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Want to Play a Game?

Mackenzie was shaking from head to toe after she left the therapist’s office. The assistant was moving her through the blinding, tundra like, white hallway, but she didn’t know where was she was going nor was she paying attention. Mackenzie was too wrapped up with what was going on in her head. ‘Willow’s back’ she kept thinking over and over. The more she thought about what she’d heard from the room, the voice that she never wanted to hear again, the more her body tremble.

“Are you ok?” asked the assistant as they stopped at a classroom door. Mackenzie just looked at him with tears in her eyes. He smiled at her and put his hand on her shoulder. His touch made her stop trembling almost immediately. “You will be ok, Little One. This is your new class… Art. Paint or draw anything you are thinking and feeling. It will help with what you talked about with the doctor, and whatever is worrying your little brain,” he said in a soothing tone.

“What is your name?” asked Mackenzie in almost a whisper. She’d never asked any of the attendants for their names before, but this man made her feel safe. His name mattered to her now.


“Hmm… I like that name,” she said as he gently nudged her into the room.

He chuckled. “I like your name too Mackenzie.” He smiled brightly at his favorite patient. “I will be back after a little while to get you”.

With that he left and Mackenzie looked around the room finding Reagan and Jocelyn. They had already started painting. There was an isle in the middle of them that was free and one right next to Reagan that was free too. Mackenzie decided to take the one next to Reagan because Jocelyn scared her today. Everyone was afraid of her… even Reagan, but today was the first time she ever frightened Mackenzie.

Reagan smiled at Mackenzie as she sat down and continued with her painting. Mackenzie looked at it and it took her breath away. It was a lake at night with millions of stars in the sky. Mackenzie did not know what this had to do with the therapy session but just shrugged it off. Reagan had become one of Mackenzie’s closest friends since coming to the institution. When Mac first came to the institution, Jocelyn was her best and only friend… but, to Mackenzie, Jocelyn was just weird. Something about her gave Mac the creeps. She was never afraid of Jocelyn, but noticed something was off about her.

Mackenzie sent a small smile at Jocelyn who had been staring at her since she sat down. Mackenzie could tell that she was hurt that she decided to sit next to Reagan instead of her, but Mackenzie didn’t care. She had too much stuff on her mind to worry about pleasing Jocelyn at the moment. ‘I hope nothing bad happens to the doctor,’ she thought before she started on her painting… a teddy bear.

After a while the class was over and it was time for dinner. The three girls sat at a table by themselves, for some reason only Reagan and Mackenzie were talking… Jocelyn was just glaring at them. It sent shivers down both of the little girls’ spines. They both knew that Jocelyn was thinking of something and nothing was right in her brain.

“What’s wrong Jocelyn?” asked Reagan swallowing hard. Her fingers twitched wildly while she tried to keep the fear from her eyes.

“Nothing,” Jocelyn said darkly. Her eyes gleamed with something similar to anger, but it wasn’t quite right.

“Then why aren’t you talking?” asked Mackenzie in a lighter tone, not meeting Jocelyn’s eyes.

Jocelyn chuckled as the idea formed in her head. “I was just wondering if you two wanted to play a little game of hide and go seek after lights out” It seemed innocent enough, just a little game, but there was a small problem.

Reagan and Mackenzie looked at her in amazement. No one ever tried to get out after lights out. If anyone got caught they did horrible things to them as punishment. Sometimes Reagan could hear the screams at night. Mackenzie once caught a glimpse of the huge machine with stickers attached. It lit up with violent blue lights and made a terrible buzzing noise. Once, Regan and Mackenzie overheard a girl crying because they hung her upside down alone for hours in the dark. Jocelyn looked at them kindly, almost innocently even though she was incapable of true innocence, but Mackenzie could see something else behind her eyes.

“I’m in,” Reagan said with delight. The stories didn’t bother her too much, and she remembered the locked door at the end of the hall—the room that they reserved for only the craziest patients.. That room had to be where the screams came from, none of those stories could be true, right?

“I’m not…,” answered Mackenzie.

“Why not?” snapped Jocelyn. Her face grew cold, harsh. She saw Mac as hers, and if they were going to play then Mac had to play too.

“You heard what they do to you if you are caught… I just don’t think it is such a good idea!” Mackenzie’s voice was bold, but it wasn’t strong. The slow trembles Arthur mad disappear returned in her legs.

“Well, it is just me and Reagan then. We are going to have a lot of fun,” said Jocelyn in a sing song voice. Her whole personality changed at once. Stupid Mackenzie had her dumb bear, so Jocelyn would get her dolly back. Only Jocelyn’s new doll would be Reagan, and she would do with the twitchy little girl as she pleased just like her real dolly. The thought brought Joce’s grin back to her lips.

Mackenzie wanted to tell Reagan that it was not a good idea, but she saw how excited Reagan got and didn’t want to burst her bubble. Mackenzie told herself she was overreacting, but there was something about Jocelyn that made her think that she wasn’t. ‘I’m just tired,’ she thought. For the rest of the meal all of the girls sat without talking anymore. Reagan was too excited to be hanging out alone with Jocelyn; Mackenzie knew Reagan wanted to befriend Jocelyn, no matter how mean Jocelyn treated her. The twitchy little girl just wanted more friends. Jocelyn hummed softly to herself pushing the food along with her fork, and Mackenzie still thought about Willow and wondered if she made a grave mistake telling Doctor Carter about her.
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This is the latest chapter we've gotten done. Sorry it's taking us so long to get these out. We didn't pre-write, so we're brainstorming and writing and figuring out whose turn it is to write next. Rachel wrote this, so it's my turn to write chapter 8... We've got a lot going on. Thanks for hanging in there with us, and thank you for reading and commenting. We appreciate everything you guys are doing for us. ~ Nikki aka Lulie Belle.