Chapter 2

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CHAPTER 2

It had been a week. One week since Harry had arrived at the institution. He hadn't done much like I thought he would. He just went along with all the rules and did was he was supposed to, not causing much trouble. Most people would have a mental breakdown sometime in their first week, but I already knew that Harry wasn't most people. He was much different. Always going along with the rules. That should have been comforting, but it scared me to death. I'm used to patients going crazy, screaming things, yelling, trying to attack you. I knew what to do in those situations and how to react. But Harry seemed too obedient, following along and doing what he was told. Insane people don't do that. They have a tantrum because they know they're going to be locked up in here and they get scared. Harry's behavior showed he wasn't scared, wasn't worried about being stuck in here forever. He was up to something. And that horrified me.

I was thinking about this as I was sitting in the nurses office, not doing much of anything. I heard the door creak open to reveal Lori, who's position was "head nurse" even though she was the only nurse working here. She had long grey hair, pale skin, and was around was about sixty years old.

"Hey, Mrs. Hellman wants you to go deliver breakfast to room 419," she said. We called them rooms but they were more like prison cells. I nodded and reluctantly got up, grabbing a tray of food and began walking towards the cell. I couldn't remember who was staying in room 419 but I guess I would find out soon enough. I slid open the heavy cell door and walked in. What I saw almost made me drop the food.

This was Harry's room.

He was seated at the edge of his bed, his forearms resting on his thighs. He was staring at the ground and looked like he was deep in thought. His sleeves were rolled up, and his his dark mop of curls were messy and pushed back on his head. He heard me come in and his head snapped in my direction.

"Hello," he smiled.

"Hi," I said quietly. "Umm . . ." I didn't really know where to set his meal and felt awkward and intimidated, so I just kind of stood there.

"Here," he said as he got up and came towards me to get his food. I instinctively took a step backward so that I was against the wall.

He deeply chuckled at my reaction and came even nearer. I gasped as he got in the closest possible proximity to me, the tray in between us providing only about 10 inches of space from me to him. I had to tilt my head back to see his height looming over mine, his eyes like pools of deep emerald. There was a smirk plastered on his face as he slid his tongue out and slowly dragged it across his plump lips to wet them.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you." He spoke his words slowly in a deep, gravely voice. "What's your name love?"

"Rose."

He leaned in close. A little too close. I was surprised that he managed to smell good in this musty place. He slowly brought his lips down to my ear and I could feel his hot breath trickling down my neck. It sent shivers through my trembling body. "I'm Harry," he breathily whispered.



I just nodded. My heart was racing a million miles a minute. There was a killer with his body inches away from mine. There's no telling what he would do. But to my surprise, he did nothing. Just stood there.

"May I have my food now?" He asked, that smirk still on his face.

I looked down to realize I was still gripping the tray so hard my knuckles were turning white. "Sh-sure," I stuttered as I pushed it towards him and ran out. I could hear a deep chuckle coming from the cell and I quickly walked away, flustered. I was upset that I had let him intimidate me and that I had cowered away from him. It showed I was weak and vulnerable, and that wasn't a good way to be around ruthless criminals.

I was a little shaken up as I entered the nurses office. Harry's alluring yet threatening presence was still fresh in my mind. How could Mrs. Hellman have ordered me to go in that room with no protection, no guards, not even restraining the boy with handcuffs? He could have attacked me or raped me or ran out of the room at any moment and I would have been helpless. I mean I knew Mrs. Hellman said I would be around the patients more, but that was not what I had in mind.

I walked into Lori's office and found her in there helping a schizophrenic patient named Darla who had drowned her own baby.

"Hey, you okay? You look like you've just seen a ghost," she noticed.

"No, I'm fine," I lied. I didn't want to be around patients right now, I just needed to clear my head for a minute. "I need to go to the bathroom," I said as I hurried out of the room.

"Okay but hurry back, we have do a check up today," she called after me.

I groaned. We have these days once every month where we check up on all of the patients' physical health. Not their mental health though, which I was most interested in. That was the psychologist's job.

I took my time in the bathroom, fixing my long, wavy dark hair and adjusting my uniform and whatnot. After I was done in the restroom I took a seat back in the office.

"Hey, you just missed the new guy, Harry," Lori told me when I got back.

"I can't say I'm sorry to hear that," I replied.

"Why, you don't like him?"

"Besides the fact that he skinned three women? He scares the hell out of me."

"Oh, I see. He kinda scares the hell out of me too, but so did all the patients at one point."

"Really? You always seem so comfortable with them."

"Yeah, well that's because you get used to them. Once you get to know them, you realize that they're not that much different from us sane people. They're just lost in their own minds." Then, more quietly she said, "Half of them shouldn't even be locked up in this prison."

"What do you mean?" I asked. They were all criminals. Of course they deserved to be locked up.

"Never mind, forget I said anything."

I was curious as to what exactly she meant by that but I decided not to press further. I worked with Lori for a few more hours, handing her supplies and keeping records or whatever else she needed. We didn't need to sedate anyone or call security on them yet, so that was good.

Once we had seen about half the patients, Lori turned to me. "Alright, It's time for our lunch break," she sighed as she immediately exited the room. I wasn't really hungry, but there was no way I would just sit in this office for an hour, so I thought I would do some exploring. I knew where most of the places necessary for me to do my job were, like the cafeteria and the patient housing wing and the employees lounge, but that was it really. And as you could see from the outside, this place was huge. I probably have only seen about half of the building. I couldn't help but wonder what was being held in the other corridors of the institution.

My feet echoed on the cement floor as I made my way down the long hallway to who knows where. As I walked I couldn't help but notice how old the building looked. It had been built about 40 years ago in 1912, but it looked ancient.

The place was quite eerie actually. It was a little chilly and it was dark. Despite the hundreds of patients and staff around, it felt lonely. I traveled along the stone walls for what was probably something like five minutes through a bunch of twists and turns, when I came to a large heavy door. It was made of metal and it looked like the entrance to a whole other institution. I could hear muffled shrieks and screams coming from the other side of the door. I looked up and saw grey lettering above the frame that read, "Ward C."

Part of me was curious as to what horrors were behind that door, and another part of me never wanted to find out.

I decided to keep walking and eventually came to another room. This entrance wasn't as big or secure, but was a little more secluded. There was no label telling me what it was, but I wanted to find out. So I turned the handle and stepped in.

I entered the room to find that it was a huge mess. Files and papers were in disarranged heaps on the floor. There were blueprints scattered along the walls and jars on the shelves of . . . what the hell was in those jars? I couldn't really tell. The liquid in the glass was old and foggy. My eyes traveled up to the blueprints. They looked like they were of different parts of the human body. Mostly of the brain, some of the heart and nerves, from what I could tell. One of them had something written on it in scribbled handwriting.

Test #309

Patient 20

Lila Darson

What the hell? I stepped over the numerous papers trying to examine another blueprint to investigate further, but I heard the door slowly creak open. I stopped dead in my tracks. I knew I shouldn't be here, and whoever just opened the door probably knew it too.

"What do you think you're doing in here?"

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