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.


5. But Never Voices (unedited)

"The only difference between the sane and the insane is that the sane have the power to lock up the insane."

― Hunter S. Thompson

"What do you think he meant when he said that he is his father?" I look at Dylan with a look assessing his stupidity in this very moment.I take the bag of Cheetos sitting in between us and toss some of the puffs at his head. "I'm pretty sure he meant his father, his dad, his papa. His sperm made him." Dylan brushes some cheese crumbs that got stuck in his thick eyebrows. "It doesn't make sense though. Richard doesn't seem like the type to have kids." "Well we can't always judge a book by it's cover now can we. We'll just have to do research about it later." "Research about what?"

The clacking of my moms heals are muffled by our neutral color carpeted floor. She's fumbling with putting her earrings on and she looks too nice to be going to bed. "You going out mom?" "Yes with Richard." She spins around so we can get the full view of her outfit and Dylan compliments her. I, on the other hand am afraid that if I open my mouth the vomit will start flowing, coloring the carpet an odd green.

"I'm going to be gone for a bit. Just call if you need something. It's nine so everyone is in their rooms now." My mom kisses me, then Dylan, on the forehead and turns to leave. I listen until I hear the main door shut to get off the bed. "Where are you going Vanessa?" "To my mom's office." Dylan mumbles something and I hear my bed springs shift from him getting up. We make the trip down the hall to the office door and dylan tries to slide his key card in. "It won't open with that key card, you need a special one," I explain to Dylan as I pull out a black key card from my front pocket, "which lucky for us I borrowed." Dylan shoots me a disbelieving look and I open the door with a successful ding. Feeling around on the bare wall, I flip up the light switch to illuminate the space. A nice cinnamon smell hits our nostrils and I inhale every atom of it.

"Check the file cabinet and I'll check the computer." Dylan goes off to the side of the room where various file cabinets are pushed against the wall. I see him sneezing from all of the dust that lay on them and I wonder when was the last time my mom actually has looked into them.

I turn on my moms Mac and the computer comes to life. Typing in her password, carrion 1206, a picture of Me, Dylan, Zayn and Emma is set as her desktop. I feel a pang of guilt hit me in the chest from what I am doing. But I click on the file that says patients anyway and scroll through the names. Carrion, Malik, Roberts, Styles. This is a list of all current patients. I'm about to click out when Styles, Harry stands out at me again. I click on his name and his basic information sheet pops up.

Harry Edward Styles

D.O.B: 2/1/1994

Place of birth: Cheshire, England

Reaosn: Murder of 5 women. (See details.)

"Dyl? I thought Harry had only killed three women." Dylan shushes me and takes out a file. "We're not here to do research on your little crush ok. I found Richard's file." Dylan begins to flip through the thick file and my eyes flicker back to the computer screen to read the last line.

Mental state: Unknown.

"So apparently Richard got someone knocked up when he was in here." Dylan lays out one of the sheets that has various bullet points on it. "And get this, the mother committed suicide a week after the baby was born." "What was her name?" Dylan drags his finger down the list before stopping and tapping on a name. "Evoni Peters." I flash back to when Evan told me his name. I slump back into the chair and grab the sheet of paper. "Shit man, but where have they been keeping Evan then? My mom said he was here for the same amount of time I have." Dylan walks over to the copying machine and places the sheet on the glass screen. "I don't know but I'm pretty sure they have a file for him too. Just gotta find it."

I point to the old blue rusted file cabinet sitting in the corner of the all black ones. Classified is written in bright red ink on the label. "What's in the blue one?" Dylan looks over to the cabinet and shrugs. "I don't know, it's locked," My eyes linger on the cabinet a bit longer before I turn my attention back to Dylan.

"We might as well just take the whole file Dyl, copying it is going to take forever." Dylan shakes his head and grabs Richards basic information sheet. "I have a bad feeling about taking his whole file, let's just copy these and be on our way." My eyes flicker back to the computer screen to Harry's file. Mental health: unknown.

"Vanessa , I heard something." I roll my eyes because Dylan is being way too paranoid. "Vanessa." I want to tell Dylan he's being insane before I hear my mom's laugh ringing out from down stairs. "Shit Dylan, she's about to come up the stairs." I quickly begin to click out of the file I opened. "Go go go." Dylan grabs the folder and literately tosses it into the file cabinet before shutting it. I hold the power button on my moms computer because I have no time to properly shut it off. I can hear my moms heals clicking as she walks up the stairs. "Nessa let's move." We run out of the office and begin to panic again. "There's no way we can get to my room without her seeing us."I look around and grab Dylan by his shoulders. "Kiss me." Dylan face contorts into a million different ways before his eyes widen and he shakes his head. "Come again?" "Kiss Me. Right now." I don't give Dylan much of a choice as I smash our lips together. Dylan's lips are as stiff as they were when we kissed back when we were 12. "Damn it Dyl move your lips." I mumble harshly on to his lips and poor aghast Dylan finally starts to respond to me. This kiss is sloppy and I question if I'm sober or drunk at this point in my life. Just a few more seconds though until my mom comes.

