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Author's Note: This is the result of the Round Robin Challenge I did with Angi (http://aminoapps.com/p/90s1fe)

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I tore through the forest. The worst decision i made was disobeying my mother and wandering into the forest that surrounded my house. At first, it was fine, but the sun was starting to set and I had lost myself. Not only that, but I feel like I'm being watched... and that only started when I grew scared of the fact I had become lost.

My eyes darted around trying to find who or where the person was watching me might be hiding, only to be met with the inky darkness of the trees that seemed to be closing in on me. If I were claustrophobic, I'd probably be having a panic attack right now, but at this rate, I just might. Trying to brush off the initial feeling as my imagination, I tried to retrace my steps, but the darkness was making my backtracking rather hard. My body shivered as the cold set in, with only one thought in my mind: How did I get myself into this...?

I flinched and jumped in fear,  just as i heard the crumbling of leaves and plants behind me. Whatever that noise was being caused from, i was not gonna stay to witness it. I ran, i didn't care where, i didn't care if I'd go deeper. I just wanted to leave that place and leave whatever that was back there.

I ran and ran, my chest burning from my heavy breathing and my ears throbbing from the strong beats of my racing heart. I only stopped when I tripped over a random protruding root and started rolling down a steep embankment. My vision was a blur as I rolled down endlessly, and as I thought I might keep rolling forever, my body hit something with a loud thud, and I could hear the sound of my ribs cracking from the crash, the wind knocked out of me, and I slowly but surely lost my grip to the waking world

Hours passed when my eyes slowly began to flutter open. I thought it was all a dream, that I'm safe at home, but oh how wrong i was. Panic flared through my body, it was dark. I couldn't be outside in the forest, it's too pitch black in here. I stood up from the hard, cold floor and kept walking in one direction.

"Oooff!"

I crashed into a wall face first. My eyes felt as if they were going to tear up any minute, this wall confirmed that i am not outside.

Nursing my throbbing cheek, I tried to look around to see where the hell am I. No dice; it was so dark I could barely even see my own hand held up against my face. Knowing that it'll take a while for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, I felt my way around, trying to gauge how big was my enclosure. My hands touched cold hard steel, and judging by the number of steps I took from one corner to the other (20 steps by 40 steps), I guessed that I was in some sort of container. I tried to feel for a door, no dice either. I called out in hopes of anyone to hear me, only to hear my own voice echoing back at me.

I hit my head. "I'm so stupid! Obviously  if it's this dark, there'd be no windows but there could possibly be a light switch." I thought to myself and slowly felt around for a switch or at least a string. I strodded over to the center, or what i thought was the center of the room and jumped around, waving my hands in the air like some crazy kid, until my hand hit the metal string. I grabbed it and slowly pulled it. A very low and flickering light turned on.

My eyes squinted as they adjusted to the light. It was dim and orange, but it was better than nothing. After blinking a few times to let my eyes adjust, I scanned around the area. I was right; I was in the center of the room. It was completely bare, save a rather thin mattress just a few inches away from my feet, a rusty old bowl that looked like it hadn't seen the dishwasher in years, and an equally rusty old bucket which I assume would probably serve as a place for me to do my business. Grimacing, I scanned around the room again and saw right at the middle of the right wall, a small slot. I went towards it and got on my knees to see that it was some kind of slot for food to be brought in and out, and just wide enough for one hand to fit through.

I looked through the slot once more. There was another room at the other side. I heard a low, deep laugh from the other side, sending a chill down my spine. Goosebumps arose on my arms and legs. Then, my eye met another's, so close to the slot, i couldn't tell if they were a woman or a man.

My breath hitched as I flinched backwards a bit at the sight of that eye. It was a steely blue, comparable to a gleaming blue sapphire. Trying to regain composure, I leaned forward towards the slot again and called out tentatively, "H-Hello? W-Who are you? W-Where am I?"

A grin spread across his face, a little chuckle escaping his mouth. "That is unimportant as of now." His voice was a clue that he was indeed, a man. But how old? I still can't firgire that out. I gave him a little annoyed glare.

"Haha. Funny, can you let me go now?" I tried to sound bored and annoyed but instead my voice squeaked like a scared mouse

"Let you go?" His voice sounded almost patronizing, like an adult trying to humour a naive child. He let out another low chuckle, a longer one this time, before addressing me again. "Where is the fun in that?"

