"We didn't choose this. None of us did. It's not our faults no one will accept us!"
Voices whispered in a black nothingness, bouncing off unseen walls and echoing around the darkness. "Breakfast, girls!" Shouted down the hall sent a young girl springing from her dream. her pink hair a frizzled mess as she watched the sign out side her window sway.
Willow Street Asylum
for the mentally unstable
The girl rubbed her eyes, slid from her bed, and pulled on her clothing. She wore an orange shirt with a purple check mark that matched her purple shorts. She wore knee-high red converse with purple lacing. She brushed out her pink hair and let her small cowlick at her part between her bangs spring cutely off her head.
A knock on the door was followed by a nosy nurse, her eyes darting around the room. "Stacy, how are we feeling?"
The nurse began to jot down notes, "Manic or depressive?"
"Hmm...neither! Just little ol' me!" The nurse smiled at the girl and left.
Stacy was a happy, pink-haired, ball of optimism. Regardless of her manic-depressive disorder that caused very dangerous outbursts, she was well trusted and well liked around the hospital. She had been at Willow Street Asylum for nearly three years now and was now 17 and almost of age for the adult ward.
"Mornin'!" Stacy called to three other girls as she sat down at their usual breakfast table.
A girl with short blonde hair named Jackie was already seated beside Stacy. "Morning..." She mumbled, staring at her food she had yet to touch. She had been at Willow Street for five years and was now 14. She wore a hospital gown. She wore her left arm in a sling, her head and wrists bandaged, and a dark eyepatch over her right eye. She was cut and scarred from multiple suicide attempts due to her depression.
A third girl, May, spoke next as she flicked her long, straight dark blue hair over her shoulder, "You seem in a good mood!" She noted. She wore a green shirt that barely squeezed over her well-endowed chest and accompanied it with a dark blue pencil skirt. May had been hospitalized for obsessive compulsive disorder for nearly four years and was now 16. OCD may not sound like a cause for hospitalization but when you go into a rage over a tilted picture, well, that's a different story.
The fourth and final girl, Catherine, only nodded and smiled, agreeing with May. She had gone mute a year before arriving at the hospital and had since been hospitalized a full year due to a very serious case of post traumatic stress disorder. Catherine was only 13 and wore a bright pink dress covered in frills, ruffles, and bows.
"You guys know about Zach, right?" Stacy asked, answered with knowing nods and yes's except for Catherine who looked confused. At the sight of the unknowing look in the youngest girl's eyes, Stacy launched into an explanation of Zach, the willow street Asylum's mystery. He was a living myth, supposedly locked away forever and hidden from the world. Locked away in a padded cell somewhere in the asylum. None of the doctors could get him under control. "He kept babbling on and on about remembering his past, and knowing none of this was reality, he was legit crazy! No one even knows if he really even exists 'cause like, no one's really ever even seen him!" Catherine nodded, understanding the legend now. "Anyway, I found his-"
A scream erupted throughout the lunch room. A girl was in the corner screaming but she was quickly sedated. The girls were only distracted for a moment, it was rather normal for them to see that kind of situation unravel on a daily basis.
"...as I was saying..." Stacy redrew the attention back to herself, "I found his room!"
Catherine looked astonished, Jackie looked confused, but May had a knowing smile on her face, "You know he doesn't really exist, right?"
"YES HE DOES!" Stacy protested, "You just don't know what mystery is..."
"Riiight..." May stood up, holding her spotless tray, "but he really is just a myth." She punctuated her sentence with a ruthless smile, obviously feeling superior over the pink-haired girl. May and Stacy never really did get along all that well.
Once May had left to put her tray away, Jackie looked quietly at Stacy before stating in shy, monotone voice, "I believe you." Catherine nodded her approval, agreeing with the bandaged-blonde.
"But May doesn't!" Stacy stood up, hands on her hips, upset her friend didn't believe her, "I swear he's real! I'll take you to his room!"
In the boys' ward of the Willow Street Asylum, a nerdy looking boy by the name of Avery was exclaiming the same sentence.
Avery had been at Willow Street for only three months, and apparently in that short period of time, he had discovered Zach's room. Avery was hospitalized for Multiple Personality Disorder and was 16 years old. He had a plaid sweater vest over a white button up shirt, khaki pants, and red hair.
