A/N: Like I've said, this isn't a very long piece, so there's only going to be one more chapter up after this one. Thanks to all who reviewed, I'm super grateful.

The Rock

Mike Steele tossed the cab driver a twenty as he exited the car. He knew that the ride from Wall Street wasn't more than five dollars, but he didn't want to waste time searching rummaging round in his wallet for smaller bills. He briskly made his way into the building through the automatic glass doors.

He ran a nervous hand through his dark brown hair, as he tried to wait patiently for the nurse at the front desk to acknowledge him.

A young petite blonde, woman sat at her desk, completely unaware of him, absorbed in her paperwork. He guessed she was in her late twenties, around his age. "Excuse me, miss?"

She looked up at him, startled, revealing a pair of enchanting green eyes. He smiled, under different circumstances he would've tried to get her number, but he was there on a more important business. "Yes? Welcome to New Haven Asylum. May I help you?"

"I'm looking for the room of my mother, Mrs. Julia Steele."

The nurse inputted the name into the computer, and printed out the response. "Here you are Mr..."

"Steele, Steven Steele."

"Well, Mr. Steele, your mother is in Room 209." She handed him the paper, "Take the east elevator up to the second floor."

He smiled and gave her a half wave in thanks before he headed toward the elevator.

He took the time alone in the elevator to let his cool, calm, exterior collapse. He took in a deep haggard breath and thought about what he was doing in an insane asylum. What could someone of his societal grace and stature possibly need to do in a home for the loons, rich loons, but loons nonetheless. He remembered rather suddenly, as the elevator doors opened, his mother.

It only took Steven a matter of minutes to find her room. It was in a corner of a white hallway, towards the end. He stared at the plastic black numbers, 209, fixed to the door, trying to decide whether to enter. Fate decided for him as the door opened to reveal a small wooden room, comfortably furnished, but with all the furniture bolted down. His heart leapt to his throat for a moment, startled, until he glanced at the motion sensor that worked the automated door. She sat in the corner, staring out the window. Steven smiled, recognizing the blonde woman sitting in the chair. His forty-four year old mother Julia, hadn't even bothered to glance over at the doorway as he'd entered. He came over to her quickly, and rested a comforting hand on her shoulder. She turned to him slowly. Her face was still that of the beautiful woman he remembered, but her eyes...their emptiness and ghostly, lifeless blue color disturbed him so greatly that he had to look away for a moment.

"Mother?" he asked, gently.

She nodded, and the edges of her soft pink lips lifted almost imperceptibly into what he assumed was her attempt at a smile. "Steven," she whispered, sadly.

That whisper of recognition was all he needed; he flew into a rampage, shaking with fear and anger from what he didn't understand. "What are you doing here? Why would you... put yourself in a...place like this?" He didn't bother to try to cover up his disdain for pariahs. When she didn't answer, he continued, pacing back in forth in front of her. "Do you even know what kind of a place this is? This is a place for crazy people. Not you." He knelt down in front of her, grasping her small shoulders in his strong hands, "You don't belong here. You're not crazy."

She shook her head slowly, "You don't understand."

"What is there to understand?" He remembered his childhood memories of his family all together. His mother laughing and always being there for him. He didn't remember a time where she hadn't looked happy. She knew that she was loved by his father, and himself, and she had always been loved. He was incapable of understanding where this sudden...need for psychiatric help had come from.

"Look at me." She commanded, in a strong tone that he had never heard her use before.

He removed his gaze from her eyes to a general overview of her face. There were a number of emotions clouding her features, but there was one in particular that seemed to be the most abundant, the one that seemed to be causing all of the others. It was underlying, and Steven almost missed it, but he found it. "Guilt." he said aloud. "You feel guilty?"

She nodded, a tiny wave of relief washed over her features, almost as if just revealing her problem had helped a little bit.

He was still perplexed as he stood up again, "What could you be guilty about..." He pondered it alone, not bothering to ask her himself.

Julia stared out of the barred window in her room again, humming to herself.

"I started out like an infant

with a heart that was innocent

caught in pursuit of vanity

run to the rock for rescue "


WriterJC: Aw, thank you. I don't actually really know what I was going for when I was writing it. I think that one of the really important things about the story was the way it was told, so I appreciate the style comments.

Grl-in-Corner: I'm glad that you liked it maybe? I'm sorry that it confused you. It's kind of a weird story in that sense. What exactly was confusing about it?

GrrrL: Lol, thanks anyway. I thought it was a pretty clever unintentionally pun. Julia is about...nine years old. I like her name too. I have a friend named Julia who...is nothing like this character cept for the blondeness factor.

Kenhime: Um... is that what this kind of piece is? Well then yes, I'm going into introspective pieces now. I actually wrote this back in...May? I think. I don't usually writer angst. But I just...thought this was a fun task, more challenging that the usual stuff. Yeah I was trying to getaway from the movie-ness aspects of my other story. Oh yeah Julia is very perceptive, but the thing is, the tense I'm trying to tell it in, is one where she's looking back on her childhood so the all of the things she noticed have now been...amplified by experience. I miss my childhood greatly. It was so fun to be carefree. Unfortunately it's not coming back any time soon.

eThErEaLAnGeL: Thank you. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. The capitalization was annoying, but I think it was effective. It did it's job. I don't know if this is publishable. Wait till you read the rest... that's all I can say. We actually do have a litmag, maybe I'll enter it. It might be nice. But I'm so lazy...lol

Phorc: Well I'll admit that this requires more...brain power than what I usually write, but it's not any better than your stuff. The stone thing... ah yes, I was having some fun with irony and foreshadowing. all those little devices they drill into our heads in English class making themselves known. I think I made them a little too obvious though. Oooh my writing is complex and sophisticated? that's nice. Ah yes metaphorical writing. I'd never done it before when I wrote this, so...I'm glad that it didn't turn out as horrible as it could have. Thanks for the critique. I'll fix it.. or attempt to fix it. You're not King Nitpick.

Erilynne: thank you, btw completely off topic, I prefer Mel. But anyway , wow, that was such a nice review. I'm not even sure how to respond to all the nice-nesses. Um...I really do think that you've grasped a lot of what I was trying to express. And for that I'm glad that you read it and like it. More has arrived!

Gnat10886: Aw, thanks. I'm so glad that you liked it. I really wasn't sure what people would think. I mean I know that it isn't horrible, but it isn't great either. Yay! I was going for drawing the character into Julia... making them see through her eyes, and thus understanding everything the way she understands it. Lol.

Once again, thank you all. You made me super happy!