Faulkner: Okay. This story has been dancing around in my head for awhile now. It's a bit crazy, but I think you might like it. Give it a chance before you condemn it.

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Stanton Institute For The Mentally Unstable

Yeah, that's where I live. I'm one of the patients at the nut house called Stanton Institute. My name's Ashley McClane and i've been at the Institute for about 13 years. I was sent here by my parents when I was only five because of an accident that changed me forever.

I can remeber that night like it had happened only seconds before. I don't think the memory will ever leave me. Something happened to me that night, something that I can't really explain.

But that night left me with a terrible gift, or curse, that I never asked for.

On that night, I was given the power to take life, and to save it. One was the power to control the most uncontrollable element, fire. The other, to heal anything from a papercut to a mortal wound and cancer.

This has always gotten me into deep shit. It's the reason that i'm in this freakin' loony bin. These powers scared the livin' daylights out of my parents, and they sent me here. They didn't know what to do with me. Because in the beginning, I couldn't control these powers. I would accidentally set something on fire, or heal someone when everyone was watching, and I would have to try to explain it, when I couldn't.

My parents thought me unsafe, so they shipped me here. Shipped me to fuckin' hell on earth.

The surprising thing is, I have actually gotten used to this creepy place. Most of the people in my Block have become family.

I think i'm gonna have to give you a little explanation of the Institute before I continue.

The Stanton Institute is separated into Blocks. There are Blocks A-E and Block Z. Block Z is a place for the dnagerously crazy nutcases. It's also where labotamies and electro-therapies are done. You never want to go there.

Trust me on this.

There are about fifteen people on each Block. The Blocks are all three stories. The rooms take up the third floor, the cafeteria takes up the second, the infirmary and doctors offices take up the first. The Blocks are in a kind of circle, (except for Block Z. It is off to a corner of the Institute) with the Recreation Room in the middle. They are all connected by halls with security checkpoints.

A fifteen foot chainlink fence with barbed wire on the top surrounds the facility. There's a basketball court and a football field on the grounds. Only the most trusted patients are allowed on the grounds.

Okay, now just a little bit more about me. I'm tall, about 5'6 with short black hair that was always a pain. My eyes were a dull brown and my skin was too light to be tanned but too dark to be pale. I wasn't skinny, but I wasn't fat either. I was considered strong for a girl, and had more of a muscular frame, even though I was an E cup.

Now that i've got that crap out of the way, i'd like to get on with my story. It all started when I went for a visit to Dr Stanton's.

*The* Dr Stanton. He was a middle-aged guy, with thick glasses over bright blue eyes and short brown hair that was graying at the sides.

I walked into his office, my combat boots squeaking on the freshly mopped tile. He didn't look up from some papers, only motioned for me to sit down. I sat on the couch and stared out the window to my left. Some of the patients were playing basketball.

"Miss McClane." Dr Stanton said.

"Don't call me that. My names not McClane. It's Gostannen." I replied without looking at him. We had gone over this a gazillion times. He had asked me why I wanted to be called that once. I hadn't answered him.

"Miss McClane, why do you insist on being called Gocannon?" Dr Stanton asked wearily.

"It's Gostannen Dr Stanton. Gostannen. I like that name cause it suits me." I still wouldn't look at him.

"What does it mean?"

"Feared, dreaded."

"Why do you want to be called that? What language is it from?" His interests were conflicting. He loved all kinds of languages and their origins and crap like that. But his profession was a doctor.

"It's Sindarin."

"Sindarin? Wait, you mean that made up language by Tolkien?"

I nodded.

"Who started calling you that?" He leaned forward in his seat and pushed his glasses up on his nose. He had a nervous habit of doing that.

I finally looked at him. "Randall and his nutty friends."

He glared sternly at me over his glasses. We weren't supposed to use words that referred to crazy people. If we wanted to talk about them, we had to say 'mentally unstable.' What a load of BS.

"They don't like me too much. I only beat their faces in that one time. Now it's like i'm marked or somethin'."