Avery sat on a couch next to a boy with long, brown hair named Shaun who was playing some video game, "Whatever you say, dork." Shaun joked, elbowing Avery in the side as he could tell he was ready to switch personalities. Shaun wore a simple black pants and red jacket outfit that matched his anger and rage issues perfectly. He had been hospitalized five years and was now 15 years old.
A third boy sat a few feet away in a beanbag chair, staring at the wall behind him via a small handheld mirror. His name was Kyle and he had been hospitalized the for eight years for paranoid schizophrenia and was now 14. He wore a hoodie with small fox ears on the hood that popped off the sides and faced down, always making him look afraid. He kept the hood up at all times to cover his short, shaggy blonde hair. He wore green cargo shorts and black combat boots. He kept a small mirror with him at all times to keep an eye on what was behind him at all times.
"Why won't you believe me?" Avery persisted.
"Cuz you're just desperate for a guy!" Shaun chimed in.
"Why're you so mean to me!?" Avery whined, slowly becoming another personality know as Kayla.
"Cuz you deserve it." Shaun answered bluntly, returning to his game.
Kyle sat in silence as the two bickered.
"I do not!" Kayla whined again.
Kyle stood up and faced away from his friends, watching their reactions through his mirror, "Shaun, you're the one staring at the little PTSD girl all the time...you're just as desperate as Avery."
Shaun glared at Kyle, "Shut the fuck up, she's cute." But his anger sounded differently knowing it was Catherine they were talking about. I need to protect her...Catherine...
"So where is the room then?" Kyle asked, trying draw the conversation back to its original stem, Could Zach really exist...?
"So where is the room then?" Jackie asked Stacy at the same moment Kyle did, Is she for real?
At that moment Avery and Stacy's minds synced and they both yelled in victory, "I'll show you!"
"WHY THIS WAY!?" May called from the start of the vent system as she followed her friends through the cramped labyrinth.
"Hurry up!" Stacy called as she crawled on ahead, passing by Catherine who was trapped in a corner from an approaching spider. "Catherine..." She half laughed, half sighed. Jackie crawled along behind her, struggling along with only one arm to hold herself up and the other stuck in the sling. She fell on her stomach but continued.
"I hate you so damn much...!" May cursed under her breath as she followed directly behind Stacy.
"Oh, shut up, I see the end!" Stacy continued on before jumping from the vents and landing in a solid white hallway. She took a step back and bumped into someone. She spun around to see Avery exiting from another hallway, whispering to his friends to be quiet. "Wh-who are you!? Why are you here!?" Stacy freaked out, turning manic as she pointed a finger at Avery, "State your name!"
"M-my name is Lizzy! P-please don't hurt me!!!" Avery, or more correctly, Lizzy, squealed.
Shaun noticed Stacy's confusion and stepped up, putting a hand on Avery's shoulder, "This is Avery." He explained, "He thinks he's found Zach's room."
"He's MPD." Kyle cut in, to explain the obvious male claiming a female name, "He's having a little episode. Call him Lizzy."
"Oh." Stacy said.
"That's why we're here too!" May said as she reached up to help Catherine who was still struggling to join the older girls.
Catherine jumped out of the vents, and smiled up at the group around her. Shaun's eyes opened wide at the sight of her beautiful brunette curls bouncing around her and pretty pink dress flairing up as she fell. Her long eye lashes batting as she stared back at him. Her tiny hands clenched---
"LOOKS LIKE WE'RE GOING TOGETHER THEN!" Stacy called, interrupting Shaun's thoughts about Catherine and the group continued awkwardly down the hallway together, none of them really knowing each other too personally.
"Here we are!" Avery called, hand on the sliding door.
"Room number 157!" Stacy added.
"It's not even locked?" May inquired as Avery slid the door open, stating that it wasn't locked because no one ever went in.
Within the room, they could all see the walls were white, and padded, the floor matched that. In the far back corner, his eyes hidden from the shadows of his long, black hair that draped over his right eye. He smirked as he saw the group of kids enter his room, knowing what would follow.
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