The 22nd Installment

Hannah slid on the roof but stopped a couple feet from the edge. Dazed, she sat up and brushed grit off her hands and legs. She had a hard time believing she’d seen her dad, but she wasted only seconds on doubt. That was her dad, and she had to get herself free from the roof and attic.

But a strange smell came from the window. Lightly sweet it curled out and up. Hannah’s thoughts blurred. She scooted away from it, closer to roof’s edge. Her energy drooped.  She moved further away, and a breeze brushed over the nearby woods. Her head cleared, and she had a better view of the ground.

Her dad was still there, but he lay sprawled on the ground next to the nurse. A child was stretched out as well. The air looked pale pink. More of the smell reached her and she scooted sideways again. Finally, she was out of the thin pink haze’s reach. 

“Now what?” she asked the night sky. And the night sky rippled. Frowning, Hannah sat up straight, careful to keep from sliding, and stared. She gasped. The birds! And she had nowhere to go.


The old woman had to hurry. She found a mask in a cabinet, checked her knife, and opened the office door. If she succeeded, all the patients would be free again, even if they stayed within the Asylum walls. If she failed…she shrugged. She had plenty of years left in her, but she knew they weren’t guaranteed.

The 23rd Installment