(This takes place after my previous story, 'I've got to be direct')

What had started out as a relatively innocent task had developed into a reluctant exploration of one of the most infamous parts in town. For a solid 10 minutes, Daria and Jane stood and stared at the abandoned Lawndale psychiatric hospital. What was their task? Why were they there? Both of them had an assignment with different classes that would work out pretty well with this one location, killing two birds with one stone so to speak. Daria had decided to write a creative story about the insidious treatment of patients in the Lawndale hospital, whilst Jane was coming along for some haunting imagery for her paintings. Her Lucid dreaming behind her, she wanted to tackle something that was creepy, yet still in some obscure way withheld an essence of beauty within it. Well, this place certainly seemed to be ripe to take advantage of for creative potential. Whilst it was a decaying man-made structure, nature seemed to show once and for all that it couldn't be conquered. The environment was wound with wall climbers, thick with moss and ivy, the floors blanketed with thick dust and no doubt was inhabited with rodents and other feral creatures.

"This place always seems so much bigger in person" said the artist in a hushed manner, as if the crumbling mass of brick was a holy relic.

"Remind me again why we couldn't have just done some work at the graveyard" Daria droned, masking the slightest reluctance due to fear.

"Because, It's not just the look of this place that's intriguing, it's the history behind it. There's a reason why it's abandoned and that just gives me all the more hype to check it out"

"Pardon me, if cannot contain my bursting excitement" she responded nonchalantly, "but I think I'd rather pull up a seat out here and base my studies on the exterior"

Jane shook her head, a smirk on those fine ruby lips of hers "Nuh-uh, Miss Morgendorffer, you are NOT staying out here. C'mon, we'll stick together. If it gets too much, we'll leave"

"The anticipation is too much" Daria shot, visibly shaking a bit now, although still maintaining her deadpan expression.

"Alright, Daria, timid little mousey, c'mere. I won't let you out of my sight" the raven haired teen cooed playfully, taking her girlfriend's hand and guiding her into the building. She wasn't sure if that was to tease Daria or to ease her nerves as well as her own.

"Great"

Immediately, there's a cold air and a clamp of darkness that seems to grip the place: harsh shadows leaking across the floor and eating the ends and mid-ways of corridors and empty rooms. Their ears could pick up on a distant howl of wind, traveling the passages and tiny, significant sounds of creaking, whining, taps, snaps and rustling all around them.

"I'm inspired. Time to go" the thick-lensed gal said, spinning eagerly around back to the doorway. Jane grinned, seizing her by the shoulders and turning her back around.

"C'mon, we just got here and there's plenty to see yet. Cripes, Morgendorffer, I didn't reckon that this kinda thing would freak you out"

"Of course I am. I don't know if there are any parasites lingering around here waiting to jump me"

"What are you talking about? They're back at your place talking about pores and high-heels" Jane replied quickly, cockily.

"This place has been abandoned for 80 years, for some reason not receiving any permit for bulldozing. I don't know what kinda rabid animals are inhabiting this place"

"Fine, if it really bugs you that much, I swear we'll leave after 10 minutes. We'll stick to the ground floor. Agreed?"

Daria sighed "Agreed" and they took off down the decaying corridors.

Discarded hospital trolleys and papers littered their path, along with a sheet of autumn leaves having flown in through some of the smashed windows. Jane unintentionally kicked an empty pill bottle along the hallway and they stopped, watching it roll to the end, until their eyes and ears could no longer detect it. Seconds later, shuffling could be heard distinctly.

"Probably a stray cat" the artist suggested, shrugging. Despite them clearly being afraid, they were comforted by the presence of the other person, assured. Turning her head, Jane looked into a room, no doubt having been used for sleeping patients at one point, and ventured through the cluttered mess on the beds, tables and other trolleys. Daria took the time, building some courage, to look outside the room and further along the corridor.

Jane didn't technically know what to expect. She didn't expect to find anything particularly, other than some muse for her art. Surely one would think the look and feel of this place was enough, but apparently not. Shivers ran up the girl's spine as she watched a large centipede wander across the floor carelessly, inches from her. She wasn't usually the squeamish type, but whenever it came to obscurely large insects, she admitted it shook a nerve. Brushing her arms off, after feeling a little chill, she took a step back, knocking a bed with a large bang, alarming herself in the progress. Rolling her eyes, she stepped away and saw a disc shaped pendant on the floor beneath the bed. Curiously, she leaned in to swipe it off the floor. Brushing off some collected mass of dust and a dead spider, she saw a peculiar inscription, engraving, on the pendant. She leaned down to look further under the bed and saw a fat book, bulky, so desperate to expand free of its restriction, it was strapped together tightly with some string. Yanking it out from underneath with a loud hiss, from the material and the ground's friction, she brought it into her arms with great effort.

"Christ, this bastard weighs a tonne" she grunted, putting it down on a trolley. Swiping a scalpel from the collection of tools, she cut apart the string, opening the book. It hadn't even managed to stay a book. A lot of the contents were loose pages, some not even sticking to the average size of the book, being A3. Roughly half stayed sturdy and together. This alone could offer may possibilities for inspiration. From what it looked like, it was a series of journal entries, complete with illustrations that somewhat represented the work of Albrecht Durer. A look into the mind of a madman. The girl grinned uncontrollably with excitement.

"Okay, I just saw a padded room with smears of, what I hope is, dried blood across the walls. Can we get outta here now?" informed Daria.

Closing the book, clearing her throat, Jane turned around to face the teen. "Didja find anything?"

"Only a traumatizing experience of a dead institution that tortured people on the basis of their mental health or just being outsiders of the conventional standards of an oppressive and unjust society"

"Sooooo, Lawndale High in general. What's new?"

Daria couldn't help but crack a slither of a smile at that statement and looked down at the trolley.

"I hope you're not thinking of becoming a brain surgeon"

"Hey, you said you wanted a lobotomy for your birthday" she sing-songed, dangling the scalpel near her. Un-amused, Daria pushed away her hand.

"Piss off. What's this book?"

"I found it under a bed. It looks like a personal account of one of the patients that was here once"

"Do you mind if I read some of it?"

"Sure. I'm intrigued by it too, but it's mostly the illustrations that've caught my fancy"

"That works for me" she replied confidently, picking up the book, with just as much effort, and carrying it out the room and back towards the entry to the hospital.

"Did you seriously see a padded room back there?"

"Oh yeah, and right now, we're climbing aboard the 'nope' train and getting the hell out of this place"

"Pizza, then my place?"

"I thought you'd never ask" sighed the misanthropist in relief.

End of part one

(This whole story is something entirely different, that I've never done on before. If you're a regular reader of my stuff, give this stuff a chance and see how you feel. Comments and suggestions are always welcome)