"Sleep - Those little slices of death, how I loathe them." --Edgar Allen Poe
I would be no reluctant messiah like in the novel by Richard Bach, I'd not be leading almost 50 people to their salivation and I knew it from the beginning. So did Joe and Tom but when Janice convened our congress together the vote was 100% in favor of escape from Asylumland so good, bad or indifferent, lead them we would. To were we didn't know.
It was the middle of the night, most of the guards were asleep at their posts like they were always known to be. Joe, Sara and the Loon Squad took the lead knocking out any guard or orderly they came in contact with and taking their stun guns, blackjacks and handcuffs as they went. Most of the other women followed while Tom and myself along with the other men watched our backs pouring out jugs of ammonia as we went. As we exited the final door we tossed buckets filled with bleach onto the ammonia soaked floors. The resulting ammonia-chloride gas would take down anyone Joe, Sara and the Loons had missed.
It took Joe all of a second to snap the neck of the guard at the gate who was too absorbed with his hand held device to ever notice Joe walking up behind him and a minute later almost 50 people had walked through the gates, across the road and into the woods to face a cold night in a place where none of us knew the way home. "We're free," Irene said clutching my arm.
"For now," I replied, "but you know come morning someone will be coming to hunt us down."
"I know," she said, "all we can do is try."
We walked all night and all through the next day staying away from roads, houses and open fields moving west towards the mountains. While we expected to hear dogs and trackers rushing us at any moment, for some strange reason they never came. "Do you think they might just let us go?" Janice asked.
"No way," Tom answered, "they're just counting on us turning up somewhere convenient."
"Maybe they know where we are all the time," Joe suggested.
"I wouldn't put it past them," Tom said, "they know how to control our minds."
"Why aren't they controlling our minds now?" Sara asked.
"Who says they aren't," Sabrina suggested, "Who says they aren't leading us somewhere right now?"
"That's just twisted," Irene said.
"Like everything they've been doing to us isn't," Sabrina complained.
Late that evening we came to an abandoned house not far from Gladstone, Virginia near the banks of the James River. Joe and Tom wanted to keep pushing on but most of us were simply too tired to continue on without some rest. We decided it would be best if several of us kept watch while the others packed the inside of the house and slept a few hours. Tom, Joe and I volunteered to keep the first watch and Sara, Irene and Sabrina offered to stay up and keep us company. Four hours later, Sara went inside to wake up the second watch and everyone we had left inside was gone, vanished into thin air. "They're gone!" Sara yelled. "They're all gone!"
Irene and I ran in the back door while Joe, Tom and Sabrina ran in the front door. "They didn't come out this way!" Joe shouted.
"They didn't come out the back either," I yelled.
"That can mean only one thing," Tom said,. "They're all back in Asylumland."