Prologue

Hey…..How did you find me? How did you get here? You better be careful, or the Cradle will hear you...It hears everything...

Chapter 1

My name is Lauryl. I used to live here a long time ago. I was playing hide and seek in the attic with my friend Drept. But I couldn't find him. But She found me. I screamed but no one heard

me. I've been stuck here for such a long time... The Cradle keeps me here, it remembers me. When I first came here I was nine. Back then it was more then an orphanage. It was a place for

people who weren't safe. The insane. We lived in a cold and drafty tower.

The nursery was a large room with 12 beds on either side and a large pedestal stood at the head of it. Dr. Pettihue would come and read out our prayers and make sure we were all in bed.

We could hear cries coming from the back wards. Terrible cries. Some of the children were planning a runaway. They wanted Drept and I to come with them. We got as far as the stairs down

to the lobby but as we started to go down we heard shrieks from the back wards.

Staff and guards ran past the front desk. We could hear indistinct yells and wailing. Then it just stopped. We hid ourselves behind the railing as the Staff walked back and some sat in chairs

with relief, one walked to the desk and wrote something in a large book. We hurried back to our beds as a guard made their way towards the stairs. The morning after while eating

breakfast, we could hear moans and quiet sobbing coming from White Hall, a guard walked into view holding a plain beige pot. Drept called it an urn.

The sobbing got louder as the guard walked farther from White Hall. As we walked back through the exercise yard, I heard footsteps on the balcony above. I leaned out to see, but all I saw

was a rotting metal birdcage, I could hear quiet mumbles, indistinct gibberish. A white gloved hand reached for it and Staff urged us back to our tower as cries were heard. I glanced back to

see a woman being dragged by the arms back through White Hall. They slowly faded but even as we walked further and further away, they could still be heard.

That night as our prayers were being read, we could hear the footsteps on the metal catwalk below, rushing back and forth. Drept said someone from the back wards had gotten loose. As

we lay in our beds, the moaning and cries went on throughout the building. and stood outside the door with the guards, discussing the recent outbreaks and the rise of violence of the

patients.

"This is starting to get out of hand. Once every few weeks, we can deal with, but once every few days, if we're not careful, it will be once every few hours! We –HAVE- to tighten security!"

The guard fidgeted uneasily "I'm stretched thin on men already, or if you've forgotten, they've killed six of my patrol men, the ones that –are- alive, are scared out of their wits about the place, let alone its occupants."

Dr. Pettihue wasn't pleased with the prospect, he ran a hand through his hair and walked down the noisy metal stairs, Dr. Hanscomb stared at him blankly.

"What if we increased the shock therapy on the ones who've escaped?"

The guard stumbled slightly "Increase it? And have them become even more psychotic?"

All he did was smile and with that he turned towards the stairs, leaving the guard dumbfounded. The next morning as we walked to the meal hall, someone was walking about with what

looked like cages on their hands, the guard pushed us back

"GET HIM BACK IN HIS CELL!"

Two guards ran into the room, seizing his arms, he made a strange clicking noise, like gears grinding against each other. They dragged him out of view, but his moans and clicks were as loud

as before. I'm not sure what they did to him, or why they would do something so cruel. I wanted to ask him what had happened, I soon got my chance. I followed some boys down to the

morgue; they had a small bag with them. I still wonder what's in there.

As I climbed down the ladder I lost sight of the boys and began to wander around the dark and eerie line of rooms. I walked down the winding hallway, following the sounds of sparks and

water dripping. I saw a man was lying in a small stone bath-like pool, filled with water, and a series of electrical cords running into it. He yelled at me to help but I couldn't... I ran out and

was too afraid to look back. I never found out what the boys were doing down there.

I flew up the ladder, trying to get away from the horrific sight.I heard violent shrieks; people shouldn't make sounds that awful, it's not natural. His screams rang in my ears for days, all those

days I couldn't sleep. I kept hearing it; it sounded so close, but when I would open my eyes, there would be nothing but the moonlight sparkling on my pillow.

I shift restlessly, pictures and sounds of pain and terror playing in my mind. I drifted into a dreamless sleep, but I awoke all too soon.

Someone was yelling.

I could hear someone running outside the door, shaking the knobs.

They wanted to get in, but the door was locked and they didn't have a key.

They weren't supposed to be here.

The door burst open and the woman I saw in White Hall the day before, ran in and looked as if her eyes had been painted a blinding white. She ran blindly around the room, running into

several things. Two guards ran in, trying to grab hold of her, but she, although couldn't see, avoided them very well.

She grabbed a boy from the far end of the room, holding something to his throat, threatening to kill him should they come any closer. As she backed towards the door, a nurse tip-toed

behind her with what looked like a needle. She began to pick up her pace to a run and thrust the needle into the woman's neck. She fell as the needle was removed. The nurse sighed in

relief but suddenly gasped. As the woman had fallen, she had slit the boy's throat.

They both lie on the floor, seemingly doors slammed behind the guards as they dragged the bodies out of the room, leaving a thin trail of shimmering blood. None of us slept that night. Two

boys put their restlessness to work. They had been digging a tunnel from our fireplace to the front door, only to end up in the Meal Hall. They rushed back to us, with flushed cheeks. Out of

breath they told us what they had seen. Dr. Hanscomb and were teaching "something" to walk.

As they crept closer, the were able to make out the face of the boy who's throat had been slit only hours before. His neck appeared unscathed. As they explained, we became confused, as

we had all seen him die. As one of them slowly backed into the tunnel, the other unable to move, frozen in fear, the floor creaked beneath them and turned in their direction. The boy who

had stopped in his tracks claimed he saw crack a sinister grin before turning back to his latest experiment. I lay awake, afraid of 's dark intentions. We never saw the boys again. They were

gone by morning. We all assumed they escaped, but I know better. Dr. Hanscomb denied all knowledge of the boy's disappearance.

None of us believed him...