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12+ Language Mature Content

The Asylum of the Mind

by HazelGrace16

Ella Parker awoke to the rattling of the moving vehicle. The twisted path of the road throws her around like a rag doll. She looks around at her surroundings only to find herself covered in the dull darkness of night. The only light she can see is the occasional flash of light through the small window above her. She can only assume it's coming from street lights as they drive by. She shivers against the cold metal floor of the vehicle, and pulls herself up into a sitting position. In an attempt to further her exploration of the small space something stops her abruptly. Metal shackles bind her hands and legs to the floor, making it almost impossible to stand or move.

Where am I? Oh God, how did I get here?

Crazy thoughts dance around her head as she tries to remember what happened before she woke up, but the only thing she can remember is the slamming sound of her door after a fight with her mother. Every moment after that is a hazy blur locked in an unbreakable safe.

“Hello?” She quietly croaks out. Her throat is sore and dry from the stale air. It reminds her of the pain in her throat after a day at an amusement park. It reminds her of screaming...

After a moment or two of no response, Ella calls out once again.

“Hello? Can anyone hear me? Please. Someone please tell me what is going on.” Her pleas become more urgent, as the continuous silence echoes through her ears. She is alone. As the car continues its drive down the twisty dirt road, Ella eventually loses track of time. What once felt like quick adrenaline filled minutes turns into slow painful hours. When the vehicle finally comes to its abrupt stop, Ella would do anything to escape her cold, metal prison cell. It is only when Ella hears the heavy footsteps walking towards the door that she regrets her previous thoughts. Her heart hammers and a bead of sweat drips from her forehead. There is nothing she can use to defend herself, there is no way to escape. She is trapped.

The large metal door opens to reveal an older man, with a crooked smile. His identity, hidden by the bleached lab coat and the glaring blindness from his glasses makes Ella uneasy.

“Welcome Miss Parker.” He says. Upon closer inspection Ella can see that where his eyes should be are black emotionless holes.

“Where...Where am I?” She asks timidly.

“Well my dear, you have just arrived at Beldon. The asylum for the mentally insane. I’m Doctor Roberts” His tone is cheery and confident. It makes Ella’s stomach churn.

“Asylum? But..But I’m not crazy.” She says.

“The typical answer for those who are crazy. Trust me.” He smiles, and turns to his left. “Bring her inside, and place her in her cell. We have a lot of work to do.” The doctor disappears, and then suddenly a dark figure appears in the doorway in his place. Like the doctor, his eyes are black empty craters in his head. Ella stares with fear as the figure unlocks her shackles from the floor. She can walk now, but not fast because her limbs are still bound together.

“Move. Now.” The man orders, as he pushes her towards the large mansion in front of her. The windows are dark, and barred. The man notices the fearful, but interested look on Ella’s face. “They are barred to keep people out, and the crazies in.” He explains. Ella shudders at his words.

“I am not crazy…” She spits.

“Tell that to the one who sent you here.” He forcefully pushes her up the steps to the large door with many locks.

“Who? Who sent me here?” She asks, but the man does not answer. He continues to stare straight ahead as the locks begin to click open. Doctor Roberts opens the door, and smiles.

“Come on in my dear.” He welcomes Ella in with a bow, and places a hand on the small of her back. He sharply turns to his comrade and whispers something in his ear. Ella can't tell what he says, but the quiet chuckle of the doctor sends shivers down her spine. “Come along my dear.” He leads her into a room with two chairs facing each other. Between the two chairs is a table with a tea set on it. Ella stares at the tea set and its familiarity, but she can't quite place where she had seen it before. In the far back corner of the room there is a cott and a desk. On the other side of the room there are two doors. One leading to the facilities, and the other a closet.

“Welcome to your new home Miss Parker. I hope you find this comfortable.” He smiles again, and leads her towards the chairs. Forcefully he pushes her into one, and she watches as he takes the seat in front of her. “Alright my dear let’s get started. We have a lot of work to do.”

“And what exactly is that? If I may ask.” She peers at him as he pours himself some tea.

