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The tires screeched and we were jolted. My head hit the seat and it felt as if something cracked in my head. The next time I came to, the car was upside down and John’s head was bleeding. The car door was ripped off and two spinney, thin creatures with bulbous eyes pulled me out of the car we were in. Another one took John. I tried screaming, but the thought made my head pound harder.
“Careful with the head on this one.” One said in a gravelly, deep voice. They put me on a bed and carried me into the back of a dark, rusty van. My head was turned to the left and I saw the dark woods that now seemed to reach out to us, calling for us to get lost in them. My heart sped up and adrenaline filled my body. I began thrashing about until they stabbed and injected something into me. Then, the world went dark and all sounds, smells, and sights faded.
The next time I came to, I was strapped to a bed. The room was rotting in the corners. Rats skittered around, and spiders and various insects roamed the room. The curtains were torn and the clouds outside were dark and gloomy. The woods outside were still reaching for me. A new creature came to see me. It had a gigantic head with two blue bulbous eyes, it had no hair and it’s teeth were pointed when it opened it’s mouth a little.
It put on glasses. “What day is it?” It asked me in a high-pitched voice. I tried answering, but nothing came out of my mouth. I wanted to trust it, but I somehow couldn’t. The large face then turned sinister, and it was hissing at me. I would have recoiled if it wasn’t for my restraints. I began whimpering. It sighed and scuttled off.
I began trying to wrench my hands from my restraints. I managed to pull one out and I undid the other. I creeped out of the room into a dark hallway that was just as rotten as the room. There were arms holding candles for light through it. I slowly tip-toed through the hallway until I reached a door, then I paused right outside it, but I still kept myself hidden. Inside was the blue-eyed creature. It was talking to someone, or something. I wasn’t able to see.
“If you see here, when the skull cracked, it damaged her brain.”
“Mm-hm.” Said the other thing. I imagined it was nodding. I didn’t want to listen anymore and continued my adventure. I turned the next corner and ran right into a smaller creature who seemed surprised to see me.
“Ms.Ashley Barner.” It said pretty dang loud. Within seconds the blue-eyed one was around the corner. “What are you doing out of your room?” The small one said. It took a step towards me and I backed up. They began trying to corner me. I backed away, keeping an eye on both of them. “It’s alright, just come to us.” Not able to speak, I shook my head frantically.
My heart almost lurched out of my chest when I felt a warm hand grab my wrist. It felt like a regular hand. I was about to turn to fight whatever it was. That is, until I heard it’s voice. “It’s okay.” Came the deep voice of John, my boyfriend. “Don’t be afraid, you are safe now.” I shook my head frantically again. Could he not see what was walking towards us?
He turned me and I planted my face in his chest to escape the sight of everything. The spiny creatures, the shadows that seemed to contain something unseen, and the severed arms holding candles on the walls. He grabbed my wrist again and dragged me back to my room. “Stay here. I will look for a safe way out. I will come for you when I find it.” He waited for me to nod before he left. I sat on the bed and waited. It was only then that I realized I wasn’t in my own clothes, I was in some kind of gown. I searched the room for my clothes, but didn’t find anything.
On the end of the bed was a chart. “July 12th” I read off of it. That was the most recent date on it. It was in February just a few minutes ago, it can’t be July already. I thought. Unless they kept me under so I wouldn’ fight back as they ran tests. But what was John doing here? Did they get him too? I got impatient and peeked out of my room. There were two things walking towards me. Both were cloaked and had long claws on hairy, ginormous hands.
I stepped back into my room and closed the door, sitting on the floor to try to keep it closed. There were a few knocks. I looked out the window and planned to try to escape through it. “Let me in!” Came John’s voice. Fumbling, I got up and opened the door up as fast as I could. He ran through the door and closed it behind him. They began opening the door and he grabbed my wrist. It felt so light, it was as if he wasn’t touching me. They entered and grabbed my arms. I thrashed and tried to shake them, but I couldn’t. I was stuck, doomed to whatever fate lay in front of me. I couldn’t scream for help, my voice wouldn’t come out, and I couldn’t fight them, they were too strong.
They threw me in the back of another van. One climbed in the back with me and the other got in the front to drive. Right before the doors closed, I caught a glimpse of John, looking at the scene regretfully. I looked at the one in the back with me. It grunted, but didn’t move any closer to me. I moved to the far corner and stayed there in a ball the whole way to our destination. My body became stiff and ached. I was dragged out of the back and into a building. They shoved me into a cell and left.
In the cell was a bed with a broken spring sticking out of it and a moldy, old blanket. In the far corner was a small room. I slowly approached it, cautious to any creatures that may lurk there. Were they going to feed me to something? Did they mess up my vocal cords so no one could hear my screams? The thought made me shiver. I hesitated by the doorway. Taking a deep breath, I peeked into the small room. Nothing. No creature. I sighed in relief as it was just a bathroom. There was a toilet that was cracked and yellow from being so old. The sink was broken in half. There was no shower or bath.
I turned around and one of the cloaked things was right behind me. If I could, I would have squealed. “There is someone here already to see you.” It said in a voice that made the hairs on my neck stand up. I shivered and it brought me out to another room. As we passed cells, I saw different kinds of creatures, some had spikes coming out of their backs and others slouched and had bulbous eyes with monstrous bags under their eyes.
We got into the room and John was sitting at a table, waiting for me with a solemn look in his eyes. He caught sight of me and stood. Taking me from the cloaked, he guided me to the table he was just at. “I’m sorry.” He sighed. “This is all my fault, I shouldn’t have started that argument.” He waited to see if I was yet able to answer. I just stared at him.
“I am afraid, I can’t take you from here. You have to stay.” My gaze dropped to the table. What!? I thought. I looked back at him, and he was one of those creatures That I saw when I woke up the first time. I recoiled and looked around frantically, looking for him.
“Goodbye.” The creature in front of me said. “I am sorry, but I can’t see you anymore. You aren’t the same person I fell in love with.” It stood and left the room. The cloaked dragged me out and I never saw John again.
John walked to see the psychiatrist and doctor in charge of Ashley. They were waiting for him. “Tell it to me straight.” He said.
“When you two got into the accident, her skull cracked and shards of bone sunk into her brain. Unfortunately, she is a rare case where we think that damage changed how she views the world.” The doctor said.
“She is unable to speak right now due to the shock she is going through, but we believe she will be able to speak once she gets used to the new environment she now finds herself in.” The psychiatrist said.
John nodded and ran a hand through his hair. “Is this permanent?”
“We believe so.” The doctor said. “There is no way of knowing until it happens.”
“She looked scared of me when I told her I was going to leave her here.” John looked between the two. “Why was that? Why wasn’t she scared of me from the beginning like she was scared of everyone else?”
“Well, that could be because she knew and trusted you. Everyone she has seen since the accident has been new to her except you.” The psychiatrist said. “However, it could be because you betrayed her trust that you changed in her eyes to something scary that she has been seeing.”
“One last question. Why didn’t this happen to me? Why did it only happen to her?”
“Well, you two had different injuries from the accident. Not all injuries are always the same.” The doctor said. “But, even if you two had the same injury, you most likely wouldn’t have ended up like her because you have a thicker skull.”
John nodded and sighed. “Alright. Thank you.” He said, shaking their hands. “Take good care of her.” He said as he left. On the way out of the asylum, he pulled out a small black box with a white bow on it. He walked up to a trash can and got rid of it, leaving her and their time together in the past.