Think about spiders on their webs. Eight long, thin legs hold on effortlessly to the white strands; they stay so still, they become nearly invisible. Yet you know they're there, waiting for a victim to fall into their bitter trap, only to be devoured from the inside, slowly, mercilessly.
That's like Harley. It's what he does to you.
My half-brother Jacob and I had always been very close. He and I could talk about anything and everything together - we trusted each other, and had the best brother-sister relationship that everyone should be jealous of. He was two years older than me. We looked very alike - solid grey eyes, dark brown hair, and fair skin.
He was very tall though, he was the best player on Fexton High's basketball team. He was very passionate about the sport, always was. We had the same mother and lived with her. I never met my dad, he had left before I was born. But his dad lived in the town next to Fexton. Jacob would visit him often. He always talked about his dad with a gleam in his eye. It was obvious Jacob loved his dad immensely.
Around August, when I was fifteen, I noticed drastic changes in Jacob. He was refraining from talking to anybody - even me. Me! His best friend, his own sister! He spent days locked up in his room. I don't even know how he would get food, or go to the bathroom. He was just always in there.
In mid-September, my mother called me down to her room. Jacob was still in his room, silent. I made my way down the stairs to her room. She told me to sit at the foot of her bed.
That's when she told me, "Jacob's dad passed away. That's why he's been acting this way."
I became furious at her for not telling me. After a few minutes of pointless arguing, I walked out of the door, through the living room and out of the house. I made down the sidewalk along the road, the cold air hurting in my lungs. I needed to cool off.
About an hour later I returned. I jogged up the stairs and paused by Jacob's room. Hesitantly, I opened the door. It creaked. Everything was dark - I couldn't see.
"Jacob," I said quietly. I walked in his room, my hand on the wall trying to find the light switch. "I'm so sorry, mom just told me-"
There he was. Dead. Hanging inside the closet across the room was his body, his face pale, lips blue. My brother had killed himself.
Weeks passed and I was severely depressed and traumatized. I couldn't sleep. I barely ate. Breathing was a burden on me. I was miserable. Without my brother, I felt so alone. It was then when I realized he wasn't only my best friend - he was my only friend. And now he was gone forever.
One night in late October, I had had enough. I couldn't take the pain anymore. It was all too much for me, I couldn't bare it. Silently I slipped into the kitchen and grabbed the sharpest steak knife there. I crawled back up to my room and collapsed, crying hysterically. I held on to the blade tightly and pressed it up against my arm. It slit my veins deeply, and it hurt. I did the same to my other arm. I fell onto the floor, bleeding, and drifting off into what I hoped was absolute death.
When I woke up, I was in a white room. I smelled stale medicine and heard something beeping.
I was in a hospital. "She's awake!" said someone, and I heard a sudden rush of footsteps coming my way. A doctor, two nurses and some man in a black suit stood there. My mom was nowhere in sight. When I asked about her, the questions went through one ear and out the other. I was sure she had found me in my room, but where would she have gone?
After a series of questions and examinations, the man in the black suit told me that he'd be taking me to a safe place until he was sure I was ready to go home. I was confused until I read the logo on the clipboard he held.
I didn't want to go. Hell, I just wanted to die, get all of this bullshit over with. But I didn't put up a fight - I didn't want to make things worse.
Needless to say, I was brought to the asylum, put in a room with only a mattress and pillow on the floor. Paintings hung on the walls, made by other patients. The first few days and nights there, I put myself in the fetal position, moving only to take my meds and to force myself to eat. It was horrible - it made me want to die even more.
"How long will I be here?" I asked one of the nurses who had come in to check on me. She jumped, startled by the fact I had said anything at all. She looked at me confusingly, as if she were just realizing I was in the room with her. Then her face cleared.
"About a week or two," she said plainly. Obviously, she had answered the question numerous times. My jaw dropped.
She nodded and left the room. I put myself in the fetal position once more, and allowed myself to cry.
That night, unable to sleep, I stood from the bed. The bandages were tight around my arms. I opened the door silently, and it luckily didn't creak. The hallway was dimly lit and empty. I walked out cautiously and made my way down the hall, headed wherever my legs would take me. There was an eerie feel to the quiet asylum, especially since the dark skies didn't illuminate through the windows. However, knowing I had watched one too many horror movies about these places, I brushed off the feeling and kept on walking down the hall. I soon came to a flight of stairs.
Not thinking, I made my way down. It soon became pitch black, but I kept on walking. The stairs seemed to go on for miles and miles; then I realized that not even the elevators go down this way. I knew I shouldn't have gone, but I was too distracted by the rage and sadness I felt. Sudden small sounds and creaks made it clear just how ancient this part of the building was. I guess the workers here hadn't put any signs up to prevent anyone from going here because any sensible person would've turned around long ago.