“Why, curing you of course. Trust me.” He says confidently.

“But there is nothing wrong with me.” She refutes. “This has to be a mistake. I'm fine.”

“Oh really” He laughs. “You may think that, but that doesn't mean you are.”

“Who sent me here?”

“Many many questions you have. How about I ask a few now?” Ella stays silent. “Oh! I almost forgot my manners. Would you like some tea? It's quite delicious. Trust me. Old family secret.” The Doctor picks up the teapot, and swiftly pours the brown liquid in the cup. He hands it to Ella, and she nods grabbing the warm cup between her hands.

“Uh, thank you.” She lifts the drink towards her mouth, but the rancid smell of raw iron and dirt stops her abruptly. Her eyes slowly move from the Doctor to the cup. What once was brown tea is now deep red blood almost pooling over the top of the tea cup. She quickly drops the cup sending it shattering across the floor. Warm blood pools at her feet, and she lifts her angry gaze back towards the doctor who seems to be unaffected by the incident that just occurred.

“What a shame. A perfectly good cup of tea gone to waste.” He shakes his head.

“It wasn't tea! It was blood! Look!” She looks down, and her eyes goes wide. There is no longer blood splattered across the floor, it is the brown tea liquid from before. “Wait. No. It was blood. It was…I swear.” She continues to stare at the floor baffled.

“Look Miss Parker, I do not appreciate you disrespecting my kindness. I am here to make you better, and you go around telling lies. You should be ashamed.”

“But-” she tries to explain but he quickly interrupts her.

“I don't want to hear it. I will return when you are ready to be truthful about your condition.” He stands, and quickly walks towards the door.

“I'm not crazy!” Ella yells as the doctor quickly slams the door. “I'm not crazy…” She says again quietly. She isn't trying to prove it to him anymore. She is trying to reassure herself. A tear falls from her eye, as silence once again falls upon her.

It was blood. I swear.

After a few minutes alone Ella stands and replaces her tea stained shoes with new ones from the closet. Flashbacks of the blood filled tea cup fill her head. It had seemed so real. The red color. The thick consistency. The putrid iron smell. It had to be real.

An unlocking sound comes from the doorway, and knocks Ella out of her trance. She walks slowly walks towards the door to inspect the sound.

“Hello? Who’s there-” She is cut off by the quick whoosh sound of a small window opening. She jumps back startled, as a silver tray is pushed through the tiny opening. On the tray is a glass of water, a note, and a plate of pills… She timidly bends down and grabs the folded note.

The pills will help. I suggest you take them if you want to feel better. They will work. Trust me. -The Doctor.

Ella scowls at the note, and she throws it to the ground in annoyance. All of a sudden a strange feeling comes over her. Her hands begin to shake, and an invisible force drives her hands towards the pills. She struggles to fight the urges, but she no longer has control of herself. She quickly picks up the tiny gray pills, and the glass of water.

Don't take them. What are you doing? Stop. What is going on?

Ella takes the pills and some water, and throws her head back to swallow. The pills catch in her throat and she coughs, but they eventually go down. After the invisible force is released Ella falls to her knees. Her hands continue to shake, and her mind swirls.

What the hell was that?

She looks up to the see the small window open again. Another small note is pushed through the small opening. She slowly picks up the new folded note, and reads the passage in front of her.

Well done Miss Parker. I promise you that these pills will guarantee your better health. They will help you see the problems inside you. Best of luck. You’ll need it. Trust me. -The Doctor.

Confusion fills Ella’s mind. What could the Doctor possibly have meant by “Best of luck. You’ll need it. Trust me” The thoughts make her sick to the stomach.

Trust me.

Ella shivered at the words. That twisted man had trapped, and drugged her. What else could he possibly throw at her? All of a sudden a ferocious pain takes over Ella’s head. She screams in pain, and she grips her head so tight her fingers throb.

“Make it stop!” She yells. “Make it stop!” Tears fall from her eyes as she falls on her back in pain. After what feels like an eternity, the pain finally disperses, but a pounding sensation is left in the back of her head.

