Chapter One I've been here for five years. Many have proven incapable of surviving this long. They lose their minds and succumb to the insanities they are labeled. They are defined by their insanities and are slaves to them. They come in here, secretly denying their insanities, and over time, are moulded into the exact thing they denied.
I am my insanities. I define them and accept them. I mould my insanities into what I want them to be. I shape them and nurture them. I am not labeled insane.
I am insanity's finest. You cannot tell me I am insane, because I already know. I am insane. --- "You stabbed your guardian in the shoulder with a screwdriver, correct?" The intake nurse glanced up from the clipboard he was holding. She didn't answer. "Miss Andrews, I need you to answer me." Again, no response. "Ok Miss Andrews, how old are you?" Silence. "Lolita?" The nurse waved his hand in front of her face, bending slightly, trying to get the girl to look at him. But she just sat there, her head bowed.
He sighed. "Seventeen." The nurse glanced up at her again, "That's better. And can you tell me your full name?" "Lolita Rose Andrews." She still hadn't looked up at the nurse. "Alright Miss Andrews, do you know why you're here?" "I stabbed my guardian in the shoulder with a screwdriver." The nurse nodded, writing on the clipboard, "ok Miss Andrews, I need you to take off your shirt and pants.
Are you wearing undergarments?" Without answering, she slipped her arms through the sleeves of her hoodie, and then pulled it over her head. Her thin frame shivered awkwardly, as she used her arms to cover her plain white bra.
The nurse watched quietly as she awkwardly unbuttoned her jeans, and slid them down her legs, letting them fall to the floor as she sat back on the exam table; its sterile paper crinkling under her. He wrote again on his clipboard, before looking her over. He had her stand, with her arms out, while he took measurements of her. He weighed her and noted her height. When he had finished, he pulled a pair of grey nursing scrubs from a cabinet in the corner. "Put these on Miss Andrews," he ordered, handing the scrubs to her.
She obeyed, slipping into the garments. "Ok Miss Andrews, just a few more questions." He wrote on his clipboard once again before saying, "I noticed the bandages on your arms. It says here on your chart that you had to have stitches on some pretty big gashes.
What were those from?" She didn't reply. "Miss Andrews, did you hurt yourself?" Again, no reply. The nurse sighed, realizing the girl was not going to talk to him.
He finished his notes, and then slid his pen into the pocket of his scrubs. "Alright Miss Andrews, you can follow me." He led her out of the small exam room, and down a hall.
"This is the lobby area, if you have visitors, they will be here." He took her up a spiral flight of stairs, "up here we have the game room, the art room, the music room, the movie room, and a nurse's station." She followed him up another spiral flight of stairs, "the third floor are the dorms. I'll take you to your room." He led her down a corridor, and then another until he led her to a wall of small glass French doors.
"This room is yours," he opened a set of French doors, revealing a small bedroom. There was a plain twin sized bed on the left wall, and a small dresser and writing desk on the right wall. The far wall was a floor to ceiling window that spanned the width of the room. "The glass is shatter proof. You cannot break it. Just like all the glass in the facility." She stepped into the small room, looking about.
Then she moved over to the window. The room overlooked a forest, and her room was above the tree line. She looked down at the treetops, putting her hand on the thick glass. "Communal bathrooms are down on the left.
The cafeteria is on the right. And the nurse's station is by the steps. Dinner is in forty five minutes. Until then, you are free to roam around. There is a library on the first floor, as well as a convenience store." "I don't have any money." "You can earn money by good behavior, and helping around the facility. Sometimes jobs open up that will allow you to earn money. The money you earn will be put in your account, and you can make your purchases." She heard the door shut as the intake nurse left.
She was left alone in Routon Grand Mental Institution; the mental institution for criminals. --- In all my memories of my time here at Routon, the facility has never served a decent meal to its wards.
But alas, I take my tray of unrecognizable mush, my plastic spork and paper napkin, and I sit with my usual crowd. There is Josh Rigsby, a schizophrenic who frequently got his rocks off to torturing small animals and neighbor's pets. There's Zachariah Thurman, a peeping Tom who escalated into flashing and stalking women.
Then there is Ritzy Sarentino, a feisty Latina woman with multiple personalities, one of which robbed a bank and killed three people in the process.
