A/N: Here's to all of the people who have already seen my work and love it and also to those who haven't and are just experiencing it. I hope this grabs your attention and pulls you in. Enjoy.
The air is crisp and the sun is barely able to peek out through storm clouds above a small town. Old houses seemed to look down on everyone with a sad demeanor. Perhaps it was the chill outside, or maybe it was the depressive aura, but anyone who passed through here never did it with a smile on their face. Kari Pents, a young woman, sits in the back of a taxi that would bring her through here. She watches the buildings roll by outside the window, trying to stay positive. In her hands was a job ad she'd discovered in the wanted section from her collage. Being a fresh graduate had the perks of getting good pickings right from the start. The job in question was for a full-time live-in nurse at the local mental institution. Beside the ad was an image of a beautiful, red-brick building with a clean-cut lawn and what looks like happy patients playing in the back.
The taxi stops, jerking her from her thoughts. "We're here," he says with a gruff voice. "Thirty-two bucks." Kari sighs and pulls out her wallet, gathering up what cash she had and handing it over to him before climbing out and going to get her things. Bags out, she looks at the image one more time and then up at the appropriate building. Instead of what it was made out to be, she was faced with a building even more dreary and eroded than the ones on the way here. What's worse; it was in a secluded little meadow, a few miles from the town, itself. The idea of having to stay here sent shivers up her spine, but, a career had to start somewhere, right? With a smile on her face, she pinches the slip of paper tight between her fingers and tucks her luggage under her arms, making her way to the door.
Kari presses the intercom button, waiting impatiently for a response while she rubs her hands together, praying for the lovely heat of friction. "Who is there?" it's a woman's voice, but it was enough for her to perk right up.
"M-my name is Kari, Kari Pents! I'm here for the job as a nurse!" She couldn't get it out fast enough. "Please let me in, the chill is starting to get to me!"
There's the sound of static and then another answer. "Alright, come in. The door will only open for exactly five seconds so be quick to grab it" without any further warning, the door clicks and Kari is sent in a panic, flailing just a bit before grabbing her stuff back up and somehow opening the door with her knee at the last second: thank goodness for lever-style door handles. She shifts and jars the door with the toe of her boot and slowly hops her way through the door by carefully pivoting her body through the entry. Once in, she sets her things back down, basking in the warmth inside and thanking him or her who invented central air. She tucks short, red locks of hair behind her ear, smiling and then holding her cheeks.
"This is so much better." Footsteps echo down the hall and a woman appears, tall and beautiful with long, blonde hair, rounding the corner.
"Oh, dear, you look absolutely chilled to the bone." She smiles as she speaks, not appearing worried at all. Kari tilts her head in question.
"Ah, I am…Oh, beg your pardon!" She bows slightly and then holds out her hand for the woman to shake. "Pleased to meet you; Are you the manager? The owner? You look so young, though…ah…" she bites her tongue, believing that she was letting her chance at getting hired slip through her fingers.
"You don't need to be so nervous, Miss Pents. You already have the job secured; all I need from you is a few answers." She walks over. "You may leave your things there, I will have them brought up to your new room. Please, follow me."
Kari lets out a long breathy sigh, nearly falling over. What a relief! "Thank you so very much, Miss…?"
"Victoria and you're welcome. Come along." She turns and walks off. Kari looks between the woman's back and her things before running after her.
Kari was taken all over the place, shown the different wards and levels, the kitchen, the bathrooms, the closets, and more, though some areas were restricted to her, which she understood. Towards the end of the tour, she's taken to the ward in which she would be in charge of. It was strictly for troubled children. Inside, a whole group of them sit. Victoria lets her in and introduces her.
"Children, I would like you to meet Miss Kari Pents. She is your new head nurse. Please, welcome her like an old friend." Victoria pats her back reassuringly. The young woman looks terrified at first but then settles on tucking an arm behind her back and waving with the other. Real patients: She could do this!
"He-hello…um…" words failed her. So many faces watching her. None of them looked excitable, either. One in particular, however, seems to jump up at her; A boy that couldn't be more than four or five. So young, she thought…he pops up and runs over, circling, examining, and making her all the more uncomfortable. "Who are you…?"
"That's Tobi." Victoria states plainly. "He doesn't talk…not that he can't, he just wont."
"Ah…well, Tobi…it's nice to meet you…" He stops in front of her, looking up with wide, blue eyes and then steps down hard on her foot and runs off. "Ouch!" Kari holds her foot, at a huge loss. Why would he do that?
"Sorry about him…" an older boy with auburn hair glances her way. "he's an idiot."
"Kenji!" Victoria scolds him with a stern look. "You know better." The boy snickers, shoving an identical boy in the arm.
"Oi, Sen! She still thinks bein' all hard-headed's gonna make me listen!" His twin turns, pointing and laughing and they both seem to sync in laughter. Victoria merely gives in with a sigh. It was pointless, after all.
"Well, I won't make you work for more than an hour or two, just so you can adjust properly and get a feel for this place." She bows out, giving another reassuring pat on the back. Kari freezes. How would she do this on her own? No! She'd definitely do this. Six years in a collage wouldn't be wasted just because of some obnoxious children. Kari braces herself and walks over.
"Alright, children, let's play a little game and get to know each other, shall we?" That said, she manages to get them all to form a circle and state their names, favorite colors, and tell a bit about themselves. She learns there are eleven of them, all ranging from Tobi, the youngest, to Melvin, the oldest at age sixteen. He was by far shyest. In between were the twin boys, both twelve, names Kenji and Senri, a rather loud and unruly pair, a few girls, and a couple more boys around Melvin's age. When it was brought down to it, they were all very nice kids, just a bit troubled in their own way. An hour or so goes by before one of the younger ones speaks up; a girl with red, frizzy hair and a face full of freckles. She, apparently, disliked her real name and called herself Dolly.
"Ain't no one gonna show her Allen? He ain't never coming out of his room, ya know." She points to a door on the far left of the round room. Kari's eyes follow the finger and she raises an eyebrow.
She mutters to herself in thought, "That would make twelve…"
A/N: This is only the intro. Enough love and I will deffinately add more to it. Leave me lot's of comments!