I ran down the hallway of the east wing of the psychiatric facility. My hands were covered in blood, not mine, but blood nonetheless. The liquid smelled of iron and felt slick to the touch. When I realized that it belonged to Joseph, I collapsed in a heap at the base of the door leading out of the ward rooms.
My breathing became labored but I managed to put my key into the door and crawl out the other side, locking the door. Tears came, I couldn't stop them. I just couldn't.
Joseph had bled out in my arms on the other side of the corridor and everyone I knew was still there. The last two hours had been hell, and I'm about to tell you about it.
We had a little girl brought to the facility. Her name was Tracy. She was nice, small frame, dark eyes and was diagnosed of paranoia. A form of schizophrenia which includes hallucinations.
At least that was what the report said. But the men who brought her over said she was believed to be cursed. Stories about her being possessed and a bad omen. But I didn't listen.
The doctors at St Louis Department of psychiatry didn't believe. We were men of science, we all were. Joseph, Dr Gabriel and myself were the ones to receive her.
Knowing how out of control schizophrenics were, we had her strapped down to the table, but she didn't struggle. She looked almost limp against Gabriel's administrations.
She stared right ahead, never making eye contact with any of us. I pulled out my flashlight and put it on over her pupils but she didn't move a muscle.
Gabriel had begun talking to her, trying to get her to talk, but Joseph had 10cc's of adrenaline in a syringe. He wanted to see her in action, to know first hand what her symptoms were.
But Gabriel wasn't buying it. He wanted to talk to her first, maybe coax Tracy into talking. As their disagreement ensued, Joseph reached across him to administer the drug, but a small left hand held his own.
He looked down at Tracy to see her left hand free of its restraints and her eyes locked on his. Something about her stare shook me. She looked almost threateningly at him.
Gabriel took her arm and reattached it to the leather restraint, tugging on it to make sure it held firm. He continued speaking to the patient, but she didn't respond. Her eyes were glued on Joseph's face and her scowl was set.
Seeing dialogue wasn't working, Joseph went along with his plan and injected her with the adrenaline. We watched her for two minutes but still her eyes were still on Joseph. Her body showed no effects of the drug applied to her. Her heart rate remained as steady as the hunter's aim, her breathing was normal.
Joseph cast a questioning glance at me. It didn't make any sense. She was as calm as the desert night regardless of the drug in her system. Gabriel was about to suggest another dose of the drug when I first heard it.
A high-pitched scream of a little girl seemed to come from nowhere and resonate all around the room. I looked at Gabriel who didn't seem to hear it. I turned to Joseph and for some reason he was looking at me, face as white as snow. He looked completely terrified.
I watched the white of his lab coat turn read right in front of me. First a small blob of blood before me on the white of his lab coat. It started as a smear, and slowly began to spread in circular fashion. Joseph dropped to the ground faster than a sack of potatoes.
Gabriel and I rushed over to him. I tried stopping the bleeding, but it had one entry and multiple exits. I could not control the bleeding. I asked Gabriel to get me a hot blade, hoping to cauterize the injury. But then I heard him swear.
I took my eyes off Joseph for a moment to see Gabriel standing still, almost frozen, looking at something. Following his gaze, I saw a small left hand leaving the room. I looked over at the bed and all her bonds had come loose. Tracy had gotten out.
I rushed to my feet calling out to Gabriel to call the police. But he just stood there. I touched his shoulder but he just stood there, eyes still staring at the door. A bit of blood drooled out between his lips.
Shocked, I pushed him and fell back. His head rolled off his neck, hitting the floor face first while the rest of his body spasmed and spurted blood like a geyser before dropping to the floor.
Louder than I ever had. At some point, I couldn't hear the scream over the beating of my heart in my chest. Everything began to close in. I suddenly felt claustrophobic and as a doctor, I knew I was in shock but nothing had prepared me for this.
I ran out of the room, hoping to run out of the entire building and away from the demon child we had brought upon ourselves. As I passed the rooms which held other patients. I heard screaming intangible sentences. They were writhing in pain.
Some were throwing themselves on the wall repeatedly, bashing their heads while the orderlies ran past me, trying to stop them from suicide. I looked at the workers as they ran past me, trying to explain Tracy to them.
But they didn't stop to listen, and I couldn't stop to talk. I made it to the other side of the facility, locking the door behind me. I couldn't believe what had just happened. Gabriel and Joseph, dead in the blink of an eye by the little girl.
It made no sense. She went against everything I believe in but somehow she was there. I pulled out my phone to call the police, but I was interrupted by a small hand over the screen. I looked up to confirm my fears and there she was. Nine year old Tracy stood there, with a small hint of a smile on her lips.
Her other hand lifted towards her lips, her index finger rising over it, asking me to be quiet. I panicked and screamed in her face, pushing her away and turning to run away. But then I tripped over a chair and fell through a window down to the first floor. My head struck the earth and I temporarily blacked out.
When I came to, a saw a silhouette of the little girl, walking out St Louis and down to the road. I watched her until she was just a dot. I lay there crying, cursing at myself for not believing. Hating Tracy for the lives she had taken. After a moment, I tried to stand, but I felt a sharp pain in my thighs. I looked back to inspect them and I saw two black metal rods protruding from them, on further inspection, I discovered that I had landed on the fence, and their spikes had shredded my legs.
I laughed a little at first. Then a little more, and then I hit hysteria. I began banging my head into the floor and soon it went dark.
She's out there in the real world, not some urban legend. She is very real. So whoever you are, and however you can, do your best to get away from Tracy Bowen.