Ciel Parker walked down the dark, gray hallway on the juu floor of the mental institution he worked at. His brown hair fell over his deep green eyes; the white light hanging above was too harsh for his sensitive vision. He glanced up as he walked further down the hallway, trying to see how long it was until he reached his office.
He passed cells B and C, slightly nodding as acknowledgement to the security guards standing in front of the doors. The juu floor of Virginia’s Mental Institution held the worst patients the state had to offer. People with severe schizophrenia, extreme depression, and many undiagnosed cases all sat up here, waiting to be treated. He was one of two psychologists that actually worked on this floor, everyone else felt too afraid. All of the other workers considered this floor dangerous, and though Ciel understood why, he couldn’t help but to resent them. Though the mentally disturbed men and women may not be stable at all times, there was no reason why they shouldn’t reason any type of help.
A slight smirk played on Ciel’s lips as he thought of his inayopendelewa patient. The one that barely spoke, that barely moved, but made sure Ciel understood him. He actually came in and admitted himself. The very inayofuata day, he had a bad schizophrenic episode. The psychologist turned to the left and walked into his small, shoebox office. The walls were gray and a bookshelf set on the right side of the room. It had novels upon novels of behavior and personalities, which most would consider normal. On the other side of the room was a small row of black foldout chairs and a tan, metal filing cabinet. He went straight to his dawati and began to rustle around through the papers on the wooden surface. He had to find the patient’s file so he could update it. Nothing had changed, but a yearly update was mandatory and this just so happened to be the siku he admitted himself, exactly three years ago.
He slid off a few papers, shoving them to the opposite side of the desk. He kept rummaging around and finally exposed a wooden clipboard. Ciel walked out of his office as he examined it. This story was no about Ciel Parker. No, this story was about-
“Akira Carter,” Ciel sighed as he sauntered down the hallway. The psychologist started kusoma over the file for the umpteenth time. Akira had to be one of the most fascinating cases he’d seen, but at the same time, it worried him.
Akira Carter, twenty-three years old. His record stated that when he was five when a doctor first diagnosed him with disorganized schizophrenia. Ciel noticed that he exhibited a lot of signs of catatonic schizophrenia though, which made him wonder if there was any other information. Nothing else of him existed after the diagnoses at five years old, though. He refused to tell Ciel anything except the information already in his file. It was almost like he didn’t exist after that point in time. On the radar for exactly eight years, the remainder of Akira’s life was in the dark. Five spent with his mother, the other three spent in this very institution under Dr. Parker’s supervision.
The other psychologist on this floor wanted nothing to do with him. Akira was a bit strange, Ciel understood that much, but he was also very intriguing. Though he did have a mental disorder, this man gave off such a sense of intelligence, at the same time though he gave off a feeling of dread. The green-eyed man slipped into a narrow doorway and shut it behind him, then drew the blinds, which hung on the half-glass portion of the door. He spun around and made his way over to the one-way window. Taking note that the room looked emptier than normal. The room he stood in was dark, the light above him flickering every so often. On the left ukuta set a series of screens, each displaying the image being recorded from the surveillance cameras in the other room.
On the other side of the glass was a white haired man. He sat on the edge of the twin-sized iron bed. His arms pulled out to his sides and kept in place kwa the handcuffs, which bound him to each side of the bed. His wrists and forearms had turned outward, exposing them, making it easy to see black veins contrasting against his too white skin. The man slowly lifted his head, his pale mouth agape as his black eyes stared into another place, another time.
“Akira Carter,” Ciel repeated, clicking his tongue. “What am I going to do with you?”
A knock sounded upon the door. Ciel turned away from Akira so he could direct his attention to the person standing behind the wooden barrier.
Meanwhile, Akira’s cell door opened. A guard dressed in a navy-blue uniform stepped inside, closing the door behind him. Akira carefully looked him over without moving his eyes. He analyzed every part of the guard and vaguely thought that he hadn’t seen that particular guard before.
