The first patient is a self-mutilator. The second patient seems to have schizophrenia. I really hope you keep writing. I love your taste in stories.
|The shadows are always there. I don't truly know how they stay, but I can't seem to get rid of them. I can leave all the lights on, and yet still in the corners of my room the dark things remain. I always put my bed in the middle of my room so I have something to sit on equidistant from each of the inhabited corners, though I use it only for sitting on. You see, I don't sleep. I know that if I close my eyes for more than a millisecond, the time it takes to blink, they will creep closer to the center. Closer to me, and even closer to changing me into one of them. Condemned to spend all eternity hiding in corners, in shadows, waiting for the right person to change into one of them. Wasting away to find the key that was promised to release, that will never be found.
I don't sleep. It's impossible to sleep when I am surrounded by these creatures. Because of this, I must always have quiet in my room, or they will come for me faster, and I won't know that they are there. Right next to my room there is another, a room that I know is full of these tortured shadow souls, transforming my neighbor into one of them. This person in the other room is always screaming, mutilated noises that pierce the silence of my room. Every little scuffle that I hear outside my door could be one of them coming closer to me.
When my door opens I usually twist in my bed, writhing away from the encroaching shadows that enter along with Alex, my personal nurse. He always comes in grimacing from something. When he comes in today I will ask him why he does that. I hear a slight knock on my door, but I won't leave my bed in case it's one of them.
Oh, it's just Alex again. Why must he knock? Can't he just say, "It's me," and be done with it? Whatever.
Today he has brought me Chicken Breast with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes and String Beans.
"Alex, why do you always come in here with that face? It's not like the Shadows are after you. They don't torment every moment of your life."
His face is shocked, surprised that I have spoken to him, I usually don't. I don't hate him or anything, it's just that I don't want to draw attention to his presence from the shadows. Smiling, he tells me it's because of Jake next door. He is a fractured person, one who can't live with himself anymore. I ask if the shadows have gotten to him, and Alex quickly looks away saying that no, the shadows aren't real. I know they are though. He wouldn't have looked down if they weren't. I remain silent the rest of the time that he is in there watching me eat. I push my plate on the floor when I am done and curl back up on my bed, watching the corners for any signs of movement.
"Get some sleep soon Maggie, and you can go home."
Right, like I want to leave this haven, this place of light for the darkness of outside. The shadows would be all over me in minutes and there would be nothing left. No, sir. I refuse to sleep. In fact, I might even refuse to eat. Food can cast shadows, how do I know that all the shadows it creates are real and how many are them? I remain sitting on my bed, staring into the faint darkness I can see at the edges of my room.
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