Claw Marks and Corridors

Felicity saw something she shouldn't have. A dead girl in the bathroom at school. Not just any girl, Robin Cross, the head girl. Since that night all she's had in her head is images of a creature ravaging her body. But Robin was just stabbed excessively, right?

Felicity's life is shattering as she struggles to find the truth and anyone who will believe her. Even the corridors start to not feel safe anymore.

*First Draft*

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Author's note

This is a first draft, meaning that a couple of the chapters are going to be changed/need serious editing at some point! Please bare this in mind.
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37. Thirty-Six

 

We decided to visit Cloverview Psychiatric Hospital on Tuesday. We'd spent most of Monday evening listening to Ric explain the entrances and exits, and looking at his hastily drawn maps. He decided on the best way into the building, through a back door which joined to the fire escape stairs.

After break time, Abi-Rose and I both had free periods, so we made our way to her house to pick up her car and meet Ric. We then started on our way to Cloverview. The address of the building was in a place somewhere deep in the countryside, away from any other towns or villages. I thought it almost cliche, and I imagined the building in my head; some creepy, dark looking place with Gothic looking architecture and echoey hallways. Or maybe I was just letting my imagination get too involved with my thoughts.

The drive was fairly long, turning from rural to urban and back to rural. Abi-Rose had some music turned up high, too pop orientated for my liking. Thoughts ran through my head as we drove along. Should I really be doing this? Was it all going to go to plan? Worry had wormed its way into me, and sunk into the pit of my stomach so that I felt like I might be sick at any moment.

Ric instructed Abi-Rose to park further down the long winding road we entered onto to, in a lay-by at the side of the road. He then got out and laid the map on the bonnet of the car, running through the way in again and what we were going to do when we got inside. I'd resided to twitching nervously about, rather than properly listening, and then followed the two, who didn't seem remotely anxious about it, down along the side of the road. There was a biting wind running through the trees beside us which lept out at us. I had to pull my hoodie closer to my body so that I didn't start to shiver, and quickened my pace.

Once we'd walked for about 5 minutes Ric gestured towards the trees and ordered us to follow him. The ground shuffled under my feet, breaking twigs and pushing away leaves. There was the scent of damp pine and mud, clogging up my nose so that's all I could smell. I focused on the gaps between the trees as they were slowly thinning out. When we got to the edge, Ric threw his arm out and I walked into it, breath catching in my throat. I peered out at the back of the building which was situated in front of us.

My imagination had been right. It was some gothic looking building which looked exactly like you shouldn't break in to it. I swallowed hard, as Abi-Rose muttered beside me, "why are we stopping?"

"We need to wait," Ric whispered back and he pointed at the corner edge of the building. "The security camera, it rotates every five or so minutes. We need to chose our moment right." He looked down at the watch on his wrist. "When I tell you to run, run. Straight for that door there." He pointed to the black door which was just on the left of the camera.

"And what if it's locked?" Abi-Rose asked suddenly and she sounded more annoyed than scared. I was definitely more on the anxious side.

"It's not," Ric replied calmly.

"How can you be so sure?" Abi-Rose asked but there was no time for Ric to reply.

"Run. Now!" he commanded and set off.

I sped after him, trying not to stumble on the muddy ground as I watched the camera carefully. Please don't turn, please don't turn. 

Ric made it to the door first, forcing the handle down and swinging it inwards. I let out a momentary breath as he gestured us both inside and slammed the door shut quickly behind him. It echoed into the space we were in, a set of fire escape stairs which went to all five floors of the building.

"Let's go," he said and began to climb. I followed, wondering in my head again, did he sneak out of here once? He certainly knew enough to make me believe he had.

"Which floor though? How can we know for sure?" Abi-Rose was questioning again.

"I said before," Ric replied and he almost sounded tired of her. "I don't know for sure but floor five, has the least cameras and security, easier to access it. That's where the patients who need less attention are. Then we'll work out from there, how we find Amanda. She might even be on the top floor, a lot of the long-term patients end up there."

