The Broken Return This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 27, 2012
I am one of the mentally insane; I am one of few who has survived. I was born on the island to a surrogate mother who left me to die out in the rain. My young screams and cries were drowned out by the winter storms, no one even cared to notice. I was all alone, yet I survived. I grew up in an Orphanage, a poor young home with fifty kids of different ages, willing to make a difference yet failing at every try. They saved me from death, yet I was already dead inside.

At fourteen I ran away and news spread that I drowned in the lake, falling asleep under the water’s lullabies I thought for certain that I was gone, yet I awoke on the forbidden side of the island. There was not a single soul around and as the years droned on and on, I was not like the rest I soon found out. Walking alone in these woods I learned the history of my life through the numbers, the sounds, and soon I forgot how to talk. Sixteen years old, a young woman, I stumbled upon an abandoned old house. It was a home, a place of torture. I heard the screams of long ago, I felt the pain and suffering that were memories held within the walls. I felt the life that was once inside the house. That night I had a dream, I dreamt the history of the house the ghosts of before awoke and told me tales of the nightmares of this island. They showed me what was truly their hidden from the world. The magic, the nightmares, engulfed my life and soon this power began to grow. I wasn’t human, yet I wasn’t a robot, I was simply something more. Every night the dreams would come again and I would visit the past and the places until one place wouldn’t leave my mind, it was a mental asylum. The dreams urged me to stay, to not go there yet my heart was yearning for the place, I didn’t want to be lonely anymore. I dreamt of hope, of love, acceptance and peace in the halls of the place. When the past knew it couldn’t hold me any longer they finally let me go and that morning I set out on the journey that I have walked many times before.

Coming into the place it was full of life, the doctors smiled at me asking me my name, my age and where I had come from. I was confused, I felt an evil arise yet I surpassed it. I was all alone and they knew it, they wanted to help me, to “fix” me they said, they called me broken, insane, abnormal and swore that they would help me. I was in a group of people, we called ourselves the mentally insane, we swore to protect one another and from them I found out the truth. This was a prison, and I was trapped in this hell. My nightmares screamed with anger, they blamed themselves for the mess, they knew of the torture, yet they hid the truth from myself.

There were many like me, who didn’t talk, didn’t want to, we learned to communicate with numbers, using our minds as windows to our demented minds. They saw the nightmares, many feared them yet to me this was life. Each day someone went missing, only to reappear in a few weeks tired, worn out and close to death. Many didn’t return at all, we said they were in a better place yet we knew of their death. I dreamt of the torture, I knew what they had done yet I was still a virgin to their tortures to their evil stares and lies.

It was a Sunday afternoon when they walked me in chains to the room with the mirrors. They said that they would fix the evil inside of me, forcing me to stare at the mirrors and hear the voices of pain and evil. Some days I would cry, unable to scream out. The mirrors tortured me, forcing me to kill myself, to live with their pain and agony. They showed me their world, they wanted to kill me to take over my life, yet the nightmares protected me, shielded me from their lustful hands. I stayed in the room for days, at times for weeks. I didn’t know who I was anymore; I only knew that I couldn’t speak. I was screaming inside, pleading them to let go to stop the nonsense that I was fine, yet I wasn’t in control anymore.

As the years went on many had died off, and others were beyond repair. As days went on the images in the mirrors began to come more and more alive. They began controlling people, killing the doctors off one by one. They thought it was witchcraft, that it was my doing. They would lock me in the room for days, months, years hoping that I would die. When it failed they shut down the asylum, locking me, hiding me underground in the room for years and years. The others escaped, hid in the walls with the skeletons of many before us. When the years went by the place was remodeled turned into a home, a young couple entered not knowing of the forgotten past. The oldest son of the family stumbled upon the bodies in the wall, but the scratching noises were still there, the screams at night were heard throughout the home. The Broken were returning, wanting them to pay for what was done to them. The mirrors didn’t stop, they played their little games until one day it became too late. The son died, then the baby girl, the father wanted this to stop yet he didn’t know how to stop it. He screamed, “what do you want.” And with a shriek three words were carved into his skin, let her out. “who?” but the demons were gone. He searched until he heard sobbing coming from the basement, the walls were hiding something yet he didn’t know what. He heard knocking then a demonic laughter, what was their? Breaking apart the walls he saw a passage way with signs and warnings to never look into her eyes. As he came closer he saw a young girl dancing while humming to a lullaby, her clothes were those of the 1380’s with jagged pieces falling off, her hands were bloody and shaking but her dance had mesmerized him to stand watch. The mirrors were silent, her reflection gone; as the music stopped she spun around, her eyes black and her mouth full of blood. She laughed then plunged at him, and then she was gone. Leaving him with scratch marks on his back and shoulders with blood gushing out, she laughed and his last breathe was of pain.

The next morning the police arrived due to neighborhood disturbances the night before, digging back into the history they feared of what they would find. Searching the house they found the many bodies of the experimented, and the two bodies of the children that were wrapped in bodies of the old. They had taken them and trapped them in the walls. Continuing the search they heard a lullaby and a young girl singing, following the sound they saw the demon with the body of the husband with his heart ripped out and her talking, “this won’t hurt, I promise.” As she disappeared the words on the floor spelled out one thing and one thing only, The Broken Have Returned.

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