When I realized I had begun walking on flat ground, I noticed the air smelled like old wood. I sneezed as the dust gathered up into my nostrils.
I didn't care about the cool air crawling up my spine. I didn't care about the odd feeling I had down here. Normally, I'd be terrified of this darkness, but my mind was too clouded with self-hatred and misery to feel fear. I walked on into the blackness, not seeing anything for what felt like hours.
Then, I stopped in my tracks. In the distance, there was a dim light. I continued toward it, goosebumps on my arms from the dropping cold.
When I made it there, I realized there was a light bulb illuminating an old-looking, rusted door. A hand-written sign in smeared ink read, "Caution! Do not enter!"
I snickered a little. Nothing could hurt me now - I was sure I had reached the limit in mental and emotional pain. Physical pain seemed so small now, so weak.
I stared at the door when I realized I was attracted to it. It's hard to explain... It was almost as if someone was calling me towards it. I absent-mindedly reached out for the door handle when I suddenly felt uncontrollably sick. I looked in the other direction and threw up everywhere.
I wiped my mouth with my arm and turned back to open the door. This time I managed to get the handle without barfing, but as my fingers rested on it I couldn't help but feel extremely sick. I brushed it off as some nausea from the medicine. I turned the handle and pushed the door open. I emptied my stomach again. Looking up into the room, I saw there was a single, old light bulb in the room. The empty space was a dark orange, making the corners dark. I'll admit - I began to get pretty scared here. But what happened next is unexplainably, at least to me.
Something behind me shoved me into the room, and the door slammed shut behind me. My heart pounded heavily against my chest as the hot suffocating air poured into my lungs. I was shaking violently, throwing up everywhere.
I think it was the silence afterwards that terrified me. Everything was quiet, still - there was nothing in this room apart from the four walls. But it seemed abnormally quiet. Something wasn't right here at all, especially now that I was locked inside some room in the deepest part of Ginger's Asylum. I slid against the door to my knees, staring at the wall as sweat trickled down my face, almost as if I was waiting for the wall to grow arms and slam me into it over and over until my skull was crushed.
Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw something move. Instinctively, I turned. Nothing. My eyes were playing tricks on me.
But then it happened again.
And yet again.
Then a shadow appeared before me. It was in the shape of a short person, perhaps a child. But what I heard next wasn't a child's voice. No, not even a human voice. What I heard was enough to send violent chills down my spine, making the fear pump through my veins like venom.
"Hello there, Jessica," it said with an emphasis on the 'S's in my name. Its voice sounded like ten put together.
"H-how do you know my name?! What the fuck are you?? Get me out of here!!" I whined desperately, my voice trembling. But this was only responded by horrid laughter.
"I'm Harley, silly. I know everyone's name," it said mockingly. The shadow then darted from the center of my room to a dark corner. "You can't leave just yet."
I screamed. A lot. I was terrified.
"Don't be scared little Jessica," it said. "Harley doesn't want to hurt you."
"What do you want with me then?!" My body was cemented into its spot. I couldn't move, I don't even see how I managed to speak.
"Harley wants to be your friend, Jessica. We can be best friends forever."
I began to scream louder and louder. It got out of its corner and made its way to me.
"Don't be afraid, little Jessica. Harley just needs a friend."
It moved closer and closer. I was paralyzed.
"Forever," his voice echoed through my ears, "forever." Suddenly an unseen force made my mouth open, and I saw the creature sliding into me. When it had gone completely, I began to cry. I heard it speaking to me.
"Harley wants to keep you safe," it said. "You belong to me now."
I couldn't stop screaming or crying. I stood, yanked on the door handle and broke it. The door slid open. I darted out into the darkness.
"Stop that!" it said. The creepy child-like tone faded away. Now it was a bitter, demonic tone. "Go back, NOW!" Tears rolled down my face as I ran in the blackness anyway, knowing there was a being inside of me, in my soul.
"STOP RUNNING!" it screamed in my head. A sharp pain shot through my neck all the way down to my knees, making me collapse. I tried to get back up, but every time I moved a muscle, it felt as if that part of my body were being dipped in acid. Harley just laughed at my painful screams. Bones began to snap.
He was breaking me from the inside.
I threw up even more. The taste in my mouth was now metallic - blood.
"Stop doing this to me!" I cried. But he only laughed more.
"You should've listened to Harley," it said, continuing to break me.
Be careful. Always keep the lights on, never go into abandoned rooms. Don't go exploring at night, and never think, not even for a second, that the shadows you see from the corners of your eyes are just optical tricks, because Harley is always looking for new friends.
But most importantly -
Always listen to Harley.
<Originally by LoVeLy MoNsTeR>