Klaus rushed out of the men's room and ran across the car park towards his bus. People were starting to stare at the strange beast; it was white and had bars on all the windows and nothing written on it anywhere. Klaus pulled the keys from his pocket, unlocked the door and stepped on board. His heart almost stopped when he looked around the inside of the empty bus.
"Holy fucking shit" he whispered. Klaus moved down the aisle, his eyes sweeping from side to side and his heart pounding harder with every step. They'd escaped, how had they gotten out? Klaus froze when he spotted the emergency exit at the back hanging slightly open. He must have forgotten to lock it before he left the institution!
"Shit a brick, I'm so sacked!" Klaus dashed back to the front of the bus, down the stairs and into the car park. His head whipped from side to side, he figured twenty mental patients would be easy enough to find but the only people in the car park were just getting off another bus and heading into the café. Klaus clutched his head and closed his eyes and then he had the most brilliant idea anyone in the world had ever had before.
Amaryllis looked across the table at her mother and belched, loudly. Vivian eyed her daughter with distaste before draining her coffee mug.
"I guess we better get back to the bus before they leave without us" she said. Amaryllis nodded and put her half-finished bottle of Coke into her bag; they got up and headed out into the car park. A man jogged towards them as they approached the bus, he smiled and gave a small bow.
"My name is Klaus. Your driver had a slight problem with his bus so I'm taking you the rest of the way." Amaryllis and Vivian followed Klaus back to another bus.
"What the Hell kind of bus is that?" asked Amaryllis. She stared at the white monstrosity with the bars on the windows and a slight chill wriggled its way down her spine. Klaus shrugged and smiled.
"It's old but she'll get you where you're going quickly enough." He waved them on board and then handed everyone a free drink as an apology for their interrupted journey.
"This tastes weird" said Amaryllis. Vivian rolled her eyes and downed the last of her drink.
"Just drink it, it's free!" Amaryllis squeezed her eyes shut and swallowed the rest of the orange liquid, grimacing at the taste. Klaus collected the glasses and then started the engine, pulling back onto the road. Amaryllis listened to her mother talking about all the things they were going to do when they got to the hotel but she was finding it hard to concentrate, her eyes were drooping and she suddenly felt exhausted.
"Mum." Amaryllis rolled her head to one side and looked at her mother but Vivian was snoring softly. Amaryllis managed to lift herself up in her seat slightly, her eyes roamed the bus before falling closed and staying that way. Everyone on the bus was sleeping.
Klaus breathed a sigh of relief as the bus fell silent, maybe this would work out okay after all. The patients were being transported to a different hospital, none of the nurses would know what they were supposed to look like and they were delusional. Whatever Klaus told the nurses, they would believe. It was going to be fine, there wouldn't be any problems. He hoped. Klaus swallowed as he glanced in his mirror at the sleeping passengers one more time before turning into the hospital car park. Two nurses were waiting at the door as Klaus stopped the bus and climbed out.
"Hello Klaus. How are they?"
"I had to sedate them, I have no idea what they were talking about but they all joined in the same delusion this time. They seem to think they are tourists on a bus tour, I have no idea where that came from!" Klaus managed a laugh but it sounded high pitched and forced to his own ears so he swallowed and stopped, the nurse smiled and shook her head. Klaus was almost expecting her to say that she knew what had happened. She knew that Klaus had stopped for a bathroom break when he wasn't supposed to, that the patients had escaped from the emergency exit that Klaus had forgotten to check. She knew that Klaus had knocked out and tied up the other bus driver before leading his passengers onto the patient's bus and that he had drugged them to keep them quiet. Put like that, Klaus wasn't sure how he planned to get away with this.
"No problem, Klaus. We can strap them to the beds and take them in" replied the nurse. She waved her hand and a line of orderlies exited the hospital and began unloading the passengers onto trolleys and taking them inside. Klaus watched in silence, his heart thumping so hard it almost crashed through his ribcage. When the last patient had been taken inside, Klaus waved a hurried goodbye and climbed back into the bus. It would fine, nobody would know. He smiled and headed back into town.
Amaryllis opened her eyes and groaned, her head ached and she felt groggy. She tried to sit up only to find that she was strapped to a bed in a room with white walls and no windows.
"Mum!" Nobody answered but the door swung open and a woman in nurses uniform walked in, she smiled.
"Hello there. I'm so glad you're awake, now you can join the others in the TV Room."
"What are you talking about? Where am I? Where's my mum?" cried Amaryllis. She began to thrash and pull at the straps holding her down but she couldn't escape, a muscular man entered the room and held her down while the nurse injected her with a syringe. Amaryllis let out a small squeak before falling silent.
The nurse turned to the orderly and frowned.
"I wonder if she's talking about Patient 43. She keeps insisting that her name is Vivian and that her daughter is missing. I think we need to call in Dr Kerr, this is the strangest manifest delusion I have ever seen." The orderly nodded and followed her from the room.
Amaryllis lay on her back and stared up at the pretty colours that were dancing across the ceiling. She tried to think straight through her drug induced haze, here was something she was supposed to be doing but she couldn't quite remember.
That's a nice colour, sort of pink and blue mixed together. How did they do that? It was all just so pretty.