Thirteen

What happens when everything you love changes for the worst?

Danielle Miles wants to be normal. She wants to feel normal.
And yet she can never be normal because of her secret; the one thing she despises about herself most of all.
But what happens when she if forced to use her secret to help others who are just like her?
Who are... different.

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12. Thirteen: Chapter Eleven

Over the next couple of months I went through what they called Anger Rehabilitation. Yet they didn't realize that they wouldn't be able to stay calm in a place like this; they would surely go crazy.
    During my rehabilitation period I saw no one. Naida was never allowed to come back and at night I heard Scarlett screaming in her sleep, shouting about something being inside her and to get it out.
    But no one helped her.
    I had to lay in bed at night listening to Scarlett shriek and I couldn't do anything to help her. And it was tearing me apart.
    I hated it.
    Throughout the day they took my blood and did tests on me one after another, making sure I wasn't going to change, and then I had to have therapy with a scientist I had never even seen before, telling me that violence was for the weak minded and that you shouldn't hurt someone just because they didn't do as you asked.
    I knew that and yet they still kept me in therapy. It wasn't even me who had hurt them; it had been Ivy! And yet they still couldn't get that through their thick skulls after the fifteenth time of telling them.
    The thoughts of escaping were always at the back of mind through all that but after being constantly pushed aside as being crazy they soon dwindled to nothing. I couldn't help anyone being in that room.
    I was useless.
    They sent therapists in everyday. They told me that suicide wasn't the answer and that I was more that. They were under the impression that because of the white walls and the tests and the screaming I was going insane.
    What they didn't realize was that I was going insane but I was going crazy without my friends. Without Lexi's constant jibs and Saffron's motherly instincts and Merlin's whispers inside my head I was surely going to go mad.
    They didn't make me go through this like an animal though. They sent in food, gave me a bed and generally made it okay to live in there. But they still couldn't understand why I was so unhappy. The only thing bad about the room was that I wasn't allowed to leave and that I wasn't allowed to see my friends.
    It wasn't fair.
    Ivy had been the one to hurt those people and yet I was suffering because she made me out to be a monster.
    I hated her.
    I’d trusted her and she betrayed my trust and now I was paying the price.
    I didn't talk to the therapists. I didn't need to; they thought I was off my rocker and nothing I said was ever going to change that. At first I tried to convince them that it'd been a ghost that'd made me do that stuff but I was just digging my own grave. And I had to wear handcuffs as well. They didn't trust me enough to sit like a normal person.
    I started thinking about stupid things in there, like would I lose my voice if I didn't speak or would my head fall off if all the blood pooled to the top or had Lexi killed Sebastian yet. The last one wasn't as stupid as the others but I needed something to occupy my time.
    Soon I was sleeping most of the day and didn't even bother getting out of bed to not talk to the therapists. And I started getting paranoid. I started believing they were sucking the energy out of me and that they were using it to plot against me. That made me talk even less.
    It wasn't until a day in April, I think, that I got the weird therapist.
    He strode in with a rare confidence that I sat up when I saw him. I was lent against the wall, wrapped in the thick blanket from the bed, but he still saw and smiled widely.
    The therapist had a bushy beard that smothered his face so the only thing I saw was his nose and eyes and crazy brown hair to match his beard. A pair of thick glasses were perched on his nose, which hid his piercing emerald eyes that stared at me with such an intensity that I found myself leaning forward to look at them better.
    He sat in the wooden chair, reminding me of what my other therapist did, and I held out my wrists for the handcuffs. He inclined his head and patted my wrists.
    "Don't worry," He laughed, his voice muffled by the giant beard. "I'm not scared"
