The beginning. You’re born, you live, you die. That is life. That is the fundamental essence of life. Just like stories: we have a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s the middle, yes, the middle, that has the most life in it. So many tales from the middle. You only get one tale at the beginning and one tale at the end. Birth and death. That is true. I am sorry if you think otherwise.
The middle. This is what this story is about. These stories, mostly. We will touch base on the beginnings, and dabble in the ends, but the story will mostly consist of the middles. Their middles. Their tales. Their lives.
The end. I do hope that you will cherish the middles to prepare for this. To prepare for the end. The end of them. Never forget the middles. Do not lose them to the ends, or I’ll be disappointed. Very disappointed. You won’t like me when I’m disappointed.
I hope you will enjoy these stories. The truly mean it. I really hope you will.
The first story. The beginning. Let me paint you a picture before we start: a room stained with grey, smeared with white, and chairs and tables all scattered about disorganized. The windows were wide open, and a storm with screaming lightning, rumbling thunder, gusty winds, needles of rain, and an ominous grey sky came rolling in.
A young girl, no more than six, stood in the middle of this room. Alone and afraid. The girl had lanky, gingery hair that was more akin to the hue of unrefined copper than anything else, and oddly enough it was streaked with honey blonde. She had pale skin, and seed-like freckles dotted across her straight nose and her high cheekbones. She was a slender little thing; and she had scared little pale blue eyes. Very child-like. She was wrapped in a white gown clutching her mustard coloured teddy bear in hope it might protect her from the big bad monster. The monster. The monster was out to get her. The fear of every six-year-old child.
The little girl’s breathing was ragged and shaky. She tried to erase it. She burrowed her mouth into the back of her teddy bear. She breathed through the bear. It tasted musty, not the most pleasant taste, but the girl still held her mouth against the teddy bear; backing away to the far corner of the room. She squeezed her eyes shut and she prayed that the monster would not come and get her.
The thunder clapped abruptly, and a loud gust of freezing wind fell through the window along with a few needles of rain. This made the girl flinch with fear, almost yelping; but she managed to stay silent. She did not want the monster to come and get her.
The door across from the little girl swung open. The monster stood in the doorway. It was colossal and terrifying. The girl gasped, and her eyes widened in fear. She had nowhere to run; but the little girl still squeezed her eyes ever so tightly and she hoped that the monster would never find her.
The monster slowly tromped through the room. Inspecting it for the little girl. Its breathing was heavy like an anvil. The girl could feel its weight pressing down on her. The monster slowly grew closer to the little girl. As it grew closer, the little girl’s breathing became more fearful. More heavy. The stench of fear loosely hung from her breath.
The monster could smell her fear. It looked straight at her. She still squeezed her eyes shut, clutching her teddy bear hoping it would protect her from the monster. The monster just advanced towards the little girl and it gripped her gown. The girl let out a shrilling shriek. The monster had got her. Hope did not save her that day.
We advance thirteen years into the future, and the monster had taken the little girl. She was no longer a little girl, she was a young woman. She was still slender; but she had noticeable hips. She had a pair of breasts that she could speak of, though they were not big. In fact, some could say that they were small, but she did not care. Her gingery hair had darkened with its honey blonde streaks. She had bloomed into the very beginnings of adulthood.
The young woman sat in a pale room with pale doors, pale lights, and pale windows. She sat in a pale chair, wearing a pale gown. Another woman in a pale coat. A pale nurse.
The nurse had a thick, daisy coloured braid that swung over her shoulder, lurking by her colossal breast like an overindulged pet. She had big rubbery lips; long, tree trunk limbs, and a pair of menacing green eyes. She had a grip on the young woman’s arm with her powerful hands, and she gave her a dirty glare.
“What did I tell you about running off!” the nurse bellowed. The young woman had her head tilted down with her hair as a veil. She did not respond.
“How many times do we have to detain you until you’ll stop running off! I am getting sick, you swine! I am getting sick of your shenanigans, your bullshit, you!” The nurse strangled the young woman’s arm harder, causing it to redden in pain. The young woman had a dazed look in her pale blue eyes, she wasn’t paying attention. She was unresponsive to the terrible nurse.
“And I’m getting sick of you not paying attention!” The nurse grabbed the young woman’s slender face by her cheeks, forcing her to look straight into her corrupt green eyes. Her slender visage was being crushed by the sheer might of the nurse.
