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.


8. Chapter 07

Chapter 7

            “No, look at this one!” I pointed at yet another picture of me and Camille when we were younger. Of course, we were good friends and good friends always had embarrassing pictures of the other.

            We were currently making fun of a picture of both of us, taken in the third grade. I had crooked teeth and bangs that made me look even more immature. My hair was messy and I looked like I had just come out of a hole. I didn’t remember the memory from mind, but seeing pictures made me laugh.

            And I thought I was bad? Camille looked even worse.

            She was drenched in something that made her look even dirtier than me. Also, she had braces for absolutely no logical reason. Her teeth weren’t even the permanent ones. They had cavities for that time we had a candy eating contest. That resulted in us both getting sick and having to take a trip to the orthodontist.

            She looked almost as immature and childish as I did.

            We were just sitting in Camille’s bedroom. It had white walls, but all the junk inside made up for it. Her bookshelf was literally about to collapse with the amounts of CD’s and books. She was such a hipster!

            The rest of her room was quite plain even though her personality had no similarity. The only things that matched her personality in the room were the books and music.

            “Laney, you were so cute as a child,” she gushed in an over exaggerated manner. I laughed at her goofiness. She was actually quite the child beauty queen even though she wouldn’t admit it.

            Her hair was frizzy, but it was still artfully styled for some reason. I thought if she took off the braces, she could’ve won a lot of beauty pageants.

            But girly was not Camille’s style.

            “And Miss Cammie! You were just the precious thing, Señorita,” I said, displaying my hidden Spanish accent. Camille said she liked it when I spoke with a Spanish accent because it was funny. She said I looked funny because I had the voice, but my looks were more toward Caucasian. My parents weren’t actually Caucasian at all...

            As expected, she laughed quietly. Her Chinese accent was nonexistent but that was something that kind of bothered her. Since she had no accent, it made her feel boring.

            I could’ve honestly said she was very good at voice acting. She could’ve made the goofiest accents and still hold it, knowing they were ridiculous. It was like she had a laughter suppressant mechanism inside her.

            After I came into her house, we started talking. I didn’t even remember exactly how we got to the topic of our old scrapbook. It was just one minute we were watching TV and the next we were laughing at pictures. Even Camille’s brother, Vance had joined us for a few seconds. Of course, it was to mock us, but it still counted.

            My fingers lightly skimmed the smooth pages. I was sitting on a springy bed while looking at pictures with a best friend. It was every girl’s dream.

            My finger stopped at a picture of a young boy. He was playing with two little girls. The girls were both very happy and their faces were filled with glee, but the boy was the complete opposite. He was dressed like a girl with makeup smeared across his face. It looked like an art project completed by a two year old. The girls, of course, were the ones doing the makeup, but they seemed to be enjoying his pain.

            Under the caked makeup, the boy had the same distinct features as Camille’s brother. Was the really what he used to look like? It had only been seven years; eight at the most, but he had changed so much.

            For one, he was a popular. That much was written in the records. He was a friend of Travis and sometimes, I saw Travis here, but his crowd was something I was unfamiliar with. To be completely honest, I didn’t actually care to find out either.

            Now who has blackmail options, Vance? I had some interesting thoughts on how I could’ve gotten revenge on Camille’s older brother.

            Camille averted her eyes from a picture of us eating ice cream –well, it was more on our face than in our mouth. But she turned to look at what I was pointing at. The look on her face could only be described in one word.


            “Dude, you’re a genius,” she praised giddily. I could see her perspective though.

            Vance liked to tease Camille about her weight which was what almost started her road down an eating disorder. She hated him in the sense that it was his fault in the first place. I knew she couldn’t see it, but there was something there was Vance was apologizing. It almost seemed like he was guilty and he actually meant it.

            Vance was what some people called ‘hot.’ I didn’t see it though. He was my best friend’s brother and since I grew up with him, I didn’t understand how some girls in my grade found him attractive.

            “So, I’m usually the one who makes the revenge plans,” I started quietly. “But I think you should do it if it involves him. Let’s give Vance the ultimate blackmail.”

            I wasn’t evil, but I knew that there was only one way to get what you wanted if Vance was involved: blackmail. I usually had to threaten him for something which usually proceeded with him calling me a snitch and uptight.

            While we were quietly discussing plans –quietly for the fact that Camille’s brother might’ve heard us if we were loud– Vance popped in Camille’s doorway with a slice of pizza.

            It looked kind of disgusting and was in need of warming up. “So, Cammie,” he started. Whenever Vance started a sentence with the word ‘so’, it usually meant that he wanted something.

            “So, Vancie,” she snapped back. Vance and I both knew that Camille hated being called Cammie. So I guess it made sense that Vance didn’t like being called Vancie.

            He gritted his teeth before continuing. “Well, you know I suck at cooking. I know I suck at cooking. Mom knows I suck at cooking. Dad knows I suck at cooking. Heck, even Laney knows I suck at cooking.” That was true though; Vance could not cook to save his life, even if it was just microwaving a slice of pizza.

