“What the fuck?!”

All at once, every teen at Westin Hills awoke, bolting straight for their doors in a collective frenzy.

“Calvin! Calvin! You gotta check on Manny!” Simon yelled from his door at the end of the hall, impatiently tugging on the doorknob.

Further up the corridor, Maria and Suzette, hysterical, echoed his concern as they yanked at the bars in their door window. “Calvin! Hurry up! Where are you?!”

Since the residents were on lockdown at night, no one could get out, which meant that no one would be able to help or explain what they saw.

Lexi, who knew exactly what had happened, sat up in bed with tears trickling down her face as Gwen made a run for the door. “What’s the matter with you?” Gwen asked as she passed by. “We gotta help him!”

“It’s too late,” Lexi somberly replied. “He’s got him. There’s nothing we can do.”

“Who’s got him?” Gwen fired back. “If some fucker killed Manny, he’s going to pay!”

Sighing, Lexi just looked up at her sadly, mumbling two words: “It’s all happening again.”

Outside, the screams continued in the hallway until both doctors Graham and Halverson sprinted down the corridor, with Calvin and two other orderlies close behind.

Lexi joined Gwen at the door, trying to see them enter Manny and Ty’s room. However, their view was obstructed, and all they could hear was the sound of the staff pulling out their keys and entering the room. Once the door swung open, they heard Ty scream bloody murder, followed by the collective gasp of the staff members.

Inside, covered in blood, a shocked and shaken Ty got up off of his bed and immediately retreated to the window. Manny, stretched across his bed, was a mere shell of his former self. His face was a crimson mask, his entire body hacked and sliced like a piece of meat. His sheets, no longer white, were doused an eerie shade of red, like someone had spilled a gallon of red ink on it. Blood was streaked across his desk, splattered on the walls, and puddled on the floor. It was even dripping down from the ceiling in several places like a leaky faucet.

“Jesus, Ty, what did you do???” Dr. Graham asked accusingly, assuming the worst.

“I didn’t do anything!!!” Ty insisted, out of his mind. “Don’t point your finger at me!!! It was that fucker with the claws!!!!”

“Oh my god!” Halverson added as the two doctors exchanged a knowing glance. “That is horrific!”

“Calvin, take Ty to D-wing,” Graham ordered with a concerned look on his face. “I want full sedation. On the double.”

“The fuck you will!!!” Ty piped back frantically, his voice cracking. “I know what goes on down there. Niggas that go down there don’t come back.”

Calvin, clearly torn, hesitated, then followed his orders and stepped forward to grab him. But Ty, on the defensive, hauled back and clocked Calvin in the jaw, sending him to the ground with a thud as the other orderlies tackled him to the ground—splashing blood all over them.

“No!!! This ain’t right!!!” Ty yelled as Dr. Graham slid on the blood to inject him with a sedative. “Ask the others. They saw it too!!! Ask the others!!!”

Calvin, rubbing his jaw with his hand, got back to his feet and helped them haul Ty into the corridor, where every patient continued their relentless tirade.

“Calvin!!! It wasn’t him!!!” Maria shouted. “You have to believe me!!!”

Puzzled, the tall, lanky orderly looked toward her and couldn’t see her face, only two eyes staring back at him, hurt and traumatized like someone had just skinned her cat or something.

“Listen to her, man!!!” he heard Tex shout from the end of the hall. “Ty didn’t do anything!!!”

Taking it into account for a second, Calvin glanced back at Ty fading in and out of consciousness, and considered releasing him, but at that point, Dr. Graham emerged from the room and injected Ty with another dose of medication.

“Sorry folks, show’s over,” Dr. Graham informed them as he held the needle like a weapon in his hand. “I suggest you pipe down unless you want to join him.”

Calvin again held back and did his job, dragging Ty away in a bloody streak. Along the way, they came past Lexi and Gwen’s room, and Ty briefly raised his head and looked right at her, mumbling “Lexi…” before passing out.

“Get maintenance up here right away,” Dr. Graham ordered Halverson. “Tell them we need an emergency clean up.”

“Yes, doctor,” Halverson obeyed, tracking blood down the hall as he left.

Taking one horrified look back into the room, Dr. Graham beheld the body of Manny, whose eyes were staring out, and at the same time, past him. His head was tilted to one side, and he looked, for all intents and purposes, to be sound asleep. For someone to do this to a defenseless kid like Manny was not only barbaric, but cowardly too. There was only one man who could have done something that horrendous. No way, it couldn’t be.

Glancing back down the hallway, his gaze was soon met by one of the patients. Lexi. The new girl. It’s amazing she had nothing to do with this. Snarling at her, he turned away, but the look they exchanged said it all. They were the only two who knew exactly what was going on, and they both knew it, but she was the only one willing to accept it.

A moment later, his cell phone rang, and without hesitation, he picked it up on the second ring. “This is Dr. Graham,” he said. “Sheriff, you better come out here right away. We have a situation.”

Proceed To Chapter 10
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