My hands were starting to sweat in the heavy fire-proof gloves that I was forced to wear 24-7. They had learned early on about my uncanny fire ability when things didn't go the way I liked. Now they had locked these funky gloves on my hands. In the summer they would be filled with sweat, and I was only thankful for them in the winter.

Dr Stanton sighed and rubbed his temples. Then he spoke again.

"It seems Mr Dean's ribs are fully healed. Isn't that odd how they healed after only three days?"

Oh shit. Taylin Dean was one of my friends in this stink hole. He had gotten his ribs broken by one of the patients in Block Z. One of them had escaped a few nights ago and attacked me on the field. Taylin had gotten the wacko off me and two of his ribs broken in the process. I had gotten away with only a few bruises and scrapes that had healed in few minutes. Stupid healing curse.

"Interesting Doc. Maybe miracles do happen." I said.

He raised an eyebrow at me. Last night I had creeped into Taylin's room and healed his ribs. I was still kinda tired from the effort. The stupid gloves may have limited my fire ability, but not my healing. For that, I was immensly grateful. My abilities did come in handy, but were still a pain in the ass.

"Do not try to fool me Miss McClane. I know you snuck into Mr Deans room. I told you that you cannot waltz around healing people. You are dangerous with those powers of yours. Something could go wrong."

"It hurt for Taylin to freakin' breathe! I am *not* gonna stand around and watch a friend of mine hurt when I can help. Not a fudgin' chance." Dr Stanton was a pretty nice old geezer. But he was denser than a bag of rocks.

"I don't care Miss McClane. I had strictly forbidden you to use your powers." He started shuffling papers and pushed a button that signaled for an orderly to come. There was always one waiting outside his door in case something went wrong.

The orderly entered and Dr Stanton continued. "Your punishment will be one week in isolation and you will be put back on medication."

"What? No! That stuff will kill me faster than if I was smoking or had cancer! You can't punish me for helping someone! You can't do this you old windbag!" I jumped from my seat and lunged for him.

The stupid orderly grabbed me and held me back. I continued to struggle and thought about using my fire ability. But that would have only made things even worse, so I just lashed out with my feet and fists.

The orderly dragged me through the halls kicking and screaming. The guard at the isolation room unlocked the door and looked at me.

"Well, well. If it isn't Spitfire! Are you sure you don't want the straitjacket Tim?" the other orderly said.

"Naw, I got her number Rob. She won't be tryin' no tricks, will ya Gostannen?" the one holding me asked. I just struggled even harder.

They both laughed and threw me into the room. The thick metal door banged shut and the lock clicked. The two orderlies stared at me through the slot. I flicked them off, and they closed the slot that allowed a look inside.

The isolation chamber was made of four inch thick steel all around. The only furniture was a bed with a blanket, and a chair. I kicked the chair and screamed in frustration. No one could hear me, but I felt a little better.

I laid on the bed and pulled the thin blanket around me. I was coming up with a plan to get out. I had been in this hell-hole too fucking long. I was gonna get out one way or the other.

Either escape through the gate, or escape through death. I wouldn't hesitate on either.

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I waited until about two hours after curfew. The lights were off and I was listening at the door. I knew it was useless, but did it anyway. I stepped back and closed my eyes and concentrated. It was harder to use my fire ability with the stupid gloves. But I had to get out.

I concentrated and searched deep inside myself for the fire that I knew was smoldering somewhere inside me. I found it and concentrated on setting the grease that I knew was in the lock on fire. I made sure the fire got hotter than a blowtorch and watched the metal where the lock was melt.

I put out the fire and slowly opened the door. I looked to the right, then left. No one was in the hall, so I creeped out and stopped again.

SQUEEK!

Ack! My boots!

I carefully took off my boots so that no one would hear my boots and come running. I silently ran down the halls and up the stairs. I didn't dare try the elevator.

I quietly slipped into the room that was assigned to me and this little girl. The girl was about ten years old and crazier than me. Maybe it was because I wasn't crazy?