Abi-Rose looked like she wanted to question him again but continued to climb, up and up. I hang back slightly, out of breath, and my legs sore. The injuries were not healing very fast, it was making everything ache, no matter the painkillers I had taken only a few hours ago. Every step I took, I felt sicker, more worried about what we were doing. What if we got caught? What if we got in trouble? What if I got in trouble again?

You shouldn't be doing this, my brain kept telling me but then another part made me push on. You need to find Amanda.

We finally reached the door of floor five and Ric stopped, held his hand out to it. Then he turned and looked back at Abi-Rose and I.

"If you want to back out, you can now," he told us. "I don't exactly know what's going to happen. I can't plan for everything that we might come across."

"I said I was in, I meant it," Abi-Rose replied firmly.

Ric looked at me, almost hopefully. "Fe?"

The seconds drew out before I slowly nodded back. Had I just made a huge mistake?

Ric turned back around and pushed the door open. We entered into a long white painted corridor, and it was almost too creepily cliche to bare. It was exactly the type of corridor you could imagine hearing tormented screams echoing down. For now, it was silent and bare. Rooms with numbers were on either side of the corridor, each with a shiny silver number and a piece of card stuck into the holder below it, presumably with the name of whoever was inside the room.

"Check the names," Ric said quietly and he began at the left side, Abi-Rose and I at the right.

Madeline Johnson. Bob Willis. River Smith. William Denver. The names kept flooding into my brain as I read, but none were who we were looking for. Name after name, till we slowly got to the end of the corridor but no one had been lucky. Ric sighed and pointed back the way we had come, back to the fire escape. Once on the stairs, he paused, lent against the railing.

"What do we do now?" I asked slowly.

Ric was staring at the floor, thinking to himself. Abi-Rose shifted impatiently next to me.

"Do we go and search the next floor?" I promoted but Ric looked almost scared when he lifted his head.

"I don't know.... I," he seemed like he couldn't get his words out. I peered at him curiously.

"What is it?" I asked.

He sighed gently. "I used to be on the fourth floor." Then he stood up straight again, brushed back his hair and put a sterner looking face on. "Let's go." He began to climb down the stairs.

I paused before following him, Abi-Rose behind me. Once we had got to the door, Ric stopped again and looked back at us.

"There might be security guards standing around," he told us slowly, in a warning tone. When neither Abi-Rose or I spoke, he pushed the door open slowly. We edged out into the corridor. It looked almost the same as the one we had already been in, but it was nosier. You could hear people; screaming, shouting, crying.

I gulped and squeezed my hands tight as I took it all in. Ric began to step down the corridor, examining some of the doors name tags. We followed closely behind, a higher sense of cautiousness about us. There was something about hearing the people that heightened the fear. There seemed a higher presence here, like anyone could walk out of one of the rooms at any second, whether that was a patient or a doctor or nurse.

We were half way down the corridor when Ric stopped abruptly, staring at a door intently, a look of shock on his face.

"Did you find her?" Abi-Rose whispered excitedly, coming to stand behind him but I had already read the name tag on the door.

Tululah James

Before, Abi-Rose could pester again I shook my head at her, gripped Ric's elbow and tried to steer him away.

"Come on," I whispered but he was resisting, he still stared at the door. He seemed almost shocked.

"I... I didn't realise she was here," he said slowly, still not budging.

"We can't stand here, we need to find Amanda," I told him gently but he was already reaching for the door. "Is that a good idea?"

He looked round at me and I couldn't understand his expression. "She can help us... She could know where Amanda is."

He ignored my sceptical look and pushed the door open. I let go of his arm as he stepped into the room. A confused Abi-Rose and I slowly followed.

The room was a pale cream colour, with a single bed in the middle of the wall on the right, and a window on the far wall letting in light. In the bed lay the blonde haired Tululah with a confused expression on her face as she raised her head.

