Flowers for a Ghost

Chapter One

Black Leopard had been told countless times that she belonged here. Belonged in this hellhole of an asylum with no one but toons who were absolutely off the wall; complete lunatics. Is it possible that I do belong here? Black Leopard would think many times to herself. After spending the last 14 years of your life in a more-than-200-year-old asylum with no support from anyone. The black cat only had two other friends who were decent. They were all in this together. Since she had been thrown into the small cell that she referred to as home, Black Leopard had broken down and decided she needed someone, anyone to talk to other than the horrid staff. The friends she had come to know were named Socks and Green Queen. She had been in here almost as long as she could remember. It all began after the first mental breakdown at Professor Pete's schoolhouse, back when she was just a young black kitten, attending her first day of school.

The leaves shown beautifully in the sunlight, producing radiant splashes of green all around Toontown Central. Black Leopard was ready to attend her first day of school and couldn't wait to begin. She had waited all of her baby toon years to experience this; to feel like a "big toon".

The little black cat skipped merrily on her way to the schoolhouse, eager to meet the new challenges that lie ahead. A brilliant bright pink bow was fastened above her head, clinging onto her ebony fur. Her mother and father had fixed up Black Leopard's clothes and accessories very delicately for this specific occasion.

As the floorboards creaked, Black Leopard felt herself jump at the eery sound. The room was filled with toons. Savage looking toons, to be exact. They were either sleeping at their assigned seat, some were jumping around like maniacs, others were working with odd contraptions in which they called "spitballs". The black cat fled nervously to where her name tag was set, perched atop a clean looking table. She neatly organized her folders and stacked everything up, in alphabetical order. Isn't that the way things should be?

Professor Pete rose from his desk to stand in the front of the room, looking quite confident. "Settle down, toons." He cajoled, with the slightest hint of authority. The classroom went dead silent as everyone slid into their correct seats. "Thank you." The teacher nodded in approval.

"Let's start the day off with some get-to-know-you games." Professor Pete smiled and glanced around the room, "How about you start, American Tragedy? Tell us one thing you like to do."

"I like to-" The student was cut short by the telephone in the back of the room. It began to ring loudly, grabbing everyone's attention.

Professor Pete blinked sympathetically, "I'm so sorry, please excuse me." The teacher said as he hustled towards the phone.

"Oh hello, what can I do for you?..." The phone conversation dragged on, "What was that?" A look of distress flickered deep within the professor's eyes. Black Leopard could feel tension rising in the air, "I see." He appeared to be grim, and turned to face the class slowly. The teacher's eyes rested on none other but Black Leopard.

The black cat gulped. This was not going to be good, any idiot could see that.

"I'm very sorry to have to tell you this, Black Leopard, but your parents died this morning in a car crash on their way to work." Professor Pete said, enunciating every word carefully.

Black Leopard stared, as if in a trance. There was utter silence, and it was just too much to take for the poor toon. Inside her head, something must have suddenly snapped. The black cat's eyes flew open wide and did what any normal toon would do – scream.

Distress and fear pulsed from the small toon. She felt as though her mind was clouding over with poison and it was becoming impossible to breathe correctly. Black Leopard fell to the floor, pounding against the surface as hard as she could. Pain is something she wanted to get rid of and the only way she knew how was to replace it with more pain.

The rest of how she got to this psycho house was forgotten. The only memory she had was being dragged away by two toons, both of which were not trying to be careful by any means with her fragile body. Not that it matters. Black Leopard told herself mentally. Nothing matters. I'll never be getting out of here, so who cares what happens to me or anyone else trapped in here?

"I want to die." The black cat bluntly said to no one in particular, knowing there would be no response. A few times, Green Queen, the lime green cat who shared the cell directly neighboring hers would talk to Leopard, just to keep her company. They'd bond over things such as how awful the nurses and psychiatrists were. The psychiatrists.. The black cat repeated in her head. They were even worse than the nurses. She'd heard gruesome stories about how they'd dissect toons' body parts, which was utterly wrong in Leopard's opinion. Sometimes, she believed the patients were more sane than the staff members.

Leopard looked across the hallway to where the illuminated clock was; it read 4:29 AM. The only good thing about being in this fucking hell is there is no set bedtime. The only "set" bedtime was when the staff gave you a shot and, for Leopard, would make her extremely sleepy, then shortly after she'd fall into a state of unconsciousness.

Leopard kicked the side of her cell wall. On three sides of her was complete stone, maybe brick, and on the other side, there was a steel door with a wall, and a large window, made of fiber glass. If you pounded on the window too hard, it would set off an alarm and the staff would come running like mad dogs.. this was one thing the black cat had learned from too many years of being in this place.

