• tab I pulled into the parking lot tiredly. Another day at this place. The asylum. I let out a sigh. Today I'd be introduced to a new patient; the one I had been working with for the past few months was finally discharged. I would miss her, for she had been the most cooperative patient I had ever had the pleasure of assissting. Unfortunately, the one I had been assigned to today was known to be very reluctant to speak, even refusing to speak at all to the last doctor.

    tab "Just because I had so much luck with Danae, who would've cooperated with anyone, means I have to be stuck with this guy?" I mumbled, pulling his file out of my bag.

    tab "Brennan Little, age twenty-six, admitted last March. Refuses to cooperate with all past doctors. Past unknown. Unable to reach parents, no known relatives. Appears sane, but is known to have random bouts of senseless screaming, inflicting pain on himself, and warding off any attempts to restrain him. Blah blah blah."

    tab Great. Just great. My twenty-fifth birthday is going to be spent at the asylum, just like last year. And the year before. I opened the car door and stepped out into the sunshine. As soon as I smelled the fresh air, I felt guilty. I should never have thought those things about the poor guy. I'm accepted this job because I wanted to help people. And no matter what I have to do, I will help this man. I smiled, and walked off, locking the door as I went.

    tab Soon I had reached the main entrance. I punched in my code, opening the doors, and stepped inside. The room was large, very large. The tile floors were spotless, and a fountain sat in the center. On both sides of the wall, there were receptionists. I walked over to the one on the right, my heels clicking with each step. The receptionist smiled as I approached.

    tab "Good morning, Dr. Hughs. Can I help you with something?"

    tab "As a matter of fact you can. Would you be so kind as to give me the room number for a Mr. Brennan Little?"

    tab "Of course." She turned to her computer, typing away, "Now is 'Brennan' spelled with an 'a' or an 'e'?"

    tab "'A'." She nodded as thanks.

    tab "Here it is. Brennan Little, room 526. Third floor."

    tab "Thanks Denise." I said, smiling. I waved and headed towards the elevator. Seeing the doors open, I hurried to it, barely making it.

    tab The third floor was empty, save for a guard, and silent. 520, 522, 524, 526. There it was. I took a deep breath and punched in my number. A beep signaled success. I hurriedly straightened my skirt and blouse, and opened the door.

    tab Brennan Little sat at the table in the middle of the room. I noticed that it was screwed down. He was slouched over in his chair, but quickly sat up as I walked in.

    tab "New doctor, eh?" he asked rudely, his eyes raking over me. I blushed, but held my composure.

    tab "Good morning, Mr. Little. I'm Dr. Kylee Hughs." I said sweetly, holding out my hand. He ignored it.

    tab "Call me Brennan. Look lady, I don't need a doctor. So you can just take you're pretty self out and save yourself all this trouble, becasuse I'm not saying anything." He waved his hand lazily towards the door. I shook my head and sat down opposite him. He glared. "Didn't I just say that I don't want you here? What's wrong with you? Get out!" He slammed his hand down on the table.

    tab "I will not get out. I'm going to stay here, and help you. I know that all your other doctors were pretty old, but I'm about the same age as you. Does that help any?"

    tab He looked away, his fair hair tumbling about his face. "How...are you supposed to help me?....How is anyone...supposed to help me?" His voice was strangled.

    tab "Brennan, honey, I can--" He glared at me, eyes blazing. I flinched.

    tab "Don't you dare call me that." he hissed. I threw up my hands and nodded.

    tab "If you let me, I can help you. Why won't you open up to anyone? I know you're hiding something, and it's eating away at you! Don't you want release? No one is going to condemn you! We care about you! That's why we want to help you! Don't you understand?" He was silent, staring down at his hands. With a sigh, I got up. I couldn't help this man if he didn't want to help himself. I was almost to the door when he began to speak.

    tab "My dad... he...beat us. All of us. My mother. My sister. Me. As long as I can remember. He'd come home from work, drunk. The first thing he'd do was scream at my mother. Then, if she answered, or even stayed silent, he would beat her. My sister and I....we couldn't do anything. We were stuck, cowering in a corner until he came for us. We were beat with anything within his reach. But the worst part of it was....his laughter. He'd laugh and laugh while he hit us, his eyes gleaming crazily with enjoyment. It was like a game to him. How long could he hit us until he got tired? Until we passed out? Luckily, he always got tired after about five minutes. We never passed out...but sometimes we wished we had. The beatings were....intense.

    tab "And one day... my mother escaped. She left us there, left us to be beaten by our own father. That night he was angry...very angry. But it was odd. He came in, and we cowered, gripping each other tightly. I tried to shield my sister, as she was younger than I. I was thirteen by then, and she twelve. He rushed over at us. We closed our eyes, preparing for the pain that was to come. But instead, he simply shoved me away, and grabbed my sister. He- he took her. I can still hear her screams....Oh, the screams..."

    tab At that, he let out a low moan, slamming his hands to his ears. He toppled out of the chair, and began to sob, mumbling incoherently. I watched him pitifully, knowing that I could do nothing. I was powerless against the grief that racked his heart. Suddenly he turned to me, pain and rage blazing in his gray eyes.

    tab "I knew what he did to her! But I did nothing! Nothing! I should've done something, I should've saved her! And now-now she's dead! She hung herself a few weeks after that! And it's all my fault! Sarah's dead because of me!" he screamed, raking his nails down his face. He screamed and screamed, flailing about on the floor. His nails left bloody marks along his cheeks as he clawed himself. I watched, mouth agape, still completely helpless.

    tab The door burst open. Two gaurds rushed inside while a third stood by the door.

    tab "You'd best get out of here ma'am... It can get worse." the one by the door said. I nodded and, grabbing my things, rushed out, Brennan's screams assualting my ears with each step.

    tab I had hoped that the guard would either stay quiet or leave, but instead he began to speak. "Nobody knows what he's saying when he screams like that. It seems to be a single specific word though...Do you know...?" he asked, peering at me from the corners of his eyes.

    tab "Sarah..." I whispered. Before he could do anything but look at me in surprise, I dashed to the elevator, which had just opened up on our floor. I turned back to him, and waved my thanks. As the doors closed shut, I pushed the button for the fifth floor, where my office was located. I'd have a long report to write, and I wanted to get started as soon as possible.