“You have been here for thirteen years since you were a little runt, and you haven’t much any significant progress!”
The woman still did not respond; she looked at the corner of her eyes, away from the frightening nurse. A sliver of fear began to rise up on her face, but she tried her best to conceal it, to not show it to the monstrous nurse.
“Swine,” the nurse glared into the young woman’s eyes. Her beautiful pale blue eyes. Anger lurked in the nurse’s green eyes. “You will look me in the eye, and you will be responsive! Do you understand?”
The young woman still did not look the nurse in her green eyes, and she did not respond to the nurse, not even a nod.
Within the flash of a moment, in a whirlwind of anger, the nurse slapped the young woman, right on her high cheekbone. She collapsed to the ground. The cool, hard ground. The nurse stood up in a flurry and she stormed out of the room. Slamming the door behind her, cursing the young woman as she stormed off. The lights shut off and the pale room was dark. The woman just laid on the ground with a bleeding, cracked face in the dark. The aftermath of the slap burned on her face.
She was not sad. She was done with sadness. She embraced the darkness. The darkness was her friend. As she remained still on the ground, a presence emerged from the darkness. It was as large as a bear, blended with the darkness, and it had a pair of piercing, yellow, feline-like eyes, the only things that were clearly visible in the darkness. It crept towards the dead-looking woman with the cracked face. It sat upright beside her. The woman did not move an inch, still lying dead-like on the cold ground at the presence of the large entity.
“Good evening, my dear,” it said with a deep, growling voice. “How are you doing?”
“Eh,” mumbled the woman in a soft, broken voice. “Could be worse, I guess. Nurse Woodsmith hit me again.”
“Well, she has quite the temper. For thirteen years, she has been hitting you, and for eight of them you cried. You know, most people cannot last that long, especially from her.”
A broken smile rose up on the woman’s shattered face. “Well, I’m not most people, Skia, most people are so basic and easily broken.”
“What judgement do you have against most people? The only contact you had ever had to the outside world was when you were only a mere child. Before you even needed me. Do not begin to make accusations before you have valid data, silly girl.”
The woman did not respond to the presence, instead she just laid down in silence. She was shrouded in the darkness, remaining motionless. She took very shallow breaths of air. The air around her had an eerie silent; but the woman was used to silence. She was used to pain.
The eyes just glared at her from the darkness, soon disappearing into oblivion, along with the presence. This was usual business with the girl: get beaten by the nurse, talk with the yellow eyes, wallow in a mix of silence and darkness.
It was the same boring routine over, and over, and over again. Occasionally, she would be transferred from her pale room to a long room with long tables where the other children, and young adults, would gather and eat together. They were all strapped in white gowns and straitjackets, while they were constantly watched by the men and women in pale lab coats. The monsters.
The woman had a friend among the others, the other victims that she would gather and eat with. It was a young boy, only at the age of fifteen and three-quarters. He had a shaved, damaged head, and childish grey eyes. He was a dark child, a dark chocolate. He was just as thin as the woman. He did not speak a single word, he did not even make eye contact with the woman; but there would be a faint smile driven across his face whenever the woman sat next to him. He liked her. He only smiled whenever she was around. He only felt safe around the woman. He was afraid of the monsters.
The woman was also terrified of the monsters. The monsters in the pale lab coats. They would loom over her, poking, examining, scarring, and giving her the occasional stab of the needle. She feared the needle most of all. The cold, point of metal piercing through her pale flesh, filling her with a funny numbness. It made her feel like reality was not real. That this was all a delusion. Life. Living. All of it. When the numbness faded away from her, all she could feel was an emptiness burrowing inside of her. A dead-like feeling creeping around in her.
When she first felt the dead-like feeling inside of her she dreaded it. She hated it; and the feeling for it never changed. Now, it was not the feeling that she hated the most. No, she hated where she ended up. The other pale room with the smears and stains of crisp and wet blood. Where the screaming came from. That ear piercing screaming that clawed her mind. It was torture. After after all those years, she had never gotten used to the screaming. She would always cradle and rock herself while he screaming erupted. She would tell the scream to go away, often with tears and screaming of her own.
