.the contract ii.


o1: neon


He had entered the institution two months after I had.

The others had been murmuring quietly to themselves after Maria Jenny, a particularly talkative patient, had began spreading the news that she had seen a boy, about the age of nine or ten, being lead inside. She had described him almost as if she had visited my nightmares and had seen the certain occupant of my horrors. Yet, I knew it couldn't have been who I was reminded of. That was just. . . so unlikely.

"He was crowded by a bunch of nurses," Maria was saying as she hectically twirled a strand of her stringy blonde hair around her index finger. "He had this huge grin on his face—it was scary." She nodded dramatically for effect. "I overheard two nurses talking. One was Dr. Lee." I hesitated at hearing her speak my doctor's name. "Lee was saying that he couldn't be restrained. The drugs weren't taking effect. . ."

She continued to ramble while I tiredly looked away at the television in the corner, where two boys I hadn't cared to know were sitting, engaged in some minor argument. A child's show was on.

I was sitting around a white table with three other girls, including Maria. While I hated these people simply because they, in a way, represented who I was now, I still had to live with them. Maria was the only one I really talked to because she was fairly nice and wasn't sporadically random.

". . . although he couldn't have been older than ten, he had this maturity in his eyes. . ." Maria babbled, ceasing in her feverish fiddling with her hair. She looked down at me, our gazes locking. I couldn't help but notice the dark circles under her eyes were dampening. Was she sweating? "He certainly looks insane," she said, then centered her attention onto the girl next to me, who was leaning forward as she listened intently.

I dropped my head onto the table, pressing my forehead to the cold wood. I was so bored and so miserable, and not to mention, bitter. Hell, was I ever bitter.

A brunette beside me giggled slightly. "Newcomers are so interesting."

"I know," a blonde agreed. "They still have a clear view of what it's like to walk down a busy street, mingling among normal people with normal lives."

The brunette nodded sympathetically. "Y'think, maybe he knows what those red and orange ice cream sticks are called?" She paused to lower her eyebrows in concentration as she thought. "I keep asking my doctor if she can pick some up for me, but she doesn't have a clue what I'm talking about."

I looked back and forth between the two and couldn't resist the urge to comment. "Are you sure we won't turn the ice cream into something. . ." I trailed off to circle my hand through the air as I thought for the right word, "dangerous?"

The brunette laughed at my evident sarcasm and nodded knowingly. "Perhaps they expect us to poke ourselves in the eye since we're so—"

"—mental," breathed Maria.

"—incapable," the blonde sighed.

"—stupid," I finished.

We went silent, our thoughts going separate ways. The sound of the clock ticking on the wall in front of me seemed to grow louder every time the second hand ticked. I was waiting, I realized with great discomfort. I was waiting. . . but for what? For the new boy to appear so I could confirm my silly suspicions?

"Look!" gasped the brunette. "Is that him?"

I lifted my head and looked over my shoulder at the door. In the doorframe stood Dr. Lee—my personal doctor—and a little boy who looked alarmingly familiar.

My heart began hammering painfully in my chest. My eyes widened considerably and I felt my lips part as I soundlessly gaped at the young kid, who had a grin strapped onto his dark face.

I forgot how to breathe.

Familiar yet foreign stormy blue eyes scanned the room with intensity mimicking a hawk. He had a large grin pulling at his pale lips, while chestnut brown hair dangled over his searching eyes. He stood in a laid back, calm position, almost as if he was completely for living in a mental institution.

The boy looked exactly like him.

Exactly like. . .

"Lure?" I absently whispered, breathless. My throat became dry. A sharp pang in my chest made me wince.

I hadn't seen Lure for two months. . . ever since I had gotten here. He had left me, telling me he didn't need me anymore. Being human wasn't all he had thought it was.

Lure was a demon. More like, my literal personal demon who used to stalk me and had claimed he had been in love with me and then had used me, fucked around with my life, and eventually threw me in here, the grand mental institution, after I had pissed him off.