With that, the eye disappeared and the sound of heavy footsteps walking away could be heard. "Hey! Hey, come back! Who ARE you?!" I cried. Silence was my answer as the stranger was nowhere to be seen or heard

I thought about it and it made me feel sick. His words. "Where is the fun in that?" Something told me I wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. My eyes widen a bit in shock, a late reaction. I starting to scream after him, hysterically, as if i was being brutally murdered. "Let me go! Please!!!"

Still no reply, but I could hear the occasional shuffle, meaning he was still there, I was just being ignored. I pounded desperately at the metal wall before me, screaming profanities at him to get his attention, to plead and beg at him, but the occasional tiny chuckles I could hear from beyond the wall told me that he found pleasure in my suffering, and my gut was telling me that it wasnt the first time he did this, and I wouldn't be the last. Tears finally poured out of my eyes as I gave in to my fear and despair. I didn't know how long I wailed and sobbed in there, curled up in a ball like a newborn, but I cried myself to sleep soon after

I woke up in a jolt, groaning at the soreness of my stomach and back. This stone hard floor was becoming a pain. I rubbed my cheek only to feel a weird and sticky ooze rub onto my hand. I brought my hand to my face, only to see the red liquid seep down my hand onto my wrist. The sight of the fresh blood made me dizzy. I touched my cheek again, this time, it hurt when my fingers touched the cut.

"What the...?" I flinched at the sting of the touch. "When did I get this...?" That's when I realized the room was brightly lit, not the dim orange hue, but a bright luminous white. I turned to see my own haggard self staring back at me, making me Yelp in surprise and cower backwards. As my brain caught up with my body, I noticed that I was staring at my reflection. My eyes decided to roam and I soon found myself in the center of a brightly lit room, surrounded by wall-to-wall mirrors at every corner, numerous copies of myself reflected back at me in an infinity loop

This shouldn't be scary to me. I've been to the circus and in the mirror house. But in this case, it made this situation so much creepier, whoever this man was i could tell he is an unpredictable one. My stomach dropped and i gaged a bit just thinking of what other twisted stuff he could or would do to me.

"What the hell...?" I slowly got up on my feet and walked towards my reflection, touching the cold hard mirror just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. I finally noticed the small gash across my right cheek, and as I examined it further, I noticed the precision of the cut. It was fine, unlike an accidental cut, as if it was done deliberately with a surgical instrument

I touched it. It had to be that guy. What if he extracted some of my blood? I stuck my finger in my mouth and touched the inside of my cheek. What if he cut all the way through?!

Breathing a sigh of relief, I felt nothing inside. It appears it was only a shallow incision. Looking around at my infinite reflections, I felt about the mirrors, trying to find an exit out of this madhouse, ignoring the fingerprint smears I left on the surfaces. If I were at home right now and I left prints on any reflective surfaces, even on phones and CDs and DVDs, my mom would have a fit. It was one of her pet peeves, and she hated that. "Mom..." I whimpered silently to myself as I continued feeling my way around for an exit

These dozen reflections staring back at me was making be nervous, a edgy feeling. I walked down the hall, anxious to get out of here, and possibly find an escape. I'm starting to miss my mother..

I was lost in thought for a moment while I was searching when I heard a voice faintly calling out. I looked around to find the source of the sound but it seemed to be coming everywhere. The whispers were incoherent and I couldn't make out what it was. It didn't help that the whispers started to multiply and overlap one another until it was a cacophony of whispers filling the mirror house. I shut my eyes tight, letting out a pathetic whimper as I covered my ears, cowering from the cascade of whispers until finally they all stopped aburptly when a single clear voice rang just right in front of my face saying "Hey!"

My head jerked upward to see the same guy from before. I recoiled away from him. I couldn't trust him, not one bit, more or less being near him. "Let me go! This has been very 'funny' now let me go!! Please.... you've ready had your fun... just let me go..."

"Let you go?" The man looked and spoke to me with the same patronizing tone he did before, like I was an insolent bratty child needed to be placated for having a wild imagination. "The fun has only just begun!"

Letting out a maniacal laugh, he disappeared out of view. It was then I realized he wasn't exactly there physically, only a projection of him in one of the mirrors in front of me. But his voice still rang clear.

