I lay propped up against my couch and stared at Zach and Ryan, my two friends. They were over for a sleepover, and we were playing truth or dare. “Truth or Dare?” Zach asked. “Truth,” I answered, picking at the zipper of my sleeping bag. Zach pretended to stroke an invisible beard, and Ryan and I grinned at him. Zach was the goofy one, always messing around and getting into trouble. Even his appearance was goofy; he had blond hair that was sticking out every which way, twinkling brown eyes, and a dimple that showed up whenever he grinned his uneven smile.
“Is your sister single?” he asked, and him and Ryan burst into laughter. I rolled my eyes. They both had giant crushes on my older sister, who was fifteen, three years older than us. “No, you idiots!” I said, and shoved Zach to the ground.
Ryan smirked at me, and pretended to frown. “Awwww, is the wittle baby upset?” I shoved him to the ground, too. I was tall for my age, strong and well-built. I was a champion on my school’s wrestling team. I always thought I could take down anyone. But then I saw professional wrestlers and dropped the idea.
Ryan grinned and asked, “Truth or Dare?” “Dare,” I said. Ryan was the cool kid, handsome and rich. He had a great jawline, spiky brown hair, and hazel eyes. He was the guy everyone liked, and Zach and I marveled at how much he liked and hung out with us. His hazel eyes wandered over to the window behind me.
Rain streaked the glass, and lightning lit up the night sky. A field lay behind my house, and stretched out for a while until the old Frederickson mental institute stopped it in its tracks. The buildings stretched out for miles, and the old buildings were cracked and peeling. Ryan’s eyes lit up. He opened his mouth to speak, but I snapped, “No!” before he could start.
“Oh, come on, man, don’t be a jerk!” Ryan begged. “Wait,” Zach cried. “We’re going there?!” He grinned. “Count me in.” Ryan gestured to Zach, showing what a moron I was being. “Fine!” I groaned. “I hate peer pressure.”
We ran upstairs and found a few flashlights, some extra batteries, and some water bottles. We grabbed our phones and shoved all of our stuff in a backpack. We pulled on some hoodies and looked at each other nervously.
“Ready?” Zach whispered, his voice quavering. Ryan and I nodded. I pulled open the front door and we stepped into the night. The cold air stung my skin. We began our trek to the asylum, the wet grass soaking through my pants. I checked my watch halfway through. 1:00. I shivered and kept walking.
Soon we got to the old place. It was completely surrounded with barbed wire, and the windows and doors were boarded up. Graffiti covered the crumbling walls, the bright spray paint shimmering in the moonlight. We walked around the premises, shining our flashlights around, trying to find an opening to get inside.
Zach entertained us by reading the sanitorium’s history off of his phone. “Frederickson Mental Institute in Oregon hosted the criminally insane from 1910-1953,” Zach read aloud. “There have been many who came in but never came out. The asylum’s methods were questionable. One of their more common treatments were shackling the person to the wall, starving them, and then hosing them down with ice cold water until they almost had frostbite. Another common one would be locking them in a pitch black room, then playing at tape with a string of inaudible sounds repeating over and over again for hours. Roumor has it that one day in 1953 the patients rebelled and killed many of the doctors. The remaining ones locked up the buildings and boarded up the windows, leaving the patients to die. One of the most infamous serial killers, Jeffery Herman, was housed there for many years until the place was abandoned. He escaped the asylum, and now could be anywhere.” Zach looked up at us in horror.
I shrugged and shined my flashlight at an open window. “We can get in through here,” I said. I shoved our backpacks through the window, landing with a thump on the water-damaged floor, and climbed through the window. I looked around in wonder.
“Wow,” I muttered. We were in a patient’s bedroom. The paint was chipping, and the walls were stained with some dark red substance. I tried to reassured myself by telling myself that it was ketchup. A rusting bed frame stood in the corner, its mattress missing, and a tiny nightstand was tipped over, its contents spilled all over the floor. Half of the ceiling tiles had fallen off of the ceiling, and the linoleum floors were scuffed and wrinkled. A horrible smell came from the closet, which I reminded myself not to check.
