Standing outside of the gates of the asylum, bag in her hand, coat buttoned up tight against the snow, Kathleen wondered if she should wait for someone. She looked to the right, then looked to the left, then decided to walk to wherever she was going to go.
Looking at her gloved hands she thought of how she tried to wash all the blood off of her fingernails, but the asylum wasn’t big on hygiene and she couldn’t find any soap.
It was torture to be locked up in such a place just for being different. She didn’t eat. She didn’t sleep at night. She was cold and seemed to be dead in her silence, indifference, and stillness. She looked like a young woman but spoke like someone who was much older. But that wasn’t true. It was only what they wanted to see.
She walked into town and stopped by the telegraph office. She didn’t look like an escaped lunatic. She hadn’t really escaped and she was no lunatic.
After she’d sent her message she shopped for new clothes, checked into the finest hotel in the city, and took a long bath with lots of soap, a bottle of wine, a badly written romance novel, and a copy of the local evening news.
The following day she went to the train station and purchased a one way ticket to San Francisco. It was clear across the country but she didn’t mind. It was where she needed to be.
Kathleen sat by the window and waited. A man sat next to her. He was dressed nicely in colors that complimented his pale blonde hair and blue eyes. He was about thirty but his face was boyish and pleasant.
“I’m glad you made it Robert,” she said to him.
“So am I. Thank you so much,” he said.
She smiled and said nothing. Looking out the window she remembered hearing his screams at night, especially when there was a full moon. She remembered how they’d beat him and tried to get him to become is other self on demand. She remembered how the good doctors force fed her and then she’d become violently ill and throw it all up. Then they’d do it again and again. She remembered how the head doctor had come and forced himself upon her because he knew he couldn’t impregnate her because of what she was. He knew that she and Robert were different.
She put her cold hand on Robert’s warm hand. “There is nothing wrong with us. They were the ones who were wrong. We were in our rights to do what we had to do.”
“I know,” he said.
“You aren’t convinced,” she said.
“I’ll get over it,” he said.
He gave her a copy of the morning paper. There had been a horrible incident at the asylum. Six staff members, including the head doctor had been found dead. One man had his throat and gut ripped out, as if a wild animal had attacked him. Four others were found lying in a treatment room. Four were in tubs of water, naked, their bodies bloodless, their genitalia cut off and placed on a table, lined up in a row. The fifth, the head doctor was found in a court-yard, his head cut off and placed atop the flag pole. His bloodless body, minus his manhood, was leaned up against the flag pole, his heart was ripped out of his body and in his hands.
“There is nothing wrong with us Robert. We aren’t insane. We aren’t broken. We’re just different. I don’t like the violence but they hurt so many people. Not just those like us but normal people too. They hurt so many.”
“I know. You already told me that.” said Robert.
“Where we are going there are people like us. We can live in peace without violence or fear. You will be able to run with a pack in the woods on full moon nights. I will be able to live my life in peace. We will be happy.”
“I know,” said Robert giving her hand a squeeze, then letting go. “We will be happy. I know we will.”
They continued their trip, putting their past behind them, and their future ahead.