AN: Hey, guys! You might remember me as a poet here on FP, but this will be my first novel here and hopefully, it will turn into something bigger than that in the near future. Wish me luck! If you like it, please review and tell me if something might need improving. I hope you like it, although I don't exprect it to be too long.

Also, this story is dedicated to my pals, Rose and Mike for their undying support in me. Rock on, guys! I love you!

Enjoy!

Chapter I

Blood was as red as sin and splashed all around. There lay before her an entire ocean of blood. A wide ocean of a melted ruby flooded around her. She was swimming in it. She was swimming through the dim vision of red that would not let her see where she was headed. Such a deep dark red that was lamost black. The sickening scent of the victim was stained in her nostrils and would never leave. They dared not reach her mouth to ravage and poison it with its foul taste as dense as metal and texture as thick as laudinum. She wanted to scream for help, but the thick sticky rectangle of dull silver had already ravaged her mouth and stolen her voice. She was running out of air! She needed to breathe! But she could not take a breath from it as if she were swimming in a usual pool. This was a pool of blood and she was drowning in it! There had to be a way out. There must have been a surface somewhere! Oh God! she thought to herself, desperate for a release from this unclean imprisonment. God, help me! Please let me out of this!

At long last, there she found one small flicker of light that she thought must have been the sun. It's my way out! She thought with great bliss that had redeemed her from this Hellish life from before. She swam up towards the light as it called to her, calling her name and bidding her to return to where she came from. With every stroke through the thick red liquid, the Heavenly light had come closer to her, brighter, bigger…until…yes! There it was! She was there. Now all she needed to do was break through this thin layer that separated her from blood and water.

There!

She splashed her entire skinny frame away from the torturous red and found no more of it surrounding her, but a liquid of oblivious black, shattered by tiny little droplets that attacked the once peaceful and steady mirror of a pond. The filthiness of the red was washed away from her white slip by the cold thin water. She looked up to find heavy drops of water falling upon her face from the dim grey and black sky that must have been in the same agony as she. It was screaming and booming and light flickered from it like white hot fire…but the air was cold! So very cold!

"Hey!" a rash voice called from afar. She looked over to follow the voice and saw a close face that she knew well enough to fear for her own life because of it. It was that very face that was in both her nightmarish realities and her realistic nightmares!

Thus, what choice had she but to run?

xXx

It was darker than usual that day, so dark that Julian wouldn't even tell whether it was night or day, had he not held his watch around his wrist. It could have been 6:00 p.m, a light time during this time of the year, but not today. The once golden atmosphere was now turned to lead like the work of an alchemist. It was raining cats and dogs outside as cold heavy raindrops fell freely from the shaded clouds like tears from the Heavens. The only light in the dull grey day was the street light illuminating the darkness and guiding so many lost little people to their homes like the element of the ancient yang; a little bit of day lost within night. It was weather like this that hypnotised Julian from his work. The rain was always so very beautiful, but at the same time almost nightmarish as the heart-stopping crash of thunder sounded from the clouds as if they were cracking and the lightening also illuminated the night. He was hypnotised by the falling of gems for teardrops in the sky.

But now wasn't the time for that. There was work to be done and he couldn't waste his time staring out the window. There were patients to care for and papers to sort out. Walking over to his desk, he at last found a ditraction from the spell that the rain had over him and concentrated on the more important issues. Rain was just water; it was not blood nor medicine. What was the point in staring out the window, anyway?

Let's see, he thought to himself. I wonder what's happening to Bennie Barker nowadays. Poor guy hasn't been getting any better.

Devout to his work as a Christian was to his religion, Julian knew all too well how important it was to be working in such a position. The fate of peoples lives all counted soley on him and what he did. One little slip and a life was gone in a flash. Since he'd seen too many lives taken away in his childhood, including that of his own mother, it was only right to him that he'd bring them back through the lives he saved.

But lost in these many files of lives that he longed to save, the life of another was to be saved. A life that he did not know existed until that day. The shrilling, chilling, heart-killing cries overpowered the pattering of water crashing against the window. It was the familiar fear of an innocent girl, whom Julian saw through the blur of dripping through glass. A skinny figure of a teenaged girl donned lazily in a plain white dress, dirtied by some form of filth to match the dull black that dripped from her head to past her shoulders. She was deathly and frighteningly pale, but her white face was interrupted by a dark ractangle covering her mouth. Through the melted vision, she was merely a blurr, but there was a sickening sense of agony screaming from her eyes as she ran from whatever was chasing her. Julian watched as this shady figure scrambled her way through the rain and ran everywhere there was to run, unknowing of where to go. Were there no rain, he would expect to see tears of poison spilled from her eyes.

Who was she? What was she running from? Where was she going? What was she looking for? What was she so afraid of? This really was a deeply strange image to see, even for an asylum. He did not at all recognise her as one of his patients, nor any others. She must be one of Malloy's patients, he thought, but she wasn't wearing a hospital gown or a wristband.

"Dr. Cartwright?" a voice from behind him had called at the door, snapping him out of his wonderings. He turned from the window to find a dark-skinned woman of strong, yet delicate features, whom he knew well as Dr. Angela Malloy.

"Is this a bad time?" she asked him.

"No," Julian insisted. "Not at all. Did you need something?"

"I was wondering if you were interested at all in researching the body room with me?" she said. "You know about that accident last night…"

"Accident," Julian scoffed sarcastically, knowing specifically of the woman who was stabbed to merely strips of flesh, blood and bone as her blood was splashed and painted all over the walls of her place where she was found. "You've got to be kidding me!"

