The door opens
My eyes flickered open just as the lights outside my room shut off. It was dark. I couldn't hear a thing, the room was too tightly sealed. Nothing sounded around me except my own warm breath that was hitting the skin of my arm that I laid on.
This always happened. I fell asleep a couple of hours and then once 'lights out' happened my eyes shot open and it was impossible to fall back asleep. My sleep was often dreamless, nothing in my mind to bound two seams together to make some sort of image. However once in awhile there were dreams, fragments of images dancing through my nearly paralyzed and helpless state. There were screams, loud ones that pierced every part of me, leaving my shaking even after I had woken up. There was blood. Always all that blood, staining my hands, my clothes. I could feel it, smell it. And there was always a voice, a small one that whispered my name but all far too unrecognizable.
"Jared! Jared!" It called, begging for my attention. I never answered though. How does one answer their own dream?
Tonight had been dreamless and I was all the better for it. I wasn't in the mood to feel shaken all the way until daylight. I wasn't in the mood for my old doctor to tell me that these dreams were ways of me trying to reconnect to the present with the past. I didn't see them as memories. They seemed almost like messages. Fractured notes in the form of notes. Someone didn't know how to communicate very well. My doctor got angry and his pug face drooped with it. He told me that he was the doctor and that I didn't know what I was talking about. I usually got an injection after that and everything became foggy after that until I pulled myself awake the next day.
I was definitely glad to be away from those dreams - or messages, or even broken memories- for the night. But despite my relief there was something wrong. Something didn't feel right as I laid there in my overly uncomfortable bed, my eyes watching nothing but darkness.
Something banged loudly on my door causing me to shoot up in my bed. My eyebrows knitted together and I threw my blanket off. Again the bang happened, making me jump. I tried to tell myself it was only some idiot security guard trying to get a rise out of the most isolated patient but something told me that wasn't it at all. Again the bang sounded and with it followed the sound of nails being dragged across the door and then drifting away down the hall.
Harshly I swallowed and swung my legs over the side of the bed. I hissed at the cold of the ground once my bare feet touched it, sending a shiver up my spine. Fear intensified everything. My hugged my arms about myself and quieted the voice in my head screaming at me to go back to bed. That was the smartest thing to do but it was also the cowards thing, the thing that would leave me curious all the way until the morning.
So I moved to the door and tried to look down the hall through the small window. I could barely seem a damned thing but I could still that God awful scratching along the walls. Couldn't they see that up in the security booth? What the hell was it?
I made an attempt to look again but suddenly I was pushed backwards, losing my balance. It had been an actual push that had forced me off my feet and I let out a gasp at the force of it. I heard a creaking noise that echoed throughout my square of a room.
The door was opening!
My hand shot to my mouth as I slowly lifted myself back up again. It opened all the way and I was faced with the dark halls of the asylum, no doubt the third floor. Shadows could barely survive in the type of darkness I was surrounded with once I cautiously stepped foot outside my room. I looked behind me, around me afraid that something was going to come out. I had the thought to go back into my room,force my eyes shut and let sleep do its thing- dreams or not. But I propelled myself forward everything hitching in my throat.
I walked onwards awhile, passing cell after cell of isolated patients like myself. I wasn't sure what their crimes were but I felt a bit of compassion. After all that sort of isolation was what drove a man insane.
I was following the sound of the scratching as it continued further down. Suddenly the sound came from behind me, from the corner I had just turned. I backed up a little, unsure of what the hell I'd find and I felt myself hold my own breath.
It became slower, more precise, the scratching. Fear dawned on me like a sun above the sea and I tried not to lose my mind and run screaming.
A small shadow slowly found its way on the ground coming towards me as the scratching continued. I knew my color had fallen away, I know my strength had too. I felt the hairs on my body stand on end as a dizziness wrapped me in its power. Fear held reign over me and I was weak to it.
Finally the shadow wrapped around the corner and I found myself staring at the figure of a woman. She wore the gown that the female patients wore here and her nails were dug into the wall, blood dripped from the obvious wounds the scratching had caused. Her hair was soaked with something dark that dripped onto the ground around her - no doubt blood. I could barely see her face in the darkness.
"Hey..." I called out, my voice trembling. I wasn't sure what to do but I assumed this was just another patient in need of some lonely rehabilitation. She just wanted to act a little crazy, let it out or something.
It didn't answer and so I moved forward, telling myself that I had dealt with this kind of thing before when I had been working but nothing worked to calm me.
"Hey..." I called out again as I reached my hand out.
She grabbed at me then, forcing my arm towards her. Blood streaked my skin and I felt myself lose balance at the insane force she showed. She climbed on top of me, her blood soaked hair dancing in my face. She put something in my hand and gripped onto my hand tightly.
"Kill me." She whispered down to me, her voice hoarse and unrelenting.
I felt her push my hand and whatever I was holding into her stomach but before I knew anything my mind went blank and unconsciousness hit me. The fear remained even in the darkness of being passed out and throughout the time I was out all I heard was what she had said.
"Kill me. Kill me Jared. Kill me."