I sat up from my bed, quickly, my eyes wide in amazement. I dropped Alice in Wonderland on the bed not caring about my place. Someone had just knocked on my door, nobody ever knocked on my door. I walked over to it slowly, wondering if it was just a figment of my imagination. I leant against the door and closed my eyes. Was this my feeble excuse for escapism, because if it was I wasn't exactly excelling at the escaping bit. I breathed deeply, stroking the door. I stood their for what felt like hours but was merely a second.
I jumped back from the door and watched as the bottom of the the door where the food is usually delivered during isolation pulsed. A dull beating sound filled the room as the door repeatedly jerked opened. I jumped back further, lost my footing and fell to floor, I didn't care though. I just stared at that little door. When it burst open I was sure I was dreaming. I rubbed my eyes and gazed at the boy, whose head was sticking through the little door. I didn't speak, I couldn't. His eyes found me and a smile passed over his face, when I didn't make an effort to move the smile dulled to disappointment. “Why didn't you reply.” He asked. I blinked quickly and tried to answer but the words failed me. The smile reappeared as I opened and closed my mouth.
“Do you want to get away from here?” He asked, his eyes widening with excitement. I still couldn't speak but I could nod, and boy did I.
His head disappeared from the window and his feet stood in the doorway, they weren't bare like mine, he had on shoes, they were familiar, they were Spencer's. I stifled a giggled and hearing him messing with the lock, I grabbed my dictionary. My most sacred possession of the three. The door bust open. He met me with a devious smile and moved into the room closing the door. When he saw the dictionary is face changed.
"Why are you holding that?" He asked puzzled.
"It's my dictionary." I said equally confused.
"I know what it is but why are you holding it." I stared at him only slightly aware of the door being ajar. We were so close to freedom yet we were arguing about a dictionary.
Margaret walked by and saw me, the door being closed just enough for the boy to be out of sight. My eyes widened and noticing, the boy jumped by the wall behind the door. The nurse opened the door and stared at me.
I blinked not sure what to do.
"A boy burst in here." I said. The boy looked in complete despair as if I was going to out him, I wasn't that stupid.
"He wanted me to go with him but I said no, he went that way I was just going to call for assistance." I lied. I must of been good at it because the nurse ran off making sure to close me door. The boy kicked it and spun around to face me, anger contorting his expression.
"Why did you do that?"
"It's not like I gave you to her." I shouted.
"Yeah but now they are on their guards and the door is closed." He shouted even louder.
"I'll fix it." I said pushing him back to the wall behind the door.
I screamed loudly and as persistent as ever Spencer arrived pushing through the door. It swung hitting the boy. I tried not to react but the boy who has good to keep quiet looked in pain. Spencer stared at me.
"I have a confession." I crouched to mattress and slipped my hand under. I was going to show him the pills. That's what I was going to do. I would of done that if they boy hadn't of pushed Spencer, catching him off guard. Spencer fell forward and the boy grabbed my arm, making me drop the dictionary and pulled me out of the room. The door slammed with a resounding thud.
"That's for hitting me with a door." Said the boy a daring smile on his face. I couldn't help but smile too it was infectious. I turned and stared, we were in a corridor and on our way to freedom. I wasn't sure whether to cry or laugh.
We walked carefully. Well I say we, he kinda dragged me because I was so fascinated by it all. It was so easy to believe I was alone on the ward but by the amount of doors so many other people lived here. Margaret began walking down the corridor and the boy grabbed me. He pulled me down another hall way one that looked different there wasn't much white. We sat crouched until Margaret passed and I licked the fingers that were covering my mouth. The boy jerked his hand away and shot me a disgusted look.
"I know how to be quiet don't treat like a patient.” The boy nodded getting my point he had obviously been in isolation before. We got up and continued down the new corridor. Instead of white walls, everything was made of wood. It was refreshing and I could my eyes adjusting. It was a long corridor and we walked and walked and walked, passing countless doors. The boy walked with caution in his stolen trainers, whilst I tiptoed.
"Wait" somebody shouted and we ducked into another room. The boy turned the lock. I looked around intrigued.
"Ohmygod" I murmured. It was the doctors office, his name plate was on the desk. There were pictures, he had children. I ran over to the nearest filling cabinet and began searching.
