The Patient and the Insane Asylum **Part 4: Padded walls**

It was the afternoon. Melissa didn't bother cleaning herself up. She felt dirty. And she knew that washing herself would not take that feeling of uncleanliness away. In fact, she wondered if ANYTHING would take it away.

She silently drove home. She didn't turn on a radio, she closed the windows, and when she got home she went to sleep.

She awoke to Danielle gently pressing her hands on Melissa's shoulder, pushing forward.

"What do you want?" Melissa grumbled, turning her head into the feathered pillow.

"Your beeper went off... they need you."Danielle replied.

"Tell them I am not coming."

"Already tried, Mel. They said it was an emergency. They told me to get you up as fast as they could."

It was odd. Usually, to a message such as the one announced to her, she would have bounded out of bed and into her clothes. She would have raced to the asylum as fast as her legs could carry her. In fact, faster. Yet, when she awoke, she had no desire whatsoever of even getting out of bed. She was in a depressive state.

I worked so hard for the job and now I hate it...money and schooling down the drain, she thought to herself.

She was seriously thinking of quitting. She was tired of it. So tired.
And yet, she got up every day and left. Melissa pulled on sweat pants. She was not in the professional mood. In fact, she wanted to be so unprofessional it would look as though she had simply took a walk and ended up as a shrink in a mental asylum.

When she arrived, it was dark. Shadows crawled and creeped toward her. Figures seemed to loom from the dark. Corners seemed more mysterious and more ominous than usual. She kept her hands in the pockets of her blue sweat pants. She continued walking, past her office, and to Dave's room.

She peeked in through the keyhole and he was watching the cameras warily and listening to music on a diskman. A hald empty cup of coffee sat on his clustered wooden desk. She noticed he looked much more tired than usual. His eyes were drawn in, and his eyes were red. He yawned once or twice every two minutes...

"David, what is the problem?" Melissa asked slowly, walking through the door. Dave jumped out of his seat, straightened his hopelessly wrinkled shirt, and coughed into his hand.

"We have noticed something on the cameras."

" oh... and what would this discovery be?"

"He mutters in his sleep."

She sighed.

"THis would be important in what way, David?"

"...He says things...Lots of things...maybe important things..."

Mel's eyes opened wide. She opened her mouth in awe.

"What... does he say?"

" Jibberish. Seems to me like he saying something codes. the thing is,I can't crack it. I've tried many techniques," Dave handed MElissa a paper with a bunch of lettters scrawled onto it.

IT read:

Dear reh dnim-I nac od ti.I evah neeb lla gnola...sit eht dne.

Melissa stared at the paper.

"You called me here for THIS?" she roared, suddenly angry at the thought of having to come here for words. Yet something inside her told her this was big... very.

Without a word more, Melissa grabbed the paper off the desk, stuck it in her sweatshirt and stormed out of the office, allowing the heavy door to slam afterwards. She raced down long hallways, eerily long. She came to a door. Inside, Alfred Fervado stood, screaming into the white padded walls. The jacket was frustrating him, and he was annoyed.

Good,Melissa thought,I hope he suffers.

She immediatly retracted the thought because it was wrong, even applying to him it was wrong. He traced his dry, cracked hands along the wall. He bounced his head forward and back against the walls.

Melissa stormed in. A gust of air blew in, Fervado swung around.

"YOU SICK SON OF A BITCH. YOU SHOULD BE DEAD. I HOPE YOU DIE. I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL." Melissa clasped a hand over her mouth. She was shocked that she had said it...

" I see the aftershock has worn in...don't blame me, for tis the end."

"The end of what?"

"ONe will find out when the end of one's journey is reached, won't one?"

Melissa once again lost her cool.

"Well in a minute, One's shoe will be up another One's ASS if One doesn't explain to One what One is talking about!"

"I have nothing more to say to you, Doctor. I wish to be alone."
Fervado weakly smiled, and turned away.

Melissa swung and slammed the door shut. She dug her nails into the paper in her pocket and got in the car. She revved up the engine and took off, thoughts whizzing through her head.

TO be continued...