Tales From the Asylum

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Chapter 2: Inmates

Thump. Thump. Thump went my head against the wall. What had I done to deserve this? Stupid. Thump.

"You're going to give yourself a headache."

I stopped hitting my head to look at the boy perched up on the top of a bunk bed. The boy grinned through a pair of black rimmed glasses that held stunning icy blue eyes. His nose was larger than average, so it stood out slightly from his face. His hair was long and resembled the colour of ink, draping down to his waist. He could tuck it in his pants if he wanted. Speaking of his pants, the jeans he wore seemed to be three sizes too big for him, and they dragged lower than I would have preferred. He was also shirtless, so I had the brief suspicion my roommate was some sort of stripper. At least he wore underwear, I guess.

"Does it look like I care?" I muttered irritably. The boy puckered his lips.

"Aww, don't be cranky, we're in this together, aren't we?" I felt like he was mocking me in some way, so I decided to end our conversation right then and there.

"Sure. Look, can we talk later? I don't feel very sociable."

"At least give me a name! I'm Arrow." He hung upside down from his bunk, his hair reaching the floor easily.

"Arrow?" I repeated. Arrow shook his head.

"It's a nickname, duh."

"I'm Karen."

I decided to tell him my real name. Was I supposed to have an alias? Perhaps it didn't matter.

"Cool. But if I could suggest anything, I'd say make your own nickname."

Of course.

"Like what?" I challenged.

"What about... Blondie?"

"Ew, no. My hair isn't even blonde, it's brown." I pointed out. Arrow shrugged.

"Fair point. Greenio?"

"That sounds dangerously close to Cheerio, which I am not. No."

At this point I was under the impression he would use any- and all of my features against me. From my emerald eyes to my small lips, I wouldn't even put it past him to comment on my nonexistent figure. There was little to be seen, and I mentally tended to complain about it. My haircut didn't help much either, as it made me look more masculine than a girl should look. Even though I was often mistaken as a boy, I just dealt with it. It didn't really take me long to get used to be seen as a boy. Sometimes it was even helpful.

"Can't I just call you Coppertop and be done with it?"

"What? Why?" I protested with a start.

"You have a copper top. As in your hair."

"That's just stupid."

"Well it's your name now." I sighed, and climbed into my bed on the bottom bunk.

"Goodnight." I stated firmly.

"It's noon."

"Whatever." I faced the wall and curled into a fetal position for why felt like hours. It possibly was hours anyway, because before I knew it a loud rapping came from the door. A man, different from the other one I saw announced something I was too groggy to hear. Arrow filled me in right after he left though.

"Coppertop! Get up, food time." He handed me a small tray that held a singular slice of bread, a container of yoghurt that I was almost certain was expired, and a tiny plastic cup of water.

"Thanks." I took the small portion of food and nibbled on the bread. Arrow kept trying to ask me questions about myself, which I gave my full answers to.

"Favourite colour?"

"Sky blue, you?"

"Bright red. Hobby?"

"Dunno."

"What. How can you not know what you like to do?"

I shrugged, taking a sip of water.

"Maybe I just don't remember."

"How so?" He studied me, intrigued.

"Well I don't remember anything before I was on my way here, perhaps I was knocked in the head."

"Maybe, yeah."

We sat in silence for a while, and finished our 'meal'. I was about to curl in my bed again and sleep when Arrow casually mentioned something shocking.

"Oh, and don't forget about the test tomorrow."

I nearly jumped out of my skin.

"Test?!" I exclaimed.

"Chill. It's just a procedure they do to everyone. I went through it too, no biggie. Didn't really make sense, now that I think of it. It's harmless, you'll be fine." He explained, a little vague.

"Okay. Yeah. Right." I nodded, laying my head on the hard pillow, wide awake. The night went on, and soon my mind drifted into a dreamy state. Sleep overcame me, and the darkness spread.


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