Ah, anyway, I walked in and opened the bottom drawer on the bureau. Inside was a small box and a bunch of blankets. I pulled out the little box that fit perfectly in the palm of my hand and opened it. Inside was a pure gold chain with a pure silver pendant.

The pendant was a perfect circle with sun, moon, and star engraved on the front. Surrounding the sun, moon, and star were funny squiggles and shapes. On the back, there were words engraved and filled in with black paint.

The words clearly said 'O mor henion i dhu', then below that, 'From the darkness I understand the night.'

It had been given to me by a nice old man when I had first come here. He said that it had been given to him from his wife, who was dead. The man said that I had reminded him of his wife, and given it to me. In a way, it was kind of creepy, and kind of sweet.

I put it on now and slipped the little box in my pocket. I quickly put on a clean shirt and a hoodie. Then I was outta there and heading for Dr Stanton's office. I needed to get the key that would take these stupid gloves off. It had been awhile since I had last seen my hands.

I reached his office and slowly turned the doorknob. Tonight was my lucky night. The door opened and I stole inside. As I searched through his drawers for the key, I wondered why the door was unlocked. I thought that Dr Stanton was probably going senile already.

Eureka! I found the key and unlocked first the left glove, then the right. I yanked them off and threw them into the trash can.

I bended my fingers and tested my fire ability. I made a nice little fireball that I let go out after I made sure that everything was working properly. I picked my boots up off the chair that I had dropped them on and headed for the big window near the infirmary.

The window was taller than me, and was covered with a wire mesh screen. The screen was locked to insure no patients got out. Obviously they hadn't counted on me, because the lock melted easily in my red hot hands.

As soon as the lock melted I opened the screen and then the window. I closed the screen, then the window, and put my boots back on. I looked around before darting across the field to the fence.

"Hey, you there! Stop!" A flashlight shined on me and I foolishly stopped. "What are you doing! Get over here! Hey! HEY!" I started to run towards the fence again. I couldn't get caught now!

"JACK! SOUND THE ALARM!" the guard called. I looked over my shoulder and saw him chasing after me.

I looked back to the fence and concentrated on running. I put my hands on the fence and concentrated on melting it. When the hole got big enough for me to get through, I felt a hand pull me back.

"I GOT 'ER!" the guard yelled. He turned me around and tried to pull me back towards the Institute. But there was no WAY I was going back. I kicked him in the balls and ran into the forest that covered most of the land beyond the Institution.

I could hear more security guards running after me. I pumped my legs even harder and ignored the stitch in my side. I had to get away.

I just HAD to.

Then it started to rain.

The rain limited my eye sight a little and got me wet. But it was only a light drizzle, nothing bad. I heard the guards close in on me and I prayed to everything that I knew that I would get away.

I had gotten lucky once tonight, and in a way, I got lucky again.

I tripped on a protruding tree root and fell. I thought I would stop after a few feet, but then I remembered that I was on hill. And evidently I was going downhill and picking up speed. I kept hitting rocks, roots, and bushes as I kept rolling head over heels.

The only thing that stopped me was hitting a tree. I had also seemed to land in a clearing.

I had some bruises and cuts that were already starting to heal because of my stupid healing ability. I was laying on my back and staring up at the sky. Some rain got in my eyes, but I just blinked. The rain stopped after a few minutes and the clouds parted.

I could see the full moon and the stars. I smiled and inhaled deeply.

'So this is what freedom is like' I thought to myself.

As the moon shined down on me and was reflected on my pendant, I felt like I could take on the world. I closed my eyes and ignored the floating feeling that came to me. Eventually the feeling stopped, and not a moment too soon. I was starting to feel a little sick.

It was the same, almost exact, feeling that you get when you were extremely dizzy. I figured that it was because of my little rolling down the hill. Just like in the nursery rhyme 'Jack and Jill.'

Boy, I could never have been so wrong.

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Faulkner: You like?

Pinky: Please review!