Belle sat back on the bed and decided to wait. Maybe her parents would come and get her.

A few hours passed, and Belle got bored. There was nothing to do in her padded room, and her parents weren't there yet. Fear gripped her heart- she missed her parents. They left her all alone somewhere, and they weren't coming to save her. They almost let a monster eat her.

Suddenly, Belle heard screams coming from somewhere not far from her cell. She quickly grabbed the bed and pulled it towards the door. It was quite light, but it was difficult to drag it across the padded floor because it kept getting stuck in the leather.

Once the bed was aligned well, Belle climbed onto it and leaned herself against the door, looking through the little glass circle.

In front of her was a white hallway with lights far too bight for her liking, even brighter than the insides of her room.

It was quiet for quite some time, but then another scream was heard, this time closer. It was more high-pitched than the one before, and Belle guessed it was coming from a woman.

And another one, from the same person, seemingly only a few meters away.

And then she saw her. She could see the upper body of a woman that looked like a doctor. She wore a white uniform, ripped at her shoulder and exposing a bloody cut. The crimson was dripping from her wound and dirtying her uniform.

Her face was warped in panic as her ponytail fluttered behind her while she ran.

As she was about to disappear from Belles view, a hand reached out after her and grabbed her by the ponytail.

The woman let out an ear-splitting scream as Belle's heart quickened. The hand pulled the woman back, out of Belle's view as more screams were heard, each more frantic than the other coming at a faster rate- until it stopped entirely.

Belle just stared ahead in shock for a minute. Everything was completely quiet.

And then an eye flashed in Belle's vision. A piercing blue eye, just at the other side of the door. It looked crazed, and the iris kept twitching up and down. Belle could hear the person owning the eye breathe loudly, all the while she felt like her heart was going to give out.

"Help..." the person whispered in a deep voice, and then the eye disappeared from her vision with a scream.

Then, Belle heard footsteps coming from the opposite direction, and she caught a whiff of a conversation.

"...allowed the patient to go the toilet by herself, but she hurt herself by stepping in. We shouldn't have, considering a week ago she almost drowned when we let her into the bath. I don't think..." and then the footsteps seemed to move away from her, and she could no longer hear them.

Had these people failed to hear the screams?

Belle didn't know.

She moved away from the glass hole and slumped down onto the bed. She was afraid, and her heart pumped relentlessly.

She needed to get out of there, somehow.

But first, she needed to sleep.

She lowered herself onto the bed and closed her eyes as her thoughts drifted away from the horrors she'd witnessed.

***

Belle woke up to a sound of scraping. The first thing she saw upon opening her eyes was the door slowly drifting open. It stopped as soon as she noticed it, and Belle shot up from the bed in fear.

The lights were dim in her room now, and there appeared to be none in the previously bright hallway.

Belle kneeled onto her bed and peek outside, narrowing them in an attempt to see anything that was going on outside.

She carefully moved her legs over the bed, ignoring the noise her feet made upon scraping the rough sheets.

Belle stood up, and the realization that she was outside of the safe room made chills run down her back.

She stood still for a while, listening for any noise, but the only thing she could hear was the sound of her own breathing.

She took a step forward onto the cold floor, feeling a sudden chill travel down her bare arms and lower legs. Belle couldn't see absolutely anything apart from what was illuminated by the light in her room. The young girl kept walking forward until she reached the wall opposite to her door. As she was about to turn around and look around using the light she had, she heard her door scrape and a loud slam as it got closed shut.

She turned around with a start, staring at darkness. The only light she had previously had was gone, and she was left with complete darkness and a hand on the wall to guide her.

She took a gulp as the slam continued echoing across the hallway, stopping after a second filled with fear.

Once it was quiet again, Belle continued moving forward, all the while keeping a hand on the wall for guidance.

Minutes passed, and Belle was convinced that the hallway was endless.

That is, until she heard breathing.

She heard deep, raspy breaths coming from few meters behind her.

Then, the familiar footsteps.

Tap, tap, tap, tap.

Belle held in a scream as she threw away caution and started running for her life, hoping she wouldn't bump into anything. Running in the dark was extremely disorientating, and she almost tripped over her own feet a few times.

Tap, tap, tap, tap.

The footsteps seemed further away- why wasn't the creature speeding up?

Belle didn't dare stop and check.

She kept on running as her heart continued beating wildly, each breath burning her lungs as her legs ached terribly.

Suddenly, she saw a light at the end of the hallway. It was bright and kept flickering, but it was good enough for Belle to see that at the end of the hallway was a door with an 'exit' sign above it.

Ignoring her pain, Belle sped up, her feet tapping continuously as the tapping of the monster became further away.

When she was a few meters away from freedom, a hand grabbed her shoulder.


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