“Worthless.” Voices echo in the back of her mind.

“What? Who’s there?” She sits up and looks around the room, but no one can be seen. She stands, and walks towards the mirror on the wall. A dark shadow looms behind her wrapping its hands around her neck. She turns but the shadow is nowhere to be seen. She brings her gaze back to the mirror where the shadow still looms.

“Waste of space.” The voices echo again. “You’ll never be anything. You’re not good enough.

“How could he possibly ever like you? You’re disgusting. You’re annoying.” The voices overlap in her mind like an orchestra of hateful words. They surround her. “You’ll never succeed. Just give up. Girls like you don't go anywhere.”

“No...This isn’t real. This isn't real!” She screams gripping her head once more.

“You might as well not care. You have to push them away. They don't care about you. They never did. They are only pretending. Nobody likes you. How do you expect anyone to even love you?”

“Stop you’re lying!” Ella screams.

“You’re ugly. Have you looked in a mirror lately?” The voice laughs. “Never mind. It's probably to painful even for yourself. You should hate yourself. You shouldn't want to be you. Who would want to be you.”

“Shut up!” Ella covers her ears, but the sounds don't soften. In fact, they become louder.

“There isn't anything special about you. Not one thing. You’ll die one day, and no one will care. No one will remember you.”

“Shut up…” She says quietly. “Shut up...Shut up. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” She screams louder than she has ever screamed. She picks up the teapot, and throws it with all her might at the mirror. Both the teapot and the mirror shatter leaving pieces of glass all over the floor. Her broken reflection stares back at her, tears streaming down her face.

“Well done.” The doctor’s voice booms behind her. Ella quickly turns to face him.

“What the hell did you do to me?” She can barely whisper.

“I did nothing Ella. I simply showed you what you keep choosing to ignore.” He smiles.

“I’m not crazy.” Her voice shakes. “I’ve heard those things before. People say them to me.”

“No Ella. They don’t. You do.”

“What...What are you talking about?”

“Your shadow follows you. It lies to you. It is you. It is your mind Ella.” He laughs. “These are the things you believe to be true about yourself. Things you feel like no one has the guts to really tell you.”

“You’re lying. That doesn't happen.”

“Oh but it does Ella, but the first step it to admit it.”

“No! I’m not crazy.” She argues.

“Admit it!” He yells getting angry for the first time. His gaze locks to hers, and the room begins to shake.

“What is going on?” She asks. The room continues to shake furiously, and blood begins to spill from the walls. “Make it stop!”

“Admit it!” He screams again. Ella falls to her knees, and tears stream from her eyes.

“I'm crazy! I’m crazy! I’m worthless! I hate myself! I deserve to die!” She screams losing her sanity. “Okay? Are you happy? I admit it! I'm crazy!”

“Well done Miss Parker.” The doctor's smile returns, but it is no longer kind. It is malicious. The room stops shaking. The only sounds are blood dripping, and the cries from Ella.

“Who...Who the hell sent me here?” She asks bringing her gaze back to the doctor’s. The disturbed man throws his head back in laughter.The smell of blood burns her nostrils, and her stomach clenches.

“Why you did Ella. You did.” He continues laughing, and the world begins to spin. Ella locks her eyes tightly closed.


“Ella! What are you doing!” Ella’s mom rushes through her bedroom door to the horrific sight in front of her. “Ella! Baby! Please answer me!” Ella slowly looks down to see the knife in her hand.

“I’m crazy mom. I'm crazy, and worthless. Nobody loves me.” Ella’s mom rips the knife from her daughter's hand, and holds Ella’s body tight against hers.

“No baby you’re not.” Tears stream from both of their eyes. “You’re brain is lying to you baby. It’s lying to you I swear. I’m so sorry. I'm so so sorry.” Ella’s mom kisses the top of her head, and they both sit there in silence rocking back and forth.

“I'm sorry mom.”

“It's okay baby. We’re gonna get you some help. I promise...I promise. Trust me.” Ella looks up to the mirror sitting next to her bed, and sitting there looming above her with hands around her neck is her smiling shadow. Like always.

