Nightmare Utopia: In Your Dreams - Chapter One 1/4

Nightmare Utopia: In Your Dreams - Chapter One 1/4

A Chapter by Tabitha A. Rees

Now, welcome to Cerina Venimoore's life. Her home is full of maniacs, but their normalcy comes to a halt when a new patient, in all her bipolar, manic depression, arrives at Vanadaine Institute.




"Hey, Cerina!"


At the words, I forced my eyes away from my novel, none too pleased to be interrupted during the high point. Sandra danced towards the staircase, my current seating arrangement, with her greasy and unkempt curls bouncing along. For someone noted to be "verbally abusive" and "anti-social", she was rather chipper.


"Can you seriously give me something that’s more interesting than a vampire showdown?" I said at her rude interruption.


A tall and sickly pale boy nearby giggled to himself. Ah. Phil must have broke into the pharmacy again. He might have looked like a complete idiot (as he was a complete idiot) but Phil knew his locks. Maybe criminal instincts were taught in Meth Addict 101.


Sandra ignored her puppy-dog/slave, and bobbed her head at the living room window, where others gathered.


"The Dodge is coming. Must be bad - it’s not even a new semester."


That captured my interest enough to clasp the book in my hands, and join them at the glass pane. Not everyone was looking; I guess to newer residents, more patients was just a regular occurrence, but us old-timers appreciated the fresh blood. It was sort of difficult to see past the graph of metal surrounding the one living room window, but I quickly located a free hole, and gazed into the blinding, late afternoon sunlight.


The Dodge was, to be precise, an 82’ Dodge Polara that belonged to one of our chiefs. His precious Hybrid could barely cart his own chubby belly and beard; no way could it handle other passengers.


Whenever the Dodge was out, company was calling. It soon made its way to the building, and Dr. Hall certainly wasn’t alone.


At my side, there was a grinning blur peering through the glass window. Jessica, of course, in all her mania. Her chart declared her case as "RAD", whatever that was. None of us had bothered to find a definition for it; we just presumed it had something to do with hallucinations.


Such as the teddy bear in her hands. To Jessica, it was a possessed demon living inside a cotton animal, posing as her best friend by day and devouring souls at night. I thought that was an odd result of neglectful parents, but that was the human mind for you.


"Do you think she’ll be in our group?" Jessica whispered, jumping up to my height. Not that I was tall or anything; she was just the ward midget.


I shrugged, not wanting any unnecessary dialogue. "That’ll be fun."


At Vanadaine Institute, patients were separated in four groups. The technical names were "behavioral disorders", "substance abuse", "suicidal and self-abuse", and "physical/mental abilities". If you were to ask a resident, it was instead the psychos, the druggies, the emo’s, and the special kids.


Somehow, I was in the third. If the doctors only paid attention, they would know it was just a one time thing, that I hadn’t meant anything permanent, and -


"The subject is leaving the vehicle," Sandra hissed, pressing her pug nose against the window bars. "I repeat, the subject is leaving the vehicle!"


We all gawked in the direction of the Dodge at once.


First, Dr. Hall emerged, seeming unfazed. He was the only likable doc here, sometimes letting patients view something besides PG-Rated during movie days. Sandra usually had us watch and memorize her Hannibal Lector collection then.


From the passenger door, a tall and suited man stepped outside. I recognized the ratted briefcase immediately. This patient must’ve been plucked from some orphanage or foster home; it was just like my roommate, Tara Olsen, who’d lost it when her only stable foster parent had a heart attack. She still didn’t talk that much.


Business-suit man opened the door behind him, and dragged what appeared like a colorful wildcat into the light. It seemed to be a challenge for business-suit man to bring said wildcat to the entrance of our building, because there was a lot of struggling and growls.


Then the wildcat looked up, and I gasped, seeing only a young girl, one probably fifteen or sixteen-ish like me.


Once the subject and foster agent were out of our sight, meaning they’d reached the front lobby, everyone scrambled to their previous spots. Sandra and Phil snatched their positions by the TV, Jessica went to the corner, petting her teddy bears’ ears, etcetera. I merely took my seat at the bottom of the stairs, returning to my book.


A minute later, our normalcy came to a halt. Doors opened. The wildcat entered, smiling despite having her arms held behind her back.


I peeked, much too curious.


There was no other way to word it: she looked like a rainbow’s vomit. Blue shoes, orange knee-high socks, green plaid skirt, cherry red blouse, and topped with a flaming violet shag circling her tiny head. She was as cheerful as a rainbow, too; she all but skipped as her foster agent sat her at a table nearby, as if it’d been her childhood fantasy to be in a loony bin.


"Come on, sit down," the business-man hissed. Rainbow girl had deliberately caught one of her Converse sneakers on the edge of a chair.


"Nah," the girl disagreed, in a surprisingly heavy and mature voice. "I seem to have a dysfunction in all three of my gluteus, you see, because of how you forced me here. No more sitting for me today, Cornelius, unless you want lawyers involved."


His eyes appeared to twitch. This must have been one of numerous remarks.


Not hesitating, Cornelius the foster agent snatched her foot from the leg and threw her into the seat. Rainbow-girl crossed her arms, her smile fading as she realized she was losing. We all continued to aptly watch as he bent to her level; even Nurse Lyman, whose job was to mind the pharmacy, bobbed her many chins over the counter.


"Now, listen - once my ride gets here, you’ll stop being any concern of mine. The state’s given up on you, so I am too. You know why? Because you are hopeless."


I flinched for rainbow girl. For a foster agent, Cornelius was…vicious.


"So, since this’ll be the last time I see you, just…grow up, okay? Forget the stupid fairy-tales your parents filled your head with - "


"They’re not f*****g fairy-tales!" she interrupted, hysteria tainting her voice, until she hid her face in her hands to muffle thick, sobbing sounds. "It…exists."


The foster agent rolled his eyes in distaste, and started towards the glass doors.


"I don’t care if it exists," he sighed, tucking her file under one arm. "I don’t care if anything in your head exists. I don’t even care if unicorns and leprechauns exist for crying out loud, though I’ll lose a bet with my niece…forget it, and grow up."


And, only stopping to nod at Dr. Hall, he was gone.

© 2010 Tabitha A. Rees

Author's Note

Tabitha A. Rees
What can I say, really, other than comment, be honest (insults I can take) and tell me what you think of this opening and an intro of "rainbow girl", the second main character in this book.

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OMFG!! I wanna know more about 'rainbow girl' and I love how you described her as 'wildcat'. xD. I can't wait to find out more!

Posted 11 Years Ago

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Added on June 11, 2010
Last Updated on June 11, 2010


Tabitha A. Rees
Tabitha A. Rees

Lake Havasu City, AZ

Hello, strangers. I am a young author who enjoys writing about insane asylums and unique worlds and characters. My current YA/urban fantasy series, NIGHTMARE UTOPIA, is about to enter the publishing w.. more..


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