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Work Through Our Issues

The doctor wore dark gray pants with her white coat, wanting to look as professional as possible. It was her first day at the hospital. Her black hair fell in waves of curls just below her shoulders while she squeezed the clipboard to her chest. She was nervous; she heard all the stories about this place. The frozen air and the empty look in the girls’ eyes as she walked passed them made her shiver. ‘They are in here for a reason… just like she was,’ she thought to herself as she pushed the door open to her new office. There was a reason she took this job when everyone else told her not to… Her sister had been in this place for a long time, before eventually taking her own life. The time at the hospital changed her, and not for the better. Thinking about her sister made a tear fall from her eye and land softly on her cheek. She quickly wiped it away due to the fact that she already had a scheduled group therapy this morning.

‘They work fast,’ she thought as she hurried to get everything situated for the upcoming session. As she put her purse near her desk and hung up her coat in her office there was a knock on the door. Her heart leapt into her throat; she quickly cleared her throat. She stared at the door until she heard a second knock. She ran to the door and opened it up to a big guard and three innocent looking girls, but she knew in this place that looks can be deceiving.

“Thank you, sir,” she said politely as she hurried the girls into the room.

“I will be back for them in an hour,” he mumbled back before walking back down the hall.

One little girl, with brown hair had waved at him before he left. The look on his face was true horror. After he left the little girl looked at her and smiled. Her eyes were a deep blue and she did not know why, but there was something that troubled the doctor about her. The doctor could not figure it out, but there was something menacing about how the little girl stared at her.

“Please sit, there will be a few more girls coming here in just a second,” said the doctor with a faint smile.

She showed all the little girls to their seats and sat between the girl that gave her the creeps and a girl with black hair who wiggled in her seat uncomfortably. Then there was a knock on the door and a couple more girls came and sat in the remaining seats. She sat back down in the seat next to the little girl who looked even more uncomfortable than she did before. The doctor smiled at the girl trying to make her feel better, but the girl sent her back a weak smile and continued wiggling in the chair. No one spoke. The silence was almost too much for the doctor to bare.

Her fingers tapped against the scarred wood. “Hello, girls. My name is Doctor Carter, and we are going to talk about why we’re all here today. I am here to help you get through your issues.” She looked around the group. As she sat down, she pointed to Mackenzie, “Would you like to go first?”

Mackenzie’s wavy hair flopped down into her eyes as she shook her head.

The woman sighed and looked around the room once more. Doctor Carter has been working a long time with patients. She knew that it was going to be a process to get these girls to open up; she didn’t want to ask the other girl about her problems yet. She had to ease herself into that one.

“Would it make you feel more comfortable if I say something about myself?” the doctor asked Mackenzie.

“Maybe,” replied Mackenzie in a whisper.

“Well, my name is Catherine. I had a sister named Lucy who used to be here, just like you three.” She took a moment to motion to Jocelyn’s unyielding gaze, Mackenzie’s curtain of hair, and Reagan’s mad twitching. “What are your names?” Catherine asked sweetly.

“Mackenzie,” the girl whispered as she pushed back a few strands of her thick curls.

“Reagan,” the little girl with black hair answered in an annoyed tone. Doctor Carter could tell that it wasn’t directed at her from the lack of attention Reagan showed the other girls. She weaved her hand through the air with twitching fingers as if playing some sort of game unknown to the others.

“Jocelyn.” The other girl nodded, seemingly interested in what Carter had said. “Why was your sister here?”

Catherine didn’t know how to answer her question and got uncomfortable with the way she asked. It was her turn to shift uncomfortably in her seat. Jocelyn was looking at her intently with her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands. Her eyes did not blink as she stared at the doctor and her gaze made Catherine uneasy. She had to look away and when she did the little girl laughed. ‘There is something off about this girl’ Catherine thought.

“I believe that is a story for another day, Jocelyn,” Catherine answered, trying her hardest to keep her voice from shaking. “Now Mackenzie, I have said something about myself. Tell us about you?”