We will get you some help.

Trust me.

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17 Reviews

Points: 309
Reviews: 17

Sun May 17, 2020 4:52 pm
madisonperkins59 wrote a review...

I love this piece of writing. You've done a good job of using e language to portray the thoughts and feelings of the people that are suffering from their mental health. I am someone who has been struggling with depression. You are a true author and you should continue to write. There is not much that I found that I would change about your writing good job. Where did you learn to write like this because I could use some tips from you to help my writing?

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6 Reviews

Points: 414
Reviews: 6

Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:09 pm
Psychologicaltorment wrote a review...

I absolutely love this piece. The sensory description is used so well to paint a picture of Ella's damaged mind. You have a lot of talent and have used it effectively to describe how it feels to have GAD or depression/suicidal thoughts. This piece will hopefully open a lot of people's eyes as to how these mental illnesses feel since it is such a growing problem that often can get overlooked. You have done a tremendous job of using emotive language to portray the thoughts and feelings of sufferers. Furthermore, it makes for a riveting story since, personally, I thoroughly enjoy both writing and reading stories about the troubles of a scarred mind. It is such a interesting topic as well as being a problem that needs more awareness. To conclude, I love this piece of work and hope you continue to write in this fashion.

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7 Reviews

Points: 284
Reviews: 7

Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:31 pm

You have a great talent, this was an excellent work of fiction.

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Points: 240
Reviews: 0

Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:02 am
Harleyn1 says...

This was for sure every well written. You kept it interesting, introduced new characters well, and managed to keep my eye and I'm a very picky reader. You have talent on your side

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298 Reviews

Points: 15144
Reviews: 298

Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:54 am
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HolographicLadybug wrote a review...

Hi! Holographic Ladybug here for a short review! :)

Whoa. This is really intense. I can hardly breath after reading this. I guess that means that you've done a good job then!

I've got nothing bad to say about your story, nothing bad at all. There is nothing wrong with this.

Your description was great. This made me feel like Ella, like this was actually happening to me. It was kind of scary. But I am mesmerized by how ell you wrote this. It seems totally perfect. I really want to ready more, but I'm a little scared to. Still awesome, though.

Your characters were fantastic. Their personalities were clear and I felt like I could actually hear them talk. They are very strong and amazing.

Your story is also very complete with an amazing beginning, middle, and end. You've chosen something (insert word here) and you have told if perfectly.

Like I've said before, everything is so perfect and amazing. There is nothing you could do to make it better.

Stay awesome,
~Holographic Ladybug :)

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93 Reviews

Points: 3819
Reviews: 93

Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:40 am
Lefty wrote a review...

Hey, Hazel! Lefty here to review!

Going into this, I expected it be a simple mystery, horror-vibed story, but what I didn't expect was how intense and deep it went. It was very well written and the read went much quicker than I expected it to, because it really drew my attention and sucked me in. There was also a very metaphoric message that I wasn't expecting, which is really what made this special.

I really didn't find much to pick on, as this-like I said before-was very well written. I did, however, come across a few grammar things and typos that I think I should point out as you mentioned you are submitting this for a competition.

Dialogue Grammer:

Spoiler! :
Okay, so I could go into Punctuation within Dialogue, but Demeter already has an article that explains it all wonderfully called: Punctuation within Dialogue which I definitely think you should take a look at.

However, it doesn't go over everything, so I'm still going to mention a few things about commas.

Almost always, a comma should go before a name. For instance:
Welcome to your new home Miss Parker.

There should be a comma before "Miss Parker."
I did nothing Ella.

There should be a comma before "Ella".

There are also a few places where I noticed commas were missing in normal sentences. If you read the story out loud, you should automatically pause where a comma should be, because you know how it should sound and where pauses are supposed to be. They can be difficult to catch, but in my experience, you sort of start to develop an ear for where commas should be the more you look out for them.
Here are a few examples:
One leading to the facilities, and the other a closet.

This one may be optional, but to me it would sound better if there was a comma before "a closet."
Many many questions you have.

