Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Asylum (Part 1)

Sadness. So October passed with hardly a beep on the radar. Don't blame me - I was actually planning to get this up by end of last week, but had to keep re-writing to make everything fit nicely into place. You see, I am now highly fearful of long stories without a solid pre-planned ending. Especially after last year's not-so-magical October Special Feature, ahem ahem.

Yes my lovelies, it's been a while since a sexy 5-parter saga. Let's hit it one more time!

P.S. For the 25th consecutive year, I failed to celebrate Halloween.

The Asylum (Part 1)

She struck a match, illuminating the small area around the balcony. Her eyes darted in tune with the dancing flame, drawing a smile from her lips.

Six long storeys down. If she landed right, she would have no problem killing herself.

It felt like time had stopped. Everyone around her was frozen, leaving her free to examine their faces slowly and clearly.

There was Grace, the bubbly and animated girl who always had a story to share.

Crystal, the sweet Barbie-looking darling of the hospital.

Bala, the big goofy guy who never failed to look huggable.

And of course Ling.

The one she hated the most.

"Amanda, please." A voice called out. She wasn't sure whose it was. "Get down now."

Selfish. They all needed her for their own selfish reasons. That was why they didn't want her to die. Nothing else.

"See you all in hell."

She jumped.


My name is Cheah Sze Ling, or Ling for short. This is the story of my first-hand encounter with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the suicide of Patient 3361 on the night of 25th October 2010.

It was exactly two and a half months from the date I started working as a full-time nurse here in the mental hospital, or asylum as the local folks like to call it. Since my first day, rumours had been circling around of this strange patient known only as Amanda.

This Amanda, who arrived around the same time I did, had supposedly undergone severe trauma after an incident involving an ex-boyfriend and the murder of a young lady. What made her special was how extremely normal she appeared. My close friends had spoken to her several times, and mentioned surprise at how she was able to hold a proper conversation, even repeatedly showing intelligent awareness of her circumstances. However, numerous psychiatrists had examined her with the same conclusions - she was an extremely deranged and dangerous individual who required special attention.

The story began earlier in the night as I was on the phone with Thomas, my boyfriend of 7 years. I would usually call him during night shifts, as there rarely is anything to do after the patients' bedtime.

Midway through our call, Crystal interrupted me with a frantic message.

"Amanda's not in her room!"

"Sorry dear, something urgent came up. Call you back later kay? Bye." I hung up.

"Come again?"

"I said, Amanda's not in her room!"

"Impossible. I checked her just now. The door was locked shut."

"She pried it open, somehow."

"Did you check with Bala and Grace?"

"Yes! None of them saw her."

"Relax," I grabbed a torchlight from my desk. "Come with me. We'll find her in no time."

I had no idea what lay in store for me that fateful night.

To be continued.

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