I was, to put it bluntly, slightly bitter.

I watched as Dr. Lee said something to the small boy and left him, closing the door behind her as she left. He stared around at everyone; all us mental patients, and eventually, his grin settled into a half-smile. He strolled further into the room and peeked around a wall, his gaze focusing on the television. Reluctantly, he wrinkled his nose.

I couldn't stop staring.

Was Lure playing some sick joke on me?

The boy looked up and noticed me watching him. He looked left, right; over his shoulder, then back at me. Slowly, his eyebrow cocked skywards, and he offered an uncertain smile in my direction. I swallowed and looked away, pretending I hadn't noticed.

"Kid!" Maria suddenly yelled and began frantically waving her arms at the boy, who now looked alarmed. "Come over here!" she insisted loudly. The boy scratched at his dark hair, looked over his shoulder again, then gently began to walk towards us.

I nervously looked down at my hands and sighed. This situation was all too creepy. I didn't want to talk to this kid. He mocked me without knowing it.

He looked so much like Lure. . . like a kid version of him.

The boy reached us and stood, awkwardly, at the end of the table. I watched as he began inspecting the four of us, almost cautiously.

"What's your name?" Maria asked the boy, offering a kind smile at him. The boy hesitated, his eyes shifting to the side for a mere second before refocusing on Maria.


Neon? I frowned. Was that his real name?

"That's unique," Maria said after awhile of contemplating over his name. "It's cute."

Neon said nothing.

"You look lost," the brunette cooed. "Just relax, kid. We're not as insane as everyone makes us out to be."

Neon didn't even bother to crack a smile while Maria and the brunette giggled. He glanced over his shoulder for a few seconds and scratched his arm uncomfortably.

"Where's Katlyn White?" he suddenly asked, looking at Maria insightfully. I stiffened and stared down at Neon in alarm. I was Katlyn White. What did he want with me?

Maria blinked, put off, then tapped my shoulder. "This is her."

I bit my lip anxiously when Neon's gaze fell on me. He gave me the up and down, stepped back, and repeated the process. He furrowed his dark eyebrows, cocked his head slightly, mused for a few moments, then gently cleared his throat.

"So you're my roommate," he said at last. I tensed up even more—so now I was going to be sleeping in the same room as this Lure lookalike? What kind of luck did I have? Certainly Lure had cursed me or something.

"O-oh," I managed to breathe out. Neon squinted one eye at me curiously, then shrugged as if my anxiety was normal to him.

"Go on, sit down," Maria said in a chipper tone, sweeping a hand as a gracious gesture for him to sit in the empty seat beside me. Reluctantly, Neon inched towards the seat and pulled himself onto it. He wiggled to get comfortable, flashed me a small smile when he noticed me staring, and returned his attention back onto Maria.

"How old are you?" she asked, leaning on the table to get a better look at the strange boy.

"Uh," Neon looked around, then hastily asked, "how old are you?"

Maria looked slightly put off. "I asked you first," she grinned. Neon blinked, then forced a smile back. He didn't reply. Giving up, Maria said, "I'm eighteen."

Neon looked at me expectantly.

"I'm, uh. . . sixteen," I nervously stated.

Neon looked back and forth between us and eventually shrugged his shoulders. "I'm ten."

"So," the brunette smacked her lips softly, then evenly asked, "what are you in for?"

Neon simply stared at her.

"Oh, come on," she batted her hand through the air as if dismissing him, "we all eventually share. You don't have to be shy or embarrassed here, or even guilty."

"Here, we don't judge each other like people are judged out there," Maria said in a soft voice, most likely meant for comforting Neon. Out "there" basically meant, "normal-people-society".

"So. . . you tell each other exactly why you've been classified as unbalanced, even if you like. . . hacked your cousin up into wee bitty little pieces and fed them to your pet lobster?" Neon frowned, looking befuddled, and frighteningly, completely serious. Maria and the brunette went silent and regarded Neon with slight nervousness.