"Now you better get a move on and try to find your way out of here, before my precious poodles catch up with you. Tick tock~" I blinked in confusion. Poodles?

I cursed to myself, then realized, "if i find the way out! Maybe it's the exit!" I began to touch each and very mirror to look for a path, or at the the begining of a path. Frustratedly, i threw myself onto a mirror, but ended up falling on the floor instead. "Yes!"

Pushing myself up on my feet as fast as I could, I made haste and made a run for it, not caring that I was running down a long dim hallway, as long as I was leaving that mad mirror house. I ran and ran, not daring to look back. I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or not, but I could've sworn I heard growls and grunts, and something chasing behind on all fours

I turned around as I ran, only to see creatures, they looked weird, awfully bigger and more vicious than i imagined when he said "previous poodles" the sight of them only pushed me to run further.

'Holy crap...!!' I thought as I pushed myself to run faster. But it feels like the beasts behind me might be faster as I could almost feel their breath at my heels. 'Come on, come on, come on...!!' my brain screamed as I bolted harder than I have ever bolted in my life. Just when I thought I couldn't run anymore, I finally saw light at the end of the hallway

I took a sharp turn to the right and opened the door i saw in front of me and quickly shut it. The barks and growls could be heard on the other side as then scratched on the door. I heaved a deep breath and sigh, leaning against the door.

My knees gave way as I slid down to the floor, trying to calm down my breathing. I looked up to see that I was yet in another long hallway, and at the end of it was an ominous looking redwood door, as if the door was varnished with a coat of blood

I sat to catch my breathe before taking in a deep breath. "You can do this!" I encouraged myself and began to walk towards the crimson red door

The moment I took my first step, I felt this overwhelming sense of dread wash over my being. It was like something primal deep inside is telling me not to go to that red door, that whatever is behind it is much worse than what I would've endured back at the mirror house. The closer I got to the door, the stronger the sense of dread felt, and by the time I was in front of the red door, I was literally shaking like a leaf and I was barely able to stand on my own two feet

I jumped at the sound of two things crashing. Then i looked at my knees that were clashing together for all the shaking. I hesitated to open the door, but i forced myself to anyway. Wherever i was, I'm planning on getting out of this hell hole.

Taking a trembling deep breath, I gripped the door knob and forced myself to turn it. The moment I opened it, I was greeted with a very strong nauseating metallic smell. It literally stung my eyes and the first thought that came into my mind was: Blood. I blinked my watery eyes open and saw a nightmarish scene before me: the entire room stained with blood from ceiling to floor, and in the middle of the room were a series of bodies, their skin flayed open to expose bone and muscle, and were hanging by their wrists in chains on the ceiling

I stared in horror at the blood and bodies, the dread overwhelming me. "Is he gonna kill me now?!" I didn't stay to think i searched for another door and ran.

I was about to turn to search for another door when something that glinted off one of the bodies caught my eye. As much as it terrified me, I had to turn to look. Raising my head to get a better look at it, I realized in horror as I recognized the pendant on that necklace around that particular body's neck. A pair of dolphins facing each other. My mother's spirit animal.

The horrible idea came into mind. "What if he had gotten to her?" I took a deep sigh, "there's only one way to find out, but first i have to get outta here! And if she is..... ill move in with father.." i reached up for the pendant and yanked it off.

My breath hitched when I thought the body moved, but sighed in relief as I realized it's from the momentum of my yank. I quickly looked around for another exit out of this place and saw a metallic door at the end of the room, but grimaced as I realized that there were bodies upon bodies on the floor leading towards the exit, blocking my way, and the gross realization that I had to wade through them to get there

I began carefully walking over the bodies, trying my best to keep the fresh blood of my shoes. Then i felt the suddenly squish under my foot, and i gaged to see that blood had splattered everywhere. I gripped my neck feeling a hot liquid rise from my throat. Whatever i stepped on, it could've been an organ or.. a heart.

I tried to take deep breaths to keep whatever I was about to hurl out back down, but the smell of the dead bodies were not helping. I gave in and puked onto one of the dead bodies before my feet, making even more mess than it already is. "Aww~ Can't hold your breakfast, can you? Weak constitution, aren't we?" That voice again, echoing through the room through a PA system somewhere

I felt a small sob follow the puke up my throat. "Please... stop..." A few tears fell down my cheek.