“This isn’t going to hurt,” the guard whispered so the five security cameras in the room couldn’t hear him. The tall man walked over to Akira cautiously and leaned down at the man’s side. The guard took something from his pocket, but at the angle he stood Akira couldn’t see exactly what it was. The guard raised his hand, and placed something cold and metallic on Akira’s neck. “It won’t be long now,” he murmured as he tampered with the device on the side of Akira’s neck. The guard gave his dead face one last look before spinning on his heel and walking out the door, locking it behind him.
Akira glared at the one-way window and figured Ciel wasn’t watching him at this moment. He leaned his head to the side and felt the device pull. He wiggled his wrist in the handcuff and broke free from it. He tore the device off the side of his neck. Akira threw it in the floor and quickly slid his hand back into the metal cuff. He glared down at the metal snake-like thing. A shining red light set in the center of the contraption. It looked suspiciously like a tracking device that came from…
Seven footsteps, the amount of steps it took Dr. Parker to make his way across the room. Akira slipped back into his unmoving position. He could feel deep green eyes staring at him, burning a hole in his fragile skin.
“Mr. Carter,” Ciel alisema across the intercom that led into his room. “You have some visitors. I’ll send them in now.”
Akira kept his gaze firmly fixed on the ukuta below the one-way window. Just as he had for a mwaka and a half now. Something in his gut told him he wouldn’t have to wait much longer.
On the other side of the room, Ciel stood in front of two boys. They each had bright blue eyes. The one on the left had platinum blonde hair and the other had reddish brown hair with glasses. Ciel guessed they were in their mid-twenties. These two boys had been Akira’s only visitors in the three years he’d been here. The blonde one was Andy, and the other was Kayne. That’s all he knew about them, even though he wanted to know more.
“A guard will let wewe inside,” Ciel said.
Kayne nodded and the boys turned and walked out of the room. Before Andy closed the door though, he turned around and looked at the psychologist.
“Please turn off all the security cameras.” The boy then exited the room, following Kayne.
The guard, which stood in front of cell F, looked over the boys and sighed. He turned to unlock the first door with dull brown eyes. The three walked into a short, narrow room, and waited as he unlocked the inayofuata door. This one opened out to Akira’s room. Kayne walked in first and Andy followed. The guard stood in the doorway, watching them intently.
Kayne glanced over his shoulder at the guard. “You are excused,” he alisema firmly.
The guard left immediately, somewhat stunned kwa the essence of power the brown haired boy gave off. The moment the door clicked shut, the two stepped forward, closer to Akira.
Without moving his lips, Akira said, “Ciel is still there.”
Andy blinked in acknowledgment. He turned around to face the one-way window, which they could not see into. Somehow, Akira knew. “Ciel will wewe please exit the room?”
Akira listened carefully as the first reluctant footstep came about. Followed kwa six others, and finally the closing of the door. The white haired man sat up straight and blinked, then stared at the only people that ever gave a shit about him. The twin brothers he’d known for what felt like a lifetime.
Andy walked over to him and gave him a small peck on the lips, while Kayne only grinned at him.
Akira yawned. “Long time, no see,” he drawled, crossing his legs at the ankles.
“We got busy,” Andy Wright, his boyfriend, explained.
“Is that so?” Akira murmured, then rolled his eyes up to meet the twin sets of blue.
“It’s not like we didn’t want to come,” Kayne Wright, his best friend, added.
Akira waved his hand as much as he could and shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. What I want to know is why wewe are here.”
Andy blinked, somewhat taken aback kwa this question. Akira had always been blunt, but sometimes it was uncalled for. “Because we want to be,” his boyfriend replied.
Kayne, on the other hand, seemed distracted kwa the piece of metal, which lay in the floor beneath Akira’s feet. He kneeled down to examine it. “What is this?”
Akira shrugged. “I was wondering the same thing, but I don’t think it’s too important quite yet.”
Kayne arched an eyebrow, but didn’t press the issue. Akira was a man of many secrets and many lies. He would never be able to get the actual story from the white-haired man. He stood back up, inayofuata to his brother. “Have wewe fully recovered?”
