Here the line is blurred. Here there is no black or white. Here there are only shades of gray.
Welcome to Gray’s Asylum for the Mentally Unstable.
There was somebody new at the asylum today.
Somebody new? They never got anybody new.
Whispers filled the rooms as the new girl was led to her room.
Who is she? What is her name? How old is she? Where did she come from? Is she nice?
And the question that was on the tip of everyone’s tongue was finally asked.
What did they diagnose her with?
Julie sat on the edge of the neatly made bed. The crisp white sheets matched the white washed walls. Julie stared at the wall without really seeing it.
I’m not insane. I’m not insane. I’m not insane. Why am I here? I’m not insane. How could you father?
A silky voice familiar to Julie invaded her mind as a gentle hand began to caress her back.
“You’re different. People fear that which is different,” the voice purred.
Julie shivered. She knew that the hand was attached to a woman with blood red hair, emerald eyes, pale porcelain skin, and two, elongated, knife-like canines hidden behind ruby lips. Julie knew why the woman was here.
“Julie,” the woman almost-whimpered as she ran a pink tongue across Julie’s cheek.
Julie mewled at the contact.
“It’s been so long, my love. They’ve been keeping me away. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed the taste of your sweet blood.”
The woman ran her hands down Julie’s arms, grabbing the edges of the sleeves and pulled them up, exposing numerous razor thin scars in neat little rows. Again, Julie shivered at the contact.
“Please my little light. My little tainted Light.”
Julie looked around the room. These people were good, but not good enough. Placing the chair on the bed, Julie was tall enough to reach the light bulb, which she unscrewed and let fall. Carefully she picked up the largest piece, and, finding and unmarred part of her skin, she slowly pressed down.
A crash in the new patient’s room had alerted the staff. When a group of nurses opened the door, a disturbing sight greeted them. A bright crimson liquid was flowing from a large gash in her arm and Julie Anders was slowly licking it off.
Six months ago Julie’s mother was lost in a house fire. Some people say that’s when it started. Others say it started when her best and only friend moved away. But soon drawings of a mysterious woman appeared in her art sketchbook. The woman was beautiful and Julie spent many long hours perfecting these pictures.
Then the scars began to appear. Long-sleeved sweaters mostly hid them, but sometimes a few peeked out over the edges. No one ever asked; Julie never told.
Until Mr. Anders caught her. He saw his daughter’s naked body and the blood pooling around it and immediately called the hospital. Two days later he made arrangements for Julie to be moved to the local asylum. He never asked her why, and when she was screaming the reasons at him while being dragged away, he ignored her. He turned his back on his daughter. He hasn’t looked back since.
Julie Anders scared the other patients in the asylum. When she was allowed out, her wide eyes were haunted by some unknown evil. Sometimes they could hear her sobbing behind a locked door or talking to an unknown presence in an empty room. But the scariest moments were when the other patients could hear her screams of:
“I’m not insane! I’m not insane! I swear! I swear I’m not insane!”
Before she suddenly went deathly silent, calmed by an invisible force.
If the other patients ever got out, they would tell their families the story of the crazy girl who killed herself.
“Blood everywhere…gone horribly wrong…used her own fingernails and teeth…was quiet about it…no one knew until it was too late…message on the wall…written in blood…’my little tainted Light’.”
Maybe Julie was insane. Maybe she wasn’t.
She was a light loved by darkness. A tainted light.
A shade of gray.