"Well, if i did that then  this wouldn't be any fun, now would it?" A creepy giggled followed the man's question. I slam my fist into the floor and wiped away my tears. The door was so close, but this smell and appearance of the floor seemed like it would be forever till i reached it.

Gritting my teeth and spat out the last bile in my mouth, I steeled myself and got on my feet. Trying my best to breathe as little as possible so as not to take in anymore of the stink, I waded through the bodies again, getting closer and closer until I was almost inches near the door. Freedom, right before my eyes. So close I could taste it. I didn't really care what might be behind the door as I reached out to grab the doorknob. All I cared about is getting out of this dank stink hole

I whipped open the door, tears of joy dripping from my already swollen eyeballs. The forest never looked so beautiful. The air, never felt so relaxing. I jumped at hearing the sudden outburst of the man's laughter through the PA system. "Oh, sweetie? Do you really think i was gonna let you off that easily?"

Confused, I turned around to see nothing out of the ordinary. It was the exact same forest I got lost in in the first place. "If you don't believe me, go ahead. Keep running. Walk out that door. You'll see what I mean." Frowning, I did just that. My jog turned into a sprint as I made a run for it, trying to get away from my hellish prison as fast as I can. I didn't even bother to look, I just ran and ran and ran, even when I was starting to go out of breath and I was tripping over stuff more times than I could count. Then all of a sudden my tracks was stopped when my chest hit against solid rock, knocking the wind out of me. As I nursed my aching chest, I looked up to see that I was facing another wall, but this time it was made of stone and it towered 50 feet over me, that all I could see was the ironically starry sky

I jumped up onto my feet. "No no no... no!" I couldn't believe it. He must me joking with me! I turned to the 90° from the wall and began to sprint. Wherever i was, there was a way out, i know it! I'll just have to look for it the hard way.

I didn't know how long I was running, but I was frantically searching my way around. There has to be an exit. There has to be! But no matter how I ran, no matter how I turned, I ended up at a dead end with that 50-feet wall towering over me, as if taunting at my escape attempt. I could almost hear the man's maniacal laugh inside my head as I realized that I was trapped still, within a larger enclosure, separating me from the outside world like a fortress

Honestly, i was so desperate to get out of this place, i began to try and climb the wall. Searching for cracks, anything to place my foot and hands, but it was 50 feet and i could easily fall off or grow tired. Maybe that's what he wants! Ugggh! Should I?

"Give it up, kiddo," I hear the man's voice through the PA system again, coming from somewhere around the walls. "You're not leaving here alive, and that is a fact. Accept your fate and come back here to die."

I spun round and round like a madman, as if trying to fight him in thin air. "Why are you doing this?! Why me?! Why?! WHY?! WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU TO DESERVE THIS?!"

A low guttural laugh echoed throughout the air before he whispered, "Because you exist."

I let out a shaky breath."What do you mean i exist?! What have I ever done, I never asked to be born in the first place, Why ME!!!" I was so terrified that i began to scream things without thinking. "Why can't it be someone else!!"! I glanced at the pendant gripped inside my palm. "And... this necklace... What have you done to my mother!?"

"Your mother?" Another low chuckle. "Wouldn't you like to know?"

I cried out in frustration at his evasive answers. "What do you mean by that?! Where's my mom?! What did you do to her?!"

A short pause and another low chuckle before he replied, "Everything. Anything and everything."

Without warning, a hissing sound was heard as I was suddenly surrounded by a huge cloud of greenish smoke which stung my nose and burned my lungs

I coughed, it slowly grew hoarse. My lungs burned. The air quality became so made that i was losing air, as if this gas was like carbon dioxide. I coughed, gasping for air. My head began to hurt. My vision grew blurry. My whole body was shaking as it grew weak and soon numb. I collapsed onto the floor, coughing and grasping for oxygen, but soon, i feel unconscious, weakly muttering only one, useless word. "Help..."

