It was taunting her. The blank space was silently mocking her every hollow second she looked at it. It even mocked her when she was looking away. Ava stared blankly at the spot on the wall where the mirror had been. They- the demons in nurses bodies- had taken it away from her. She let her thoughts wander back and a small smile crossed her lips at the memories. She had been sitting on her bed, cross-legged and perfectly still. A nurse had walked in, had brought food, had seated herself in front of Ava on the bed. Ava had stared ahead, even as she did now, glassy eyes, glassy mind. She’d given up searching for clarity. 

     The spoon entered her mouth and the food dribbled down her chin. At that moment, clarity returned. The spoon returned to the bowl and a napkin dabbed at her face. She drove the palm of her hand into the nurses chin, snapping the woman’s head back. Weak as she was, it did little more than cause the woman to lose her balance and stumble backwards. Ava grabbed a pillow and knelt over the woman before she could recover. She held it over the woman’s face, covered completely the mouth and nose. The woman kicked and thrashed. Her squeals were muffled, but the noise of her thrashing alerted a male orderly in the hall.

     She had no time. She darted over to the wall where the mirror hung. She seized it in both hands and pivoted on her heel, spinning to face the advancing orderly. She raised it up as he moved in. His speed was much faster than she’d anticipated, and his shoulder slammed into her chest, driving her to the ground. As they both fell she slammed the mirror over his head. 

     Ava sat in the corner of her room, hugging her knees to her chest as screams brought her from her memories. The cries were coming from outside her room and down the hall. 

     "Lemme go! Lemme go! I'm not crazy! I'm not crazy! Lemme-”

     Then they stopped. Ava stared at the wall, where the mirror was missing. After the incident with the two nurses, her room had been stripped. They’d taken everything, even the bed frame. She’d never seen the same female nurse again, and she’d heard whispers and mutterings that the woman had quit. Ava was a little sorry that there hadn’t been time to finish what she’d started with the pillow. Ava sighed and wriggled, shifting her back against the hard corner. She had to admit that she’d always been a little crazy. It was part of what got her picked for… picked for… no. She didn’t care to remember. It didn’t matter anyways. Nothing did.

    As usual, when her thoughts started to shift to the past, her skin prickled and her stomach churned. She had to get out of here. She missed her mirror. She climbed to her feet, wobbled a little before steadying herself, then poked her head into the hallway. An orderly was walking down the hall. He was young, and she hadn’t seen him before. She had a feeling he was new. She wobbled out of her room, looking ill and disorientated. 

     “Woah there,” the man said, moving quickly towards her. “Where do you think you’re going?”

     “I don’t feel good…” she moaned, leaning over dangerously. He moved in closer, though carefully, and put his hand on her shoulder. As he steered her back to her room she turned to face him, then slipped and fell into him. Reflexively, his arms went around her to hold her up. She drove her knee into his groin and grinned as he doubled over. The world spun in circles of light and noise and she nearly fell for real. Too much time was passing. Run. Hit. Hit. Run. She curled her hand into a fist and aimed a punch, but he had recovered. Too much time lost. He caught her fist. 

     “They warned me about you,” he said grimly, twisting her arm behind her back and holding her in a tight grip. As he called for more orderlies to come she struggled, but each time she pulled away he tugged painfully at her arm. A few more moments of whirling light and noise, then the sound of running feet, then a needle and a sharp pain, then the world fell away. 

     ‘I’ll kill you,” she mumbled, before it all went so very blank. 

The End

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