In her dreams, Brida saw the asylum go up in flames. She saw the children and the adults, running, screaming, their hair catching the fire, and the fire enveloping them, and they all died, and...

Trembling, Brida resumed her normal position of clasping her knees against her chest. It was several minutes, before she regained her mind. Weakened by the terror that had so quickly befallen her, she shuddered in the dankness of her cell and tried to imagine the fear away. What would happen, if her anger flared into wrath, and she was unable to contain herself? What if - and she could see this happening, very easily - what if she caught something on fire, and the entire place went up in flames?

There were too many possibilities. Brida's small frame tremored at the thought of all the horrible avenues her anger could take.

A new sheet of crystal tears sheathed Brida's eyes. As the few torches that burned in the hallway danced and flickered and cast shadows of anxious monsters, Brida dug her fingers into the roots of her hair, desperate to find an outlet for her nerves. Only when the rusty flavor of her own blood met her tongue did Brida realize she had been gnawing at the inside of her cheek. Disgusted at her current numbness, she stretched out her arms and slowly ran her fingertips over her skin. She was still alive; she was still feeling. That, in and of itself, was both a blessing and a curse.

Curling up in the corner of the walls, Brida closed her eyes and tried to slowly take in the things around her. The feeling of the scratchy blanket on her skin. The coolness of the wall, as it pressed against her back. The floor, the hard, unforgiving floor, that never seemed to want to let her get comfortable. The silence and its cruel refusal to yield anything but fear.

These were Brida's companions, as she shivered herself to sleep. These were the friends that embraced her - the scratchiness, the cold, the discomfort, the silence. They had never been particularly kind to Brida, and as the miserable girl finally lapsed back into a fitful slumber, they tugged at her mind, mocking her dreams of peace and forcing back into her mind the dreams that she so feared.

The End

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