Patient 01...02...03...04 and so on until patient 11. I pulled the file and handed it to the boy, recognising his face from the recently taken photo. He looked at it and scoffed. Somebody banged on the door “Open up!" They shouted. The boy jerked his head to the door in fear and began searching for an escape.
"Window" I said quietly still looking for my file. I saw him from the corner of my eye begin pushing something towards the top window.
Patient 15...16...17... 18 on and on until finally patient 27. I pulled it out and stared.
Date of Birth: 05/11/1999
Age of Admittance: 5
Age (Present) : 15
Medical History: Diagnosed with ADHD as a child. Believed to be a socio--path.
Allergic to Hydrocodone, induced nausea, vomiting and fainting.
Scar above right temple (caused by incident #0907)
Broken nose (Caused by isolation incident #0002. Patient caught in nose whilst being restrained)
Patient appears to still be healthy of mind and reacts well to nurses. She is polite and very smart. She takes well to the audio and appears to take in information in well. She exercises regularly and hasn't been taking her medication. Medication administered in food from thereon. In her ten years she has isolated three times, but has never reached stage two of isolation. (Stages listed on page 6) She appears to in control of her emotions but is easily influenced by audio. Patient 27 shows attachment to Nurse Jessica Thornton (Dismiss) and of late Nurse Spencer Templeman. Nurse Thornton regularly gifted the patient with disallowed items including books. This caused an isolation. The patient still holds three of these books. She has been allowed to keep them for observatory reasons. Nurse Templeman has become a friendly figure and often talks to the patient (feedback accepted.) The patient appears to rely on him when emotions of fear are induced by diphenhydramine (Hallucinogen for observatory purposes). Patient often asks about herself, information disallowed.
I stared at the picture. Thick blonde hair in straight waves. Blue eyes, crooked but otherwise thin nose, plump lips. I couldn't believe that's what I looked like. Did I take after my mother or father or maybe my grandparents. I looked at the top of the page. Margaret was right, I didn't have a name just another number.
The banging on the door became more insistent. Every bang echoed in my head. I didn't get it why didn't I have a name.
"Come on!" Shouted the boy who was already halfway out the window. I watched as he dropped out effortlessly, the scarce amount of horrid food, proving useful for once. The door shook in it's hinges, almost as if it was as scared as we were. I ran for the window. My limbs weak, I clambered upon the makeshift chair and slid through the window. With half of my body through, the door burst open. Spencer glared at me and then his hands were on the file but I held on, the boy grabbed my legs trying to pull me out. "No!" I screamed trying to keep hold of that precious file I still had so much to the learn. Spencer made a grab for my arm and I jerked away letting go of the file and falling out of the window. I landed with a thud on the boy and scrambled up embarrassed. I didn't care about the file yet, we had to get of here. Spencer was climbing through the window, shouting at us to stop. I pulled the boy up and we ran.
Although I had been exercising nothing could of prepared us for this. Sprinting, darting, it was a blur of wood and before long, my feet were numb from the pain of them beating against the ground. I was faster than the boy and obviously fitter. He dwindled behind me. He was more agile though, ducking under trees, turning this way and that way. We stopped. The steam of our pants mixing with the cold evening air. The sky wasn't dark yet but it would be soon. The boy grabbed my hand and we began running again, in a different direction. I branch snagged my face whilst the sky got darker above us, plunging the woods into an ominous s darkness. We stopped again and held our breaths, waiting to hear if we were being followed. The woods were silent, there were no insects, no owls. No nothing. Emptiness. I feel to the floor, exhausted. The boy crouched next to me breathing deeply.
“I lost my file.” I whispered, wanting to cry.
“It's just a file.” Said the boy as he clutched his file.
I knocked the file out of his hand angrily. “It's not just a file. It has who I am on it. I found out more about myself in five minutes with that file than in the last ten years. I can't believe I let it slip through my hands.” I dropped my head in my hands.
“Why do you need a file to define you.” He picked up his file and flicked through it. “It's all lies. Like hell do I have... Auto.. autoph... Autophagia. I mean what even is that.
“It's when you have the impulse to eat your body parts.”
“How do you know that? I don't bite my body anyway I don't even bite my fingernails. I get told to but I don't.” He shouted indignantly.