I heard Ryan and Zach drop to the ground behind me. “This is so cool,” I said. Just then I heard a tiny giggle. I looked around, scared, and my friends looked at me with concern. “Did you hear that?” I asked, and they shook their heads. I shrugged, and we headed out the door. We entered a long hallway, covered in graffiti and trash. All of the doors were open, as if they had been thrown open in a hurry to get out. Wheelchairs and file cabinets were knocked over and covered in dust.
I leaned down to inspect a drawer in a file cabinet that was upright. “Blood samples,” I announced as I set down one of the little glass things. “That one’s mine,” a raspy voice whispered into my ear. I screamed and spun around, pointing my flashlight in the direction the voice was coming from. Nothing. Just dust. Ryan and Zach looked at me like I was crazy. “Somebody whispered into my ear!” I practically yelled. “Maybe we should go back…” Ryan murmured. “No!” I screamed. “I mean… let’s explore more.” They nodded, and we stepped over debris and filing cabinets and picked a random room to explore.
It looked like a cafeteria, with long wooden tables. There was even rotting food sitting there on the tables, as if the patients had tried to escape in the middle of a meal. I shivered. “Look down there!” Ryan suddenly yelled, and we pointed our flashlights at the end of the room to see a figure sprinting away from us.
We immediately began running after the figure, thinking that it might be another kid. We stepped over overturned chairs and plates, shouting after the figure. The person was fast, but we kept up with it as we sprinted through the hallways. At one point I thought I saw a face in the doorway, but I ignored it and kept running.
Finally we caught up with the kid. We grabbed the collar of his shirt, and he screamed and kept pedaling his legs desperately. “Kid!” I yelled. “It’s okay!” He finally turned around fearfully, and then saw it was us and collapsed to the floor in relief. He was maybe ten, with curly brown hair and a dimpled face. “Why were you running?” Zach questioned, shining his flashlight in his face. “It’s scary here,” the kid whimpered, ” and I saw something behind you. Like a man. I freaked out and started running.”
“Wait,” I said, “there was someone behind us?” The kid’s gaze looked behind me in horror. “What?” I said, turning behind me, and came face to face with a horrible figure, it’s face cut and bloody, its eyes glowing bright red, its mouth stretched into a smile that stretched from ear to ear.
It’s teeth were razor-sharp and dripping blood. A patient’s gown hung, ripped and muddy, from its disfigured body. His skin looked burned and rotted, one of its ears were ripped off. Pus and slime oozed out of its body and dripped onto the floor, making a sick drip, drip sound. The figure was completely bald and holding a long knife, dripping with blood, clasped in one of his rotting hands. We stood, frozen in fear. It slowly cocked its mangled head at us, making disgusting cracking noises. Its mouth stretched into an even bigger grin, making the skin in the corners of his mouth tear and bleed.
Zach was the first to scream, and we all followed, hollering our minds out, sprinting with almost supernatural speed, shoving objects out of the way. Since I was the strongest, I scooped up the little boy and hauled him over my shoulder, since he wasn’t fast enough. The monster somehow kept up with us, using herky-jerky steps.
“We’re almost there!” a terrified Zach hollered, pointing up ahead, where the room where we climbed in lay. We sprinted around the corner and dashed into the room, slamming the door behind us. Ryan whispered, “Hide in the closet!” Before I could stop him, he pulled open the closet door. Remember about that horrible smell I was talking about? Well, now I now what the source was. A dead body tumbled out of the tiny space. It landed on the floor with a thud and rolled over to reveal a rotting body of a boy my age. We looked at each other, horrified. The door of the bedroom burst open, and the monster stood there, knife raised and ready to kill.
It dawned on us that we needed to get out, and we all scrambled for the window. I was the last to escape, and I pulled myself out of the asylum. “We need to-,” I started, but a hand pulled me back into the window, and I crumpled to the floor, right next to the dead body. The monster leaned over me, saliva and blood dripping from his mouth.
The knife came down onto my throat, and I felt a slight tug in the center of it. I reached to my neck and touched it, discovering that my blood was pouring out of it. The creature gave me another horrifying grin and stumbled off, leaving me to die. I felt the world around me face and darken, before death welcomed me with open arms.