Gaebler's Children's Center. A place for the mental children. Horrible things always happen there. But nothing compares to the things that start to happen after Tammy arrives...


3. Lizzy - 1966:

     Every Christmas day, I would sit and wait by the front reception, just waiting for my parents to walk through the door and see me. But they never came. I told myself that they would come, that they would come and see me, maybe even take me out for the day, but they never came.

     The voices I could hear were becoming more dominant as well. By the time my second Christmas at Gaebler's rolled around, they had developed their own personalities. There were three of them; Jason, Shane and Joel. But by the time I was fourteen, and my eighth Christmas at the institution rolled round, Joel and Jason had gone. Shane was still there. He controlled my life. Everything I did revolved around what he told me to do.

     After six Christmases at the institution, I'd developed anorexia nervosa and spent even more time with the counselor, who made my life hell. If I couldn't answer a question, he'd screech at me, telling me I was a sick, sick being, and that I was going to be in an institution all my life. He didn't help. He made my situation much worse. Shane always helped though. He understood my problems. He understood why I hated it there. He understood me and he loved me.

     On my eighth Boxing Day, a new girl was brought into the institution, kicking and screaming. I remember looking out of my bedroom window on the fifth floor, and I saw the girl being dragged out of a car and into the institution. She had her hands tied behind her back and blood running from the ties and down her arms. It took four fully grown men to carry her.

    I forgot all about her until the next day when I heard shouting from down the corridor.

"You can't keep me here, you bitch! I'll get out! Just you see! Bitch!" I pressed my ear against my door just as Nurse Minnie unlocked it and let herself in.

"Who's the new girl?" I asked, as Nurse Minnie sat me down on the bed changed my underwear, before standing me up and changing my clothes, as I had no desire to do it myself.

"Her name's Katherine, but she screams when you call her that. She likes the name Kit," Nurse Minnie said, gathering my hair together and brushing it. Most other girls my age did their own hair to impress the boys, but I didn't care about impressing people and I was completely insane, so I saw no reason to make my self look nice. Nurse Minnie had started to brush my hair again when I was nine, because I had refused to pick up the hair brush to do it myself and my hair had started to matt.

     When Nurse Minnie finished brushing my hair she gathered into a bun on the top of my head to keep it out of my way.

"There, now everyone can see your pretty face!" she announced smiling at me, before leaving the room.

"Lizzy, I think you and Kit should be friends. You know how things work around here. Give her a few tips eh?" Shane said sitting down next to me.

"She wouldn't want to be my friend Shane. No-one wants to be my friend!" I shouted at Shane. He usually understood that. That's why he was my friend, because he understood everything about me. I looked at the plate of food on the desk, and picked it up. I stared at it for a few moments, then threw it at the door. The food splattered on the door and over the floor, and the plate smashed upon impact with the metal door. I walked around in the shards of china, slicing my feet repeatedly.

"Now then Little Lizzy, what... oh god! Lizzy! Not again?" Nurse Jane said as she walked in to take me to the counselor.

"We'll be skipping the counselor again, I suppose? Come on," nurse Jane said, tying my wrists together behind my back. I opened my mouth and screamed.

"Bitch! Bitch! Bitch!" I screamed in her face and I took off down the corridor. I reached the end of the corridor, and just as I turned the corner, I ran into one of the boys, Johnny.

"Steady there, Little Lizzy. Where are you off too? Haven't you got counseling this morning?" he said, holding me firmly by the arms. Johnny had been a suicidal patient almost four years ago, and since then had developed anxiety. He was a lovely boy really. I would often talk to him in the playground. He was a year older then I was, and I had a serious soft spot for him.  

"I'll take it from here, Johnny, thank you," nurse Jane said, taking my shoulders firmly and steering me towards the long dark corridor that I spent so much of my time in.

                                        *                                                                *                                                                  *

"Come on now Lizzy. I've managed to get you a chance to go outside for an hour. Put on your shoes and go out see Johnny for a while," Nurse Minnie said to me, handing me my shoes and waiting for me to sit down and put them on.

"Do you still talk to Shane?" she asked cautiously. I nodded.

"He's lovely to me. He's the only person who listens to me," I whispered, as if it was a crime to talk to Nurse Minnie.

     At that precise moment, the lights flickered and then went out. Nurse Minnie shook her head and stood up to go and have a look to see what was happening. I was left in the room alone, but Nurse Minnie had left the door open. Finally. My chance to break free.

     I stood up and walked towards the door, but just as I got there, it slammed shut in my face. There was the new girl standing right there. Right in front of me.

"Kit?" I asked warily. She nodded.

"I'm Lizzy. What are you doing?" I asked her.

"You screamed bitch. I want to be your friend," she said, holding out her hand. Her voice was soft and girly, not like the scratchy voice I'd heard screaming from the room the day before.

"How did you get out of your room?" I wanted to know how she's escaped from her room and managed to work her way into mine. She freaked me out.  

"I'm clever like that, Sneaky is what my parents used to call me. But I prefer clever. What happened to your feet?" she asked, looking down at my feet which were still bloodstained, as no-one had bothered to clean my feet up.

"Cut them. Leave me alone. I don't want to be your friend. You're weird. Get out of my room now!" I shouted.

"Lizzy?" Johnny popped his head through the door and saw me glaring at Kit.

"Woah, Lizzy, come here. Kit, right?" he said, turning to look at her. She nodded.

"If I were you, I'd bugger off, Nurse Jane's looking for you," he said. Kit took off faster than you could say boo.

"Thank you, Johnny," I whispered.

"Listen, there's that dance next week. I wondered if you wanted to go with me?" he asked, nervously. I simply nodded.

"Great, so I'll see you next week?" Again, I nodded, and Johnny gave me a brief hug before leaving the room.

"I love you, Johnny," I whispered, so that only Shane could hear, and I could see his angry glare at me across the room.

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