“I know that because I had a dictionary. Can I see your file.” He passed it to me angrily.
Date of birth 27/03/1997
Age of Admittance: 8
Age (Present): 18
Medical History: Autophagia
Scars on fingers
Bite marks on arms
Broken wrist and knuckles
Patient has anger issues but otherwise to be of a healthy state of mind. He is slightly behind in learning and doesn't take to audio. Patient does not take medication so they are prescribed in food. Patient is rude to staff and has attacked several nurses and myself (Doctor H. Hector) which has lead to 24 isolations, 11 of which have gone to stage two (Stages listed on page 6) Patient seems adamant that he is not mentally disabled, injuries sustained whilst patient under medication. He is very secretive and often doesn't let people into his room. Often refuses food. Anger issues are taken out by acting out against walls.
I stared at his fingers, there were scars, noticing me looking, he hid them behind his back.
“It's okay, the report says that you were under medication when it happened.” I murmured. “Fine you're not an Autophagia patient but you're are a drapetomaniac.”
“What?” He shot me an angry look.
“Drapetomania : An overwhelming urge to run away.”
He gave a laugh. “ Your weird.”
“I'm as weird as you.” I countered.
“What's that supposed to mean.” He said his voice going dark again.
“That we're both weird.”
“Well, at least I actually got us out of there!” He shouted. Why was he angry, it was a joke and he started it anyway.
“What's that supposed to mean.”
“Well, while you sat learning words everyday, I did something to get us out of there.”
“It's not like I could do anything, the doctor was already wary of me.” I shouted, walking away from him.
“Ah c'mon, where are you going?”
“As far away from you as I can get.” I screamed, walking into the trees leaving the boy alone in the forest.
“Mummy. Look!” I screamed looking at the fluffy puppy. “Look at the doggie!” I screamed running up to it. I patted it's head and it licked my face. The man holding the end of the dog's leash smiled.
“He likes you.” The man said, he had a young face and friendly grin.
“Honey, you have to ask before you pet a dog.” Said my mum. I stared at her grumpily. She was undisputedly beautiful. With long blonde hair and a cheery smile. “I'm sorry.” She said to the man.
“She sees a dog and she's off.”
The man laughed. “Oh it's no problem, it's nice to see that people like him, my girlfriend hasn't warmed yet, but she will soon.” I patted the dog and it licked my face.
“Mister.” I said pulling at the man's coat. “What's him name?”
“His name is Thumper!”
“Thumper's beautiful isn't he honey?” said my mum, touching my head fondly.
“Like me.” I grinned. Both my mum and the man laughed.
“What breed?” she asked.
“Bernese mountain dog, aren't you Thumper.” The dog barked in response to his name.
“Well, it was nice to meet thumper and ...”
“Spencer.” Said the man.
“Well it was nice to meet you Thumper and you, Spencer. Come on honey, we better be going, Daddy's cooking dinner.”
“What are we having?”
“Ugh.” I pulled a face in Spencer's direction. He laughed.
I stopped, I had met Spencer as a child. He had known my mum, yet he refused to help me. He must've known what she'd been going through. He knew her, knew I had a father. Had he gone to their funeral. Was he there just to watch. Did he like watching me grow up in that way. Anger fizzled like electricity in my veins and I began walking, kicking at anything in my way.
The feeling began to come back to my feet and the pain was unimaginable, every branch or dried leaf seemed to burn the skin. I carried on walking. Trust me to escape with a crazy boy with an attitude problem. I mean yes I was crazy too but he was just rude and he called me weird first. Walking, I hadn't realised how dark it had gotten. The moon offered the only light, but it was mostly covered by the canopy of trees. It was beautiful thing I had seen in the last ten years, well ever really because I barely remembered the years before confinement. I sat on a fallen tree. I was lost, and cold and stupid. I shouldn't of fought with him. A twig snapped behind me and I jumped of the tree. The hairs on the back of my neck rose instantly. I spun around, looking in both directions, it was barely light enough to see my surroundings. A shiver passed down my spine as my head darted around trying to work out who was there. Something caught my eye and I moved closer to it. It glinted in the moonlight. A ring. It was Jessica's ring. I picked it up from the dirt and observed it closely. What was it doing in the woods. I hand clamped around my waist and mouth and in shock I dropped the ring. I screamed loudly but it was muffled. I kicked out and hit something sturdy. He grunted. “Ssh, it's me.” Said the boy in a low whisper. I moaned in anger, I had told him not to do that. “Be quiet. Look.” He motioned in front of us, around fifty meters from us was the outline of men, four of them, all dressed in navy and holding dogs, except for one. Spencer. Spencer was leading the hunt. We were the foxes. The boy pulled me backwards slowly, I tried to move with him but my legs were unresponsive. He pulled harder and my feet slid over a sharp rock. I screamed in pain and the boy hit me in the back. My left foot had been sliced on the rock and the all to familiar smell of metal filled the air. My foot bled, the scarlet liquid spread in the dirt. Hearing my scream Spencer turned in our direction. My eyes widened in terror. I had gotten us both court. I was about to tell the boy to leave me when it happened. Something no bigger than a pea flew past us at great speed. Like an agile runner it continued until it had gone past the guards and hit a tree nearby.
