Chapter 1

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This is my very first book so please read and be kind! I will gladly accept any advice, ideas and constructive criticism.
I apologise for any grammatical errors, if you see any let me know.

I hope you like it!

This is my casting for Aidalyn :)

Aidalyn POV

I'm awake before the alarm again. And by alarm I mean Kitty rocking in the hallway and banging her head, loud and hard enough that the rhythmic sound wakes me just before the lights are turned on every morning. It's happened like this, each day like clockwork since I have been here for almost an entire year now. I know what is about to happen anyway so my body thinks why bother trying to sleep.

I pull back the thin covers and slide out of bed. Ahhh my body feels sore today. I feel like I have been running outside all night long. But I haven't. I haven't been outside this place, Betastone Institution for eleven months. I haven't even been out into the garden that I stare at for hours each day.

It seems so inviting, the flowers, the birds, the ducks on the water, swimming in the small stream running past the whole length of the building.

Small benches are scattered along the edge of the stream and seem so lonely sitting there all empty when I could quite happily sit there all day in the serenity of the scene.

But, not yet Dr Jasper says. Not yet. I'm not ready to be allowed out, not even with a staff member like some of the other patients. Soon he says. Soon. What does that even mean? How long is soon?

The speaker overhead interrupts my thoughts.

"Meds at the counter Aidalyn Craig"

Ah. Feeding time at the zoo.

I leave the discomfort of my tiny cell like room and file into the hallway. Kitty stops her incessant banging just long enough to glance in my direction.

"Good morning Aida, thanks for keeping me awake again..."
She smiles her evil little smile and starts to hit her head in the same everyday rhythm she uses.

I must have been having the nightmare again. I say the nightmare because it's always the same one. Every night for as long as I can remember. I'm running into the bushes again, being chased and a feeling comes over me. The same feeling I always talk to Dr Jasper about in our sessions.

The feeling of fire burning through my entire body until I can't feel anything but the heat anymore and suddenly I hear the voice calling to me, I try to ignore it but I can't, the voice calls for me, it needs me. All of a sudden I burst into pieces and then it happens.. now it's not me running in the long green grass anymore, it's a beautiful, giant light grey wolf. It's like I am the wolf. And I feel like I am free.

Except when I dream this dream I do things that I can't explain. Sometimes I wake just before the wolf part and that's a good night. I can usually take the meds and sleep a dreamless sleep after that.

But when I don't wake up at that part , when I have what I call an episode, well, that's when things get out of control. I haven't had one in months now. So the treatment here must be working. But the last one, well, it was bad. Bad enough for me to end up locked up in BetaStone as a maximum security risk.

The last time, the worst time, I woke up in a place I didn't recognise surrounded by people I didn't know and they were all seriously injured or worse. Some had been killed.

After that is a blur. Before that too. I still have no recollection of how I came to be there in the first place. I have never even been to that part of town and the last house I was sent to was all the way on the other side of the city.

The sent me here after that. It's ok as treatment facilities go. I'm fed, watered and somewhat entertained by the other kids each day and so my days and nights go, one after the other in a haze of boredom and medication. I would rather be here than prison though and since those were my options, I'm here until they say otherwise.

My life is pretty grand. It's no surprise that my nightmares are the best and the worst part of my existence because in those, at least I am running free. Free of this place. Free of my mental prison and free of any crap foster home that has begrudgingly taken me in.

Free. And trapped at the same time. Because I always wake up scared and alone and back here.

Dr Jasper says the dreams are a metaphor for my illness. Something I want to be free from and run from but I can't. Makes sense. It's only, I can't shake the feeling that something just isn't quite right about it all. It always feels so real. The voice in my head telling me to run, to hunt, to be free. And then she is gone again.

It feels so real.

But it's not. This is my reality. Day to day here. And I need to make the most of it. While I can. Take the treatment. Stay the course. Perhaps it will work and I will be cured. That's how it's supposed to go right?

I wander down the hall and look into random rooms as I pass by. We are all shapes and sizes here. Some have been here for years and some come and go weeks or days at a time.
I keep to myself mainly. For one it's just easier that way. Never getting to know someone means never having to miss them when I move on. Or when they leave.

It's easier this way. It's how I have always been. Alone. Independent Dr calls it. Sad is more like it.
It's not as if I want to be alone. I just never spend more than a year in one place. I am always moved on. Home to home, one institution to another.

It's me against the world. Or in my head at least.

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