If you are only JUST entering Hallow’s Eve Asylum, please go to the introduction first. This is a story that should be read in order! Each story is under 1000 words. Please scroll to the bottom to learn more about today’s author and enter a giveaway! -Katy
Room #3 “Joan” by Casey Hays
The four walls stare at me. They always stare, and I hear their thoughts. They don’t think I know what they’re planning. I do. Every day when I wake, they’re closer… crushing in on me. I don’t have much time left.
I sit on the edge of the thin-mattressed cot. My bare toes brush the floor before it threatens to fall away. The walls ease in another inch. I fold in on myself and roll to my side, tugging relentlessly at my hair to hide my face.
“Why do you insist on frightening me?” I murmur. “What have I done?”
I close my eyes on that note. I know exactly what I’ve done. It’s why I’m here.
“But he deserved it,” I whisper. I bolt upright, anger piercing me. I scream at the yellow-stained cinderblocks. “He deserved exactly what he got!”
My eyes dart from one wall to the next. They don’t answer me; they only laugh. A grinding screech that molests my ears. I burst into tears.
“Momma!” My pounding heart drowns out my scream. “Momma, why didn’t you believe me!”
She’s there in an instant, her wispy arms reaching out to wrap me in their comfort.
“There, there, Joan. Mother’s here.”
She insisted I call her Mother, but in my stubbornness, I wouldn’t. I cling to her apron-clad waist. It’s baking day, and she promised to make a German chocolate cake with extra coconut.
“I want to come home,” I whisper.
“No, Joan. You were a very bad girl. You must get better.”
“But I am better.” I pull back. She vanishes.
“She’s had almost ten electric shock… and still she hears the voices.”
I perk up with a snap of my head, and I see them looking at me through the tiny, glass window. His gray eyebrows narrow toward a deep wrinkle at the bridge of his nose. My heart surges with fear. He is the devil. I dig my untrimmed nails deep into my arms.
I shrink away and cover my face. “No, no, no…” Not the shock!
“What th—Mr. Drake!”
I chance peeking at the window between my fingers.
“Harold… call for secur—Arghh!”
A gurgle. A thud. My heart leaps, and I’m on my feet.
“Come back, Momma,” I whimper. “Pleeeease…”
In a daze, I force my feet to cross the floor, and I peer out of the tiny square window.
Drake is down; Harold holds up pleading hands.
“Now man, just cool it, see? Let me help—”
A salty growl, and Harold yelps and cuts out… fast.
I’m frozen. Even the walls have stopped moving to listen.
Suddenly, his face presses to the glass. I gasp. A shadow hovers behind him, wavering.
“Scarecrow boy,” I whisper. His lips curl upward with a grin.
I saw him only once before. Visitor’s Sunday… in the REC room. He killed his own mother—with a confiscated fork. Her pretty wool suit turned crimson, and her blood spread across the tiles.
Drake locked him away after this. I never thought to see him again.
His black eyes blink at me, and for the first time in my sixteen years of life, I release a calm, lucid breath.
Casey Hays lives in New Mexico with her husband of 25 years and their two children. A former high school English teacher turned author, she loves Young Adult Fiction as well as supernatural, fantasy sci-fi, and dystopia–all with a twist of romance. She is the author of three works: The Cadence, a YA supernatural romance, and Arrow’s Flight, a YA dystopian sci-fi series: Breeder (Book 1) and The Archer (Book 2). Look for Master (Book 3) scheduled for release in the next few months.