Suicide Watch

The men in white led a tangled, pasty, mess of a girl down the long corridor. Ironic, that she should end up in the same institute her sister had died in. Will I die here too? The thought was almost enough to make her laugh. Her unseeing eyes focused forward, at the door she knew to be at the end of the hall. The inmates to her left and right pounded at their cell walls and screamed, but it just made her smile.

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"How long have you been blind, Miss Clarke?"

"Since I was five."

"How did it happen?"

"It was horrible," she said with a grin.

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Mrs. Clarke set her keys and groceries on the table. She could hear water running in the bathroom.

"Mary? Bella? Come help Mommy with the groceries." A twelve-year-old girl came into the kitchen, staring at the floor. She fidgeted, and her eyes darted from side to side.

"What's wrong, honey?" Mrs. Clarke asked.

"I-I didn't mean to! It just….just fell! We were playing doctor and we-we needed Band-Aids an' stuff and it just fell and-"

"What did you do, Mary?" her mother whispered. She ran to the bathroom. Bella had her face under the faucet. She was crying when Mrs. Clarke pulled her out. The girl's face was a mess; her eyes were burned and bloody. Next to the sink, open, was a bottle. "Keep out of reach of children."

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"How did you and your sister get along?"

"We didn't."

"What do you mean? Was the age difference too much?"

"No. I hated her too much."

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Six-year-old Bella tried out her new walking stick.

Smack.

She hit the doorframe.

Smack.

A chair.

Smack.

"Ow! Mom! Bella's hitting me with her cane again!" Bingo.

"Mary! She can't see! That's the point of her having the walking stick."

"Yeah right, she knows exactly what she's doing."

Bella sniffled. She made her lip quiver. A tear dropped from one dull eye. "I didn't mean to, honest. It's really hard 'cause Mary made me b-b-blind!" She burst into sobs.

"Mary, go to your room!"

"But—"

"GO!" Bella smiled in her mother's embrace.

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"Why did you feel the need to treat your sister so poorly?"

"She deserved it. It was her fault."

"Now, Miss Clarke, you know it was an accident."

"Sure."

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Mary set her backpack on the couch. "Mom!" she called. "I got my temps today! Wanna see 'em?"

"Mom's not here."

Mary jumped. "Oh, hey Bella." Her eyes darted nervously. "When'll she be back."

"Later. It's time for you to pay." Bella stood in front of her.

"Pay for what?"

"This," she whispered and opened her eyes as wide as they could go, leaning forward so their noses were almost touching. Mary started to cry.

"Please not again, Bella, please. It was an accident! I didn't know that I'd hurt you!"

"Well then maybe you should've thought about what you were doing!" She punched her sister in the stomach, knuckled her ribs, dug her thumb into the pressure point on Mary's neck. She never did anything that couldn't be hidden by clothing. When she was finished she whispered in Mary's ear, as always.

"Tell, and I'll kill you." Mary knew she meant it.

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"How did Mary take this constant abuse?"

"She stayed nice and quiet about it like a good little girl. For a while, at least."

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Mary picked Bella up from school. She had to. Every. Single. Day. And every single day Bella would sit in the passenger seat like she was some kind of queen. Every day Mary had to endure it along with the steady abuse.

It pissed her off.

She pulled over to the side of the road and stopped.

"We're not home yet," Bella said. "What do you think you are doing?"

Mary slapped her. "Get in the back seat."

"No. I'll sit—"

"Get in the back!" Bella switched seats. "Four years I let you push me around. Not anymore. You listen to me and LEAVE ME ALONE!" Bella nodded.

She listened. And obeyed. For about a week.

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"Now tell me about that scar," he said, pointing at the long line of deformed skin on the girl's neck.

"I almost died," she giggled.

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Bella was ten now, her hair grown out, just starting to play with her sister's makeup. She sat at her desk, reading Braille and listening to the latest bubblegum pop craze. Mary stood at her door.

"Look at you," Mary said. "The perfect child." Bella froze. "How's your perfect life, brat?"

"Please," Bella whispered. "I'll stop, I swear." Mary pulled Bella out of her chair and slammed her into a wall.

"It's too late. Maybe you should have thought about what you were doing!" She emphasized each word with a slap or a punch. Bella's nose was bleeding. She wiped it with the back of her hand. The front door opened and closed, but Mary didn't hear it.

"I'm going to kill you!" She pulled out a knife and sliced Bella's neck open.