"Vanes- oh!" Bingo. My mom quickly turns around as I pull away from Dylan. "Mom? What are you doing back so soon?" I hope my acting has gotten somewhat better as I pretend to be suprised by my mom being back so soon. My mom points to the direction of her bedroom, still turned around. "I forgot my purse." My mom slowly turns around to look between a very florid Dylan and a very nervous me. "Yeah, I'll just go and get that." My mom stumbles into the room mumbling something along the lines of 'I knew it' in Spanish.

Dylan stays paralyzed in his spot until I snap my fingers in his face. His trance is broken and I grab the photo copied papers from his hand. "You ok?" Dylan nods his head and walks quietly behind me. I look back at him and he's looking down at his feet. Maybe I should kiss him more often; this is the most silent he's been in a while and it's music to my ears.

We quitley walk down the stairs and leaning against the main doors is none other than Richard himself. His eyes flicker up from his phone and he smiles when he sees me and Dylan. "Good evening Vanessa." I swallow a huge lump beginning to form in my throat and open my mouth to respond. "Hi." I can hear Dylan return to hisself as he scoffs at my weak sounding voice. I move the paper behind my back as a secret message for Dylan to take them. One of the papers fall to the ground as he tries to grab them secretly and I hear Dyl scramble to pick it up.

"What do you all have there?" Richard slowly walks over to us, phone still in hand. "College letters. Trying to see if I can earn a degree while working here." A single gleam shoots across Richards eyes. "Will you be joining us for dinner?" "Oh no, I couldn't possibly intrude your date night." I hear the clicking of high heals on the floor and I shut my eyes. "Don't be ridiculous mija, this will be a great way for you and Richie to get to know each other again." Again? Richie? I put on a tight smile as my mom passes by me. I catch Richard's amused eye and I harden my gaze at him. I turn to Dylan who gives me a sympathetic pat on my head.

Let hell begin.


"This is such a great dinner!" I look up from my untouched potatoes and smile at my mom. The night has so far consisted of us driving around and deciding if we wanted to watch a movie first then eat or eat then see the movie. Then after a playful conversation between the two lovebirds, we settled on eating at the Cheesecake factory. I push the potatoes around on my plate and stuff some in my mouth to ease my moms frowning. "I'm going to go run to the restroom to wash my hands." Richard watches my mom leave and then looks at me.

The space around us is filled with our forks scraping against the plates and the food being chewed."You're playing at a dangerous game kid, you know that?" Richard dabs the corner of his mouth with his napkin and I look up from my dinner. "What game Richard?" He rests his head in the palm of his hand and drums his fingers against his cheek bone. "I saw the paper that dropped on the floor; pulling out my old file? Well, that's just a complete violation of patient confidentiality." His nimble finger continue to drum along his high cheek bone. "Well had to see who my mom is smitten with. Wanted to make sure you weren't psychotic or anything. " Richard stops drumming his fingers and gazes at me with a cold stare. "Wow, haven't heard that one before." There is bitterness and sarcasm laced in every word he says. "Kid, just stay out of my business." He slowly barks his order at me and it takes everything in me not to flinch; I feel like the words have just hit me in the face. "What the hell do you want with my mom?"

Richard eyes soften with my question he tilts his head even further to the side. "Your mom is a beautiful woman,I want nothing more than to enjoy her company." I scrunch up my nose and hold back the vomit that's going to spill at any moment. I pick up my fork and gather some mash potatoes. "Well, then I guess this conversation is done Richard." Richard's smile is back as I stuff some potatoes into my mouth again. I look down at his hand to see it tapping against the table. "You're a nice girl Vanessa so I want to tell you something." Richard leans in and gestures for me to do the same. "The walls in Clearwater have eyes. Sometimes ears. And even sometimes hands. But never voices."

Richard leans back in his seat, leaving me to unscramble his riddle in my head. My mom pops back in and I rub my temples. "Mom, can you guys take me home? I'm feeling a bit sleepy." My mom eyes fill with concern and she begins rambling on about how she should stay with me. "No it's fine, you two can still go to the movie. I'll stay with Zayn or Emma tonight." After reassuring my mom that I didn't feel like I was going to die, she drops me off infront of Clearwater and I fish out my key card from my pocket.

