My death would kill them.
It's ironic when you think about it, but it was the honest truth. Death was the one thing in life that you couldn't get out of. It seemed everyone was born to eventually die and because of that, we made the most of what we could get.
It all seemed so simple in my head, but things never really went to plan. My parents should have known that since the moment I was born.
I was born as any child was; crying. That would usually be considered a good thing, except in my case, I didn't stop. I tried to picture myself as my mother, the happiest moment of her life, giving birth to her first and only child, holding me in her arms, feeling as if from that moment onwards everything would be alright. The nurses told her that they could take me if she wanted, but she had refused. She wanted to get me to stop crying by herself, because that was her duty as a doting mother.
I was told that it took three hours before she gave up. The Doctors and Nurses alike were astonished with my lung capacity. New-borns weren't supposed to be able to cry for that long, they were supposed to tire and fall asleep. The Nurses had to expose me to sleeping gas in the end. After lullabies and toys did nothing to stop me it was the last thing they could think of.
I was told that my mother had been scared.
It took until my second birthday before my parents took me to see a specialist. For two years I had gone from a happy, kind toddler, to a sudden fit of unstoppable tantrums and rages. I would rip the heads from dolls and if I was in a supermarket I would toddle around and break anything within my reach.
It was my father who had finally proposed the idea, that there might have been something psychologically wrong with my health. They couldn't understand how or why, but they took me to a psychologist and they did some tests.
A rare, almost impossible case of split personality syndrome, completely untriggered and untameable. I was just a ticking time bomb. I didn't really listen to the diagnosis myself when I was old enough, but from what I could tell something in my brain was bigger than it should have been, or smaller… I didn't really care. Whatever it was, it meant that I would have uncontrollable fits my entire life. I wouldn't be able to make friends, go to school or even go out much in public. Nothing set me off, but anything could. In the end, my parents just gave up on me.
I didn't belong where they sent me either. When I was twelve they sent me to a mental health clinic for young people with illnesses that their families couldn't deal with. I was still visited at times, but it began to lessen the older I became. I was lucky to get an annual visit now, at the delicate age of seventeen. I'd just sit in my room, unable to talk to anyone, unable to touch anyone. I'd stare at the cracked walls of my little white wash room and pray that one day I'd be normal.
They made me a routine to try and control my fits, times that I had to keep to so I had something to occupy my abnormal brain.
I sat with my legs crossed on my bedspread, a blanket that was covered with little pink and purple flowers. They were so realistic that sometimes I forgot that I was inside an institute and instead pictured myself in a fresh garden, picking flowers and smelling the fresh scent of the sweet mountain air. Then my fingers would grab at the unresponsive fabric and my heart would sink into my stomach. I'd have to remind myself that it wasn't really true and I was still inside a hospital, still locked away from human contact, because everyone was afraid of me.
"Eleven thirty, medication time!" The sweet nurse sang. She was only in her late twenties and had the dark ebony curls of a fictional character from one of my books. Snow White… that was the one. The one with pale hair and plump red lips. The one that got poisoned, the one that died.
"Th-they're not s'posed to come back to life," I muttered, fiddling with a strand of my limp blonde locks. I didn't look her in the eyes. I was afraid that she'd be scared off if she saw me. I was afraid I'd loose it again, like with my last nurse…
"I know honey." The kind woman sat on the bed with me, but made certain she didn't touch me. After years of not being touched, human contact made me shudder. "But you need your pills so you can feel better."
My head twitched involuntarily and I grabbed my neck to calm myself down. I couldn't listen to their lies any more. 'Eat this and you'll feel better.' They all said it… they all told me that if I swallowed a few pieces of magic medicine then my tantrums would disappear, but they didn't. I didn't even know what my pills were for.
She placed the cup of three small pills on my lap and I shivered at the feeling of the paper against my bare legs. I made sure my eyes remained at the furthest wall as I snatched the cup and slid the pills into my mouth.
"Open wide." She said, her voice sickeningly sweet. I closed my eyes and braced myself to face her. After a moment of hesitation I opened my mouth to reveal my bare tongue.
"Good." She said, and with a moment of silent contemplation, she got off my bed, leaving it slightly lighter and lifting me an inch higher than before.
I didn't open my eyes again until I heard the door firmly close and lock behind her.
My gaze darted about the room, as if some unknown force was watching me. Bare walls, a bare bedside table and my little camp bed where I'd spent the last five years in exile. But no people, no one to see what I did alone.
I cupped my right hand below my chin and shakily spat out the three pills I had carefully hidden under my tongue. The nurses seemed to care less about whether I'd hidden the pills, they knew better than anyone that they didn't seem to help anyway. I chewed on my lip until I could feel the skin that had only just begun to heal peel away again. I sucked at the drops of blood that touched my tongue as I placed my newest pills into my pillowcase. They would remain there for an emergency, that's what I had told myself. They were for my unplanned escape.
Eleven thirty was just one of my planned times. At twelve I was allowed to go to the TV room when they had taken all the other patients back to their rooms for lunch. At one I was allowed to walk in the garden with my new nurse. She tried her best to please me, in fact only days ago she had sat with me for two hours attempting to get me to help her make a daisy chain.
I didn't like daisies. Not when other people were touching them. She tried her best and I could understand that, but the one thing I wanted was the one thing I could never get. To be alone outside. To feel the sun against my face without someone staring at me, waiting for a fit. To be able to rip blades of grass out of the earth without being told off, without being told that it wasn't 'proper' to defile the living things around us.
The grass had no consciousness, and it felt no pain. If it did it would scream tiny pleas every time I ripped it up, but it didn't. They were wrong and I was right. The grass could be ripped up and no one would even care.