"Mum..." Ric started slowly and I could tell he was nervous.

She still looked confused and then she sat up straighter and grinned in this weird way. "Have you finally come to rescue me?" Ric neared the bed and avoided her hand as she tried to touch his face.

"I need your help," he told her.

She laughed weirdly. "Help? What do you mean help?"

"We need to find another patient here," Ric replied quickly and it was so obvious he hated being in her presence. "She's called Amanda Carrington."

Tululah seemed to ignore his question. "Your father locked me up in here you know, instead of pressing charges I had to come here." She studied her finger nails.

"Mum... Please, I don't have a lot of time." He crossed his arms tightly and looked at her more firmly. Every time he said mum it was like he wanted to be sick.

She laughed again, and it almost seemed to echo round the room. "I have all the time in the world." She smirked. "Why should I help you? You never helped me, never did what I said, you stupid brat."

Ric ignored her comment but I sensed his aggravation. "You've never been a decent mother, but you could at least try right now. Just do one little thing."

She looked at him, with the same almost evil smile on her face. She picked at her nails for a few seconds and then reached over to the bedside table and picked up a small remote with a red button. Ric's eyes went slightly wider.

"No, don't do that."

She grinned some more. "Why shouldn't I?"

"Do you want us to get caught for trespassing?" he snapped at her. "You really are the worst."

She laughed again, moving the remote from left to right. I stared at it. Maybe it called people to her attention.

"I should have known you wouldn't be any help." He started to turn away, I edged towards the door again but Tululah reached and grabbed his arm.

Ric yanked it away from her. "Get the hell off me."

"Watch your attitude," Tululah snapped back and her nostrils inflated. "You always were a horrible child."

Ric glared at her and tried to walk away again but she stopped him. He looked about to burst.

"I'll help you," she told him and he stopped struggling in her grip.

"What?" He glared at her some more.

"I know where that person is," she commented.

Ric's eyes narrowed. "Then why didn't you just say in the first place."

"It was more fun like this," Tululah commented and the creepiness of her voice made me want to leave the room and never come back. 

"Just tell me, where is Amanda Carrington?" Ric demanded.

"I'll only tell you, if you help get me out of here," Tululah proposed.

Ric wrenched his arm from her grip. "In your dreams." He started towards the door.

Tululah almost looked desperate. "Cedric, come back."

"No." He pushed past me to grip the door handle. He'd almost opened the door when Tululah spoke again.

"Room 26, down the hall," she called and then I watched her as she grinned and pressed the red button. "Good luck with getting there undetected."

Ric looked almost as though he was going to run across the room and murder her, but he didn't. He turned back to the door. "Come on," he said and pulled the door open quickly. We followed him through the corridor as he looked around him, running a hand through his hair in panic. "Quick, we need to find the room, before people come running."

We began down the corridor again, anxiety ripping at my insides. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 24, 25, 26. "Here," I called and the others swarmed at my elbow as we pushed the door open and went into the room. At the same time you could hear rushing feet in the corridor outside, passing quickly by the room. I breathed out slowly. That was close.

My eyes tried to adjust to the new level of light in the room. Thick curtains were drawn across the window, only a slit of light cast into the room. Through the dark a lady turned in her seat by the window. Wavy grey hair billowed around a wrinkled face. Dark eyes stared back below strong eyebrows. That wasn't what made me sure it was her. It was the long, white scar that was dragged across her face from the left side of her forehead, across the bridge of her nose and under her eye to her cheek. It disfigured her face, so that some of it was pulled in weird directions, different parts seemed to bulge out. Her right eye seemed wonky and closed slightly, smaller in scale to her other one. 

"Amanda...?" I stepped forward slightly.

She peered out at me as she turned fully in her seat. She said nothing.

I edged forward again, more of the light filtering into my view. I took in her blank expression, vacant eyes, her still limbs which were patterned with scars. This was definitely her.

"Amanda Carrington?"

She nodded slowly.

We'd finally found her. 

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