The Asylum

By , Goshen, KY
“Run, run!” I ran, as fast as I could. I ran faster and faster down the concrete hallway. The lights flashed past, past steel doors, locked shut. I heard shouts, “There he is! Get him!” I ran faster. My legs burned, my breath was rapid. I heard a man shout, “Hey, you, stop!” I knew looking back would only slow me down. I saw the two double doors; I had never gotten past that point, the point. I dived forward, through the doors. I stood up, and was greeted by the sound of several bolts being pulled back, several men with gray shirts stood with several pistols, all pointed at my direction. I took a deep breath, sighed and raised my hands. The last thing I remembered was an electro-truncheon smashing down on my head.
No one ever escaped from the prison. All of us were prisoners, prisoners punished for our “crimes against the state”. We were told that we were evil, that what we did was to terrible to speak of. We lived in small, cold, concrete cells, barred by a steel door; all part of a facility, the facility; what the gray-shirts called, “the asylum”, our world. There was nothing other than the asylum, that’s what they wanted us to think. But the gray-shirts talked, and we listened and learned, out there, was a vast free world, a world of culture, of free reign. A world we had never known.
We had been brainwashed upon entry, only the presence of a buried mind remained. Time lost meaning here, the only thing that mattered was escaping, just to be free once again, free of the shackles that were placed upon us, free of the concrete, and the poor lighting, of a life the gray-shirts had. I had risked it all this time, we had risked it all. EY-5748, a man I had never met before, tried to escape with me. He had been caught first, the guards had weapons, we didn’t. The throbbing in my head wouldn’t go away. I heard foot-steps; in the poor lighting our senses of smell and hearing increased. I heard the bolts being drawn back, the door opened, white light poured in. A gray shirt stood with a pistol pointed at my head. His face told me what I knew, no nonsense. Another man entered, he was dressed in a lighter-gray shirt with white cuffs, a warden. I tensed, wardens were brutal, their punishments had no bounds. It took all I had to leap up and be cut down by the gray-shirt. The warden turned and faced me, “KZ-3741?” I nodded, the pain in my head exploded. The warden gave a thin smile, “You have tried to escape, have not the lessons of others taught you that this is impossible?” I replied, “I must try!” The warden lashed out with a baton, catching me in the face. I crumpled onto the floor. I was pulled to my feet, the warden spoke, “Never try! You are a threat to society! This is for the better of so many!” I replied, “I understand…” The warden responded, “Good! Guard! No food for five days, and decrease his cell, by two meters!” The gray-shirt nodded. The warden left. The door shut, and the walls rumbled, coming closer, it was a phobia of being crushed. Some gray-shirts had “forgot” to turn off the machine, crushing prisoners. It was enough to provoke unstoppable fear. I curled up into a ball, as the rumbling stopped.
No food for five days, our usual meal was twice a day, 600 calories total. After we were all locked away, several moments after quickly eating our food, gray-shirts would bring real-food, down the hallway. It’s aroma was to strong to resist today, I clawed at the door in desperation. One of the gray-shirts laughed. I fell down to the floor, my head throbbed even more. I always wondered what we did, before we came here. All I remember was waking up here, and being told I was a criminal. The mystery ate away at me. I took my finger up to where the warden struck me, it came away red. I began drawing on the wall. I always did this, I don’t know why, I don’t know what I draw. Just a lot of squiggles and lines. I kept drawing, then something told me what I was drawing wasn’t right, I wiped away at the concrete for several minutes, satisfied I scribbled a new set of lines. I fell to the floor, tired. I closed my eyes, and let the darkness envelope me.
When I awoke I had figured it out. I had figured out how to escape. My mind told me what to do and when. But not why! The only thing I wished to know! Why! I heard one of the gray-shirts walk past. I began tapping on the door, with a frequency my mind told me. The gray-shirt came over and opened the door. I saw his eyes, his gun, and jumped on him. I threw him to the ground and hit his head on the concrete I got up and ran. I didn’t take the gun, the warden knew when one, wasn’t where it was supposed to be. I had learned that three escapes ago. Instead of running to the double doors, I ran the other way, towards the warden’s office. They wouldn’t expect to see me there. An alarm triggered. I ran faster and faster. I heard the gray-shirts running the other way, success! I ran faster, and faster. I turned a bend, the warden stood in front of me, grinning, “KZ-3741, you are a difficult one aren’t you?” He lashed out with an electro-baton. I crumpled, and was once more carried back to the cell. I trembled as the rumbling began again, it stopped, a half of a meter in width and a third in depth. I yelled out in my solitude, “Why! Why!” the answer remained unknown.