Another thing she had learned, was the fact that she had cell number 7. One that most staff members would steer clear of, for no known reason. Socks, a black cat who was directly across the hallway had said that it was supposedly haunted by a ghost of a patient who had committed suicide here, back when the facility was first built. Leopard learned to believe her friends, especially Socks, who had been here quite a while, when they told tales about the building. Over the last 14 years, Black Leopard had noticed paranormal activity, but brushed it off each time. It wasn't that the cat didn't believe in ghosts, it was more so because she didn't care enough. If the ghosts don't hurt me, I don't hurt them. Had always been her opinion on the matter.

But she was not expecting what she was about to experience.

Black Leopard slouched against the stone wall on her uncomfortable small cot. Err, "bed". The nightstand, with her family photos, and pen and paper was perfectly still until the pen suddenly rolled off the table. Leopard stared at the scene confusedly. She sighed, and picked the pen back up, and put it in it's rightful place.

The black cat groaned, "Get me out of here." She rolled in her bed, trying to find a spot where she could comfortably lay. Her ears twitched when the sound of the pen was heard, writing on the paper. She twisted so she could see what the hell was going on with the pen. It lay back in its place, once more. But something was different.

The notepad had a message on it.

Leopard leaned over and squinted to make out the sloppy handwriting in the dark. It said, 'what are you doing here'. She gasped, wondering if Socks' tales of the ghost being unfriendly were true. A sudden fear washed over her, making Leopard pale slightly.

"Are... are you... a g-ghost?" She asked, quivering.

The pen wrote on the pad again. This time, it said, 'yes, i'm dead and this is my cell'.

Leopard was about to bang on the walls and scream for someone to get her out, but she refrained. "Who are you?" The black cat questioned, still scared out of her mind.

'Lily Mizzenpop'. The notepad read. The name sounded familiar; it must have been mentioned in one of Socks' stories about her cell. There was no way she could alert Socks without waking the guards, and Green Queen was one of the heaviest sleepers you'd ever meet. This time, I'm on my own.

Black Leopard looked around just to be sure she didn't attract any unwanted attention before continuing to speak, "Can you... you know.. show yourself? I want to see you."

She sat for minutes, with no noise or response. "Did you leave?" Leopard wondered, almost sadly. She decided to try a different question, "Can you get me out of here?"

Almost immediately, a loud alarm went off. What did I do? Black Leopard panicked. She had only set off an alarm once before, and that was only because she was doped up on medication. Banging on the fiber glass had been her only offense before this.

Guards rushed into her cell, ready to grab Leopard and drag her away to the medical part of the asylum. There was no use in fighting them, it was impossible. They didn't allow the patients enough exercise to amount to any muscle mass.

"Take 'er down!" One of the guards screeched from the doorway. They ran towards her, but stopped dead in their tracks when – CRASH! - an ear-piercing shattering noise resounded throughout the cell.

The clock from down the hallway had fallen to its doom, and shattered to a million tiny pieces, scattered across the hallway. Socks. Leopard thought. Thank you. She must have kicked the wall so that the clock fell.

The guards exited the cell, locking it behind them. Leopard ran over to the glass window, ready to thank Socks, but she was sound asleep in her own cot. Did the clock just fall by itself? Or... Her thoughts were put directly into words, "Did you do that, Lily?"

The pen started to move. The black cat leaned over to read her writing, it said, 'yes'.

"Thanks.. you.. you saved me." Leopard said in disbelief.

'you're welcome', The notepad read.

"Please, please show yourself, Lily." Leopard begged, hoping she could see her rescuer.

From the opposite wall, came a yellow cat-like figure. Once it came closer to where Black Leopard stood, she could make out a short yellow cat with crystal-blue eyes.

Leopard gasped, "...Wow."

Lily nodded; it appeared she was kind of sad. "Yeah," Was all she replied, her tone lacking the certain life-like features.

"Thanks, again. For you know.. the clock." Leopard managed to choke out, still shocked by a ghost's presence.

The yellow cat shrugged, as if the whole thing meant nothing. "You're welcome. It's the least I can do for someone strong enough to stay alive in here."

"Stay alive?" The black cat questioned.

"Yes," Lily's lips twitched upwards in a small smirk, "I'm sure you know how absolutely wonderful this place is."

"This hell is.." Leopard corrected under her breath, "So you're really a ghost?"

Lily nodded, looking around at the rest of the cell. "Yeah."

"How... how did you die?" She asked quietly, hoping this wasn't a question that would upset her new found friend.

Lily pierced her blue eyes into Leopard's, her expression unchanging, "I killed myself."

So the rumors were true.

The end of chapter one. This has been a great fanfiction to write so far; hope everyone else likes it as much as I do. Enjoy. :) I'll be updating soon.

~This one is for you, Jordyn. The real Lily Mizzenpop.~