ATTENTION - I will start every chapter with a quote and tell you who's perspective it is in!!!
Chapter 1 - Nayleth
"Take my hand,” crowed Light.
“Why?” Darkness asked.
“Because,” Happiness said. "We can not live without one another.” - Flumadiddle
My head was pounding again, it feeling as if it was a piggy bank that was smashed open against it's will. The back of my eyes hurt and my hands were sore, as if they had been in fist for most of the night. Beads of blood also littered the palm of my hand, making it look like a disheveled painting.
Sighing, I got out of the rock like bed and rested my bare feet against the cold tiled floor. The wax was shiny, my reflection showing back. My hair was a black that even the Grim Reaper would approve of, it now a roosters nest. Even though I had gotten at least eight hours, fifty seven minutes and twenty seconds of complete sleep, bags were under my chocolate brown, doe eyes. The bags were a slight purple, making it look like mascara to the less observant. My lips and cheeks were a rosy color and my skin rather fair. No freckles adorned my body or face. Although, zits and pimples loved to call it home.
I was eighteen today. October 31st: Halloween. The usually bleak room with its gray walls and pale blue floor was decorated with a single pumpkin. Nothing else. I really wish there was more decor here but that was never going to happen, considering the last ten years I've been here. Every holiday is the same, we all gather in the same room, sit in the same rusty metal chairs, the bright hospital lights blinding. The same patients holler and scream, while others sit there, staring at walls and mumbling to themselves. A few hum the same tunes over and over again. Honestly, by this point, I should be done with Hey Jude by The Beatles but come on, that song is legendary. Anyways, I was the only one who actually cooperated and behaved normally here at Ripper.
Ripper was built in 1813, it's paint still gleaming and the flowers still blooming profusely. Now, in 2017, the tulips, roses, and daisies were never replanted and never grew back. The paint on the outside had begun to chip and had lost it's once exuberant color. The windows were covered in dirt and slime while dead bugs littering the sills. The floors were waxed very often but only to very weakly cover the grit that caked it. The beds, as I said before, are like rocks and nothing is ever decorated appropriately for the holidays.
I got up, the muscles in my legs contracting. I looked at my arms and rubbed my hands over the lines that crossed them like blood thats splattered a mirror. The scars were faded but still clearly visible and slightly red. I would prefer to wear long sleeves but those were against protocol here at Ripper. The reason they are against it is because some are scared of the patience hanging themselves.
The space between my shoulder blades and a bit above my hips began to spike with pain but I brushed it off. It would go away later. Hopefully.
Just then Bird walked in, my nurse. She had thin, chestnut colored hair and was skinny as a twig. She had large eyes and small, thin lips with a freckle filled face. Her skin was a pale as snow, her eyes a jolly rancher blue.
Looking at me, she smiled. But then she frowned. I had a feeling I knew what she was going to say.
"Sleep well Nayleth?" she asked me, her voice sounding slightly hoarse and high pitched from normal.
"Yup." That was a damn lie for sure. I have trouble with night terrors and this was one of the worst. I was standing on top of a building, it awakening acrophobia and only my heels were touching the cement roof. A man was behind me, his dragon like wings resting upon his back. He looked exactly like my father. Horns rested upon his head, a tail flickering behind him and I remember him smiling at me, telling me he was going to push me off, to trust him. He pushed me off but then, as I was falling, and the world twisted and all around me was the thoughts that plagued me. My doubts and worries. My insecurities and broken dreams. Everything that is wrong.
"Good. Now, Nayleth I need to tell you something and your not going to like it." Bird began to tell me and worried lathered her voice like cake icing.
I just slowly nodded my head, lacing my fingers back and forth.
"I am leaving this retched place. I'm sorry but I am wasting away here. Although I did run into a young man in the lobby, he is your age too. I can't quite remember his name but he is taking my spot tomorrow. This place doesn't care if he has training or not."
"No worries Bird, I had a feeling that you were going to leave anyways. I notice more then you think. Just because I was framed for being insane doesn't mean I can't notice things."
She didn't say anything for a few minutes, us both sitting there in uncomfortable silence.
"Well, happy birthday and Halloween Nayleth." and with that she left.
"Yeah." I mumbled and grabbed Catcher In The Rye from the one nightstand. Luckily, they allow books here and I cling to them. Not the best thing but what else do I have to do? No way am I knitting or playing bingo!
I spent the rest of my day walking around the room, only leaving to get food. nurses had to escort em of course. They have killer food here though. No joke, one of the former patience's here, Lucy I believe her name was, once beat a man to death. And it was spaghetti day! That's the worst one! She was stopped but not before he was sent to hospital with a few broken ribs and severe head injuries. Lucy only suffered broken hands. They didn't get him there in time, to say the least. Anyways, after eating I returned to my room, escorted by a nurse.
This nurse was rather plump and seemed to love pink as she was dressed in a full pink uniform. Her eyes were small and beady while her blonde hair was put in a tight looking bun. A mole had rested it self atop her nose and gave her a cliche witch look.