And finally, there's Eric Miller, a psychotic sadist who takes pleasure in the sexual tortures of women, but had convinced a jury that he was crazy enough to need 'help' instead of 'confinement.' The five of us usually stick close by.
We have set up a bit of a pack between us. The four of them seem to look up to me, considering my time here in Routon has been longer than theirs.
With Josh coming in close with four and a half years, Eric as four, Ritzy at two years, Zachariah is our newest recruit at a year and a half under his belt. There were others, at one point or another, but as they allowed their insanity to control them, they became distant from the rest of us. However, I noticed a few new wards roaming the halls. Perhaps our numbers will increase. --- She sat at the end of one table, pulling her legs over the bench. Looking down at her food, she felt her stomach churn with anticipation.
She picked up her plastic spork and stabbed at the food.
She was mid-bite when another girl sat down across from her. Then another next to her, and a man on the other side. The three of them were engrossed in conversation, and it wasn't until another man sat across from her, did they notice her at all.
"Who's the chick?" The man across from her asked. The others look at her, almost waiting for her to answer. "What's your name sweetheart?" The girl across from her asked in a think New York accent. She looked up, seeing the girl across from her; her dirty blond hair pulled back into a pony tail, thick eye liner and mascara caked on her eyes.
She, along with the other three, were in grey scrubs. It was the uniform for all the patients at Routon Grand Mental Institution. "Lolita," she answered quietly. "You must be new here," the girl responded.
"How would you know if she's new Lauren?" The Asian man next to Lolita asked. Lauren shot him an annoyed look, "I've been here eight months Bov, I know a newbie when I see one, and I ain't never seen her around here." The Asian shrugged. Lauren looked back at her. "The name's Lauren. That's Bov, this is Danny," she motioned to the man next to her, "and that's Stacy," she nodded towards the girl next to Lolita.
Lolita looked at the man across from her; Danny. He had dark brown hair that was a bit shaggy, but was still on the shorter side. His golden brown eyes were hard, but friendly. She then looked at the girl next to her; Stacy.
She had dark brown hair that was pulled into a ponytail, and hung almost to her back side. "When you get in?" Lauren asked. "This morning," Lolita answered softly. Lauren nodded, taking a bite of food. "Real new," Bov noted, seeming a bit surprised. "You get the grand tour?" Lolita nodded, "the intake nurse showed me around." "What you in here for?" Stacy asked with a smirk. "Stacy, you can't just ask people what they're in here for!" Lauren scolded. "What?
I'm just asking!" She complained before turning back to Lolita, "I got Ekbom's syndrome, and Lauren's got bipolar disorder." Lauren rolled her eyes. Stacy continued, "Bov's an insomniac. And Danny is delusional." Danny sighed, "it's Erotomania," he corrected.
"He's delusional," Stacy mumbled to Lolita. "So why you in here?" "Look," Lauren interrupted, seeming very annoyed with Stacy, "she's got her arms all bandaged up." She looked at Lolita, "tried to kill yourself, right?" Lolita nodded, not wanting to go into more details about why she was in this place.
She stabbed at her food again, to quiet her growling stomach. After more conversation, Lolita learned that all four of them were only a few years older than her. They gave her pointers as to which nurses gave more money than the others, for good deeds. They warned her which nurses were mean and which ones were perverted. They continued to warn her about some of the fellow 'inmates,' explaining that Routon was the only criminal mental institution within a three state range, which left a wide range of criminals, from petty thieves to cold-hearted murderers.
"That's Greevly's gang," Danny whispered, using his thumb to point behind him, across the cafeteria. "The long haired one is Eric Miller. He tortured his girlfriend to death, and then cut her body into pieces. The blond guy is Josh Rigsby.
He killed a bunch of neighborhood dogs and stuff. The girl is Ritzy. She robbed a bank and killed a bunch of people. The twitchy guy is Zachariah, and he stalked some chicks or something." Lolita glanced at the group being described to her. There was one man who hadn't been discussed.
