The place reeked of gasoline and mold, blood too…..the iron stench clung to the walls and old dark stains were visible on the concrete floor, the old lifeless rock soaked up the liquid and kept it there for all to see.
She wasn't sure how many died here, or were hurt and left bleeding, but she knew that this place would always be filled with haunting memories, as would the other hundreds and thousands of buildings just like it.
Where people were sent to suffer in the depths of their own minds.
"Morning Ms. Miller, you're here early, doesn't your shift start at eight?" Brittany Miller turns to the guard beside her, looking over her nametag as she curls the scarf closer around her neck, "Thought that if I had to be here this damn early I might as well come in a few minutes early and get paid extra," She says, voice slightly muffled by the cotton covering her mouth.
The guard hands her nametag back and chuckles, "Yeah, this place is a mess, but pays good," He agrees as he writes her information down and buzzes her in, the sound echoes eerily around them, the parking garage is fairly empty.
"Yeah…." She hurries into the slightly warmer building, this place was even smellier than outside…..
When she first started working here she hadn't expected everything to be such a mess, everywhere you looked you'd see evidence of brutal acts, new and old blood staining the ground and walls, she had been terrified too, so very scared of what was in store for her.
She's still scared, but the chipette was trained to mask her fear, because her patients could smell it from a mile away.
"Hey Britt! They're calm today, must be the rain, they're not fond of water or thunder," A red-haired girl just a little older than her greets her with a bright smile, gray eyes dulled by the weak yellow lights hanging from the locker room ceiling, she was changing into her street clothes, she always complained that she'd rather wear a uniform than risk having her nice outfits stained by whatever mess they'd get into at the asylum.
"I'm not too fond of the rain either," The chipette admits with a smile, "Heading out for the day Allison?"
"Yeah, had the night shift, won't be back until Thursday," The girl explains as she slings her purse over one shoulder, "I'll see ya later, try not to get eaten," She teases as she exits the room.
Brittany moves to her locker, she really hoped she wouldn't get eaten today…or bitten.
She didn't know which would be worst.
Brittany was in charge of looking after a certain number of patients at a time, all workers were only a loud to have at least four at a time, they would change every week unless the patient showed good results with their caretakers.
One of the patients she's been looking after since she started working here was a older woman in her mid-forty's who was one of the calmer ones, she wasn't a messy eater like the others and rarely would howl or complain, probably because she was a mother of three before she was bitten.
"Morning Rose," Brittany smiles as she walks up to the cell door, resting her hands on the silver bars as the woman stirred on her cot, dark brown eyes opening as she yawns and reveals sharp teeth.
"Morn…." The older woman grumbles, kicking off a blanket to sit up as she rakes a hand through graying black hair, eyes crinkling at the edges as she gives a wolfish grin, "Had a warm breakfast huh dear? Good…..you never eat," Brittany smiles softly and takes the clipboard off the bars to read over.
"You don't either Rose, not even the cooked meat or the vegetables, have you had any sudden mood swings lately? There haven't been any reports on your paper,"
"Oh no dear, my wolf has been rather calm, hopefully it's fading…..I've heard that it's happened before, must be because I'm aging," She jokes as she walks up to the bars, stretching out her arms as she fixes her worn shirt.
Rose was brought a bunch of clothing from her home by her husband and children when she was first brought in but a lot of it had been shredded during her shifts and she now wears her oldest garments of clothing when she feels like she's close to another one…"Full moon soon? It makes shifting hell of a lot more painful…..is that why you're wearing that?" Brittany gestures to the old shirt.
"Yes, I will not lie to you about these things dear, the others will be shifting again soon as well, not on the full moon but a day before, you're going to have your hands full," Rose sighs softly and carefully reaches out to touch the chipette's auburn furred hand, "You're in the most danger because of your kind dear, they're more interested in the rodents who come and go than the humans, be careful," She warns caressing her hand before moving back into the back of her cell to start her morning routine.
Brittany hangs the clipboard back on its hook and moves onto her next patient, her species was a mix of human and animal, much like werewolves except she looked more rodent-like twenty-four seven and didn't try to eat people, her sisters and a few others lived in the area but as far she knew there wasn't a lot of them around.
The world changed years ago, and is still changing, werewolves were never even considered to be real till people begun to maul each other and large canines roamed the streets.
Brittany is brought back from her thoughts by a low feral growl, her bright blue gaze drifts over to the cell she had stopped in front of, it was another patient, not one of hers but someone else's and he was crouching low beneath his bed, green eyes wild and narrowed as he stares at her, the growl rumbling in his chest.
She moves on quickly, smothering the fear building in her as she approaches her second patient, a man who hasn't spoken a single word since he was bitten, he just grunts and growls at everyone mostly, he's another calmer one who sits in the far left corner and chews on bones from past meals.
He liked his food alive and moving.
"Good morning Harvey, sleep well?" Brittany takes his clipboard and reads over it, sighing softly, the night worker who checked on him said that Harvey hasn't shown any sort of improvement at all, usually they're better at night.
It's strange but they seem to like the darkness and act kinder and more quiet unless it's a full moon, those nights are hectic, but last night it seems Harvey attempted to bite his caretaker on the leg when they moved him from outside to his inside cell.
"Harvey…..you feeling ok?" She asks, looking to the grunting man who doesn't even look her way upon hearing her voice even though his head twitched slightly, as if he heard her.
"Ok….I'll just write unresponsive," She mumbles to herself as she scribbles it down, she didn't want to see him transferred to the lower levels, that's where the wolves are.
