Chapter Two

Escape

5 hours earlier

"Damn it..." Babydoll crouched down behind a statue, I crouched down with her, sighing in defeat.

"This can't be... We did everything right." I whispered, my heart breaking as the realization that we had failed finally hit me.

"Map, fire, a knife, key, one thing more... one thing more..." Babydoll's face became blank as I watched her, gasping with tears.

"It's me..."Babydoll whispered.

"What?" I asked, surprised.

"It's me, of course it's me. It's the only way this ever could've ended." Babydoll said with an air of finality.

"What do you mean?" I said, confused. I watched the guards carefully, and Babydoll sighed.

"I'm saying you go home. Go home to your family. You tell your mom what Rocket said." Tears formed in my eyes again at the mention of Rocket, her last words racing through my mind.

"Make her happy. Go and live a normal life. Love. Be free. You have to live for all of us now." Baby Doll whispered. The full realization of what she was saying hit me.

"Baby no, you can't do this..." I started.

"Yes, Sweet Pea. You're the strongest. You're the only one of us that ever had a chance out there. You're going home and living, that's how we win." I shook my head in disagreement, not believing what she was saying, but Baby Doll nodded.

"It's okay. It's okay, it's better this way." Baby Doll looked down at the four items in her hand.

"Now listen...I'm gonna walk out there, and when they come after me, you go, okay!" She handed the items to me, and I took them with shaking hands. I looked at her, my heart breaking as her sacrifice became apparent to me.

"There's gotta be another way." I whispered, crying.

"No...this is right. This was never my story. It's yours. Now don't screw it up, okay!" Baby Doll walked out, her bunny slippers slamming against the floor as she reached the stairs to the entrance of The Lennox House for the Mentally Insane.

You stay off the roads, and you find a bus station alright? You're gonna be fine." Baby Doll walked up to the guards as I ran around them, wanting to grab Babydoll and bring her with me. But I couldn't. She was right in front of the guards now.

"Hey, what are you doing out here!" One of the guards yelled. I slammed the key into the gate entrance, opening it as slowly as I could and looking back at Baby Doll with tears streaming down my face. Baby Doll nodded, smiling at me and I stepped outside the gate, my heart racing as I slammed it shut. Baby Doll kicked the guard in the groin and he got up, glaring angrily at her. He drew his fist back and I flinched as I heard a knock and a gasp of pain, then the sound of a body dropping to the floor.

"Get her back inside! Crazy bitch!" The guard yelled. I ran as fast as I could away from the gate and out into the open, the sunset's rays turning the clouds orange.

I woke with a start, my whole body shaking as I pushed myself up off the stack of hay I was sleeping on. I shook violently as the winter air grazed my bare skin, my heart feeling frozen, but it had nothing to do with the cold. I walked out of the barn, looking around cautiously before stepping outside. I looked up a hill, the sunrise hitting my face. I squinted and saw clothes hanging on a line.

"I need those..."I muttered. I wouldn't get very far in my escape with clothes from the mental hospital. I walked up the hill slowly, reaching out for a long white dress on the line-

"I was wondering when you were gonna wake up." I turned around, my heart skipping a beat as I gasped at the sight of a man with a dog on his lap on an old rocking chair. He smiled up at me.

"I-I'm sorry." I whispered, my voice breaking from lack of use.

"That's alright dear. You're not the first runaway who's stowed away in my barn for shelter. And you're not the first who's tried to steal clothes from me either." The man got up and took a look at my clothing. He frowned, looking up at me with a hint of concern in his eyes. My heart dropped.

"'Lennox House for the Mentally Insane.'" He read from the pocket on my dress. I closed my eyes, crying. This man was going to take me back. Baby Doll's sacrifice was for nothing.

"Well..." The man said. My eyes snapped open and I looked at the man. I couldn't let him ruin all of this.

"I'm not crazy." I whispered huskily.

"You're not? Then what were you doing in a place like that?" The man asked sternly. I looked at him, tears spilling down my cheeks.

"It's complicated." I whispered.

