window-cave

Sunday. A day of rest. A day of contemplation. A day to ones self before the weekday grind started again. At least, for most people it was. Scarlett, in some fit of madness, had actually volunteered her afternoon at the local children’s asylum. Wherever she got that idea, no one was quite sure of.

As she lighted up the steps of the old building, her gaze fell upon one in the distance. Still physically connected to this one but abandoned. Broken windows, a caving ceiling, it looked like an empty husk swallowing itself up. It gave her chills but she looked at it every time she visited, as if unable not to.

Hefting her basket to her left arm, Scarlett signed in and took the volunteer badge from the guard. She was only allowed in the community room for the tamest of patients; mostly children whose parents thought their behavioral issues were more than drugs could fix and a few older kids who had been in trouble with the law but couldn’t be sent to juvenile detention.

They had stopped escorting her long ago, her visits once a week like clockwork and her rapport with the staff gave her the small freedom. Though, as soft, black flats tapped quietly down the much too white hall, Hazel eyes wandered yet again, to the doors that led to the more extreme patients. It’s bright yellow sign reading ‘EMPLOYEES ONLY’. Oh how curiosity was her downfall.

As she entered the community room, Scarlett handed her basket of goodies to one of the orderlies to divvy out before greeting the faces that looked forward to her visits. Though the days of candy stripers were over, she’d always had an affinity for the look and wore a striped red and white skirt, and blouse of long sleeved red above. Her nails painted in a similar fashion of black and red stripes; she had to show herself through a little.

As she made her rounds, the young woman came across an isolated figure, tucked away in the back corner of the room. He was so still she almost wondered if he continued to breathe. His skin was ghastly pale against the shock of midnight black hair, she wondered how’d she missed him before. Her fingers were mere inches from his when a large orderly grabbed her wrist and jerked it back. “Not this one Miss Scarlett. That’s a no contact patient. Supposedly out on 'good behavior’.” The man snorted in response to the title.

A frown perpetrated her dark painted lips as she pulled her arm away, rubbing her wrist from the much too tight grip. “You mean he?” She cocked her head to the still unmoving boy in the chair. “Regardless of how you feel, /he’s/ still a person. So long as I’m present, I’d prefer you to refer to /him/ as such.” She’d had enough of that kind of attitude towards her own self. She hated it when someone else was treated with such disregard.

As the guard led her back to the center of the room, Scarlett glanced back, unable to help herself. Something about him drew her. And though his body remained unmoved, his posture still the same, eyes of utter blackness watched her instead of whatever lay beyond the windows outside.

(Closed starter for @delightful-envy