"Amilia, can you hear me? Do you know where you are?"
I slowly open my eyes to see an unfamiliar woman talking to me.
Who is she? I think to myself.
"Hello? Are you able to speak?" she says impatiently.
"I can hear you, yes. No, I do not know where I am,” I snap at her.
I also don't know who you are. I am too nervous to ask. I look around the room to see what appears to be a hospital. The walls are white and the floors are shiny tile. There is a dark blue curtain appearing to split the room in half.
Is there someone else on the other side? Can they hear us?
I look down at myself and notice an IV in my hand, and heart monitors stuck to my chest. I am wearing a dark blue paper gown and black socks with slip grips on the bottoms. Where are my clothes? I try to remember what my clothes look like but I can't remember. I can't remember where I live, how old I am, or if I even have a family. Why am I not terrified? What is going on? I feel no emotions now.
The lady is staring at me.
"Amilia, are you alright?"
"Mam, I'm not entirely sure. I feel emotionless. I remember only my name. Can you answer my questions?"
I do not understand any of this. This woman has not even introduced herself yet.
"Your name is Amilia Katherine Jones. You are twenty-two years of age and hail from Ireland. You are currently in Mr. Anthony's Home for Impaired Females in Norris, Illinois, United States."
United States? Home for Impaired Females? What the hell is going on?
"Why am I here?" I ask, noticing I can feel curiosity, but not anger or fear. The lady smiles an unnerving smile.
"Why, don't you remember, dearest? You slaughtered your entire family. Your mother, your father, even your own daughter. You're a real monster. Yet, you claim you didn't do it. Accused some 'monster' of killing them. Even got past the lie detector test. So they sent you here to us for treatment."
Who is this woman? Why am I not upset, or scared? I only feel curiosity, and confusion. After staring at her for another few moments, trying to remember anything, feel anything, I finally find my voice.
"Ma'am, who are you?"
"Young lady, I am Mr. Anthony's daughter, Lorraine Anthony. I run this institution in my father's absence. He is currently running our other facility near Chicago.”
Lorraine. Finally, at last I have her name.
"Mam, why can't I feel anything?"
She smiles that creepy smile again and chuckles to herself. "Dear Amilia, not to worry. It's just the medication we have you on to help you stay calm. Now hush. I am going to give you something to help you sleep. You need to recover."
Sleep? Recover? Haven't I been asleep for a long time? What do I need to recover from? Shouldn't I be hungry?
Lorraine walks near my bedside and pulls a syringe out of her pocket. The liquid inside has a faint pink tint to it. She injects it into the port on my IV tube. I immediately feel the effect and begin to drift off to sleep. Just before I slip away I feel an intense burning sensation on my stomach. I then slip into unconsciousness.
I awake what feels like only seconds later. My hair has come loose from it’s ribbon and is hanging in my face. I attempt to lift my hand to move it, only then do I feel the restraints on my wrists, ankles, and waist. I pull as hard as I can against the one’s on my wrists to no avail. They will not budge. I start thrashing about, twisting, turning, pulling, and kicking, making any move I can in an attempt to free myself. I’m trapped, nothing is helping. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and make myself calm down. I open my eyes and look around to see the same room I was in before. Only this time, the curtain splitting the room is open. On the other side is an enormous mirror that covers the entire wall, except where the closed door stands. All of a sudden there is a horribly loud speaker screech and Lorraine’s voice comes across.
“Hello, Amilia. Do you know who I am?”
“Yes. You are Lorraine. Why am I tied up?” I croaked. My throat and mouth are so dry they feel like sandpaper.
“You are a very, very, very naughty girl, Amilia. You thought it was a brilliant idea to strangle a poor nurse who was trying to leave you some water. You can have food and water again when you decide to behave.”
WHAT?! I’ve been asleep! How could I have done this?
“Miss Lorraine! Please, may I have a drink? I am in a great deal of discomfort. How is it possible for me to have committed this heinous act, when I’ve been asleep since we last spoke?” My voice quivers, tears fill my eyes, and for the first time I feel all of my emotions.
“We have it on video. Would you like to see?” she snaps.
