Jamie Stone sighed in frustration and laid back in her therapist's chair. She hated coming here and being told she was psychotic but "Don't you worry. We can fix you. It is just a little problem." Except they couldn't fix her because she wasn't insane. They just hadn't reached the same conclusion as her yet. Every therapist her father sent her to declared her insane just like all the others and moved on, not taking a moment to consider the fact they had just sentenced a girl to hell because of "her little problem".
She didn't have a problem. Everything she saw, every demon that sniffed at her, every monster that looked at her funny- -they were all real. She could see them. She could feel them. She could smell them. Hell, she could probably taste them if she dared. She was tired of coming here every Saturday, listening to some old lady with a messed up nose and no life tell her how she was crazy. She should be hanging out at home or with her friends. She should be doing something, anything, other than this.
It was a never ending cycle--see a demon, tell someone, get sent to the therapist, continue seeing therapist for about two months, therapist then declares her insane.
The Loony Bin.
Take your pick.
She had been there a total of three times so far, staying about fifteen days each time. Her father was a big shot lawyer, which was why they had never kept her there for longer than that. They were scared of being sued, she guessed.
It was all her fault, she thought as she traced patterns on her pant leg. She needed to stop telling people. Every time she did, she ended up in the same position. She hated it and yet, she couldn't break the cycle. It was like a bad habit—she keeps doing it even though she knew she shouldn't. She always ended up lighting the flame that started the fire. She always ended up telling someone, hoping they would react differently. Believe her.
She laughed hollowly and glared at a spot on the wall. Yeah. Right. Believe her. Like that would happen!
Her therapist looked at her, startled at her random outburst of laughter and Jamie turned her head from the wall and looked at her, breaking out of her reverie.
"Sorry. I wasn't listening. What happened?"
The therapist (she believed her name was Dr. Brown or something similar) stared at her in shock. Jamie imagined she was trying to remember what her college professor had told her to do in these situations. She giggled again and Dr. Brown blinked a few times, then began to move her mouth up and down, wordlessly. She looked like a fish.
Jamie blushed. "I'm sorry...Dr. Brown?" The name came out as a question. "I really shouldn't have said that. I really didn't mean it. I'm really grateful I'm here and everything just I'm not crazy and it is really annoying- I mean...er...frustrating – to sit here while you drone on and on about how crazy and psychotic I am and everything. "Dr. Brown was growing redder by each word Jamie spoke. Her eyes grew wide. "I mean not drone on, just...er...talk. You talk quite a bit. But that is your job, so..." She cut herself off and her mouth was left open to form the next word. She snapped it shut quickly and flushed in embarrassment again. "I'm not making this much better, am I?"
Dr. Brown glared at her and said stiffly, "No. And my name is Dr. Baker."
Jamie, if possible, grew more flushed. God, why did she get herself into these situations? Why couldn't she keep her mouth shut? "I'm sorry. I'm just annoyed...and a bit too honest. I blame whoever my mother is because my dad isn't honest." That sounded bad. Her dad was a lawyer. "I mean, he is a lawyer and everything but when he's out of court he tells white lies all the time and-" she stopped herself short, glancing at, "And now I'm rambling."
Dr. Baker glared at her. "Yes, you are."
She sighed and dropped her head into her hands. It was beginning to pound.
She stayed in that position for a few more minutes before she heard, "Miss Stone." She lifted her head and looked at Dr. Baker. She had spoken in that voice. That voice meant she was going to waste the next fifteen days in an asylum with actual psychotic people. She supposed she could use it for her current events homework. 'Jamie Stone sent to Asylum, April 18th, 2006.' she could see her headline now.
Jamie groaned and fell back against the chair, hard. Great.
How does this happen again?
"Don't you think they're overreacting? I didn't even say anything to the therapist! I just...listened. Sort of. In a way." Jamie squirmed uncomfortably under her father's piercing gaze and shifted her eyes downcast. "Anyway, I didn't even do anything. She is just giving the same diagnosis as the others. She doesn't have anything on me. I shouldn't be here."
She had been taken to the nearest asylum immediately and had been there for nearly a day. It was eight thirty. Her father, David Stone, had come immediately after he was finished in court. Now here she was, telling him she was, indeed, not crazy and that she needed to get out of she mention the never ending cycle?
Her dad paced the length of her bare white room and ran a hand through his thinning hair. He let out a sound like a deflated balloon. "Honey, you're going to have to stay this time." He looked down at her, wincing when he saw the furious expression come across her face as she took in what he said.