    I blinked. I wanted to answer; his voice sounded familiar but I couldn't place it. But I still held in my voice just like I'd with the other one.
    He sighed. "They've cracked you, haven't they?" I raised an eyebrow and stared at him as he rubbed his eyes with his thumb and index finger. "She warned me of this... anyway, I'm Mister Ba- Er, I mean, Mister New. I'll be filling in for Mister Dunland"
    I nodded and pulled the sheets closer to my body. This guy seemed so familiar but I just couldn't place him in the muddle of my thoughts. I couldn't make sense of anything at the moment though.
    "So," He flipped to a clean page of a notepad and licked the tip of his pencil. "How are you feeling today?"
    This guy can't be for real...
    I shrugged.
    He nodded and jotted that down. "Would that be a normal I don't know or a I'm losing my mind shrug?"
    I bit my lip. He just had to ask a question where I'd have to talk.
    I motioned for the notepad and he passed it over with the pencil without complaint. I quickly scribbled, I'm losing my mind and handed it back. He read through it once, twice and then looked back up.
    "What are they doing to you?" His voice had taken on a darker edge and my eyes widened at the anger burning in his eyes. But it was gone in a second. "I mean, what has your other therapist been talking about?"
    Again, I motioned for the notepad and wrote, We talk about how I'm crazy.
    "I see," He rubbed his eyes again, looking very drawn. "And why are you crazy?"
    Because I can't see my friends.
    "Why can't you see your friends?"
    They won't let me.
    He sighed and took his glasses off, then pulled both hands over his face. "Dani, please talk to me," He sounded so broken it forced me to really think about who he would be. "I miss the sound of your voice"
    I shrugged helplessly. I wanted to talk. He knew I wanted to talk.
    Better now than never.
    "What do you want me to say?" I asked, surprised by how clear my voice sounded.
    Mr. New's head shot up. "What did you say?"
    "I said," I rolled my eyes, all the original Dani coming back to me already. "What do you want me to say? Listen," I scolded. He shot out of his seat and wrestled me into a bear hug. "What the hell?!"
    "Dani," He whispered. "I missed you. Everyone has," He pulled away to look at me. "Especially m- Lexi"
    I finally saw him behind the beard.
    "Sebastian?!" I screeched. He quickly pulled back, thinking I was going to freak out. I smiled and dived for him, landing on his lap and wrapping my arms around him. "I can't believe you! How? Why?!"
    "Calm down!" Sebastian laughed but hugged me back as. "One question at a time"
    "Okay, how?"
    "Well," He stripped the beard and wig off and threw them to the floor. "Lexi was getting worried about you, we all were, and for the last couple of days we were figuring out how to see you," He pushed me back then but kept me sat on his lap. "And it's Cerulean's week off"
    "What? When does Cerulean get days off?" I tried to process all the information before I made my decision. What I wanted to do came to me in a second. "I want to see Scarlett"
    Sebastian smiled. "I thought you would," He helped me onto my feet and grabbed hold of my hand. The way he held it made me think he was never going to let go. "Come on"
    He led me out of the room and across the hall through another door. I was behind the glass now, looking at something I never expected to see.
    Scarlett was sat hunched over in the middle of the room, rainbow hair matted with a dried residue, and the cell she was in was splattered in blood. It covered everything, dripping from the walls and pooling on the floor, and chunks of what I hoped was meat from an animal were in piles in the corners. Scarlett was fiddling with a huge piece of red matter, pulling bits off and chewing them.
    I covered my mouth to hold in a scream as Sebastian pulled me closer to the glass.
    "Doctor Mayhew's been in charge of testing on her and... he thinks the one percent is trying to take over" He explained grimly. I nodded as I stared at the small figure sat in the pool of red liquid. Why would the scientists keep coming in if she was killing them?!
    Scarlett's head slowly lifted to look me straight in the eye. Her eyes held no colour; they weren't grey, they weren't black, they were just... nothing.
    "Danielle...?" She asked, her voice void of anything. I nodded, aware that she couldn't see me. "Where have you been?" I opened my mouth but it snapped shut again when she lifted her head and I saw the dried blood crusting around her mouth. Had she been using her teeth to kill?