In the half-hour I got before my next scheduled activity, I sat in silence and faced my wall. Sometimes, if I stared long enough I could pretend it projected my memories against its surface, so I could see my parents. My mum, her hair that fell in little blonde ringlets, my dad, whose brunette locks fell around his ears, the way he smiled so his beard creased, the way she laughed like a delicate creature. The way they both used to love me before the psychologist had given me that test. The way they protected me up until the moment they realised they couldn't help.
They gave me up.
It started as a burning sensation at the back of my retinas that stretched out like a fire in my brain. It didn't hurt like a fire would, but instead made my head ache with awful, dark thoughts. I could feel my fingers at my face, clawing at my temples.
"Get out, get out, get out…" I repeated the same words, curled up on my bed like a child I would rock back and forth and plead for the images to leave me alone.
'Kill them all, what do they really do for you?'
"They help!" I screamed to the words inside my head, that strange dark voice that didn't sound like my own. A tainted voice, a creature that lived inside of me.
'They lock you away when there's nothing wrong with you.'
"There is something wrong with m-me…" I choked on my words, feeling the salt of my tears wash down my throat, "you're what's wrong with me!"
'They don't care, none of them care. Your parents left you here, and now the nurses feed you pills that don't do anything to help you. Why do they feed them to you then?'
"Stop it!" My emotions were harder to control.
'Maybe they're poisoning you…'
"Stop it!" My throat burned.
'They can't even help you any more, they just want to get rid of you!'
"STOP IT!" My voice echoed off the walls as I let my anger flee through my lips. My head burned as I reached out in front of me and grabbed the edges of my blanket. The sounds of ripping threads tore through my ears as I screamed to try and drown it out. Everything I broke didn't seem to help; it didn't fill the pain inside my head. I wanted to smash my face into the wall to try and dull the ache… but then… then she came.
Doors opened to the sounds of wailing patients, caught off guard in their adjacent rooms, filled with the fear of the one patient that just wouldn't stop screaming.
I could hear the voice of my nurse, the sweet lady who tried to make daisy chains, who watched TV with me and called me 'honey.' She fed me pills…
'She poisoned you!'
Her face was the picture of pure fear the moment I set my eyes on her. And then… then she was nothing.
It was dark for a while, but the wailing persisted. Like an eerie dream where everything screamed at you to get up. But they weren't my wails; they were the ones of the other patients. Still scared, scarred from my recent attack. I could hear the sounds of panicked feet as nurses tried to find and tame the ones that tried to run away. The ones that wouldn't stop crying or the ones that had simply stopped functioning. Everywhere I went I caused nothing but pain.
The back of my head was throbbing with a dull ache as the voice that had been whispering to me faded into the back of my mind. My body felt like a lead weight as I lifted myself up from the floor. I could barely make it to my knees before the scent of iron hit me.
I tried to focus on the double image of my shaking fists. My knuckles were covered with dried blood, presumably from where I'd hit things. I turned my blurry hands over to see my palms. They were raw from where I'd burnt them from tearing at the blanket.
I'd broken everything, the blanket my parents gave me, the furniture the hospital provided me with.
I flinched at the sound of a whimper from the other side of the room.
"St-stay, n-no, don't co-come near me… y-you're… y-you…" the gasp that came from her lips reminded me of the one person foolish enough to try to console me in my state.
The nurse, her ebony locks now knotted and tangled in blood. A nasty gash on the back of her head where she'd fallen onto the floor. I watched her as she scrambled back against the door that led out of my room.
"Y-you're n-not… y-you… y-you're not human, h-how can you be human!"
I watched the tears cascade down her cheeks, but felt nothing for her. Just like the grass that I tore from the dirt. She was in pain, but it was her own fault. She thought she could tame me. She was wrong.
I watched as she scrambled to her feet, swaying as she caught a hold of her face. Lines of torn flesh decorated her cheeks and forehead. One of her eyes were red where my nails had caught her. I looked to my fingernails, staring blankly at the bits of skin and blood that were caught inside.
I listened to her voice until she'd disappeared down the hall. She locked the doors and left.
Only then did I let myself cry.
I guess that's how it all started. Me staring at the blank wall of my room, locked inside for all it was worth, not allowed out for three days until they were sure my mental health had been restored, or at least… whatever was left of it. I had heard that my newest nurse had resigned but no one new had signed up to take her place. Stories spread of the little hospital in London, the one with the foreboding iron gates. The one that housed the demon child… Lily. The little demon child.
So I sat there, with my legs crossed on the floor, trying to project my memories onto the wall. My parents who would cry at my funeral. My death would kill them. My life had killed them plenty already. The only child that they could never replace, yet the one that they didn't want any more anyway.
I closed my eyes and let the tears run. I didn't want to look at the wall anymore. I didn't want to see my memories. Instead I looked towards the pillowcase I had placed by my side. The weeks upon weeks of stocked pills.
My unplanned escape.
I shakily emptied the contents and watched the pills land in an unkempt pile on the floor.
I didn't wait for a moment to reflect, instead I just took a handful and dry-swallowed each one. I kept doing it, over and over and over and over. Grab and swallow, grab and swallow. I began to feel dizzy, my stomach protested with the poison in my system. I wanted to throw up, but I refused my body the access.
The dizziness finally took over and all I wanted to do was sleep. My head hit the floor before I could even blink and I gave in to the darkness.
Because I guess they weren't trying to poison me. But it was a bloody good idea anyway.
Yes, in some ironic twist, that's how it all started.
With my death.