"What? But I'm not crazy!" she jumped off the bed towards him, arms spread and palms in the air. "It's all real! Everything I've ever told you, every monster I see! It's all real! Just get me out of here and I'll prove it to you! Or," Her voice was going back to normal. She sounded less…psychotic. She flinched internally at the word. She was tired of hearing it. "Or, I just won't tell you anymore. I'll pretend everything I see doesn't exist. I'll pretend nothing ever happened. Just get me out of here. Please."
She sat back down and looked up at him pleadingly, willing him to listen to her. He looked pained and weary for a few seconds, then sighed. He ran a hand through his hair again. Then, "...You're going to have to stay...I'm sorry."
She bent her head down, feeling the tears start to collect in the corner of her eyes. She had expected it. Well, not really. Frankly, she was used to getting what she wanted from her father. But this time she wasn't as shocked. She had been in three times and nothing had changed. Maybe he thought the fourth time was the charm.
'You're stuck here.'
A woman came running into the room. Her father's head snapped up. "I heard shouting?" It came out like a question.
Her father put on a puzzled expression. The perfect actor. "No, I think that was next door."
The woman nodded slowly. "Okay. Visiting hours are over at nine. You have ten minutes."
He smiled politely and nodded. The woman left and the smile dropped from his face. He looked old and worn; something Jamie had never seen him look like before. The lines on his face seemed permanently etched into his skin and his suit hung to him like rags. "I need to go. You should be out...whenever they fix you." He gave her hand a little squeeze, picked up his suit jacket, and left.
Jamie sat back on her bed again, stunned.
Whenever they fix you. Whenever they fix you.
Tears collected in the corners of her eyes and she ran her fingers under them. She had done this before, she could do this again. Her father would see sense soon. He would get bad press if he left his daughter in an asylum. That, if nothing else, would make him see sense.
She wasn't crazy. She'd be out soon.
Tears flowed silently, running down her cheeks and off her chin. She wiped a hand over her neck and face, trying to clean it.
You'll be out soon. Don't worry.
She wasn't crazy.
She continued to pep talk herself, trying to ignore the thoughts that kept telling her it was all her imagination. Nothing she saw was real and she needed to be there.
The woman came, gave her a pair of blue scrubs and left, not saying anything about the tears that stained Jamie's face. A while later a therapist came in and tried talking to her, but she completely ignored him, looking straight ahead at the wall blankly. Eventually he took the hint and left, scribbling a few notes on his clipboard as he went.
Hours passed. Her tears stopped and soon she was just willing her headache to go away. It was late.
Later Jamie was pulling at the wool sheets on her bed, cursing her father and every damned psychiatrist the world possessed. She looked up at the sound of her door opening (technically she wasn't supposed to close it but she wasn't in the mood to follow directions). A...thing was pushing a cart into her room. Scales covered its body and a long, thick tail dragged behind it on the carpet. It wore a chest piece and looked at the world through beady black eyes. It was obviously a girl.
Jamie sat up so abruptly she might have gotten whiplash, her eyes wide. 'They have monsters inside asylums, too? How the hell does that happen? Shit!'
The thing didn't pay much attention to her though. Instead it busied itself with the cart it was pushing. Food, Jamie realized, was stacked on each level- trays with some soggy vegetables, chicken strips, and milk.
She sucked in a huge breath of air when the thing handed her dinner over. It looked at her like it hadn't known she was there. Then it cocked its head to the side in a way they usually did when they saw her and its beady eyes narrowed, trying to figure something out. It leaned in closer until its face was inches from hers.
"What. The. Hell," she said, eyes wide, gasping for air as the thing came nearer. She flattened herself on the wall.
The thing laughed. It was a terrifying sound, like rocks scraping together. Fingernails on chalkboards. Kids screaming. It looked at her cruelly and leaned in even closer. She pressed her back harder into the wall, terrified, trying to get away. Nothing had ever attacked her before, but now? Maybe she was overdue.
The thing laughed that horrible sound again and she resisted the urge to cover her ears. It said something in a language she didn't understand, all harsh words and no vowels.
Then it left. It left just like that, almost...peacefully. Well, that was the wrong word for it. It had scared her out of her wits but it hadn't hurt her, which could be considered peaceful.
Jamie sat, not moving for a full minute before letting out a low breath of relief. Nothing had gotten that close to her in...well, ever. They always kept their distance, looking at her like she was a puzzle they were trying to figure out. Then they disappeared, leaving her to sort through her confusion.
She let set her tray on the end of her bed and put her head in her hands. She had to get out of here. She couldn't wait for her father. That thing was going to come back. She couldn't just sit there.
The problem was that her dad had left here there, at the mercy of the therapists. He wanted them to fix her. Well, she thought savagely, that isn't going to happen if I get killed first, now is it?
She glared at the wall.
She needed to get out.
