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The Mental Ward - Locked In (5)


       When Emery awoke, she found herself stretched out on the floor next to the green couch.  How she ended up there, she could not quite remember.  She sat up and then her cheeks flushed hot and red with embarrassment.
     She had been waiting up to talk to Pansy, hadn't she? And she must have fallen asleep.  What would Pansy think of her now?  Emery cringed to think of it.  
      Emery scrambled to her feet, smoothing out her hem.  Her apron was horribly wrinkled, and there wasn't anything she could do about it.  Feeling like a miserable disgrace, Emery lifted her chin and tried to march up the hall with what she hoped was a professional attitude.
     The hall was quiet.  Too quiet.
      The doors to the children's rooms were locked and barred.  How bad had things gotten last night?  What made them leave the children locked in their rooms?
       Emery passed all the rooms where she was likely to find someone.  The office was empty.  The cleaning closets were quiet.  At the end of the hall ahead of her was Beastly's room.
       Emery had never spent a lot of time looking at Beastly's door, but something seemed very wrong about it.  A feeling of apprehension crept over her as she walked toward it.  What was it?
      The bars!  The bars were missing!  There should be three bars fitted into snug holds across the door!
       Emery kept walking.
      The locks!  They should be horizontal to show they are secure, but each one is vertical!
       Emery kept walking.  She was quite close now.
       And that's when she saw the crack.  The door was...open.
      Without a sound, Emery turned and fled.  Deep down she knew it was a bad thing for Beastly to be out of that room.  What it meant exactly, she did not know.  But she had to tell somebody.  And quick.
      As she rounded the corner of the hallway, her heart was pounding and her breath came in quick gasps.  Her fingers closed on the handle of the stairway and jerked it downwards.  But it didn't move.
       Emery tried the handle again, but it was just as secure.  The door had been locked.  She turned from there and ran to the elevator, pressing the button over and over again.  But no light appeared.  By all appearances, the elevator was dead.
       Emery tried to slow herself down.  She could feel the panic rising in her throat.  "Think, Emery, think."  But thinking did not calm her down at all.  If Beastly had escaped her room, and the doors of this floor were locked, then the Asylum must believe that Beastly was somewhere on this floor.
      And no one would know that Emery was still here.  By Asylum accounts, she should have gone home hours ago.  They wouldn't even be looking for her.

     She was locked in with a lunatic.

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