"Not that I did that," Neon said quickly, once he realized why they had become so rigid. "I'm just saying. . ."

"Well," Maria flipped her hair, smiling with relief, "what are you in for, then?"

"I hear things," Neon responded, then went completely quiet. We all stared at him, expecting more. He didn't feel the need to elaborate, obviously.

"Oh," Maria looked at me oddly. I returned the look, if only to please her. "Like, what do you hear?"


"Well. . . what do these voices say?"

Neon looked uncomfortable. "I can't repeat what's said." His voice had suddenly grown frosty, yet with a tinge of intensity buried within. Maria shrugged and leaned away from Neon, her interest in him finally fading. He was just like any other mental case, after all.

Under his breath, after Maria had sparked up a conversation with the brunette, Neon murmured, "Not to you, at least," and then he smiled a genuine smile at me. I stared back at him.

"You don't talk much," he commented, then shifted closer to me.

"Oh," I said nonchalantly, then got up off my chair. Not caring where I went—as long as it was away from Neon—I headed over to the television where the two boys I didn't really know were still sitting, now engaged in a heated argument over some random topic.

Neon followed me, practically stepping on my heels. Weird kid. At first, I had thought he was a tad antisocial, shy, and awkward, but now he seemed to be as annoying as my little brother, Tony (sane little brother, might I add). It seemed that once Neon warmed up to someone, he really warmed up to them.

"Katlyn White," he mulled, biting at his knuckles for no apparent reason when I stopped beside the couch that was facing the TV. "Your name just needs a nickname."

"Really?" I feigned interest.

"I'd call you Kat," he said pointedly, "but I don't really like it, do you?"

"I don't care," I said, shrugging lazily. I noticed one of the boys look up at me with an expression that clearly told me I was pestering him, somehow. Maybe from being too loud or something.

"What about. . ." Neon leaned back slightly, squinting at me, "Kitten?"

I visibly stiffened. "No," I responded automatically, then walked past the haunting kid. Before I could get far, however, he practically dove in front of me, giving me no choice but to stop or I'd run him over.

"I'm sorry!" he whined. "I didn't mean to, uh. . . insult you."

"You didn't," I gritted out through clenched teeth. Couldn't he leave me alone? His looks, his actions, his immaturity. Oh hell, he was killing me.

"Well, well, um. . ." Neon rushed out, "you can give me a nickname, if you want."

I gave him an impatient look. "Look, um. . . Neon, it's not about nicknames or—"

"Ne or Neo or something," he suggested. "Or Eon, or On, perhaps. . ."

What was with this kid?

"Or just N. And I can call you K."

I tried to step past him, but he slipped in front of me again.

"Or we could have code names or something!"

He was getting alarmingly excited now, which made me slightly nervous.

"You could be Kitten, and I could be. . ." he paused to frown, "hm. . . what animal goes with Neon?"

"Neon," I said timidly, "please stop." And don't ever call me Kitten.

Neon's shoulders slumped as he stared up at me with large eyes, and for a moment, my heart turned to mush. He was rather adorable. I gave him a small smile to show I wasn't mad.

"Please stop with the nicknames," I said, then walked off. I thought he had finally taken the hint to bug off, but before I could confirm that, I heard his quick little footsteps padding behind me. I glanced over my shoulder, and there he was, innocently tracing my steps.

"Why are you following me?" I asked him. Startled, he stopped and looked down at his feet.

"I. . ." he bit at his lower lip and looked at a few people to his left, who were playing some board game on the floor, "I'm. . . I'm not," he said, almost urgently.

"Um, okay," I said tightly, then stepped away from him. Slightly mechanically, he stepped towards me as soon as I had stepped away.

Creepy kid.

I took another step back, and he stepped towards me. When I opened my mouth to question him, he shut me up by showing off a huge grin that made my spine tingle.

He had a large mouth, I noted. A large, watermelon slice-resembling mouth, with scary teeth.