    "Do you want her to see you?" Sebastian asked, leaning towards the buttons. I grabbed his arm without taking my eyes off Scarlett. She stared too; it was as if she could see me.
    Then I saw it. This wasn't Scarlett.
    "No," I shook my head. "No, just audio," He nodded and pressed a button. A light flicked on and Sebastian gave me a thumbs up. "Scarlett?"
    She shook her head. "Wrong"
    "Soul Sucker then?" I asked. She looked taken aback by my knowledge but regained her blank expression. She smiled and I saw the beginnings of her sharp teeth.
    "Fine, Soul Sucker is what I am. You can't change that" She laughed, her slim shoulders shaking slightly.
    "Dani," Sebastian tugged on my sleeve and I looked over at his confused expression. "What's a Soul Sucker?"
    "It's a monster that takes possession of the body of its choosing," I whispered, though I knew she could hear me. "It feeds on the scared humans around it. They are filled with hate towards anyone who shows them fear so stay calm and breath normally. It can hear your heartbeat so if it is irregular it will send it in a frenzy" I explained and he nodded. I turned back to Scarlett or the Soul Sucker and took in a deep breath.
    "You're scared, aren't you?" She smiled. "We are very scary things and losing their soul is what everyone is afraid of"
    I scoffed. "I'm not scared of you. And why would I be scared of losing my soul? I lost that years ago and it hasn't affected me in the slightest" I walked forward and gripped the bar attached to the wall. I kept taking deep breaths as I tried to control myself.
    I hadn't been angry for three months. It felt good.
    "If you're not scared, then why don't you come in here and talk to me like you're really my friend?" She suggested. I knew what she was doing. But would risking it bring back the Scarlett I knew?
    "Fine" I said smugly and opened the door, slamming it behind me.
    "Dani!" Sebastian's voice rang out over the speaker. "What are you doing?!"
    "Proving that Scarlett's still in there somewhere," I pointed at her and she flinched. Crossing my arms, I stared down at her trying to make herself smaller. "Well? I'm here. What did you want to talk about?"
    "Where have you been?" Her small voice asked, playing with a strand of multi-coloured hair.
    "I've been under going therapy because you couldn't control yourself," I scolded. "And I see you've continued to have you fun"
    "This is what I eat," She said, pulling her knees up to her chest. She seemed so tiny now. "I can't help it when their bodies are full of sweet blood" She licked her lips.
    I shuddered. "How can you talk like that? The Scarlett I knew would be bawking by now"
    "Scarlett isn't here anymore!" She screamed, shooting to her feet. "Scarlett died when Ivy appeared"
    "How's this about me?" I laughed. I couldn't believe she was speaking like this. "We're talking about the fact that you are taking over the nice, level-headed, non-blood-drinking Scarlett and pulling her into the darkness"
    "When Ivy hurt you Scarlett was so upset she didn't want to live anymore. You were the one person who cared about her, who listened to her and when she sensed Ivy she let me out. She had been holding me back for years, protecting me from the doctors and scientists, but she let go and gave up when you were down. Eating humans and devouring their souls is what we do. That's how we live. And if you can't see that then I cannot speak to you any longer" She sat down on the floor and crossed her arms.
    "Scarlett," I sighed. "Hey! Don't ignore me!" I wanted to get Scarlett out in the open again but my ears started stinging from the anger I felt now so I asked Sebastian to open the door before I could really hurt her.
    "It was a good plan but-" He started, pressing the button again, cutting Scarlett out of the conversation.
    "I know it didn't work! Don't you think I saw that?" I yelled, jerking the door open to the white room.
    "Do you want me to stay or..." He stood awkwardly in the doorway.
    "No, I know you'll get moaned at if you stay in here..." I paused and looked back at him. "Can you come back in the morning? Just to keep me posted about what's happening outside?" I pleaded.
    He smiled. "Sure. I'll see you tomorrow" He waved and shut the door behind him, leaving me alone.
    I would help her.
    I would help her escape her demon.

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