            “Okay, I got it. You really suck at cooking. So, your point?” She raised an eyebrow and he walked in, holding the slice of pizza near her face.

            “Cook this,” he ordered like she owed him.

            She didn’t make a move to do anything. “I know you can’t cook and all, but, like, don’t make me do your dirty work,” she said stubbornly.

            It was obvious they weren’t going to budge. Camille never did what Vance wanted and nothing got between Vance and his food. It was like he was a squirrel; always protecting his acorns. Why did both of them have to be so headstrong?

            I’d say they got it from me, but it was probably from their mother.

             After having to take fifteen minutes of silence, I finally cracked. “Vance, I’ll cook the pizza. Just go away and leave us alone.”

            I grabbed the slice of pizza he was still dangling near Camille’s face. It was almost lukewarm by the time I caved, but Vance –being the monster he was– still made me go downstairs and microwave it for no reason.

            After it came out, steaming hot, he dug in. You’re welcome, I thought sarcastically. He looked like he had more pizza on his face, than in his mouth. I didn’t even bother saying anything. I just left the kitchen and went back to Camille’s room.

            “Hey,” she started, semi-angrily. “Why didn’t you show him the picture?” She seemed like she really wanted the upper hand for once. And it was something I could definitely agree on.

            I took a deep breath. “Because there is bound to be an event bigger than this. Do you really want to get revenge for him trying to make you microwave a pizza for thirty seconds? How about something for the entire school?” I had plans forming in my mind, but as a good friend, I was going to let Camille do the thinking. After all, this was where she felt revenge the most.

            “This is why you’re the brains and I’m the beauty,” she said, snickering to herself.

            I looked at myself in her small mirror. “No, I think I’m muy Bonita, thank you very much.” I spoke a very limited amount of Spanish, but I used it a lot to confuse Camille. She spoke Chinese and I thought it was cool but she hated it.

            Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she couldn’t draw to save her life.

            “I swear, I’m going to use my Chinese powers against you. And what does that even mean?” She looked kind of ticked off, and I found it funny.

            I didn’t even know what I said. I thought it meant ‘very pretty’, but my inexperience could’ve said otherwise.

            “You can only use your Chinese powers if you paid any attention in class, and you don’t. So ha! And muy Bonita means very pretty, I think.” The added part at the end made Camille laugh.

            “Wow, my best friend is a retard. Why am I not surprised?” She laughed along with me.

            “I must be a retard to be friends with you,” I snapped back sassily. We were both joking, but I found it funny. I wasn’t retard to be friend with her. Actually, it was the complete opposite. I thought I was smart to be able to attract someone so intellectual.

            She hit me in the shoulder playfully. Her laugh was kind of forced for some reason.

            She fell backward onto her bed, but her head hit the headboard. She let out a curse that would’ve gotten her in trouble if her parents had been home. “Camille?” I was meant to sound reassuring, but I was pretty sure I just sounded confused. After all, she had just slammed her head into a solid piece of wood. I was pretty sure I had a right to be confused and a little concerned for her mental health.

            “Thanks for helping me,” she moaned, grabbing the back of her head. There was no visible lump, but seeing as I got hurt often, I knew it would appear later.

            I knew Camille could be very spontaneous in her actions, but there really wasn’t much reason for her to do what she just did. “You want to tell me why you just freaked out? Okay, we’ve talked about this. If it’s a spider, just tell me. I’ll get rid of it... Or put it in Vance’s room. Whichever you prefer,” I consoled wickedly.

            That got her to smile though. She really did look like she was in pain and there was a small bump forming on her head. It didn’t look like she had a concussion though. Her face was just a bright red from the shock.

            “Sorry,” she mumbled almost incoherently. “I guess I just freaked over a fly or something.”

            Camille wasn’t even scared of flies...

            I was about to move near her. “I think you should go,” she said in a whisper. She seemed sad over something, but there was an unknown chill in her voice that honestly worried me. I wasn’t necessarily offended because she seemed to be having a moment and I would not get involved. There was something strange about her kicking me out though.

            The last time she did that, something bad happened when I got back home. There was a call that Grandma passed on. We all knew she was in the hospital, but she was stable.

            We were all too filled with sadness to connect Camille’s erratic behaviour with the horrible event. But now that I thought about it, there was a strange connection between it. Even the day after, Camille seemed to know. She asked about Nan and when I had a breakdown, she helped me.

            The memory of that came into my mind. She knew I had made the connection and the hidden look in her eyes was no longer hidden.

             “Just trust me on this,” she said fiercely. With the way she said it, I almost thought she was angry at me. “You know you’re my best friend, right? You’re the only person that had ever stood by me,” she said like she was never going to see me again.

            The sadness in her eyes were unmistakable and it brought small tears to my eyes.

            I nodded stupidly and the fact that it was barely even five o’clock made it easier to get home. I stumbled out of Camille’s room like I was drunk.

            When I got out the front door, I only prayed that Camille was overreacting with why she wanted me out. And if she wasn’t, I feared that the consequences were going to be very harsh.


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