Mackenzie shifted her eyes to look down at the floor. She did not want to answer the doctor. She seemed nice enough, but Mac was scared for her. If she tried to help, Mackenzie knew, she would get hurt. Tears burnt her eyes and she shook her head again trying not to look at her. Mackenzie did not want cry in front of the new doctor.

“Come on, sweetheart” Dr. Carter pushed.

“She hasn’t talked in a long time,” Mackenzie cried softly. “I don’t want her to start again. I know if I talk about her, then she will.”

“Who?” Dr. Carter pushed.

Dr. Carter knew how hard to push. She knew that if she pushed too hard then the girl would shut down and that is not what she wanted. She wanted to help her and the rest of the girls. It was her mission, or she knew that they would end up like Lucy. Catherine knew that Mackenzie wanted to talk, but could see how frightened the girl was. She continued staring at the girl, until she saw the little girl catch her gaze. She knew at that point she had won… at least a little bit.

Mackenzie looked down again from the doctor’s gaze and pulled her knees to her chest before she crossed her arms over them. She looked at Jocelyn and Reagan who were also staring at her. She knew that she had to say something, but how could she? ‘Why didn’t the doctors ever understand? Talking only would make everything worse,’ she thought, the tears coming back into her eyes. When she told her mother about Willow it didn’t go over well. Willow got angry and when Willow got angry… She couldn’t think about that right now.

“It’s alright. You don’t have to talk now, but I believe it will help you.” The doctor looked around the circle feeling defeated.

She called on two more girls, hoping that this would make Mackenzie feel better. The doctor felt bad for her. The girl reminded Catherine of Lucy when they were little girls. Catherine could picture Mackenzie laughing, making friends, and doing what other children do, not being cooped up in this place. Lucy and Mackenzie were kindred spirits. ‘That was before Lucy came to this place,’ thought the doctor grimly.

The rest of the group spent time talking about why they came to the sanitarium. The girl facing Mackenzie had a stack of dead birds hidden in her playhouse before she attacked the boy next door; and the other girl, beside Reagan, got arrested with her mom in a meth lab. Apparently, having a very sick child makes it okay to get over the counter acetaphetamines.

“Are you sure you don’t want to speak?” The doctor asked Mackenzie for the last time. The little girl tucked her face between her crossed arms and gave her head a ferocious shake.

“How about you?” Dr. Carter asked while motioning to Reagan.

“Me?” asked Reagan in a hushed tone.

Reagan was a shy child, and got really embarrassed when the doctor called on her. She began looking around the room at the other girls in the group. There were only five people, but it seemed, to Reagan, as she was talking to a whole room full of people. She got self-conscious. ‘Would they think I am crazy too, like all the people from church, or think I have the devil inside of me?’ thought Reagan. She thought back to her parents and what her parents told the pastor. Their pastor said that she had to have the devil in her soul. He said she needed an exorcism before her parents brought her to this place. She was NOT crazy and she DID NOT have the devil inside her. The thought of it made her so mad that her hands started shaking.

“Do you want to tell me why you’re here?” The woman scribbled something on her clipboard.

Jocelyn leaned forward with curiosity. She could see Reagan’s hands shake and knew what she did had to be good. The doctor gave Jocelyn a gentle nudge so she wasn’t leaning over anymore, but when she did Jocelyn glared at her, anger pouring off her skin. No one ever dared to touch her, and by the look on the doctor’s face she wasn’t going to do that again. Jocelyn’s glare changed suddenly to a little smile, and she could tell that it made the doctor shutter. ‘If only daddy could see this…’ thought Jocelyn.

“I saved my parents.” Reagan raised her voice a little.

Everyone looked back at Reagan. They had almost forgotten that it was her turn to speak. Jocelyn turned her head so that she could hear better and so did Doctor Carter. Catherine was happy that she had finally said something; it would give her something to get her mind off of the way that Jocelyn looked at her.

“What do you mean ‘save’?” Catherine asked writing something on her clipboard.

The little girl looked at her feet, playing with the lines on the tile. “Ella was… is… bad!” Her fingers twitched with violence. She glared to her right, at the floor between her chair and Mackenzie’s.