Akira shrugged. “For the most part I suppose.”
“Then what’s keeping wewe here?” Andy demanded.
Between the brothers, Andy had been the most upset about Akira’s institutionalization. “Because I want to stay just a little bit longer,” he responded in his velvet voice.
Akira glared up at him with blank, black eyes. If he didn’t have such a mask over his emotions, Andy would’ve considered it a challenge. “Because I can.” Because something is about to happen, I can feel it, Akira thought to himself. Then, he turned his head to the right so he could examine the narrow rectangular window at the juu of his cell wall. A spider’s web glistened in the setting sun, and Akira knew the buibui would be out soon. Just like a spider, he waited for his prey. But was the prey really his? “Unless wewe two actually had something important to say, then wewe might as well leave. I have business to attend to.”
Andy snorted. “And what sort of business would that be?”
Akira smirked. “None that concerns you.”
Andy glowered at him, but Kayne simply shrugged it off then made his way to the door. He glanced over his shoulder to check for his brother. Andy slowly took his eyes away from his boyfriend, then made his way over to his brother. Akira watched as the two boys walked out of the cell. Akira sighed and looked up at the security cameras. He waited for the little red light to shine as a signal that the cameras had come back on. The light never flipped on though. Why?
His brow creased and he looked toward the cell door. He also took note that a guard hadn’t returned to lock it. Something felt strange… Then, a loud pounding against the other side of the door began to disrupt Akira’s thoughts. An obnoxious beeping sound followed. His black eyes widened as he glared at the steel door. His moyo rate accelerated as scenarios played through his mind. What could be making that pounding noise? Had the twins escaped? Were the guards alive? Where was Ciel?
Everything felt unreal as the cell’s door jiggled. Akira took note the door would not open. Had one of the boys locked it when they left? Had it locked automatically? After a moment, the pounding stopped, and the alarm followed soon after. Akira heard the door swing open and the seven footsteps alerting him that Ciel had made his way back into the other room. The little light on the security cameras flicked on. Akira barely licked his lips and remained still.
He just sat and waited. He knew Ciel would have to leave the room sooner au later. It turned out to be sooner, the footsteps came, signaling that he’d left the room. Akira slipped his hands from the cuffs and stood from the bed. He walked over to the security camera nearest to him. He took it in his white hand and squeezed until it cracked under his strength. Akira then proceeded to eliminate the other cameras in the room. Next, he took the black sheet from his kitanda and placed it over the window, making it look as if there had been a blackout. Finally, Akira took the small wooden meza, jedwali at the corner of the room and placed it in front of the door to his cell. He positioned it so no one could get in unless they applied tremendous force.
Akira turned to examine the room. Someone tried to enter the cell, but couldn’t. An item, which resembled a tracker, had probably taken his location about thirty dakika ago. It felt too close to be a coincidence. It had to be something much zaidi carefully thought out. Something felt wrong about this. Akira walked over to the short bookshelf on the other side of the room. He slid a book from the sekunde shelf and opened it up, then smirked.
Make sure no one else reads this message as wewe do. The moment wewe finish kusoma this message, please futa the message, then destroy the computer.
I have contacted wewe for a reason. wewe have a special ability, which will benefit me greatly in this case. The Carter Case. Please come to Virginia Mental Institution, floor five, cell F. Do not let anyone know your whereabouts, and keep a low profaili as wewe enter the Institution.
He grinned as he glanced over the message one zaidi time before clicking send on his laptop. It wouldn’t be long now until the team would meet, then business would resume. It had been a while since he last solved a case, especially with so much assistance. With this particular case though, the Carter Case, Arakne couldn’t help but to feel this extra help would come in handy.
Arakne glanced up at the Institution’s window on the very juu floor. It was a horizontal rectangle that couldn’t have been zaidi than three feet wide. His eyes narrowed as he watched a buibui crawl along its’ web as it waited for its’ prey. It could only wait and hope something would kuvuka, msalaba its’ path though, without a less intelligent insect, the buibui would starve and eventually die.