"…and I was wondering if you might be interested," Angela continued. "It's just that I know you'd be best, sseing as this is your specialty. Would you mind at all?"

"Not a problem," he said, taking the files in his hands. "I'll start tomorrow. Thanks."

"Great," Angela replied. "I'll see you tomorrow, then. Good night!"

"Night!"

As soon as Angela left, Julian sunk himself into his chair and researched the files for the countless time he'd done so. It was the same old, same old, as usual. Stab here, trace there, same as any other body he'd seen. But then again, there was too many stabs and too little traces. The very pictures of where this woman's body was found was a picture of Hell itself! This was not the work of any living, breathing, feeling human being. Were he a man of pure belief, he'd say it were the work of a demon, a monster that crawled from the very depths of the earth's core.

The brutalised figure was that of a woman, around aged thirty-five to fourty, deeply cut from flesh to bone as if to be skinned alive. Her throat had been slashed open and her front disected like a fetal pig in a teenager's Biology class. Her eyes had been plucked out and crushed, leaving empty sockets open and dripping with blood like tears. But this was not yet over until the womanhod was cut and the womb stolen from its place. Her blood was splashed all over the walls. In her hands was a lily, a flower of innocence and purity.

Why would such a symbol be placed in the hands of a victim of such a vision?

Feeling a haunting chill, freezing his blood stone cold. Her could hear the victim's screaming loud enough to pierce his earbrums until they were bleedingand he was left deaf and dumb. He was left senseless, but enough sense was placed in him to shut the file closed tightly as never to be opened again. He swung it closed and pushed his chair back away from the nightmarish picture painted by a devil. His breath was heavy. He could not look another glimpse at that photo.

Julian felt a small wave of nausea twist his stomach inside out and looked away from the picture, slapping his hand over his mouth and swallowing the sour stomach acid that threatened to be forced out of his throat. He turned away from the desk and regretted feeling this sickness whilst looking on the pictures. He was supposed to be a doctor. God, so many years of training to be a doctor and then finally earning that title itself, the sight of a corpse mutilated like this even sickened him. He took a deep breath and tried to find himself a better place in his mind to settle on. Closing his eyes in peace, he slowly and silently exhaled. His mind went blank. Everything was silent, but for the smacking of the rain and the rolling of the thunder. The black of his eyelids, occasionally, turned red against the lightening flashing before him.

But looking back out the window, where was the girl? She wasn't in the lawn anymore. It was empty but for the pouring rain. She was gone. Had she vanished? Had she been taken back inside. But there was a cry from up there…up on the roof. Julian looked up to find the roof's smooth surface interrupted by a slim figure of a girl. It was that same girl.

Oh God!

Julian ran as fast as his legs could carry him to the stairs up to the roof, through hallways and doors wherever they lead and nearly lost his own breath in running. Finally, there was the door to the roof and he thanked the Heavens that the girl was still there, but he cursed under his breath to find her leaning her head back and spreading her arms apart like wings as if this were a holy moment. The rain fell over her as if to wash her tears away and the wind blew violently against her messy dark curls and her white slip. She was ignorant to his cries for her and only stood high on her tiptoes.

"Hey!" Julian screamed. "What the hell are you doing? Get back here!"

But the girl said nothing. She only leaned forward and let herself fall towards her death. But Julian took the rest of his strength and quickly grabbed the girl away from the high edge of the roof, tugging her away from the low ground. The light weight of her skinny form had fallen limp in his arms. He found that the dark rectangle covering her mouth was in fact duct tape, which must have been forced on her to shut her up. Disgusted at how anyone would do that, he tore it from her lips and she gasped in pain from the sharpness of the ripping. Her head was heavy and throbbing as it spun and spun in circles.

"Are you okay?" he asked her anxiously. "What were you thinking back there? You could have been hurt."

Nothing came out of the girl's mouth but wordless murmurs as if she an infant trying to talk, but could not find out what her tounge and throat were supposed to do. Her eyelids were heavily weighed down over her eyes until they closed and the girl collasped in Julian's arms. She'd fainted.

Julian felt her forehead and no wonder she had fainted! The poor thing was chilled to the bone! He picked her up and held her close as he stood back up, knowing that she needed shelter to keep herself warm before the cold would steal her health.

He began walking towards the door, but found a fallen twinkle against the pebbels on the ground that had fallen from the girl's hand. The sound of the tiny little object further aroused Julian's curiosity and he turned to see something pure and gold among the dull grey clutter of rocks. It was a tiny little object of gold in the shape of a heart shining against the dim light from the windows. Still holding the girl in his arms, he gingerly stroked the smooth gold heart and picked it up from the ground, letting the thin line of the same gold trailing behind it. It was a locket! A small beautiful locket that had dropped from the girl's hand. It must be hers, Julian thought to himself. He observed the carvings of the locket with every milimeter added with a little star carved in the middle. He'd seen girl wear lockets before, but already he could tell how close it was to this girl by the writing carved on the back of it: To Emily, my Angel. All my love, mom.

Julian looked at the girl named Emily and whispered her name and felt a hot tear, which he didn't even know existed yet, warm his cheek from the cold raindrops. Poor Emily. He wondered where her mother was, anyway? Where was her family? Where was her home? He stuffed the little trinket in his pocket and held Emily up and took her inside.

"It's okay now, Emily," he whispered to her, regardless of her shut eyes. "You'll be okay."