taken from her home. She was silent. She didn’t know where they were taking her. What she just witnessed had left her speechless. Weather it was her mother’s heartless being, or the sight of Tristan being left behind in the backyard, she did not know. All she knew was that she was all alone now, without a clue what was going on.

 

They drove by a big, spiked fence. Anna looked out through the small window in the back. The fence was scary looking, and behind it laid a big mansion made of bricks, that had faded to a dark brown through time. The house had many rows of windows, which looked old and dull, possibly shaded with dust and spit. Plants of all sorts and kinds climbed the dark bricks, covering a few windows. Anna had never seen anything like it before. She did not know what lay behind the musty walls, but it surely didn’t feel pleasant at all.

The horse carraige passed through the big iron gates in the fence. Anna didn’t notice a thing, until she heard a loud iron clank behind her from the gates closing. Weather the fence was to keep intruders out, or inmates in, she did not know. Anna looked out, and saw a big wooden door covered in vines. With every turn of the wheels, she was brought closer to the intimidating house.

Suddenly the carriage stopped. The two men came to open the door and get Anna. The door squeaked as they opened, and pulled Anna out. She slowly stood in the wet gravel. One of the two men tied a rope around Anna’s wrists. “Come on kiddo.” one of the men said and pushed her.

“Wh... Where are we?” she asked confused as she dragged herself through the courtyard.

One of the men laughed slightly. “Bethlem Royal Hospital.” he said and opened the big door.

Anna had no idea what it was. Hospital? But she wasn’t sick. She had never been hospitalized before. Though, she remembered her mum saying something about Tristan not coming home. Was he here to?

The two men walked her to the counter. “Hello.” the lady behind the counter said. “You are?”

Anna didn’t know what to do. If it was her, the lady was talking to, of if the men were going to tell. One of the men nudged her in the side. Anna jumped a little, and started talking. “I... Uh... I’m Anna.”

- “Anna who?”

- “Anna Lynch.”

- “Hello Anna. I’m Stacey. You won’t see me much though.” the lady said with a kind voice. “How old are you?”

- “I’m uh... 11.”

- “So young. Do you have any idea where you are?” she said as she scribbled down notes about Anna.

Anna sighed and shook her head. Finally, the kind lady was going to give her the answer she had craved for hours.

“Well, Anna. This is a mental institution. Your parents admitted you here because of your strange obsession with your deceased brother.” Stacey said and looked up from the book on her desk. “Take her to cell 1038 D” she said and handed over the key to one of the men.

Mental institution? Deceased brother? What was she talking about? Tristan was most definitely alive. Anna talked to him day after day and played with him in her room. He was only looking out for her. Anna was not insane, surely! She was 100 % normal. Right?

“Come on.”  the men said and pushed Anna forward.

Anna started walking down the hallway. It was long, with doors to every side. There was very high to the ceiling, and the hallway was wide. Anna looked around. There were pictures of men and women on the walls. Pictures of kings and queens.

At the end of the hallway, there was an elevator. Anna had never been in one before, nor had she seen one, even though her family wasn’t exactly. Above the elevator, hung a large picture of Queen Victoria. Anna entered the elevator. It was decorated. The gate was golden and looked like a large collection of flowers and plants. Though she had little time to look at it, before one of the men pulled a lever, and the elevator started moving. Anna took a fast step back as the elevator quickly moved without a single warning. The men laughed a little at Anna, and she felt a little embarrassed.

When the elevator stopped, one of the men pushed Anna out. She fell over her own feet, but was aggressively pulled up again. “Don’t think this is a vacation.” he said and pushed Anna again.

She slowly walked down the hallway, until a man grabbed her shoulder and stopped her. “Get in.” he said and shoved Anna in a small room. “Change your clothes” he said and gave Anna an old rag.

The man closed the door, and Anna slowly started changing. She took off the muddy dress and changed into the faded, once white dress. It was a little too big. She walked out of the room. “When will I get my own dress back?” she asked.

“Don’t expect it to be soon” the man said and took Anna’s dress. “Keep walking.”

Anna walked down the hallway. Suddenly, a scream came from behind a door. “I don’t want to be here anymore! I want my mummy!” she said scared.

“There’s no such thing as mummy” one of the men said.

Anna suddenly felt even more uncomfortable than before. What did he mean? Would Anna never see her mum again? She shed a tear, but continued to walk.

One of the men stopped, and started unlocking a door. This was Anna’s cell. Her future... Home... Without her parents, her usual clothes or Tristan. She entered the little room. It wasn’t exactly impressive. There was an old, musty bed, with a poor excuse of sheets. Besides the bed, there was an old table with a candle on it. Yet, it seemed to be the only thing it could carry. Anna was afraid, that if anymore dust would fall on it, it would collapse. Above the table, there was a window. It was barely a window, since only 10 % of the light from outside came through. The floors and walls were made from stone, and the place smelled like death. “What if I have to go to the bathroom?” she said and turned to the men.

One of the men pointed at a bucket in the corner. Anna frowned at the thought of it. He pulled out a big pair of scissors, and grabbed Anna’s long, blonde hair. “What are you doing?” Anna asked.

“It’s a basic procedure.” the man said. “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt”

He lifted the scissors up to Anna’s hair. “Such beauty. What a shame” he said, and snipped off Anna’s long hair.

“No!” Anna screamed and started crying. The long lock of golden hair fell to the floor. Anna couldn’t understand why they would do such a thing. “Wh... Why?” she sobbed and picked up the long lock of hair.

 “No questions, just go with it.” he said and grabbed the hair out of Anna’s hands. “There’s breakfast at 7 AM, dinner at 6 PM, and your weekly shower happens every Sunday.” he said, as the two men exited the room, closed the door, and locked it. “Sleep tight.”

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