He sat with a straight back, his dark brown hair was sleeked back, and his icy blue eyes were piercing, and captivating. He had a strong nose, and a faint cleft in his chin. "Don't look," Danny hissed before explaining, "that's Thomas Greevly. He is in charge. Practically runs this place." "Rumor is that he's the Sadist Slaughterer. You know, that guy who killed those 20 people upstate?" Stacy chimed in, "I heard he even ate parts of his victims." "That's disgusting, Stacy!" Lauren grumbled.
Lolita looked back over to the group of hardened criminals. Her body tensed, as her gaze locked with the gaze of Thomas Greevly. --- I had spotted her across the cafeteria. She was sitting alone at first. Her head was bowed as she examined the pathetic mush they call food here. Her dark brownish red hair hung to her collarbone, and her thin pale frame seemed awkward and lost in her uniform.
I recognized her instantly as one of the new wards. She had bare feet; a typical sign of a new ward. Socks and slip on shoes cost money at the small convenience store downstairs.
Four others sat with her and engaged in conversation. I recognized the others as petty criminals. Lauren Withers, a bipolar twenty-one year old, who had beaten some other children her age during one of her low spells. Stacy Morton, a delusional girl who suffered from Ekbom's disease, a torturous disease where the inflicted hallucinates insects crawling over and under their skin.
She was so obsessed with ridding herself from the hallucinated insects, that she stole a bottle of bleach from a grocery store and scrubbed herself down with it. Then there is Bov Wu, an intelligent Asian child who sleep deprived himself so much that he had a nervous breakdown and caused some public distress with a fake bomb threat.
And finally, Daniel Cooper, an Erotomanic who stalked a woman because he was convinced they were soul mates. All mere children, who have their whole lives ahead of them.
The new girl seemed stressed, nervous, and awkward. Her brownish green eyes seemed frightened, as she looked over the other four. "Who is the girl with Lauren Withers and her group?" I asked Josh. He was an inside guy, and always knew who was who at Routon. He was a key member to our group, giving us information before anyone else got it.
He was swift, and had figured out how to pick the lock on the file room, where all the files for Routon's wards were kept. Josh looked up from playfully stabbing at the brown log that was supposed to be today's Salisbury Steak, to see who I was referring to. "Lolita Andrews." He turned back to his food, stabbing at it again. "What's her story?" Without looking up, Josh replied, "stabbed her guardian with a screwdriver." "So why is she here, not jail?" Ritzy asked, popping a piece of gum in her mouth that she had found stuck under the table.
Josh looked up, "she tried to kill herself.
Slit her wrists in holding. Said the music wouldn't stop." Ritzy huffed "the hell does that mean?" "Auditory hallucinations," I explained, watching the girl across the room. "Common in women who have lost their hearing.
Seeing as she is clearly not deaf, one would assume she associates." "Huh?" Ritzy asked, confused. I glanced at her. "My dear, what have I told you about that word? I do not enjoy such vulgar grunts that are substituted for the beautiful words of our language. You are not some untamed primal creature with no sense of language.
Do not disrespect your own intelligence with such shallow use of communication." I turned back to the girl. " Musical association is when one associates some form of music to a specific memory or event in life.
When that music is heard, it triggers the memory; like a flashback." As if she knew I was speaking of her, the girl across the room lifted her gaze, and entwined it with mine. I absorbed her, pulling her into the gaze and trapped her there. Her frightened eyes, like a doe in headlights, showed me the fear and uneasiness she felt, trapped in my gaze. I gave her a gentle smile, and a small bow of the head, releasing her.
When my head rose again, she had already stood, and started towards the door. --- Lolita thought nothing of the sound of the door opening and closing. It was a communal restroom, and she knew she wasn't the only one to use it. She finished her business, and pulled up her underwear and scrub pants. Her head bowed as she opened the stall door, she did not see the man lurking to one side of the bathroom.
She turned on the sink, glancing at the mirror above it. Her body tensed as she saw his reflection. His dark black eyes, his greasy hair wild and untamed, his smirking, teeth-bearing smile, directly behind her left shoulder. She turned to face him, the hair on her arms and neck standing on end.
His snickering laugh was sickening, and it echoed through Lolita's skull. He lunged, grabbing her and throwing her to the ground. He was instantly on top of her, straddling her hips, one hand covered her mouth, the other held both of her wrists above her head.