"He doesn't like shifting, he gets quiet when it gets closer for him," Brittany jumps slightly as she turns to locate the source of the voice.
She briefly remembered him, he was moved around a lot so it was hard for her to recall his name, he's a chipmunk like her….
"I'm Alvin," She blinks as she meets the clear golden eyes of the munk, he smiles slightly, paws stuffed in the pocket of his hoody, the edges frayed and torn.
He shifts a lot.
"I'm Brittany…you talk…?" She says slowly, moving closer to him, he was crouched down, scribbling something on the floor with a broken pen, it was broken in half and the plastic was chewed up a bit.
He chuckles, "Yeah, a lot more than the others I guess, kind of surprising for you I suppose since you're so used to grunting and growling and what-not," He says, writing her name down on the concrete.
"Yeah, why haven't I seen you around?" She asks as she gets close enough to read his clipboard, tilting her head at the startling amount of writing and papers on it.
"They move me a bunch, guess I confuse them," Alvin sets his pen down and sits down, crossing his legs as he looks up at her, "They're not sure why I'm so normal even thought I was bitten, you know how it is, once you're bitten you become consumed, devoured by the disease and the wolf that is awoken inside," He says simply.
Brittany hadn't read very far, she was too distracted by the russet furred chipmunk in front of her, he was incredibly sane…..Rose even had her moments where her speech would become broken or she'd growl instead of speak which she apologized for later but….his speech didn't break apart and there wasn't an undertone of grunting or growling, if he wasn't behind a set of silver bars she would think he wasn't bitten.
"Do you know who bit you?" She holds the clipboard behind her back, leaning closer to the cage curiously, he was her age and he was the only one besides Rose or her co-workers who would speak to her within these walls.
"Family I think, an uncle or maybe my dad…..they shot him with something and dragged him off but it was too late, he had bitten me already and they say so they dragged me here with him, haven't seen him since then," Alvin shrugs his shoulders and meets her gaze, keeping his own eyes steady with hers as he tilts his head slightly to the side.
A wolf trait, she had to remember he wasn't completely human…well chipmunk, he wasn't normal, but he was holding her gaze like a person would, he wasn't growling and taking it as a challenge, he wasn't averting his gaze or bowing his head.
"Brittany?" The chipette jumps as another co-worker touches her arm, "You're late checking up on Rodney, he's antsy," The man says with a bit of concern.
"Oh yes, sorry," she hurries off, making sure to keep the clipboard out of sight as she hurries off to check on her next patient, trying to ignore the burning gaze locked on her back.
You're not a loud to bring anything on your patients home unless you're given permission by a supervisor, she'd be in big trouble if they found out it was her that took Alvin's information home.
Big, big trouble.
"Brittany what're you reading?" She breaks her gaze away from the paper in front of her and smiles sheepishly at her younger sister, "Just some files…..uh got a new patient," She lies easily.
Jeanette smiles, the dark chocolate furred chipette moves over to sit on the edge of her bed, "It's been awhile since you got a new one, how is…?"
"He….he's a bit different," Brittany admits, letting the bespectacled chipette take the clipboard to read over, her sisters never visit the asylum so she didn't see any harm in letting them read documents and papers on the patients, they knew not to speak about what is going on with them behind those solid concrete walls.
Most had hopes that they were finding a cure for the bitten…but in reality they were far from an actual cure, some of those that are bitten just revert back to normal on their own, the older they are when they're bitten the more likely they are to become completely human again.
"Alvin Seville…..this top page is from two months ago, no one has done daily reports on him since then?" Jeanette asks a bit shocked, Brittany says that they're required to do daily check ups on their patients to make sure they're not reverting to their full wolf forms and staying like that, those are sent lower down into the depths of the building, her sisters were thankful she wasn't required to look after those ones.
"Yeah, he seems completely normal to me…..he talks in full sentences, makes complete eye contact, writes, doesn't make any growling or grunting sounds and he doesn't seem to shift a lot either…..it's like he's reverting back to normal already, but he's my age," Brittany frowns with concern, rubbing at her arm as Jeanette flips back to the first page ever written about him.
She hadn't even bothered to read the first page, however Jeanette begins to read out loud, "Alvin Seville is a strange case, bitten on the throat he was lucky enough to survive his attack but there will be scarring, he hasn't shown any violent fits since being committed but just to be safe he is being held in the basement with the wolves until more testing can be done. I will write back later….Back again, he has begun to shift, it's night now and the first fits are showing through. His shift is a harsh one, so much blood and bone, he screams and screams, he cries and begs too but there's nothing we can do, god there's so much blood it's hard to watch. But I have to, I'm writing this down as I watch, it's already been twenty minutes since the convulses and fits begun and he's not fully turned yet. Forty minutes now and he's nearly there, he's fighting it, muttering things under his breath too, I can't hear what it is but he's talking faster now, sounds possessed. An hour and a half passed now and he's a wolf, a big one too even though he's barely sixteen, he tried chewing on the first set of bars, broke a few and burned his mouth, healed in seconds though. My hours are about over, I'll check on him in the morning,"
Her violet hued gaze flickers upwards and she searches Brittany's face, "Sound normal?" She asks slowly as the auburn furred girl takes the clipboard back, "No…the shift usually takes twenty minutes….I've never heard it taking an entire hour," She whispers, fear and confusion clear upon her face.
She was incredibly curious about this chipmunk…and she wanted to know more.