For a moment things were hazy and unfocused, the noise of the room muffled and merged into a singular droning ambiance. There was also a dull ache. A concussion. The loud clamor eventually became distinguishable once again and Daria's sight functioned along with the rest of her brain, adjusting, to see she was on the floor and Jodie was holding her up into a seating position.
"Are you alright? Are you okay?" she whispered. The aura in the room was an alarming mesh of concern, anger and violence.
"W-what... w-what happened?" Daria stuttered.
She gazed up to see Mr O'Neil attempting to usher Jane out of the room, who was in a fit, close to hysteria, as she was trying to explain something to them.
"It came outta nowhere, everybody was shocked"
"What came out of nowhere? What's going on?" she spluttered, trying to find her feet. Brittney pranced over in her illuminating cheerleader outfit.
"Jane just leaped out at you, pushed you off your chair, and you banged your head on the wall. She started shaking you, mumbling something" the blonde explained in her squeaky voice.
"Jane attacked you!" Kevin blurted out, dumbly.
Before Daria could make her way past her crowding classmates, the artist had already disappeared down the hallway, the literature teacher dashing after her.
It wasn't until lunch that Daria locked eyes with a familiar pair, belonging to the taller, raven haired gal. It was a bother, brushing off the worries of her classmates unfounded accusations, ideas of jealousy or deep seated envy that seemed highly unlikely. Jodie's words of advice fell on deaf ears, as Daria proceeded on towards her locker, acting like nothing had happened. In fact, she was more preoccupied with seeing Jane. To have such an extreme action come from her drove a lot of concern to her head. She was terrified by what she remembered last of her expression. Pure, unfiltered terror, right at her. What had she seen? In any case, she finally found the chance to, as she stumbled into her line of sight. Exchanging books for her lessons at her locker, she went to open her mouth to ask the reason for her jumping her, when the ruby lipped cynic hugged her tightly, catching a few people passing by off guard.
"I'm sorry" she whispered softly, worry hanging in her voice.
"I'm fine" Daria insisted, pulling away. "Just what came over you? Why did you do that?"
"I saw something... a face and a hand latching onto you, directly behind you"
"Latching? I didn't feel anything" the bookworm dully informed.
"But it was there, I swear. I'm sorry I pushed you like that, I thought that... whatever the hell that thing was was going to hurt you"
"I'm not denying what you're saying. After last night, I'm willing to approach this with an open mind. What did it look like?"
"It was dressed in a hospital gown... the face,... it was decomposing, the skull fractured and burnt in some areas, empty eye sockets... You know what, you were right, Daria. Let's get that book and take it back to that stupid place. I want nothing more to do with this freaky shit" she declared, cringing at the details.
"Fuck, Daria. We don't NEED it! We can still make up a perfectly good creative story on the spot for it. I'm not letting any more of this happen. As soon as school finishes, I'm throwing that stupid book back into the hospital"
"Everything's been laminated" Daria said blatantly, as if the tampering of the quality of the book had interfered with disposing of the garbage.
"I'll give you the money back for it. I'm not taking any chances with this, Daria. Do you have it with you now?"
The urgency in Jane's tone made her shake. If she hadn't been scared before, she certainly was now. Even though she didn't fully believe the circumstances, she didn't want to take her girlfriend's opinion for granted, if there WAS the chance that these things existed and it wasn't just the result of her being a dimwit and coming to school on an empty stomach. She delved into her bag and fished out the sheets, all shiny with lamination. Jane grabbed her and urged her into an empty room, all the while, students and friends watching them with fascination and suspicion.
"Why are we doing this again?" pondered the nerd, looking out at the display again, showing the personal accounts, illustrations and symbols.
"We should understand what this guy's motivations were. He was crazy, but he wasn't stupid"
"Stupid enough to open the gates of hell" she remarked scrunching her face up.
"People aren't evil for the sake of being evil. There's gonna be a reason why he did all of this"
"A creative outlet influenced by his meds?"
"Funny" the artist responded with a frown.
"Who said I was kidding? Maybe that was why he made this. Some people would be lucky enough to have access to some materials, especially if they were believed to self harm. Anything could be turned into a weapon"
"Good point, but when you look at these pages, you can see that some of the symbols are dried blood, so he still harmed himself in the process of making these. If this was something they knew about, they would've required to see it and these probably wouldn't still exist"
The two pulled up a chair and started reading through the journal:
August 12th 1935
Who knows how long I'll have this in my possession? If I'm discovered, to whoever finds this, may it serve as a warning: People are not to be trusted. Noone. Everyone, everything is a lie. Everything they've conditioned us to see, hear, believe is a facade to the reality. There's an escape however. Not physically, but mentally. It doesn't matter what they do, they can't get to me there. Unless I become one of the hall zombies: the ones with the frontal lobe scars that shuffle around aimlessly. We're all going to be like that if we reach to resolve things too late, not just in here, but out there. The real world. Part of me thinks its already happened. Maybe they just couldn't influence me. They can't control me, so they think I'm insane. Maybe that's why I'm here. I could hinder and disrupt the flow of their plans, so they lock me up.
August 17th 1935
Father visited me today. I told him of the conditions here. He's very quiet, father. He wants to listen to what I have to say. When I want for him to come, things seem almost impossible. Time drags on painfully. I get it, he's very busy. I'm lucky to have him come here at all. Once in a while, his visitations are a pleasant surprise. He'll bring things to me, give me praises. I seem overtly chuffed, but many people's fathers don't so much as acknowledge their existence. In here, there are very few visits, particularly from one's family members. I feel all the more special. It makes me want to get out of here free all the more, knowing someone cares, someone believes in me. In turn, I'd do anything to make it up to him.
The bell rang, announcing the end of the break period and the girls cleared up the contents of the book and walked to class, their curiosities and fascinations piqued all the more.
End of part four