The hallway is empty and cold like always. You would think we didn't have any type of heat in this building. The clock makes a ding, singling a new hour. 11:00. My feet wander the hallways until I'm in front of Harry's door. I slide my key card and sitting on the floor is Evan. The light catches his eyes just right and I can see the rich brown color they are. He's out of his neon jumper and into a grey one. His long legs are stretched out and his fingers are tracing patterns on his thigh.

"How was the dinner date?" I ignore his question as my eyes scan the room for Harry." Don't bother, Dylan got him like an hour ago." I stand there for a second and I know I should leave but I blurt something out anyway. "I'm sorry about your mom." The words come out my mouth like vomit and I regret saying them immediately. Evan waves his hands in a dismissive manner. "Don't be sorry, I didn't even know her." He spaces out for a few seconds before being pulled back into the present.

"Well, good night Evan." I watch as he stands to his feet, his height seeming like it's twice mine. The room feels too small and I step backwards to create a bigger gap between us. "Can you ask your mom when I'm getting my own room? I've heard most of the other patients don't have roommates." I nod my head at Evan's weird request and shut the door. I stand there a few more seconds before he waves at me though the glass pane.

Spinning on my heals, I walk towards Zayn's room now. I'm greeted by the brightness of the lamp on Zayn's desk. Shutting the door behind me, I plop down infront of a dozing off Emma. She sleepy smiles at me before falling back on Zayn's lap. Ok then.

"How was the dinner? " I groan and pull off my converse. "Absolute hell. Richard is hiding more then what I thought." Harry sits criss cross on Zayn's bed, doing some mindless twiddling his fingers. His tongue flits out across his lips and I swear to god I can count at least 13 different shades of green in his eyes. He smiles his stupid lopsided grin of his, his right dimple looking as if someone drilled a hole in the side of his face. I look away from him and try to focous on anything else.

Zayn begins to run his fingers through Emma's ridiculously long hair and her eyes flutter open. "Did he say anything out of the ordinary?" "No nothing, just about how I am playing at a dangerous game and he how actually likes my mom." I break out in a shiver when I think about him with my mom. "Also he told me some weird riddle thing." I try to remember Richards riddle word by word but I just ramble out what ever I can remember. "The walls of Clearwater have eyes, ears and hands-" "but never voices." Emma's eyes are barley open and I nod my head. "Yeah, how'd you know that?" Emma shrugs her shoulder and snuggles into Zayn further. "I remember seeing it scribbled somewhere here when I first got here, I don't remember where though." I want to push Emma to remember, tell her I need to know where she saw it because maybe it can lead us to some clue on what is happening but Emma's mouth is slightly agape and Zayn's leaning his upper body against the bed sleeping. Dylan's phone slips out of his limp hand and quietly thuds on the floor and I'm left to wonder what did 3/5 of this room do to make them all this tired.

"You staying tonight?" I manuiver my way over to where Harry is sitting to grab a pillow. "Yeah I think I may stay for a bit, pretty sure Evan hates my guts anyways so..." I place the pillow at the head of the bed and lay down on it. Harry follows my suit soon after, our body's close together to prevent either one of us from falling off the bed. The rooms new soundtrack is everyone's snoring blended together but it's a nice sound. It reminds me of warmth and love and home.

"You know what's scary Vanessa?" I turn my head sideways to see the profile of Harry's face. I shake my head and hope my silence isn't going to make him stop talking. "That I'm stuck in this place forever." Harry's hands move to his stomach and he looks blankly up at the ceiling. "That I'm going to be eventually able to know which one of the sinks squeak when you turn it on or what part of the floor creaks when you step on it. That I'm going to die in here." I feel a strong urge to grab Harry's hand and rub little circles over his knuckles and kiss his wrist and tell him it's going to be ok. But I don't, because I haven't even known him for a week yet. But shit, do you ever have this strong unhealthy urge to just damn comfort people and hold them until they're ok again?

I watch Harry's eyelashes dance across his cheek as he closes his eyes. He turns his head sideways and opens his eyes to me. His pupil is so small that it looks like his whole eye is green. And maybe I can count 15 shades of green but none of them can fully describe the beauty of them. I think their should be a new color called Harry's eyes and if there was such a color it would be my favorite one of all. He gives me a small smile and tells me good night. I don't know if it's the sleepiness but he quietly grabs my hands and sighs.

And as the light slowly begins to dim around Harry's sleeping feature, I think about something scary too. How someone can begin to fall for someone so treacherous but oh so beautiful.

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