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The Nervous Meltdown
It was a Friday afternoon and as I was walking home from school I was trapped in the icy, cold rain soaking my hair. It was oddly dark out and for some strange reason I was alone. Usually there were people crowding the streets and sidewalks. I continued to walk down the lonesome sidewalk that was wet and slippery. I did not like rain; it reminded me of everything scary in my mind. It brought up a suspenseful kind of feeling.
I fought my fear and tried to ignore it by thinking about something else. I remembered one of my good friends telling me that her grandfather had to be sent to a mental hospital because he swore he saw a ghost in his bedroom while he was sleeping. He said that the ghost had the face of a screaming woman holding up a hatchet; swinging it back and forth, back and forth until it cut off his right leg. No one believed him. Yet, no one truly knew how and why his right leg went missing. I think he just went crazy and did it to himself.
Wow, that kind of thinking didn’t help at all, and then I was back to reality again. I looked down at myself and from my sandals to the tips of my jeans I was soaked with rain water. I hated the feeling of wet on my body, unless I was taking a shower. I just wanted to be safely in my house. I couldn’t wait to get home right now; dry and warm with the smell of brownies straight from my oven. My stomach rumbled at the thought of food. Soon I would be home!
I was suddenly startled by a little girl. She was standing there looking deep into my hazel eyes. I stopped in my tracks because she was, quite frankly, in my way. The girl didn’t seem to mind the harsh rain. Her hair was rolled up into Shirley Temple curls, brown as caramel. She was wearing a pretty white dress with crimson ribbons around her waist, and she had on white, ballet slippers. She looked to be about six or seven years of age. I asked her what her name was, but she didn’t answer me.
“Excuse, me what’s your name?” I asked her again, still no response from her. It started to make me a little uneasy. I felt like walking around her, but maybe she was scared of me, maybe she was lost.
“Are you lost?” I inquired. She blankly looked at me. “Can I help you?” I continued to ask. Finally, the girl spoke, “Can you walk home with me? I’m scared!” her little high pitched voice pleaded.
I guessed I could walk her home, I didn’t think it was right to leave a little girl out in the rain by herself. I nodded and grabbed her soft, little hand.
“Where do you live?” I asked and she pointed a finger through the forest. The forest was not my favorite place. In fact, it kind of gave me the creeps. I was about to ask her if there was some other way to get to her house, when she squealed, “Just down there, follow me!” She was pretty cute. She reminded me of myself when I was her age. I let her tug on my arm and guide me towards the forest. I asked her name again but she still didn’t answer me.
The forest was dark, leafy and wet. I was trying not to let my fear of the rain and the forest, overwhelm me. The rain didn’t press against my head as hard because of the trees blocking it. The adorable, little girl let go of my arm and started to skip quickly down the dirt path. I was walking as slowly as a sloth and I was worried I would lose her. I still didn’t know her name so I didn’t know what to call her other than, “Hey, little girl, please slow down!” She didn’t seem to hear me. Soon enough she was gone. I was irritated and grumbled, “Forget her!” I decided to head back, only to find myself with a real problem. How do I get back? I was so turned around I didn’t know which direction I needed to go in. I started walking in what I thought might be the right way. Yet, nothing looked familiar anymore. I screamed for the girl to come back, but I doubted she could even hear me now. I was going to DIE out here! My eyes started to water and I soon fell to my knees. After a few hours of walking in circles, I lay on the dirt and grass unsure of what to do. I closed my eyes and waited, but nothing happened. I opened them back up. I realized that the rain stopped and it was pitch black. I could hear the crickets and the wolves howl. It was freezing out here and my entire body was wet.
Suddenly I caught a glimpse of a spooky mist drifting into place. It was so abnormal I couldn’t quite comprehend what it was. I walked closer to it to see what it was. I waved my hand through this mist, all it did was disappear and reappear. It started to move away from where I was standing. I almost appeared that it wanted me to follow it. So that’s what I did, I foolishly followed it down into a dark path. After walking quite a distance, the mist came upon a large building at the bottom of a hill. As I looked down I could see that part of the building was ravaged, full of dull, reddish brick. The windows were shattered and all the furniture was wrecked.
The mist floated closer to the building. I just stood there, like a coward, not wanting to move an inch closer as I realized that this was an old mental hospital. In fact this was where they kept all the mentally unstable people like my friend’s grandfather. The building was over a hundred years old, so I guessed they needed to demolish it sooner or later, but why wait so long to finally knock it down? Why did they leave it this way? These questions haunted me. The mist was gone now; it didn’t have the sense and manners to wait for me.
I was afraid to go inside the hospital, but maybe I could find someone to help me find my way back, then I would be safely inside my house. I made my way down the steep hill to the tall building. I could just climb over the rubble, but I worked my way toward what was the main entrance. I opened the door that looked as if it could topple over any second now. The moment I opened the door I saw the little girl laughing as if she heard a joke. “There you are, I thought I lost you in the forest!” I sighed in relief. The girl laughed even harder, her cheeks turned a bright red now.
“What’s so funny?” I asked. She laughed even harder now, tears ran down her cheeks. She almost made me laugh until her laughing suddenly stopped as we heard a high pitched scream. I jumped panic stricken, “What was that?!!” The girl started to giggle. “Who’s there?” I pleaded. The screaming got louder and the girl laughed harder, so hard I thought she was going to die from being out of breath. She fell to the floor and tugged on her curls. The screaming got so loud that it sounded as though it was right next to me.
“She’s here!” the little girl declared in a warning tone.
“Who’s here, what are you talking about?” I implored desperately.
I felt a finger tap me on the shoulder and I knew it wasn’t the little girl. I knew it had to be someone else. I slowly turned around and to my horror a young woman was standing behind me. She had in her hand a hatchet that she swung around and around. I gently backed away and slipped on something. The woman swung the hatchet wildly while screaming. Something about this seemed familiar. I began to wonder if this woman was a ghost and the little girl was some crazy psychopath. Maybe she was a ghost too. I didn’t know. Maybe they were both sent to this mental hospital a long, long time ago when the building was brand new. It really didn’t matter, I knew what was going to happen and I tried to prepare myself.
The woman CRASHED the hatchet through my right leg, leaving a pierced sting and a loud, bloody murder, ear-splitting screech through my lungs. I felt dead after that, nothing at all. My body was shut down and so was my soul.
After what felt like a millennium, I awakened in a strange hospital bed. The room was nice and comfortable. The walls were baby blue with artificial plants along the walls. Next to me was a rolling table with a plate of mac and cheese and some broccoli along with some iced tea. I was starving! I was under a white sheet on the bed and when I peered under the sheet, I realized that my right leg was bandaged up. To my horror, the events of the night before came back to me and I saw that my leg was gone and all that was bandaged was a stump. I figured I must be in a normal hospital. Then I heard the loud high-pitched scream and the evil laughing.
It was then that I knew…I was in a mental hospital.