When that started the monsters would come and silence her. They would silence her with a muzzle, one designed for insane animals, and a straitjacket, one designed for insane humans. When the monsters silenced her she would cry quiet tears to herself. Silent waterfalls of sadness streaming down her pale face. The monsters would just watch her cry behind the pale glass window. The window that the woman could not see through. The one she wanted to shatter.
The woman held herself in the silence of the darkness, staring into it. It was only her and the darkness. No nurses, no yellow eyes, no monsters. Only her and the darkness. She felt as if there was no one else alive. That she was completely alone in the world. She wanted that to happen. She wanted to be away from the monsters, the needles, the pale rooms. It was a nightmare on a rerun. Spiralling over and over again. Repeating the same events, day by day. It was her own personal hell, and it was ran by the monsters in the pale lab coats.
Slowly, she began to lose herself to sleep. Her eyes started to become encumbered, and her body became sluggish and tired. She tried so badly to fight it off. She did not want to go to sleep. The idea of sleep would her terrified. She feared that the monsters would come and snatch her and take her to the screaming pale room. She feared that one day she would wake up in the screaming room, being trapped in a muzzle and a jacket; but the monsters were oddly kind enough to not do such a thing. The girl always anticipated, fantasize, such a terrible incident, it was the one thing she feared the most.
The woman still tried to fight her sleep, she tried to fight her body; but she caved and she drifted off into an unpleasant slumber on that cold, hard floor. To her it was a normal routine. Just a normal day in that pale hell.
Two days later. November the Eleven. 8:06 AM.
The young woman was bound in a jacket with straps and chains. Two monsters in pale coats were escorting her down a haunting, pale hallway. One of the monsters was a lanky man with round glasses, slicked-back black hair, a rat-looking face, restless greenish eyes, and stray whiskers sticking from his pointed chin. He walked beside the woman. The other monster was the same large breasted woman that cracked the woman’s face. Nurse Woodsmith. She had a scrunched up face and she kept a tight grip on the woman.
The woman was pushed down the hallway. She looked down at the ground blanky, unresponsive to the world around her. Everything was on autopilot. The monsters did most of the work, she only moved her feet to keep on going so the monsters - especially the menacing Woodsmith - wouldn’t crack her anymore. After thirteen years, she was more than cracked. She was practically shattered; but what little she had left of herself she didn’t want to lose, like her yellow-eyed friend, Skia, or her chocolate skinned friend that had not utter a single word. Those two friends were her life.
Hastily, they went down the hallway, soon entering a pair of large, rectangular doors, that too were as pale as everything else. They pushed through the large doors and laid there before them was a long room with other poor souls, much like the woman, sitting at a lengthy table. The monsters were looming over their shoulders. Most of the poor souls were in jackets like the woman’s, and some of them had their mouths open and their eyes blank. Whenever a monster saw one of the poor souls like this they would wallop the backs of their heads with a blunt slap. Most of them would spring into action; closing their mouths and keeping full attention with their eyes. There was the occasion when the wallop would not affect the soul, so they would whack them again. This normally did the trick, but, today was anything but normal.
One of the poor souls, a young girl with long, curly golden hair, bright violet eyes, and two assortments of freckles on her cheeks, had her mouth wide open and her eyes blank. One of the monsters - an older man with wispy grey hair, lines of wrinkles, sickly blue eyes, and an ancient scar gleaming across his cheek - went over to the girl and he whacked her on the back of her golden head. She was unresponsive, only bobbing slightly forwards from the force. He whacked her again, this time with more power. Still, the girl was unresponsive.
Then, the most unlikely and fearful thing occurred, the girl flumped down onto the lengthy table, then onto the rigid ground. The tension rose so greatly in the room. The poor souls tried to glance at the collapsed little girl, but they were afraid of the monsters. Most of the monsters just kept their eyes on the souls, but the older monster and a much younger monster - one with cropped oil coloured hair, coffee coloured skin, and watchful brown eyes - came over. They began to examine the girl. The woman glanced at the little girl a couple of times, only moving her eyes. She did not want the monsters to see her looking.
