Cracked

Laney Silvers is deemed crazy. After a run in with an armed thief, her telekinesis secret is out. Her parents -instead of being thankful they're alive- send her to Marigold Mental Institution for Troubled Teens. Laney, being the rebel of her school, is welcoming the facility with open arms.
But the dark secrets at Marigold Institution may be too much for Laney. Even she doesn't have that much courage. See, something's been awakened but no one will say anything. The name 'Madeleine Farrow' makes the staff cringe. All the mirrors are cracked and windows are all boarded up.
Why are there charred pictures of a child with her face scratched out? What is really going on, right under Laney and her friends' noses?
Laney find herself caught up in a history far crazier than just telekinesis. She must now fight for her life because it may be the only thing she has left.

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1. Prologue

This is a novel I'm writing for NaNoWriMo. All comments are appreciated, but if you tell me to change the concept of the story, you'll be ignored. Not because I'm that stubborn, just because I don't have time.

If you read the summary, this prologue will sound weird, but it will be important and relevant later on!

Prologue

            The room was relatively quiet when she entered. It was waiting, but then again, she didn’t know what It was. The girl was called Wanda, but her real name was definitely lost in time. What was her reasoning for waiting? She didn’t even have one. All she knew was that somewhere in the cold, cement walls, there was something that wanted her.

            It was almost laughable. Her position was like a gazelle in an open field, while the lion was on standby. ‘Sitting ducks,’ she had called it. Her position was tense and jittery. It was the answer to all her questions, but were the answers worth risking her life for?

            Wanda moved with excellent speed and agility. For someone of her short stature and slightly unhealthy body, she was quite energetic. It was just today that she wasn’t feeling the usual bubbly attitude that made her able to survive.

            She had been sent to the asylum for whatever reasons. They thought she was crazy; she was special. She was special enough to have a nose for demonic energies.

            But it wasn’t regarded as special in the doctor’s eyes. No one believed her when she said it was Mary who got her in trouble. No, Mary was the perfect child of the head doctor.

            She was as perfect as a little, white lie.

            It infuriated Wanda that Mary was the perfect child. There wasn’t even a reason she was at the asylum. Mary had every chance to leave, but she always stayed. What she didn’t know was that the fact she wouldn’t leave was mocking Wanda. How Wanda missed her younger brother Toby. She had promised him that she’d come home to read him a bedtime story, but that was countless years ago.

            After the first year, Wanda forgot half of the things about her old life. As far as anyone was concerned, she was born in the asylum and had close to no significance. There was one thing Wanda managed to keep, though.

            Wanda was definitely not honest.

            Her honesty had been close to nothing. She didn’t even remember what she told the night guard to let her come to the cold cellar. All she knew was that there was something.

            “Demon!” Her slightly Spanish accent seemed to sound even stronger. “I need answers,” she muttered in a slightly quieter voice. Perhaps she had just realized all the patients were asleep?

            There was no reply. Just the sound of her heavy breathing made her presence known. She had expected something to happen. Trickles of sweat rolled down her neck in anticipation.

            Her eyes shut, but she was far from drowsy. She was concentrating on seeing the demon. Her ability was both a gift and curse. She could see traces of demonic energy if she tried hard enough. This was one of the times she actually put in effort to try.

            A small flash made Wanda smile. Even though Wanda knew her life was at stake, she smiled at herself. The hiss of a spirit made Wanda stagger back.

            She didn’t expect it to be so powerful.

            I’ll see you soon, Toby, she thought in sadness. There was a big chance she wouldn’t make it out alive. The flash of the demon moving wasn’t enough for exact locations.

                “Who are you?” The interrogative sound of the demon raised concern in Wanda’s heart. She didn’t expect it to speak to him. Its male-sounding raspy voice was enough to make Wanda’s throat constrict. She wasn’t able to answer him, in fear of saying the wrong thing.

                “Wanda,” she answered in a quiet voice. It contrasted with the scary sound of the demon. She was quite surprised she didn’t stutter.

                “Malphas,” he replied.

                “Huh?”

                “That’s my name. Do you have a problem with it?” Wanda seemed shocked that he was that nonchalant. Most demons refused to tell their names, in fear of it being used against them. It was also the way he questioned her which made her slink back in fright.

                She could’ve been called a wimp or coward, but being a teenager was a factor in her dauntless abilities. It was sad; she didn’t even know how old she was. It was among the things she forgot when she came to the asylum.

                “N-no,” she stuttered. Her stutter was more from surprise than fear. Why was she led to believe that demons were all evil and ruthless? Malphas hadn’t tried to kill her yet, so her opinion of him rose slightly.

                “Speak up, child! No one likes a stutter,” he reprimanded. Wanda nearly laughed. Was she seriously getting chided by a demon? “Now, do you know why you’re here?”

                “No, but I bet it’s something important.”

                “Right you are, child. There is a demon near you that wants the death of everyone in this God forsaken place. She will stop at nothing to make sure innocent blood is spilled,” Malphas warned her in a dangerous tone.

