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Today, I woke up at 5:18 and I had the urge to watch Superkids TV. Maybe it’s a comfort to me because it reminds me of simpler times, where I wasn’t labeled crazy and locked up in an asylum.
At the time, I didn’t think it was strange that, even though it was still lights out, the TV still came on. Maybe Jane has it set up to turn off only the lights? I don’t really know if it works that way.
Dante joined me soon after, giving me a tired smile. We talked about the TV show that was playing, a cartoon named Inspector Courage. I had never heard of it, but he claims that he used to watch it every Sunday morning when he was a child. He expressed his surprise that it was still airing.
I could hear the rain pelting the thin roof above us, as was commonplace for the spring season. Just as I turned in my seat to look out the window, the lights flickered on the gates to the bedrooms slung open. A few minutes later, the patients that had been sleeping slunk out, clearly still tired and just wanting to go back to bed.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the sound of the gates clicking as they lock behind them.
With the rain acting as a soft, melodic white noise, I decided to grab another book to read. It would be my last one to complete the first milestone of my “recovery”, as Jane calls it.
See, when I first arrived, Jane gave me this assessment test. She claimed it was to measure my current mental state and help her gauge what she needed to do in order to help me recover.
Once it was over, she gave me a list of tasks I needed to accomplish in order to show that I’m recovering and bettering myself, or at the very least, trying. My tasks were easy enough, just a bit time-consuming. I had to wonder what would happen once I completed all four milestones. Would I be considered “recovered” and set free? I highly doubted that.
I was just about to get up to return the book to the shelf when the ground started to shake. It was subtle at first, so much so that I wondered if I had imagined it, but it slowly increased until the entire building was shaking, the windows threatening to break as they rattled violently.
I had never experienced an earthquake before and it scared me, but no one else seemed too bothered by this. I briefly wondered if I was imagining it.
Deidre plopped down beside me at this time with a giggle. “First tremor?”
“What?” My mind had been working overtime and that was the only response by brain had produced.
“Don’t worry,” she explained as she smacked my shoulder. “It’s just the aftermath of the incident that happened in Newcrest all those years ago.”
“I thought this place was cleared to be livable,”
“It was! For the most part, anyway. After an incident like that, it’s only natural that there’d be after effects,”
Before I could question her farther, she walked away with a pep in her step.
Shaking my head, I stood up, my legs feeling weak. I was just passing the front door when it slammed open, nearly hitting me as Jane stalked into the asylum looking exhausted.
I needed to speak with her, but I hesitated because it was never a pleasant experience for me.
“What is it, Winterbrook?”
“Well… for my next milestone, it says I need to reach level three in any career, but… it’s a bit impossible for me to have a job while being a patient here, isn’t it?”
“I certainly don’t trust any of you leaving here on your own,” Jane had responded without hesitation. Her bluntness caught me off guard. “However, I can approve you for a work-from-home job. I’ll get you a list soon.”
And then she walked away.
After that, I decided I needed some fresh air. Well, now I’m wondering just how fresh the air is in Newcrest.
Dante was outside shooting some hoops. For a moment, I just watched him. His form isn’t the best, but he has potential.
When he finally noticed me, he asked me to join him and I happily accepted. We took turns shooting hoops before he challenged me to a competition.
I lost again. It made me wonder if I had lost my edge after so long of not playing. After losing to two different sims that were noobs at basketball, I had to re-evaluate how good I thought I had been at the sport.
“Winterbrook!” Jane screamed from the kitchen when I entered the building. Every time I hear her voice, I have to hold myself back from wincing.
“You fixed the sink and fridge yesterday, correct?”
“I did,” I knew deep down she would never praise me and, to be honest, I didn’t want it anyway. I expected her to scold me for doing it wrong or something, but she didn’t.
“Good. You can fix it again, then.”
I’m not surprised that it broke again.
Jane put her hand on the counter and quickly recoiled with a disgusted expression. “Does no one know how to clean in this damned place?”
As I got to work on the sink, I spoke without thinking. “You could always clean the counter while I fix the sink.”
The heavy silence made me regret speaking. “You’re in no position to be making demands,”
It wasn’t a demand, but I wasn’t about to say that out loud. To my surprise, she started to scrub the counter, all the while muttering under her breath about various things.
I had a simple salad for dinner, the lettuce turning an odd color as the expiration date grew closer. Before I could head to bed, I heard Tim screaming about the bathroom sink being broken and, begrudgingly, I decided to fix it.
Talk about free labor…
Before I go, I want to share a picture I snapped this morning after the rain started. Even though the buildings look untouched, the place is a ghost town, not a soul in sight. The only ones living in Newcrest is us at the asylum. Thinking about it sends an eery shiver down my spine.
Looking at this picture, you’d never think such a horrible thing occurred here.
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