Uh. . . alright then.

I planted my feet together, then jumped back. As soon as I landed, so did Neon.

How did he know I was going to do that?

His grin, somehow, managed to widen.

Alright, so now he was really scaring me. I caught sight of Maria watching us, looking half asleep. She probably didn't even notice the strangeness of this situation. Before I could ask Neon what his problem was, the door opened and a nurse poked her head in.

"Time for sleep!" she announced. A few patients groaned, while some looked relieved.

Sleeping was about the most interesting thing you could do in this place. It blocked off reality, so your dreams could take over. . . and dreams were the only things keeping me sane, it seemed.

And I was sane. I knew it. I had just been framed. Lure had done something to fuck with my life. He had made me look insane, and eventually, he had managed to drive me here.

I had been looking forward to sleeping. . . until I caught sight of Neon, who was still standing in front of me, and then I remembered that he was my new roommate.


The door of my room slammed behind me with such force that I cringed. Neon stood beside me, grinning from ear to ear like he was completely out of his mind, which, it seemed, he was. I stared at him uneasily for awhile before I slipped onto my bed and cuddled my legs to my chest.

I noticed a new bed had been added to my room, which, I supposed now was "our" room, not just mine. Neon's and mine. I had a feeling I wasn't going to get used to this kid, I thought, as I watched him climb onto his bed with seeming difficulty.

"Stupid height," I heard him murmur irritably. I looked away, at the white walls around me. The whole room was white, including the beds and door. It was almost painful to look at.

I lay down on my back, not bothering to pull the covers over me. It was too hot for covers. I felt like I was about to melt on the spot. I closed my eyes, and immediately, I felt Neon's gaze burn into the side of my face.

Go to sleep, you little brat.

I breathed out a sigh and shifted uncomfortably. I heard Neon shifting around, then heard bare feet connect with the floor. What was he doing? Before I could open my eyes, I felt my bed sink a little, and I already had the answer.

I opened one eye to peer at the annoying little boy as he crawled up next to me. He planted himself down by my shoulder and stared down at me immoderately. I stared back up at him, puzzled. What was wrong with this kid? And why was I of all people stuck with him?

I lay there, absolutely still, while a thought that managed to make me almost choke in shock seeped into my mind.

Is this Lure?

It couldn't have been, though. Lure was nineteen, and more perverted. And scarier. And sexier. And—fuck! What? Sexier? Oh hell, there was something wrong with me. Lure was the reason I was in this miserable place and I had just described him as sexy?

Well, um. . . he was sexier than a ten-year-old—and that wasn't saying much. So in a way, I wasn't complimenting him.

I mentally smiled with satisfaction.

Snapping me from my thoughts, Neon pulled the pillow out from under my head. Before I could protest, he pressed the pillow against my face, succeeding in cutting off my air supply.

He trying to kill me!?

I began wiggling feverishly, desperately shrieking in the back of my throat. I bucked and kicked and squealed, my air supply slowly ticking down, down, down. . . until I began feeling light headed. Blackness seeped into my vision, I began lurching; I was dying, slowly dying. . . and no one was coming to help. . .

And then the pillow was removed. Neon peered down at me, looking particularly interested as I greedily sucked in air.

"How does it taste?" he asked me with a sick childish curiosity. "The air, I mean."

My gaze fell on the camera in the corner—why the hell wasn't anyone coming?—and that was when I noticed it was turned to the side, filming the wall. I frowned—who had pushed it aside? Neon couldn't have reached, and I hadn't seen him do it, either.

I started when Neon once again pressed the pillow against my face. I clawed at him blindly while shrieking and bucking.

The same feeling of worry and panic shot through me. I tried screaming but my breath was coming in too short. Tears prickled in the corner of my eyes; my strength was slowly ticking down until my whole body was sore. My chest felt as if it was going to explode, my energy was depleting at an agonizingly dense rate.


All I could see was an endless world of black; a world that would take me from this white prison.