                “Who is she?”  Wanda’s curiosity got the best of her. She didn’t even think of the fact that maybe she didn’t want to know.

                There was no answer. Malphas’ energy left Wanda’s sight. He wouldn’t tell her, but for what reason? It wasn’t like Wanda would die if she knew. At least, that’s what Wanda figured. Could she have been wrong?

                “Malphas!” Wanda tried to keep the worry out of her voice, but failed miserably.

                A small chuckle was let out behind her. “Child, you’re much too easy to fool.” Wanda gritted her teeth. She was no child, nor was she gullible. “Her name is unknown and she takes many shapes. You will know her if you see her though. I cannot be of more help. Just make sure she’s killed.”

                “How am I supposed to kill her? And I am not a child,” Wanda growled in a sensitive manner.

                “Touchy,” he noted in his deep rumble of a voice. “Take this and stab the target in the heart, Wanda. Don’t go killing innocents, though. I trust you to make sure you do the right thing.”

                Wanda didn’t need a facial expression to know that Malphas was completely serious. She felt like there was a weight on her shoulder. She didn’t ask for it, nor did she know what to do.

                Suddenly, something bounced on the ground. It made a clack sound against the cement and reverberated against the walls. Wanda picked up the sharp and shiny dagger. It looked brand new and dangerous. Her hands were wet after picking it up by the blade.

                Blood.

                She dropped the knife in shock, feeling no pain in her hands. “That’s why, child. The dagger won’t pain you because you’re human, but you will bleed to death if you’re cut enough times.” Wanda wished Malphas would’ve given her the information before hand.

                She picked up the knife –carefully– by the handle and wiped the blood on the floor. Her red-stained hands left prints on the ground as she looked away from the darkness. She wanted to see what she was up against and if Malphas was really to be trusted.

                She may have been a teenager, but she wasn’t stupid.

                After being one of the only people –freaks who were able to hear and see demons while in their glamour, Wanda knew when she was being manipulated. Most demons expected her to be stupid because of her age, but from her ability, Wanda had to grow up faster than most people.

                Demons needed humans to be controlled, but most of them would freak out or run away. Wanda was used to being asked of things, but that didn’t mean she would do it.

                “And if I don’t want carry out with the task?” Her eyebrow shot up, challenging him. If he had a legitimate reason, she’d do it. Wanda didn’t want to be a puppet, but if it was for the greater good, she’d do it.

                Malphas’ voice became quiet and unsettling. “If you don’t, the demon will kill everyone. It’s your choice. You can choose to live with the guilt of not saving a hundred people, but can you take it?” His voice was challenging and he was definitely offended. But with good reason.

                It was selfish of Wanda to even think of not doing something. If Toby could see you now, she thought in disgust. Toby was another reason why she was still alive.

                She was in a sad little dungeon-like facility, but she was still going strong. What for? The fact that she had a chance of seeing her smiling brother again was enough of a reason. She had considered her options within the first year. Not everyone was as lucky as Wanda. Most of them had ungrateful parents who didn’t care.

                And those patients found only one way out: suicide.

                The amounts of dead bodies that were hauled away on body bags gave constant reminder to Wanda about being good and going back to Toby. After all, he was only eight. He needed her with him.  And she needed his happiness with her.

                Wanda apologized and with her embarrassment, left. She somewhat knew what she had to do, but as if in a chess game, all she could do was plan her next move.

                In the morning, she found herself sprawled across the bed. Her heart was a steady, rhythmic beat. She seemed completely at rest if it weren’t for the fact that she was completely drenched in sweat.

                That was when the cold dread started the set in. 

                The lady with Wanda’s pills came in. She looked scarier than Malphas just because of her plastic smile and her far too gloating eyes. They seemed glazed over and glassy. But maybe that was the medication taking into effect.

                She soon found herself in euphoria and she knew it was definitely the pills. Why weren’t they like the normal pills that made her calmer? Were they drugs –hallucinogens?

                But as Wanda laughed in her own little fantasy, there was no sign of hope.

                She was in a hallucination and there was no one to stop her from taking the pills. In it, she was with Toby and was finally happy. It may have been a happy moment or a sad one, but Wanda didn’t care. Seeing Toby was all she ever wanted and she didn’t bother to remember about her abilities or Malphas.

                It wasn’t said whether anything actually happened to her. The words in her journal were charred from the fire. She didn’t make it, but her body was never found. They said she lived happy and her soul was finally at rest, but her task was never completed.

                What had happened to the dagger and Malphas?

                All else that was written was the fact that there was a doctor. Right after the drugs had taken affect in Wanda, the head doctor had a pen. The check box next to Wanda was empty, but he had just filled it in.

                Along with her name were the names of others, who had possibly suffered the same fate. No one knew, but the past stayed the past.

                At least that was what we were led to believe.

Mysterious is probably the word, no? That was really the purpose. I wasn't trying to make this confusing, but it's kind of like Twilight in a sense. The preface is of Bella getting killed by a hunter and in the end, the hunter is James. It'll make sense once I get to 30,000 words.

Bye!

- Amelia Neo

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