She struggled, but he was too heavy, and her thin frame was too weak to push him away. He let go of her wrists to pull her shirt and bra up, stuffing the ends in her mouth. She shoved at him with all her strength, but he grabbed her wrists again, holding them useless above her head. Her mouth gagged, the man used his free hand to pull at her pants. Finding it more difficult to remove them, the man became frustrated, and simply ripped her pants at the seams before tugging her underwear to her knees.
Lolita tried to spit out the fabric of her shirt, but the man slammed his hand down on her mouth again. His mouth closed over one of her bare breasts. She struggled, thrashing harder than before. She could hear the music in the back of her skull; the deep piano, the tight strung violins, mixing with the man's sickening snicker that was still echoing in her head.
The music was growing, seeping into her brain, and leaving a trail of cold darkness behind it. --- The bathroom door had swung closed behind her. Not thinking much of it, I turned towards my fellow friends, who were engaged in conversation about some of the other new wards. Glancing around the cafeteria, I caught William Burns slipping into the women's restroom.
Without looking away from the closed restroom door, I asked Josh, "What was William Burns' crime again?" "Rape and torture of five women. Sexual deviance of the." I did not give him a chance to finish. I stood from the table and made my way through the cafeteria. I sensed Josh, Eric, and Ritzy follow me, as I shove open the restroom door. There was William, straddling a helpless and very exposed Lolita.
He looked up at me, and I saw Lolita do the same from the corner of my eye. --- Like a skipping CD, the music halted, then retreated quickly back into the base of her skull. Lolita looked up, the man was looking at the door. Lolita looked too, and her thrashing stopped as she looked right up at Greevly and three of his followers.
"William, William, William," Greevly clicked his tongue, "what have you got here?" The man on top of Lolita smiled and snickered. "She's a very pretty girl. Is she your play thing?" The man nodded at Greevly. "William, I know you like her," Greevly crouched down, looking Lolita in the eyes, "but women aren't toys." Lolita whimpered, just as Greevly grabbed the man by his shoulders and slammed him into the far wall.
Eric and Josh eagerly stepped in and held the man still while Ritzy began to punch and beat the man. Greevly had let go and stepped aside to let them do as they wished. He turned to Lolita, who was tugging her shirt down, and trying to cover herself with her hands. He crouched down next to her, and she promptly scooted away from him, pushing herself under the sinks.
"Are you alright?" Greevly asked her. She looked up at him, but didn't respond. Greevly kept his eyes on her's as she slid her underwear back on. "Did he rape you?" Lolita froze, slowly she shook her head, the music creeping up from the base of her skull. "What's going on in here?" Everyone turned to the door to see four male nurses pushing their way through the door. "I need everyone down," one male nurse announced.
Lolita watched as Greevly and his followers laid on their stomachs on the ground, their hands up by their heads.
"Lay down inmate," a nurse ordered, gently kicking Lolita's bare foot. She instantly curled up sin a ball, covering her head as best as she could. "What happened here?" A nurse asked, getting no reply. "Inmate!" He kicked Lolita's foot again, "what happened?" She peaked through her arms, but said nothing.
"Alright inmate. I'm not dealing with this. Come on, you're going to solitary," he grabbed Lolita by the elbow, and pulled her towards the door. "If I may, Sir," Greevly lifted his head from the floor. "Why is it Greevly?" The nurse asked annoyed.
"I saw inmate Andrews go into the restroom. I did not think anything of it until I saw inmate Burns follow her. Knowing his crimes, I was concerned about inmate Andrews' safety.
The four of us found him on top of her. It was clear she was not consenting to what he was doing." As Greevly explained the situation, the music creeped through Lolita's skull. She whimpered softly, making Greevly glance at her.
"That's very admirable of you Greevly, but I still see four men in the women's restroom," the nurse stated, as the other three nurses grabbed Josh, Eric, and William, pulling them to their feet. "So you're going to have to come with me," the nurse explained, pulling Greevly to his feet. "Inmate Sarentino, get to your dorm.
Inmate Andrews, stop at the nurse's station for a new pair of uniform pants and then go to your dorm." And with that, the nurses led the men away. Ritzy followed, eager to leave the restroom, and Lolita was left alone, with the music echoing through her head