Two men, dressed in white scrubs that outlined fine muscles, held an even larger man by his biceps. They led him through the dreary bland hallways to one of many rooms in the labyrinth-like building. The large man walked in without fighting and one man quickly jabbed a needle in his arm, a sedative. As soon as the doors closed behind him he snapped his head around at it. He glared at the door for a moment, mumbling something his breath.
Ivan had been in a mental institution for years now. How long? He wasn't sure. He just knew it was a long, long time. He was admitted here when he was in his mid-twenties, now he was nearing middle aged. His family had stopped visiting him years ago. They left him. The voices told him that. They didn't want him. He was useless to them and they would let him die here.
They're going to kill you tonight, a voice hissed at him. Yes! You must act on that before they do, another added. Don't listen to them, one more said, that's wrong! Shut up, the first voice yelled, you must do something!
Ivan grimaced, looking out the window, thinking on what they said. They always went on like that, the four of them. Ivan, the two who agreed, and the one who disagreed. He usually followed the two.
He looked at the outside world. They rarely let him outside, or anyone for that matter. He liked the view though, especially on sunny days like today. It was the edge of the facility. There was a large fence topped with barbed wire but beyond that was what looked like a never ending field with tall grass that swayed in the wind. He wished there was something pretty growing there, something to add color.
You know they'll never plant anything there. A voice taunted. They do it to torture you!
"I know," he grumbled to no one. "But I like to think there will be. Sometimes I think they have," a contribution to hallucinations.
There's never anything there! Stop being so stupid, they're going to kill you soon! They're going to do it tonight. He didn't like those words. He always thought he would die here. The voices told him they had tried before. They had neglected him, leaving him in his room for days. They didn't feed him sometimes. When he would act up they'd hit him with a metal pipe that would sometimes knock him out cold.
They're conspiring against you! Kill them first!
He liked that idea, "I'll strike them down before they do."
After that Ivan knew the sedative was kicking in so he went to sleep. However, he awoke to screaming. Not his own screaming but from in his head. This has happened before but this time was different.
DO IT NOW! THEY'RE COMING! Multiple voices screamed at him.
He jumped to his feet, throwing his pillow and blanket to the floor in the process. He ran to the door, not even sure what he was doing, and started pounding on the door yelling obscurities. He was done with this place! They were right! One in the back of his mind told him to stop but the other two over powered it.
The door opened then, pushing Ivan to the ground. Three men ran in. One tried to grab him but he punched him in the face. The other came around and grabbed his wrists. He spun around and launched a kick to his side, right under the ribs, sending him to the ground. The other was starting to get up but kicked him between the legs.
Both men were on the ground. One with the wind knocked out of him, the other whining in pain and curled in a ball. There was one man left, wielding that dreaded metal pipe. Ivan smirked, ready to finish this once and for all. The man looked scared yet confident against Ivan.
This is it! One voiced cheered him on yet had a cynical tone. Kill him and you're free!
Ivan smirked. He launched a fist at the man but he was swift. He did again but he still moved. Ivan snarled, mumbling under his breath, and kept at it. Why couldn't he hit him?! Is that all you got?
"Shut up I'm trying," he nearly yelled at the taunt.
Sometimes he really wished he could have some peace and quiet away from the voices. He wanted to be alone for once and in here he had no privacy or alone time. He quickly realized that's what he was really after. Yes that was it!
Ivan was distracted in thoughts and the other man knew that. The man took the chance and swung the pipe. It landed hard against the other's temple, sending him to the ground, unable to move.
The sun was bright, reflecting off of the harsh white snow. It was untouched, fresh snow fall covering what had been disturbed and returning it to a clean slate.
A small boy awoke in the snow, brushing snow from his light blonde hair and tattered coat. He sighed to himself, looking up at the sun. He wished it offered more heat.
He had been looking for a warmer place but he knew he'd find one. For now he kept moving. He stood up, cold wet clothes sticking to him, and continued off into the forest.
The lonely, quiet forest.