It was a night like any other she had known — long, lonely, and of the darkest pitch. Tonight there was no silver moon to climb over dark shapes or dance in the window panes, and there were no diamonds of the sky. The cold seemed to seep from outside to suck the very marrow from her bones. It was twenty below, but for northern Maine this came as no surprise. Especially considering it was winter. Still she wished if they had to commit her anywhere they could have done it somewhere warm and friendly like South Carolina or Florida. Even California or Texas would have been better than these looming mountains of chill that merely made her feel small and lost inside the belly of a forest that never seemed to end.
She knew why they thought her insane, she had breathed word of vampires. They thought that she was out of her head, but she knew better. She knew what she had seen — it was no terrorist that had killed her family it was a red eyed monster with fangs longer than her family’s dog had been. No one could explain the bite marks so they chose to ignore them or blame them on Cody.
She hadn’t forgiven her aunt or uncle for shooting her dog. In fact, it made her hate them more. They had taken her from her home in Ohio and dragged her out here into this hilly nightmare. Just because they were crazy enough to live out here didn’t mean she had any desire to.
Her parents and siblings had died two years ago. She was still distraught about it, she still had nightmares.
Everyone thought that she should move on. No one could understand her pain, it seemed. It was too real, too raw.
She was angry and alone except when she had to take her pills or was forced to go to group or individual therapy neither of which she enjoyed very much.
A tear trickled down her cheek in a hot, salty trail. She hated feeling this way and she loathed being here. Yet no one seemed keen on letting her out or on visiting her. She hadn’t seen her aunt or uncle once she had arrived at Lemont Institution for the Clinically Insane. She didn’t belong here, and she would never forgive them for abandoning her in a place like this. She glowered at the post card they had sent a week ago. They had gone to a trip to some historical places in Boston. It must have been nice for them to be wielders of their own fate. They weren’t trapped like a sardine in some cold tin can. She had to find a way out of this place.
Pushing strands of hair from her eyes, she glanced over her shoulders. She had a feeling she was being watched, but there was no one to be observed. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously — there was something eerie about this. All the little hairs on the back of her neck were standing up and goose bumps pirouetted up and down her arms and legs. Something was wrong. That much was a given.
Moments later alarms were going off in the halls to alert anyone listening of an emergency. She winced hard when she heard gun shots. It had been the same way at her father’s house. People covered in blood, screaming, her sisters and brother torn down as if they were mere chew toys, and Cody barking his head off angrily trying to protect everyone at once.
She slowly pushed open the door to see what was going on. The white carpet was stained several shades of scarlet and dark brown. Blood and dried blood she noted. This wasn’t good. She knew what had caused this. Vampires. She was the sole survivor of her family, she wasn’t going to die here. She closed her door, and broke the glass window after several harassed moments of smashing a wooden chair against it. It was jagged and unevenly cut, but it was open. That was all that mattered.
She pulled her tall, lithe body through the window slowly in an attempt not to cut herself. She cried out in pain as she lowered herself from the window. She had torn a deep laceration in the middle of her left hand upon climbing out of the building. She clenched that hand in a fist and staggered out into the cold, harsh night. Snow was falling from the heavens and richly coating her thick, dark hair.
She heard a snapping of twigs and she stumbled further into the woods or clearing or whatever this was. She leaned against a tree trying to catch her breath. Trudging through the snow was a lot more difficult than she surmised it would be.
Yet she would make it out somehow, she was determined.
“We’re sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson your niece Naomi was lost in the snow that later took her life. She was trying to escape the gun man that snuck into the building last night.”
“How did this happen?”
“We’re horribly sorry. We’re looking into how the security breach happened. I know this must be hard for you and your wife, Mr. Anderson.” The man stroked his long handle bar mustache thoughtfully. “If there’s anything I can do for you, just let me know.”
“Was she still suffering from her delusions?”
“Delusions, Mrs. Anderson?”
“She thought vampires killed her family,” Mr. Anderson snorted. “Preposterous. As if vampires truly exist.”
The door swung closed, and the director’s smile grew a little too wide. “It wasn’t your niece that was suffering delusions, but you.” The couple screamed, but it was too late for them. The vampire had already sprang upon them both staining the white washed walls a deep, dark crimson. “By the way, Mrs. Anderson,” the vampire drawled. “Your niece tasted better.”
By Linda M. Crate