Once in my room, by this time it was 7:32pm, I laid in bed. The moon shone though the windows, casting an eerie glow through everything. The sheets were thin and cold, while the pillow flat and smelled of vomit. Cherry Cola vomit to be precise. The moon light bounced off the floor and shone in every corner of the room.
Just as I was about to pass out the door opened. Two security guards entered and took me by the arms. I ran around the room, ducking and jumping. A few times I punched them but to no avail. After a few minutes of struggling to stay away, the men finally got a hold of me. Their grip was making marks in my arms and their nails digging into it, my skin coming off.
I flailed and kicked and screamed. I knew where they were taking me.
Most able-bodied patients (the ones who can talk properly), call it the Slicing room. Patients are taken there, the ones who are recommend the most insane, and are literally cut open. Their back, skull, legs, arms, the whole ordeal. The worst parts is though, is that you're awake and can feel the pain when they are cutting you. My former "neighbor," Cy, was there. When he came back he stopped eating and you could see where they cut him. Some of his own blood had stained the scars. He lost pints of blood because of it and then, one day, disappeared. No one knows where he is or how he got out in the first place.
I retaliated against the men but they held tight. So I did the logical thing of kicking them where it hurts. Their grip slackened immediately and both crumpled in pain, hands and heads between their legs. Neither were moving for a long while.
I ran, not caring that I was in thin, plain pants and shirt. My hair was flying behind me and people were whispering. Nurses looked at me, astonished but ran after me. Many were yelling at me to go back to my ward. No thank you. I pumped my legs harder, gaining more ground.
I turned a corner and hit something warm and strong. My head hit the floor, making my headache worse and my spine shake. The pain between my shoulders and above my hips was back but worse. A few of my fingers were, specifically under my nails, were also in blistering pain but I ignored it. It was odd but not worth mentioning.
Then a voice that sounded so comforting to me. It was like the most warm, friendly and wonderful thing in years, spoke to me
"Oh, sorry. Here, let me. What's your name, anyways?" The voice asked me while helping me up off the floor.
"It's Nayleth. Nayleth Drequinn. Now, move because I am not staying here any longer and if you don't, I will drag you with me!" I fired at the man and he moved, a flabbergasted yet intrigued look on his face. A smile played across his lips then I teared off and ran out the doors.
I let the fresh fall air fill my lungs, the first I'd have since I first got here. Then I heard the pounding of boots against ground. I began to walk again. I knew where I was going, even though it was the worst place to go.
The guards steps were echoing through the air and their voices etching into my brain. They were catching up but I knew these street better then most. This town never changes. Why should it?
I was playing with the ring my father had given me, twirling it round and round. One of the few things left from him actually. The ring that he had given to me had a elegant lead base. The middle of the ring had a dragon engraved into it, the shape filled with one glinting sapphire and finished with a clear polish and swirls of gold wrapped around it. I never took it off.
"The names Claric, by the way. Claric Griffin. Mind if I follow?" he asked me.
"Nope." I mumbled and walked on, Griffin keeping up easily. His legs were quite close to being long and he wasn't really muscular. He was rather skinny, as if he was a rockstar. His eyes were a bright green and his hair a mahogany brown. He wore a plain white shirt and over top that, a tan L.L Bean jacket. The jeans he wore were bright blue and his whole outfit hugged his body, showing off his shape.
Something about Griffin, the way he held himself or just his presence, it felt familiar. I looked at him again and decided that my decision to let him follow was alright.
Before I realized I was staring, he caught me.
Smirking, he answered. "Staring I see, Nat. Anyways, where are we going?" he asked me, emphasizing the new nickname.
I was shivering and my feet were freezing. It was quite cold, even for an October night.
"My mom's. She runs Talon Side Manor but no one really stays anymore. Why were you even at the asylum and why do you want to know where we are going?" I told him, my teeth chattering without realizing it.
To my relative astonishment, he immediately took off his jacket and gave it to me. His hands brushed my neck and sent warmth blistering through it.
I stared at him, blinking dazedly.
He chuckled at me. "Your cold and I radiate heat like a volcano. Go on, take it. You feel like the dead. Also, I was there because I needed a job and I want to make sure that I am not being dragged to some slaughter house by a stranger. A stranger who doesn't seem to have lost her mind."
"Oh." Was my only response.
We trudged our way up the pine tree filled road, my feet freezing but feeling relatively warmer. Griffins steps linked up with mine, echoing through the forest. By this time the voices of nurses and gaurds had been long gone.
My thoughts lingered as the birds began to die down and the crickets began to play. I wondered how Gram would react and if any of them would recognize me. Would my mother be worse then she was ten years ago? Would my Gram still be here? Would Zelda be here? Was my father's study still intact? Was my room still intact? What about the pictures that littered the halls and the smells that filled the house? Does Gram still bake? So many questions filled my head but for now, I needed to relax and just get there while aided by this stranger.
I could do that. Couldn't I?