“Over there!” Shouted Spencer, leading all of the guards away from us. A spray of the pea-like things flew past us, one catching my ear, making it bleed slightly. Again they hit trees past the guards making them run off in the opposite direction to us. I exhaled slowly and the boy released his hand. He walked off looking up at the sky, I hobbled after him, my foot burning with every step.
“Hey wait!” I whispered loudly, hopping after him. The boy turned to me looking annoyed, but seeing I was hobbling, came over to help.
“Who do you think threw those things?” I asked.
“There's someone else?” I said intrigued.
“You guys have names?” This was new, now that I was part of their gang did I get a cool name.
“Yeah, well they aren't our real names, we gave each other a name.” Said the boy.
“What's your name then?” I asked.
“Noah.” Said an unfamiliar voice.
“VESPA!” shouted Noah (is that what she said) Looking up at a tree. I also looked up to see a girl standing over us. She was like me in a hospital gown but she was wearing shoe's too. She jumped down from the tree and encased Noah in a hug, I perched awkwardly, trying to keep upright without Noah's support.
“Who's this?” Asked Vespa, she looked me up and down. She looked frightening but beautiful, almost like the vampires I read about in books.. Her eyes were overly large and she blinked quickly, her thick black lashes like butterfly wings. Her nose was thin and straight, unlike mine. She licked her berry coloured lips.
“I don't have a name.” I said.
Vespa and Noah studied me and I shrank in my gown. “What happened to your foot?” Asked Vespa.
“Cut it on a rock.” I said, sitting it down to study it. “I didn't know shoes were a requirement.” The gash was about two inches long down the centre of my foot.
“Ouch.” Said Vespa. She bent down in the darkness and began searching with her hands. She stood up with a rock in her hand.
“Stand up a sec.” She said staring at my gown. Noah helped me up and I leant on him. Vespa bought the rock to an inch above the bottom of the gown. The bought the rock along it a couple of times until a hole formed.
“Hey what are you doing.” Vespa ignored my shouts and pulled. A ripping sound filled the silent air, and a breeze cooled my thighs. Vespa ripped again and again and again. She held up a long piece of material that had once been part of my gown. She grabbed the foot I was resting on and pulled. I landed on the ground with a thud.
“Sorry.” Biting her bottom lip, she began threading the material around my foot, three or four times.
She tied it with a pretty bow. “There we go.” She said helping me up again.
“I still can't think of a name.” Said Noah.
“Raven, Ebony” Vespa listed a multitude of names.
“I don't think she as edgy as you.” Said Noah,
Vespa studied me. “Yeah, you're a bit too prissy.” She said touching a lock of my hair. I slapped her hand lightly. “Hey! I'm right here.”
“I've got it!” Shouted Noah. I stared at him. “Carrie, like that girl who gets covered in blood, one of the nurse's told me about it.”
“Spencer.” I murmured.
“Nah, it reminds me of one of the nurses” Said Vespa, not getting my drift “What about Cassie. You look like a Cassie, all willowy and tenuous.
I liked the name but not the compliment.
“Yeah Cassie.” said Noah. Hearing something, Vespa turned her head and looked warily around.
“Come on, there looking for us and a couple of rocks won't fool them for long.” Vespa turned and began walking again. Noah followed her and I traipsed behind, saying the name over and over again.