After eight failed escapes I had lost any spirit that I might have had. I still drew on the walls, I drew a lot, not even knowing why or what I drew. A long time later I ran out of room, I waited for some one to visit me, to send more gray-shirts, to clean the walls. I needed to draw more! A tray of food slipped through a slit in the door. I drank the watery liquid. It was the first food I had had in days. I slid the tray back out. A prisoner didn’t get fed again until his tray was received. I lay crunched up in a ball. I kept thinking that is all I ever did. I heard other prisoners play games with their selves. Time passed by, meal to meal, sleep to sleep. Finally I was taken out, the cell would expand while I was gone. Myself and five other prisoners were taken to a room to do labor. It was hard work of breaking rocks, exposing certain types of rocks. I enjoyed it, the room to move! The physical exertion! The two gray-shirts were talking about something I had never heard of. I picked up a small rock and put it in my pocket, I don’t know why. I have always learned to trust my buried mind. I looked around, neither of the gray-shirts saw anything. One of the others collapsed, his body trembling from the exertion. One of the gray-shirts ran over while the other kept watch with his pistol. The gray-shirt threw the man over his shoulder and ran out. Two other gray-shirts appeared and we were taken back to our cells.
Soon the warden opened the door, with him was a man in a white-shirt, I had never seen that before, he must have been very important. The warden spoke, “Here my lord, is a typical prisoner. I will demonstrate how effective our psychological training is.” The warden motioned. Two gray-shirts came and carried me out of the cell, past the double doors. In the next room was another set of double doors. On the wall was a grate that someone had removed. The gray-shirts set me down and left. The warden spoke to me, “KZ-3741, if you climb up through there, you will be on the outside!” I sat up, this sounded very good. The warden continued, “go on ahead, try, we will not try to stop you.” This sounded to good to be true, I slowly made my way the grate. I entered it, the interior was a small tube, I stopped, a rumbling noise began, I screamed to be let out, I yelled and trashed. Finally a gray-shirt came and pulled me out. The warden spoke, “you see, the training is very efficient, he could never go through there.” I was taken back to my cell.
I sat, thinking. I contemplated about the tube. I could escape through there. But it was a horrible place! Then I remembered what the warden said, “…he could never go through there.” I was filled with a sense of determination, not only to escape but to prove that the warden was wrong. I tried to make my mind forget about the rumbling, and the tight space. Then I waited for the right moment.
After the next meal I forced my door open with the rock. I had learned from before. The gray-shirts expected us to run. I crept along, crept to the double doors. I heard a gray-shirt walking down the hallway, his flashlight piercing the darkness. I pressed myself flat against the wall. The gray-shirt walked past. I kept going, eventually reaching the double doors. I opened them carefully, and stepped into another room, with another set of doors. Over to the side their was a grate on the wall. I pulled the grate off and entered the tube. My mind screamed, my body twitched. A rumbling noise filled the tube. I began trashing, the noise continued. I took several breaths, my mind was in anguish. I knew this was my only chance to escape. I set the grate back into place and climbed up. It was tiring, their were times when I couldn’t seem to hold on, that I would fall back down and be taken back to the cell. I hit my head on a hatch. I pulled back the lever and opened it. A bright light flashed down. I shut my eyes and hung on until I could bear the light. Then I pulled myself out of the tube and fell to the ground. I took several deep breaths and looked around, a vast, rocky expanse stretched as far as I could see. The vast distance, the sky reaching upwards. I was overwhelmed. I clawed at the ground, wanting to be once more in my cell. I had planed on escaping, but I was not expecting this. I heard a noise behind me, the warden with the white-shirt and several gray-shirts stood behind me. The warden spoke, “KZ-3741, welcome to the world. What do you think?” I sat, my mind in agony, my body nervously twitching. “Take him away.” The warden ordered. I was carried back to my cell, where the cold concrete and the darkness welcomed me. I loved the Asylum.





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