"I need to get out! Help me! Please!" The shouted plea filled the sterile, otherwise quiet air of the asylum. No one listened. The girl continued to scream, and began pounding on her door. There was only a rhythmic, hollow thumping as an answer. She was alone. She pressed her face to the tiny window in her door that allowed her to see into the narrow hallway outside. The walls were light blue, the floor white tile. She could see the cart outside her door; it was filled with tiny paper cups containing the medication they forced her to take. It was supposed to calm her. She knew it was really to keep her from talking. She had a secret.

Footsteps echoed in the hall, clearly audible through the glass of the window. Doctors. Nurses. The people she had learned to despise, the people who had kept her hidden in here for the past three months. They would be here soon, to try brainwashing her again. There was no way to escape. The girl huddled in a corner next to the mattress thrown against a wall.

The door opened, and the sound of loud breathing filled the air. A flash of movement caught her eye across the room; she saw a solitary cockroach crawl through a crack in the wall. She shivered. The breathing grew louder.

"Rosaline," said a woman’s voice. "How are you feeling today?" The woman was breathing hard – she was nervous. Good. Rosaline didn’t answer. "There won’t be a repeat of last night, will there?" the doctor asked. Rosaline could feel the woman’s fear filling the room, a cloud of tension and apprehension settling into the cement blocks which composed this prison.

"You have no sense of humor," Rosaline said mildly. "No one got hurt." That was only the truth. A few people had been scared, but no one was injured. She didn’t want to hurt anyone; only to escape.

"Well," the doctor said, recovered from her brief uneasiness, "now that that’s settled, you need to take your medication." She handed Rosaline one of the paper cups from the tray in the hall.

"I don’t want it!" Rosaline cried. She threw the cup at the doctor.

"Now, now," the woman said, "you know you have to take Med63 for your problems with hallucinations. You wouldn’t want to go around saying you saw something that never actually happened, would you? Of course not. Here." She handed her another white cup.

"I know what you were doing, doctor. I saw you doing those tests on the penguins in Australia, and you know I did. You won’t be able to keep your secret forever. You can’t keep me locked in this box for the rest of my life!"

"Ah, but I can. No one will ever have to find out. And besides, my experiment was justified. How else could we have learned what effect chocolate has on the metabolism of the animals? Apparently arctic birds not only have no tolerance for anything sweet, but they are incompetent to drive cars as well. The whole world will worship my work. I will be famous!" the doctor said. There was a dangerous gleam in her eyes, almost on the verge of madness. Perhaps well into the realms of insanity. Suddenly she spun on her heel, flung open the door, and walked out of the room. Rosaline was alone yet again. There was nothing left to do but go to sleep.


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