"Well, you can either tell me it's complicated, and I give you a ride back to 'Lennox House', or you prove to me that you really aren't crazy, and I let you take a shower, get cleaned up, give you that white dress you're so fond of and let you go. I'm sure my wife won't notice, she's got about 50 of those." I shook my head.

"I can't go back there. You have no idea what sacrifices have been made..." I said, my anger rising.

"Listen lady...I've seen people pass this road more times than I can count. Most of them...heading out to that asylum. And most of them, younger than you. Now I know a that a young life shouldn't be wasted in a place like that. But if you deserve to be there, then you deserve to be there."

"BUT I DON'T!" I yelled. He looked at me, then sighed.

"I'm sorry. But I think it's for the best." He winked at me, then turned around, his back to me as he trekked up the hill to his house.

"I'm gonna go inside my house and call the hospital to come pick you up! YOU STAY PUT!" He yelled.

"Like hell." I muttered under my breath angrily. I ripped the dress from the line and ran back down the hill as fast as I could, running for god knows how long until I couldn't run anymore. I knew I was far away from both the hospital and old man's place. I was in some kind of forest. I lay my back against a tree, clutching my side as I tried to take deep breaths, tears springing in my eyes. I heard dogs barking out in the distance and my heart sank.

It could be the police.

I ran once again, pain not even existent in my body anymore as I ran through the forest once more until I reached the other side. I ran as fast as I could, until finally, I heard nothing but the cool pounding of water on rocks.

Wait, water on rocks?

Oh thank god.

I ran toward the sound until I found a waterfall, my heart pounding and my throat dry. I drank the water deeply, it was ice cold. It soothed my throat. I splashed into the water, swimming under it. I eventually began floating on the top, looking up at the sky as the sun shone brightly above me. I almost laughed in euphoria, amazed by where I was right now.

I was free from the asylum. I was safe. I closed my eyes.

"You stay off the roads and you find a bus station, alright?"

"Babydoll?" I whispered. She looked up at me and smiled.

"Just do what I tell you."

"Where's Rocket?" I asked her.

"I'm right here, Sweet Pea." I turned and saw Rocket standing behind me. I hugged her.

"Rocket, I'm so sorry." I cried hysterically.

"It's not your fault. But you need to get out of here, Sweet Pea."

"I am out. I escaped."

"Go Sweet Pea. You have to live for all of us now." Babydoll said.

"What?"

"You stay off the roads and you find a bus station, alright?"

"Wait, ROCKET! BABYDOLL!"

My eyes snapped open. The sky was a purpley color. I had fallen asleep. I was wasting time here. I needed to find a bus station. I got out the the little pool reluctantly, then changed into the white dress, ripping a shred off the Lennox House clothes to form a hair tie. I tied my hair up and walked around the little waterfall to see a road up ahead. I walked toward it.

"You stay off the roads and you find a bus station, alright?"

Stay off the roads.

"Sorry Baby." I whispered. I walked along the road, my heart racing as I tried to act casual. I tried to stop tears from leaking out of my eyes as I kept remembering Babydoll, Amber, Rocket and Blondie. I sighed deeply, taking deep breaths. A car passed me and stopped a little way ahead of me. I kept walking, deciding to ignore it.

"Hey, little lady? Need a lift?" I looked into the car and saw a man smiling nicely at me.

"I'm just trying to get to the bus station." I said hoarsely.

"Oh, well, I can take you there if you'd like." He said. I shook my head.

"That's okay." I said, smiling.

"Well, alright. It's just a little way ahead really." He began to drive off, but I called out. He stopped once again.

"Yes?"

"Can you take me there, please?" I asked. He nodded.

"Sure thing. Hop in." I jumped into his car and stared out the window as he drove.

"So, what's your name?"

"Sweet Pea." I said. He looked at me in shock.

"Sweet Pea? What kind of name is that?"

"A nickname." I said angrily. Rocket had given it to me when we were 15.

"Rightio. Well then what's your real name?" He asked. I didn't answer him. He cleared his throat awkwardly then chuckled.

"That's alright then." We rode in silence from then on. I sighed deeply as he pulled up at the entrance to the bus station.

"There you go. You have a nice day."

"Thank you." I got out of his car straight away and entered the station.

"Here we go." I muttered.