I thought I was going to die. In fact that was the first thing that went through my mind when I opened my eyes to see white everywhere. I slowly sit up and looked around. Everything from the floor to the ceiling was white, even the bed I was lying on. Even my clothes, which were long sleeved and long pants, were white. Confusion hit me as I looked around, trying to make sense of what just happened

Honestly, the thought of me getting washed and dressed by this psychotic man made me shudder. I never knew i could find the color white, the color of purity, so... creepy.

I looked around, trying to figure out how did I get here when the sound of a hiss was heard. I spun round to see a sharply dressed man who looked like some kind of doctor accompanied by a couple of men equally dressed as white as I am, as if they were orderlies. "How are you feeling today, child?" My breath hitched.

"You!" I exclaimed. I recognize that voice, and those eyes. I may have only seen them briefly but I cannot mistake those steel blue eyes that pierced through my soul, though I was met with confusion at my outburst

I stared in anger and disgust at each and very men in this room. "How are you! I demand you to let me go! You've had your fun! Please.." My voice cracked because of me trying so hard not to cry.

"Calm down, child. Please sit down. I don't want to resort to sedating you again..."

I spat at his face, cutting him short. "Fuck you!! You're not fooling me!! Where am I?! What are you trying to do to me now?! Where's my Mom?!"

The man held up his hand to stop the orderlies from coming towards me, then calmly wiped his face with a handkerchief before turning to me, "Don't you remember? ....You killed her."

"Stop lying to me, you filthy, psychotic  bastard!!" I screamed at him and tan at him to get a punch. "You killed her! You did it!" I accused him as i grabbed the pendant in my hand. "I would have never!!!"

The orderlies were quick to hold me back, grabbing me by the arms as they forced me to sit down on my bed. It was then I realized the pendant I thought was in my hand wasn't there at all. I was holding onto some random debri without realizing it. The man calmly came towards me, then took out a thin file inside his clipboard and fished out its contents, spreading them before me. "Perhaps this will jog your memory."

I looked at them and saw that there were crime scene photos of a bedroom covered in bloodstains, and a mutilated body on the bed. I recognize in horror that that was my mother and the room was her bedroom

I stared at it, at first i thought that he killed her in her bedroom, but then i looked at the last picture and triggered a flood of memories to crash into my mine. Me, out of split anger, grabbed a knife of the kitchen and stabbed my mom in her rooms, countless times, so many i couldn't keep count. I always blamed her for the fact my father wanted a divorce. I loved him so much, not my mother.

"Do you remember now?" The man asked, his voice considerably gentler and kinder than the one I encountered. "Your parents were getting a divorce, and you had an... unhealthy obsession with your father. You were angry at your mother for your father leaving for another woman. You blamed her for allowing him to seek other women instead of saving the marriage. The anniversary night of your parents' divorce, you went into her bedroom and stabbed her multiple times to death. When they found you, you were delirious, wandering around the forest in your backyard with the murder weapon, screaming about being tortured and trying to get away from 'the mad man'. You were admitted here, in Northern Heights Asylum, by your father for your own safety. Although, this is your 5th attempt to try and escape."

I couldn't believe it, even though i do remember it happening. I burst out in tears. "I wanna leave... I wanna leave.... Please...."

The man gave me a slight frown. "I'm afraid that won't happen anytime soon, but there still is a chance of you getting better. It might be up to 3 or 4 years when you'll be let out, but you have to learn to control yourself."

I gave a slight nod, oh how much i missed my father.

"It is not uncommon for a person who went through a traumatic event to experience repetition as a coping mechanism. You are still in a state of denial, which causes your fragile brain to go in a state of hallucinatory loop, which is the cause of your repeat attempts to escape while believing in a fantasy. In fact, this is not the first time I had to explain this to you. In other words," he leans in close with a sympathetic look in his eyes, "you created your own hell."

***
I woke up, jumping out of bed excitedly and fell hard onto the floor and rubbed my head gently. "Oww..." I looked at the time, 5 am. Not again. This is the 5th (or was it the 6th?) time I had this recurring dream. A doctor, a white room, a couple of orderlies. I can never remember what they said to me, and it was getting annoying. Glancing out my window, I could see the forest at my backyard that my mom always forbid me to go. Last time I tried, I was grounded for a month. I couldn't hide my eagerness as I grabbed my shoes and slipped them on. Screw her. I was going to escape this tiny prison I know as my room, and I am finally going to find out what's beyond the forbidden forest...

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