On the four time she noticed someone. Not a monster nor a poor soul. She noticed a man, who was not wearing pale. Instead, this man was pale. He had ghostly pale skin, a very slender, skeletal-like face, sheet white hair that was cut short and neatly, and he had a pair of silver eyes, a very soft silver. He wore black. Black. The most uncommon colour for someone to wear in such a place. The woman did not even think that someone could wear such a colour. He wore a black suit with a black tie and black leather shoes. It was a soothing black. A very relaxing black. The pale man dressed in black crept over to the collapsed little girl and he crouched over her.
The woman could not keep her eyes off this man as if they were glued to him. Then, the man gently put his long, slender hand on the chest of the girl and he pulled her out of herself. He gently pulled her golden soul out of her body. He cradled it in his black suited arms, and he walked away with it. He walked away from the monsters, the poor souls, and the woman like nothing had happened. No one saw him, no one even noticed he was there, except for the woman. With her pale blue eyes she saw the most unlikeliest of things that could have happened in the pale hell.
The young and the old monster looked at each other. Their eyes were emotionless like this was an everything routine, as if nothing had happened. The younger monster picked up the little girl, who remained limp and her eyes lifeless, and he carried her away from the long room, the lengthy table, the poor souls, and the monsters.
The woman just watched the little girl being taken away. Twice. Once by a man in black who carried her soul and once by a man in pale who carried her body. The woman had never witnessed such a thing happening, she could never conceive such an event. She did not know what to do, she just looked forwards at the poor souls, trying to act like nothing had happened. She did not want to displease the monsters and get a wallop.
Nurse Woodsmith and the other monster quickly shoved the woman down onto a steel chair, next to her chocolate skinned friend. His eyes examined the table laid in front of him, though they seemed uneased. The usual smile that would be drawn on when the woman would sit next to him did not appear this time. Instead, it was replaced with an emotionless, blank visage; but his eyes told a different story. The uneasy grey eyes. They were frightened, terrified by what had happened only moments ago. All the poor souls had terror woven into their eyes.
“S… she…” the chocolate skinned child spoke, yet only in a broken mumble. Still, the woman was surprised by this, almost scare by this. Even a broken mumble was a surprise. “Sh… she… she di… die… died.” His words seemed heavy as if they had a great weight attached to them. The child must have struggled just to say those words. Just two words.
“Wh… wh--” he was abruptly cut off by a wallop, and this was a hard one. It came from the monster with pale green eyes, blonde hair stuck up in a bun, and a willow wand shaped body. The chocolate child’s head slammed against the lengthy table. He didn’t move for moments. The woman had fear in her eyes, and it was clearer than crystal on her face.
When the child began to move, tears began to form in his eyes. He started to violently shake on the table. The monster who delivered the wallop grabbed him and heaved him straight up. Still shaking, she carried him away from the room. Two poor souls left that room. One shaking and one dead. One of them was taken away twice. The other only spoke two complete words. An odd series of two, but that was an odd day.
The woman looked scarcely at the door that they took her friend away from her. A dagger was thrusted into her heart. She began to wail in pain with crystallized tears dropping from her face. “Bring him back!” she yelled. Her freckled face was red and the tears still came. The poor souls and the monsters watched the woman, either with fear, anger, or question. After thirteen years, she had never done anything like this before. Woodsmith came right up to the woman with an enraged look.
“Bring him back, you bitch!” she looked Woodsmith dead in her menacing green eyes. The woman was not afraid, not anymore. Within an instant the nurse slammed the woman’s face. She toppled, the slam scorched her face. She looked back at the large breasted woman. There was a red imprint of a hand left on her face , and it stuck with pins and needles thrusting into her face. Crimson blood began to trickle from her nose.
“Bring. Him. Back!” Her words this time were much tenser. The blood seeped down her face, falling like raindrops to the floor. Woodsmith smacked the imprint like it was a target, this time even harder. The woman toppled, the pain was so much greater, the woman could barely open her eye from the pain; she still looked up into Woodsmith’s threatening green eyes. The blood seeped even further.
“Bring… him… back,” she said weakly, it took force and effort to say those words once again; the woman was not going to give up on her one friend in the pale hell. A larger quantity of rage was lodged in Woodsmith’s disgusting face. A large vein stuck out from her forehead. She raised her large hand once more and she swung with such velocity. It was the last thing the woman saw in that lengthy room, among the monsters and the poor souls. Then everything went dark. Black. And this was no soothing black. It was a terrible black. One that was not welcomed by most. That was the last day she saw her only friend in that pale hell.