“Who is Ella, Reagan?”

“Mommy said she was my sister, but she wasn’t. She had red eyes. I don’t think Mommy and Daddy knew that she wasn’t human.” Reagan then looked the doctor in her eye. “I tried to save her, like they did in church for the sinners, but she couldn’t hold her breath long enough.”

“Reagan, what do you mean save her?” Doctor Carter asked. She thought she knew where this was going, and it made her stomach churn.

“God told me she was a monster. I just wanted to get the monster out of her… for my Mommy.”

“How messed up are you?” Jocelyn snorted. “There’s no such thing as God! You just didn’t like sharing the attention.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder and leaned over Doctor Carter to pat Reagan on the knee. “I would’ve done the same thing.” Jocelyn grinned as Reagan pulled away from her.

The doctor pursed her lips before raising a brow in Jocelyn’s direction. “Is that why you’re here?”

“No.” The little girl’s grin grew into a smile and turned in her seat to stare at the doctor. “My name is Jocelyn Samuels, and they brought me here because the police man didn’t want me to stay with my daddy.”

“Samuels?” The doctor tapped her pin, mulling over the familiar name. “Why couldn’t you stay with your father?”

“Because he killed a lot of women… I think it was seventeen,” Jocelyn thought for a moment, looking up at the ceiling… counting. “But I can’t remember and it didn’t bother me. I played with my dolly one of the women he picked up gave me. Daddy was just trying to find me a Mommy. Mine was bad, so we had to find a new one, but none of the women he found were good enough. My dolly was pretty, she had long hair, but she didn’t have a heart anymore, just like his sixth girlfriend. They took her away from me when I came here.” Jocelyn shrugged and played with her sleeve. She held the doctor’s harsh gaze for another moment before she remembered. “When can I see Daddy? I want my doll back. Mackenzie got to keep her stupid bear, but I couldn’t keep my dolly? That’s not very fair.”

“I didn’t want the bear,” said Mackenzie before putting her hand over her mouth in horror.

Shock filled Doctor Carter. She knew that something was wrong with this child and she was right. She was raised by a lunatic. She looked at the little girl who had hopeful eyes waiting for her to answer her. ‘Did this child really think she’d ever see her father again?’ she thought to herself.

“I don’t know, Jocelyn. You’ll have to let me ask around,” she said trying to smile at the little girl.

She nodded. “You do that, Doc.” A smile grew on her lips as she spoke her mind, “Daddy would’ve really liked you.”

“I think that’s,” Doctor Carter choked, “enough for today. I’ll see you all tomorrow to talk about why we did the things we did to get in here.”

“Oh that’s easy,” Jocelyn murmured, but the doctor held up her hand.

“No, no, no. You can tell me all about it tomorrow.” The woman stood in the middle of the girls and nodded to the attendants in the corner who had come in without the girls noticing them. “Take them back to their rooms or classes, wherever they belong.”

“Can I speak to her alone?” spoke up Catherine as a tall attendant wearing puke green scrubs tried to take Mackenzie from her seat.

“Alright, just buzz the ringer when you’re done,” he said nodding at her.

The doctor nodded in return to the attendant, half to answer him and half to reassure herself. She heard a lot of things talking to children who needed strong psychiatric care, but nothing startled her as much as talking to the Samuels girl. Doctor Carter took a deep breath and readjusted inner thoughts before waving goodbye to the scattering girls.

Only one was left. The little girl who refused to talk in group sat in her chair. She still huddled into herself. Mumbled whispers left her small body. The doctor sat beside Mackenzie, avoiding Jocelyn’s chair at all costs, and listened carefully.
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Sorry this took so long to post guys. I, Lulie Belle, had a bad case of writer's block for two months and some family issues while I was trying to job hunt. It's crazy around here, but not as crazy as the asylum. :) Rachel, endportal kitten, found a new job. YAY, Rachie! And she's going to be a maid of honor.

So we're pretty busy, but we haven't forgotten you guys or our favorite lunatics. Hope you enjoy the chapter.