“Please. There is no way it was me. You have the wrong girl!” I cry out. It couldn’t have possibly been me! The lights in the room go out abruptly, and a projector drops down from a tile in the ceiling. A video begins to play on the white wall at the foot of my bed. A girl appears. She looks like me, from what I know I look like. I still do not know what my face or hair truly look like. She is sitting straight up in bed, legs crossed, facing the same wall I am looking at now. She does not move or speak at all. The nurse enters the room with the water pitcher and a cup on a tray. He smiles and says hello to the girl. As he nears the bed, the girl snaps her head to look at him. All of a sudden a dark, malicious grin comes across her face. She leaps off of the bed at him and pins him to the ground. She puts her hands around his neck and begins to choke him.
“Please, stop this! I can’t watch anymore!” I cry. I begin to gag and have to force myself to not throw up. In this position it would only cover me and make a mess. What the hell is going on?! That’s not me! It can’t possibly be me!
The video stops and the lights in the room come back on. The projector rises back into the ceiling and the tile slides over, covering it once more.
“Don’t like what you see, dear Amilia?” snides Lorraine.
“How… How could I have possibly done that? For what reason?” I mutter. I am at a loss for words.
“I have the same questions for you. We are going to conduct an experiment. You are not going to be allowed to sleep until I say so. If you begin to fall asleep, I will give you drugs to wake you up. I will also be coming into the room occasionally to check your vitals as well as give you food or water. You had better behave or there will be severe consequences. Understand?” Lorraine sounds much more aggressive now. Her sweet, kind tone has been replaced by a cold, unnerving snear.
“Yes, ma’am. I understand. I will be good, I promise.”
I received no response. A short time later the door to the room opens. Lorraine steps inside. I tried to see what was behind her in the doorway, but all I saw was the same white walls.
“I’m going to give you this medicine now, and explain some things to you as I do, okay? Be good, I mean it!” she snaps at me, once again.
“First of all, don’t call me ma’am. Now, want to know more about yourself? You are insane. Through and through, you are bonkers. Do you want to know how I know? You have two sides. One is such a crybaby, so nice and sweet. The other is a cold-blooded killer. You killed your mother and father by beating them with a baseball bat until their heads were so smashed, they were almost unidentifiable. Your poor daughter, only two-years-old, you drowned her in her bath. She was a beautiful child, and you ended her life. I don’t buy your bullshit for one second. I see who you are now. You are a MURDERER!” As she is screaming at me, I feel tears pouring down my face. All of a sudden, I begin to feel the medicine taking effect. Instead of putting me to sleep like it usually does, it begins to make me feel strong. I feel myself becoming more focused, like an animal taking down its prey. I stop listening to whatever Lorraine is mumbling about. I pull hard on my left wrist restraint and it finally breaks. I throw all of my weight against every restraint and throw myself off of the bed and onto the floor, landing on my hands and knees.
“How the FUCK did you break those?!” shouts Lorraine. She looks terrified.
Good. She deserves to be afraid.
“Why am I conscious? Why do I feel this way? I like it,” I snap to her.
I could get used to this.
“I… I don’t know… I don’t understand! That medicine is supposed to keep you awake without any other adverse effects!” she stammers. “My best guess is that it… enhanced your natural abilities. Oh god, please don’t kill me!” She begins to cry and try to hide her face behind her hands in fear. I smile a wicked grin, and begin to cackle.
“I don’t know what this shit is, but it’s great!” I leap towards Lorraine. I collide with her within seconds. I begin using my hands to tear her clothes, skin, hair, anything I can grab hold of, cackling away the entire time. She is dead within a minute.
That was fun! I wonder how I am going to get out of here.
I run across the room to the door and yank hard. It is locked. I rip it as hard as I can, with no use. After about three minutes of tearing at the door, an alarm begins to go off in the room. A bright strobe light blinks brightly in each corner of the room, and a siren’s whale fills the air.
A loud bang sounds a few seconds later, and the siren shuts off. I look up and notice little nozzles sticking out of the top of the wall every few inches. Immediately, a potent smelling gas begins to fill the room. A voice comes across the speakers again. It sounds like Lorraine.
“Nice try, bitch. If you’re hearing this, I am dead. You forgot something, though. I’m smarter than you. The door was rigged. If I hadn’t opened it by a certain time, using my key card, the room will lock down. The gas filling the air is mustard gas. In less than a minute, you will lose consciousness and seconds later die from lack of oxygen. You may have killed me, but you will never kill again.”
In that instance, I passed out. I fell into what felt like a nightmare. I felt the fire, and I burned for all eternity.