An hour or so later Jamie was...glaring at the wall. Again. She had been glaring at the wall for the last hour or two, trying to come up with some type of plan to get herselfout. All she had so far was to run at the guards really, really hard and to hope they budged. This would never work. How did she know this? She had tried it.
She let out a frustrated sigh and hit her head against the wall, wincing when she discovered it hurt. Duh, you idiot. You just slammed your head against the wall. Did you think it was made of velvet? She sighed again and sat forward, fiddling with the woolen blanket.
"Congrats, Jamie. You're in the loony bin for the fourth time, sitting on your ass, waiting for some monster lady with no life to eat you. You know what? Maybe you should put some spices in your hair, make yourself more appetizing. Do you think she likes pepper? Or salt? Oregano? I mean, if you're going to just hand yourself over to the creepy bastard..." she left the sentence hanging and sighed again. She supposed she must have sounded crazy but really, what did it matter? They already thought that she was insane for seeing monsters; why not add talking to herself to the list?
"What are you in for?"
Jamie's head snapped up at the unexpected voice coming from her doorway. A girl, about nineteen or twenty, stood in pink scrubs and Nikes, taking in the room lazily. She had black hair that barely touched her shoulders and dark blue eyes that stared Jamie down, taking in the black hair, brown eyes and pale skin. She seemed friendly enough, but at the same time she seemed...aloof, like nothing could touch her.
"I see monsters."
"Cool. I see dead people." She moved across the room and sat down on the bed, Indian style.
"I'm Carson. You really see monsters?"
"Jamie. And yeah. Not that anyone believes they're real..." She went back to attacking the blanket.
"Want to know a little secret?"
She frowned. "Sure...Not that I know any secret you could tell me, but..."
Carson leaned in close, drawing Jamie in just by the suspense. Then she whispered conspiratorially, "The monsters? They're real."
Jamie stared at her a few seconds, rolled her eyes, leaned back and crossed her arms across her chest. "Yeah, says the girl who sees dead people..."
"Oh gee, that is nice." Carson said sarcastically. She sighed like she was trying to control her anger. Anger at what, Jamie didn't know. "Look, I don't actually. I'm a satyr and you're a half-blood."
Jamie stared back at her blankly, blinking a few times. When Carson showed no sign of explaining she said, "Please enlighten me."
Carson rolled her eyes, annoyed then, that she didn't understand. "You've never heard of a satyr? Half goat, half human? Or demigod? Half human, half god?"
Jamie pursed her lips together and looked towards the ceiling like the answer would be written up there. "Um...no."
Okay, Jamie? This is a place for psychotics. Just ignore anything she says to you. She is insane.
Carson gave her an exasperated look. She shook her head back and forth. "You mortals don't know anything." she muttered, then louder, "Look. I don't want to explain it. I'm not the best to explain it to you and I have no interest in doing so. Just come with me. I can get you out of here."
I can get you out of here. Jamie bit her lip and sat back against the wall. A million thoughts were running through her head, all at lightning speed. Trust her or not? Go or stay? Like I said, she is insane...But you're not. You know the monsters are real. You know they exist. Don't play dumb.
"I'm not lying. I'm not some nut job who is going to kidnap you or something. We have satyrs all over the world working in places like these, trying to get half-bloods before they get attacked by monsters. I can help you."
"Prove it. Show me something, anything, to convince me." Jamie sat up straighter and stared at Carson, trying to detect if she was lying or not.
Carson sighed and leaned off the edge of the bed, doing something with her foot. Jamie frowned and leaned over the bed too. She was taking her shoe off. She wasn't supposed to have shoes, or well, shoes with laces. They had confiscated Jamie's along with her camera, backpack, and roller blades. Needless to say, she had been pissed.
She watched curiously as Carson shook off her right shoe to reveal...a hoof. A real hoof. Then she quickly jerked off her left shoe to reveal another.
Jamie stared in awed amazement and Carson said, "I would take off my pants but...that might get a bit awkward."
"Oh shit." Her mouth formed the words but no sound came out. She had finally been proven right. If satyrs were real then monsters definitely were, no doubt about it. Of course she would need more proof later but for now? For now it was proof enough.
Carson raised her eyebrows, saying nothing. Jamie looked into her eyes, like she was verifying everything she had seen, then nodded slowly.
Carson smiled a mischievous smile and nodded too. "Let's get you out of here."
A/N: This was originally longer but It is already about three thousand or so words, so I cut it short. I'm not sure about you guys but reading too long chapters gets...tiring, no matter how great the fic is. Thanks to my amazing, awesome, astounding, beta Kaleidoscope Flowers.
You've read. Now review.
~Willful Destruction (5-10-10, 3000-ish words)