There should be a comma between the two "many" words.
She continues to stare at the floor baffled.

There should be a comma before baffled.

I'm pretty sure there was a few other places I noticed that could use a comma, but those examples should give you an idea.

Spoiler! :
There are only a few and normally I probably wouldn't bother, but again, since you're planning to submit this, I thought I'd point out the ones I caught.
"...I'm Doctor Roberts" His tone is cheery and confident.

There should be a period after "Doctor Roberts."

She looks down, and her eyes goes wide.

This should either be "go" wide or "grow" wide.

She walks slowly walks towards the door to inspect the sound.

There's an extra "walks" in there.

What could the Doctor possibly have meant by "Best of luck. You'll need it. Trust me" The thoughts make her sick to the stomach.

It's missing a period after "trust me."

Ella shivered at the words.

I think this should be "shivers" in present tense.

It's probably to painful even for yourself.

It should be "too painful."

Lastly, I only have one nitpick:
Another small note is pushed through the small opening.

Small was used twice, making it a bit repetitive.

Okay, that's it for all the technical stuff. I hope none of it seemed harsh, as it wasn't intended to. I thought this work was really, really great. It was intense and suspenseful and has a hidden message behind it that really makes you think. It's eery and unsettle and scary... even a bit eye opening. Well done.

I hope my review was helpful, even if just a little. I wish you the best of luck in your competition and keep writing!


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16 Reviews

Points: 40
Reviews: 16

Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:53 pm
twistedracer01 says...

Really good book. The plot was great and the charicters were intresting. And the mysterious vibe is great

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177 Reviews

Points: 593
Reviews: 177

Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:16 pm
Chaser wrote a review...

Chaser, at your service!

To begin, plot: excellent. You've really got a gift for internal conflict. The slow deterioration of the setting helps with that as well, complementing the theme of mental disorder. The only part I didn't quite understand was the invisible force that drove Ella to take the pills. Perhaps, a subconscious desire...?

In any case, the style was excellent. Dark, disgusting descriptions perfectly bring the plot forward. I especially liked the description of the blood. However, I'd like to bring up a bit of word choice, as I noticed a few odd sentences here and there.

Spoiler! :
awoke to the rattling of the moving vehicle.

I've always thought that moving vehicles rumble more than rattle; rattling is the sound a broken exhaust or loose part might make.
The only light she can see is the occasional flash of light

A bit of variety in word choice would be appreciated. Alternatively, "of light" could be omitted.

There are also areas where a bit more description would be appreciated, such as:
Spoiler! :
Ella can see that where his eyes should be are black emotionless holes.

A little reaction here would be nice, seeing as how unnerving and unearthly it is, also being the first sign that something's not quite right.
Ella stares at the tea set and its familiarity, but she can't quite place where she had seen it before.

Maybe a brief description of it would help, if it's so familiar. But its significance isn't really mentioned again, so you could omit that entirely.
She quickly drops the cup sending it shattering across the floor.

Again, a reaction would enforce this horror. Did her heart skip a beat, did she shriek and smash it against the ground? Sometimes, seeing a character scared can make the audience scared as well.

On a side note, I'd suggest capitalizing the Doctor all the way through, since he has such a significant role. I'd also like it if the descriptions could slowly become more surreal and dreamy as the story progresses, seeing as how the beginning felt so realistic. You could also separate paragraphs and sentences to emphasize suspense and shock, like making the sentence about the blood-tea its own paragraph.

Overall, this felt like a powerful take on self-esteem and mental disturbance. I'd suggest a bit more emphasis on description at the climax, and a bit more reaction on Ella's part. Cheers!


Harleyn1 says...

This was for sure every well written. You kept it interesting, introduced new characters well, and managed to keep my eye and I'm a very picky reader. You have talent on your side when it comes to writing.

Harleyn1 says...

I don't know why this posted as a reply on your thing, this was meant to be a review. Sorry about that.

A big mountain of sugar is too much for one man. I can see now why God portions it out in those little packets.
— Homer Simpson