"Mary!" Bella heard her mother say before she blacked out.

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"It says in your file that you visited your sister during her stay here. How was that for you?"

"She hated me so much."

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Everyone told her not to go. She was only eighteen, and Mary showed no sign of improvement at all, but Bella wanted to visit and when Bella wanted something, she got it. She had a Seeing Eye dog now, Pickles. She thought Mary might like it.

In the visiting room Mary was restrained. She was too prone to psychotic attacks to let her out. She looked like a ghost.

"How are you Mary?"

"Go to hell, bitch."

"I still love you, even though you tried to kill me."

"And I'll try it again when I get out of here!" She pulled at her restraints. Pickles went crazy and lunged at Mary's middle. By the time the attendants got him, Mary was dead. Her insides were hanging out of the dog's mouth. Pickles was put to sleep that night.

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"I have been informed of your suicide attempts. It needs to stop. How long have you had thoughts about killing yourself?"

She leaned back in her chair, a dreamy look in her eyes. "Almost forever."

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Bella was five. It was only a few weeks before her accident. She peered over the side of a bridge. A few steps and I could be down there, dead. The thought made her smile.

She was seven. Her mother had left the butcher's knife to go answer the phone. I could pick it up, slide it in, like butter.

At nine she had a headache. Her mom, too busy to worry about it, told her to take the pills herself. Bella dumped a pile of them in her hand. Just swallow them all and drift to sleep.

She sat in her sister's old car, fingering the razor stolen from her mother's stash. She felt the veins along her wrist. So delicate, pulsing with blood. Just rip through the skin and think no more.

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"Let's talk about why you're here. Why did you try to kill a man you'd never met?"

"My dog didn't like him. You know what happens to people my dog doesn't like."

"And your boyfriend of almost a year? Did your dog hate him that much?"

"No. I just wanted him to go away."

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She sat at the café, sipping her coffee. Tulli, her dog, growled low in her throat. Bella sat up. It was him. He came by every day. Bella didn't even know his name, but she knew her dog hated him.

He went up to the counter and gave the girl his order. Large coffee, black. He got the same thing every time. Bella adjusted her sunglasses. He pissed her off. She couldn't stand it any more.

As the man walked past her, she grabbed a knife off the butter tray and stabbed it into his chest as deep as it would go. Blood spurted onto her fingers from the handle. Bella licked her lips at the its warmth. Tulli barked and Bella snapped back to reality. She had to run. There were too many witnesses and she was sure someone had called the police already.

She got back to her apartment and let Tulli off her leash. Strong arms wrapped around her waist. She smiled a little.

"Hey, baby. Back from your walk already?" Bella turned around and planted a kiss on her boyfriend's lips.

"You know I can't stay away from you for long, Danny." She kissed him again. "Didja miss me?"

"You know it," he said. He picked her up and walked her to their bedroom.

"Isn't it a little early in the morning for this?" Bella asked with a sly grin.

"Never." He set Bella on the bed and pulled his shirt off and began to unbutton Bella's, kissing her neck.

"Baby?" Bella said. "Can we try something special?"

"Sure, whatever you want." Danny continued the assault on her neck.

"Go get one of my scarves." Danny got up and came back a minute later. "Tie it over your eyes," Bella commanded. "I want you to feel what it's like to be me." Bella heard the swishing sound of silk against silk. Soon, she told herself. Soon.

"What do you want me to do now?" Danny asked.

"Get under me," Bella purred in his ear. "You're going to like this."

When Danny had his back on the bed, Bella reached to the nightstand for the old wooden clock she knew to be there. She raised it over her head, ready to strike—.

"Bella," Danny said. "I love you."

"I love you too, Danny." She brought the clock down on his head.

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"That'll be all for now Miss Clarke. I wouldn't want you to miss your afternoon medication. Please actually take it this time."

As Bella left, a figure stepped out from a dark corner. "So that's the real Bella," she whispered.

"I'm afraid your daughter has been like this since a very young age. It is unlikely that we'll be able to help her at all."

"I understand. Thank you."

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Bella sat in her room. The white padded walls gave her nothing to occupy her mind with, and the nurses had put her in a straight jacket so she couldn't hurt herself. A slow laugh bubbled up in her throat. It rang through the sterile walls of St. Judas's Home for the Criminally Insane. She would get out. And when she did they would pay.

End.

AN- What do you think? Suggestions are very welcome.