Chapter 1- Sleeping Awake

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Sleeping Awake

Everything was...off. This was the first though that came to mind as her eyes cracked open. Everything was off and her whole body ached. As the world came back into focus she realised she was in a bath, her legs bent awkwardly to her chest because there was no room for her to stretch out.

Hands clamped down on her shoulders as she tried to push herself up, "And where do you think you're going?"

She struggled to look up as the icy water filled the tub, those hands, clawed at her shoulders, trying desperately to push her under despite the lack of space. The second time she came up for air she caught sight of her tormentor, "Witch!"

The woman clucked her tongue as two orderlies came into view, each of them reaching into the tub and latching onto her ankles, "Really Lucy, where's your sense of propriety? It's Nurse Halloran. You know that." She looked up at the orderlies, "Two minutes should do nicely."

They managed to submerge her with such an easy ferocity, the nurse's hands stayed on her shoulders, nails embedded in her flesh, pushing her deeper.

Her throat burned with the urge to breathe, to inhale, but she clamped her mouth shut, sucking her lips between her teeth and biting down so hard she could taste blood as she tried to claw her way to the surface.

Just as she opened her mouth to scream, anything to soothe the burn, they hauled her from the tub by her ankles, dumping her unceremoniously on the floor.

"Take her back to her room boys." The nurse ordered.

Her room? No, that couldn't be right; she couldn't live here, not with the ice baths and boarded up windows. This was not her home. As they frogmarched her down the hall, stumbling through the debris of decades past, Lucy couldn't help but wonder, what fresh hell had she woken up to?

"W, where am I?" she asked, her entire body shaking with the cold as a fierce wind whipped through the broken window.

The guard laughed, a cruel smirk twisted its way upon his features, "What's the matter? Forget you're a nutter?"

Nutter? She frowned, they thought she was crazy?

She thrashed in their vice like grip, "I'm not crazy!"

"Oh yeah?" he laughed, "So why you in the madhouse then?" he sneered.

Their grip grew tighter as they neared a row of open doors, "Please! This is a mistake! I'm not mad! I'm not!"

The guards looked over her head at each other, "I never get tired of this one." The meaner one laughed, hauling her through an open doorway, throwing her onto a mattress in the far corner, "Welcome to the Asylum!"

It only took a moment, a heartbeat between realising that she wasn't tied down and the door hadn't locked for her to run. Twisting the handle she pulled and she pushed, but couldn't make it open, it wouldn't open! Why wouldn't it open?

There had to be a way out of this place, she wanted to go home. Where was home? Did she have a home? Why wasn't she there? Where was home?

Her memory flashed to a warm flat, bright sunny walls, plush carpet between her toes and a Mohawk in her bed. Mohawk. A Mohawk and hazel eyes.

Her mind fought to make the connections, she knew she was forgetting, there was something, someone...she was forgetting. She couldn't forget. Mustn't forget.

A cool wind blew through the room, cooling her already drenched body, a pile of clothes, hospital pyjamas caught her eye. Changing out of her clothes was admitting defeat. Admitting that they were right. That she was mad.

She wasn't mad!

But she was cold. So desperately cold and alone, she was frozen and her body was bone tired and those clothes were warm. They were warm and she was cold.

She wanted to be warm.

If she were warm she might remember who belonged to the Mohawk and hazel eyes, she might be able to stay warm. It was an easy decision, totally easy. She peeled off her wet clothes, folding them for reasons that she couldn't understand.

She paused at the pile of hospital clothes, the feeling of being watched settling heavily upon her shoulders.

Grabbing the raggedy old blanket, she wrapped it around her shoulders before walking back to the door, noticing the two holes at the eye level. She poked at them experimentally, frowning when her fingers didn't go though the holes. Arching up on her tip toes she peered inside at a pair of startling brown eyes on the other side.

Fingers splayed against the wood, she smiled crookedly, "I see you."

The brown eyes blinked and disappeared.

"Don't go!" she cried, pounding on the door, "Don't leave me here alone!" Her plea echoed off the walls, her voice sounding desperate in her own ears.

Frowning, she tottered back to the clothing pile, pulling the blanket tighter around her; she kicked the clothes into the nearest corner, out of the door's line of sight.

Casting a furtive glance from the corner to the door she dropped the blanket and pulled on the off-white pants and the long sleeved white tee, looking around, her frown deepened.

Where were her shoes? How was she supposed to get warm without shoes? She needed them! She wanted shoes! Why wouldn't they give her shoes? Why has they taken her shoes? It wasn't fair Damnit! She wanted shoes.

Grabbing the blanket from where she'd thrown it and wrapping it around her shoulders she tried the door again, stifling the yelp of surprise that almost escaped when the door opened with barely a touch to the handle.

She stepped out into the hallway, each step slow and deliberate, as she shuffled down the twisting hall, if she looked like she belonged, no one would notice her, she'd be safe. Right?

All she had to do was find a door.

There had to be some way out of here. There just had to. There were other people, patients, lurking in the corridor, hiding behind the half open doors of their rooms.

Why weren't they running?

They should be running, she should be running! Run! Run! Run as fast as you can!

Hands, cool to the touch encircled her biceps, like a vice, cold, squeezing and hard.

Why couldn't she get her brain to work properly? It was like there was a fog, deep, blinding and thick, wrapping around the corners of her mind, wiping out everything in its path.

Making her forget.

Can't forget. Mustn't forget. Won't forget.

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