Vanessa Carrion works at Clearwater Institution for the Criminal and Mentally Insane. And when a young killer named Harry arrives, strange things begin to happen. It is up to Vanessa and her ragtag team of misfits to figure out the chilling puzzle. A puzzle that is enough to make any sane person go mad.


9. Murkywater

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

― Dr. Seuss


"I need to get into section C." I take my hair from the ponytail it's restricted in and shake it out. "Richard is behind the whole Emma stunt. And I'm going to need your help Dylan."


"Do you have a plan?" Zayn stops reading whatever magazine he has and begins to rub at his growing scruff. " I mean you have never seen the section. There's guards everywhere down there. God knows what it's really like." Dylan nods his head and points to Zayn. "He's got a point you know, maybe this time a plan might be a good idea?" "Well I know who I must talk to then."


Dylan questions me as I leave the room but I answer none of them and when I close the door, I can see him waving his fist at me. I walk through the halls, saying hi to a few people, before I finally get to my destination.


"Well look who it is." Harry pulls me into the room and tries to dip down to give me a kiss. I cover my mouth with my hand and he begins to laugh. "I was going to kiss you on your cheeks you know, in England that is how we greet some." Making his point, he gives me a peck on both cheeks and flashes his dimpled grin at me. God, why did he have to be so, so, Harry."


"Are you two fucking?" Evan looks back and forth between my horrified expression and Harry's wide grin. "What the hell? Where did that-" "We will be in no time. She can't resist me." Both boys take in my reaction and begin to laugh. When the hell did they become so, friendly with each other?"


"So why are you in here buttercup?" Harry wraps his arm around my shoulder and I wiggle from his touch. I point to the orangish, brownish, blondish haired boy sitting on the floor.

"To talk to Evan.


Evan jabs his thumb into his chest and raises his eyebrows. "Me?" I nod

my head and sit down on the floor in front of him. "I need you to tell me about section C. What's it looks like, what's it feel like, that those of stuff."


"Well sweetheart, you've came to the right place."


"I.D badge."


The bald guard eyes me and Dylan as we both fumble to get our freshly printed IDs out of our pockets ( there are some serious perks of being friends with the receptionist). The man holds the cards up to the dim light and uses some machine to scan them. He grunts in approval before handing us back the cards. "Card says you're here to give special medication to Roberts comma Emma, is this correct?" Not trusting my voice I give a shaky nod. "What size shoe do you two wear?" The man looks bored with me as we finally utter out our shoe sizes. He disappears for a minute before coming back with two pairs of black, rubber is that, boots. "Well go on and put them on so you can hurry and get in." Me and Dylan slip off our current shoes and put on the bulky rubber rain boots.


The scary looking dude opens the door wider for me and Dylan to slip through. This place is like Solitary Confinement, only weirder. The first thing I notice is how the floor is wet. I'm talking at least 5 inches of water that's just at a stand still. And it's not even clean water, it's brown with some suspicious looking black spots mixed in. Another thing is that up ahead are these old time-y lights that flicker and swing overhead, creaking ever so often. The walls are made of padding. In fact , the only hard solid thing is the concrete floor.

A murmur breaks out over the space as Dylan and I slosh our way through the hall. All that appear behind the cell door look unkept and restless. Wild eyes watch our every move. Grimy fingers grip at the padded bars and shake them with vigor. One man looks like his arms may break at any second with how hard he's pulling at the bars, screaming out incoherent sentences. "Gonna get out, gonna find me a pretty young girl, that pretty young girl won't have a problem with my past, my past gonna have a problem with the pretty young girl."


"QUIET!" The voices stop all at once at the bellowing voice. The bald frightening man goes back to the front with a stream of profanities leaving his mouth. The man with the grimy finger nails looks at me and smiles, revealing his black teeth. He mouthes the words 'pretty young girl' before releasing the bars and backing away into a corner.


"Ok, this place creeps me the fuck out. It's too cold, it's too wet, the airs too stale." I nod in agreement with Dylan as the splashing of our steps fill the silence. "I'm going to go find Em, stay right here. Don't go off investigating." I nod my head and listen until I can't hear Dylan's sloshing anymore. Actually, I can't hear anything; where are all of the guards? Did they just not show up here today? Most of the patients have retreated to some type of corner in their cells. I loom around the hall, hoping Dylan will hurry up and come back so I won't be alone.


Someone begins singing a song, not an eery sounding one, just an old song. I turn my head to find the source of the sound. The only problem is that it's moving from place to place, making it almost impossible to pinpoint the exact location. I stop my wondering when I see an African American girl standing at the end of the corridor. She's wearing a white puffy dress and her hair is tied in pigtails. She's looking straight ahead and I guess she's the daughter of the guard in the front.


"Hey, hey little girl." The girl turns her head to look me in the face. She smiles, so I think she does, and begins to skip towards me. She keeps her eyes closed and I'm amazed how she doesn't trip and fall. She must be lost on finding her father, a feeling I know way too well.


"Hey, are you lost?" She begins to giggle and shake her head."No silly!" She opens her eyes and I gasp when I just see black, hollow sockets. Blood begins to run down her face but she just wipes the scarlet liquid away so nonchalantly, I almost throw up.

"God, who did this to you? Let me take you to your dad, ok?" She begins to giggle again, her pig tails bouncing slightly with each little giggle. "I don't have a daddy."


I crouch down in front of her and she begins to shake her head. "I wouldn't do that if I were you." I look at the girl who is now playing with the end of her white dress. "And why not?" "You don't have the black stuff all over your body like you do your feet. When you touch the water, the water makes light see." The little girl sticks her finger into the murky water and there's a loud spark with the water. "Electricity." The little girl nods at my ah ha moment and removes her finger from the water. Her finger is smoking and darker then the rest of her skin. She takes the charred finger and traces it over the key sitting on my neck. "I like this, my mom had one like it. It was for a blue cabinet. " I make a mental note of that in my head, and then shake it out; what the hell am I doing?


"Little girl, who are you?"

"My mommy says my name is Iliana."

"And where are you from?"

"Right here in Virginia."

"And who do you live with?"

"I lived with my mommy."

"And where is your mommy?"

"She's dead. I think I'm dead too." It's my turn to laugh at the little girl and shake my head.


"No silly, you're not dead. You are badly injured but not dead. You're talking to me right now aren't you?" The little girl smiles a bit at that and stops tracing over the key. "If I'm alive could I do this?" I watch the little girl as she trots pass me, stopping right at the end of the hallway. She spreads her arms wide like she's about to take off for flight, and she waves at me. I wave back to humor the girl reminding myself that she can't see it anyway. God I should be taking her to the hospital wing right now.


She relaxes her arms and begins to jump up and down. I look down at her feet and the smile is wiped off my face. There's no splashing of water; no ripples, no falter in the movement at all. I look back at the girls face, confused being an understatement. She tilts her head back and begins falling backwards into the water.


"ILLIANA NO!" I stumble forward to catch the little girl but it's too late, the lights and sparks and sizzle signal the end. The water still doesn't move in anyway when her body makes contact, and the murky looking water suddenly becomes clear. I rush over to the place only to be pulled back by hands around my middle.


"Vanessa, Are you ok?" I turn around to Dylan and point at the spot where Iliana just fried herself up. " did you see that?! You saw that right?" Dylan peers over my shoulder and points to something. "I saw you about to run toward that creepy looking door that says keep away ." I gaze at the large red metal door and begin to process everything that just happened. " I found Em, are you sure you're ok? You look pale." I nod my head and grip Dylan's hand. "Yeah I'm fine, just take me to Em's.


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