She woke up, her wavy, gold hair falling in all different directions across her pillow. She yawned, stretching her limbs to relieve the strain they had endured over the night.
Her gloomy eyes looked out of her bar-covered window. Slight rays of sunshine shimmered through the trees, landing between the bars and onto the floor of the jail-like room.
She put her hand to her mouth, feeling the razor-sharp teeth and wincing. Her hands wandered around her bedside table until they felt a hospital mask.
She slipped the mask over her ears and adjusted it to cover her mouth. Even though she was in a place filled with freaks, she still managed to feel insecure about what he had done to her.
She walked over to the broken mirror, with the name "KiKo" carved into the wooden frame. She sighed and ran her fingertips over the carved-work.
"Sometimes I wish that wasn't my name. Sometimes I wish I could be someone else for a day; but here I am, stuck in this asylum. Forever forced to be a disgrace to humanity."
She looked at herself thoroughly in the mirror, noticing every flaw on her face.
Her deep, dark eyebags, her untamed, frizzy hair, and the scars from the number of times she had harmed herself. Most of the scars, however, were not caused intentionally.
She had made many attempts to escape, but he always made her stay. He never let anyone go, especially her. She was his prized possession.
The door swung open, and a young man with only half of a normal face walked in.
"Hey, Kiko. How's it hangin'?"
She smiled, evident by the way her eyes brightened up.
"You're already here this early? I thought you'd only come in after he checked the rooms. You know you're at risk just being here, right?"
He jumped on her bed, relaxing himself already.
"Yeah, I'm aware. But, you know me...I'm rebellious. I don't follow the rules, the rules follow me."
They smiled and laughed for a few moments, until the thundering footsteps of the puppeteer made themselves present.
Kiko's face changed quickly,"Hide under the bed. He's too tall to see you."
The young man quickly replied,"No, he'll see me. It's over."
She grabbed his face softly,"Joseph, you have to trust me. I wouldn't put you in danger. This is our best bet."
Joseph understood, even though he didn't think it would be the best.
The door flung open, a tall man presenting himself. He had a large, white trench coat on.
The only thing separating his appearance from the normal doctors is that he had blood all over his coat, almost changing the color completely.
"Hello, Kikotaru. How are you feeling this morning?"
She gulped,"I'm feeling fine, Circa. A little tired, but who isn't this early in the morning?"
He smiled, chuckling softly. If she wasn't apart of this hospital, she wouldn't have known the evil that lied within his mind. Circa handed Kiko a small cup filled with a liquid.
She wasn't sure if the liquid was safe or not, but she didn't question it. After all, this would be one of the only drinks she'd get her hands on all morning.
Once she drank the mysterious liquid within the cylinder walls, she handed the cup back to the man in front of her.
"Is that all you need?" She muttered.
"As of the moment, yes. Why? You don't want to spend time with me?"
She hated how he was stalling, trying to spend every second with her until he had to return to "work".
"No, it's not that. I'm just a bit tired this morning."
After a moment of attempting to find the real reason in her eyes, he gave up, and decided it was best not to question her too much this early in the morning.
"Alright, Kiko. Get some rest then," he said, starting to head to the door, but stopping abruptly,"and if you need some more paper to make more of these beautiful drawings, let me know.
I'll be sure Stan stops by to provide some more paper and ink."
Then, he was gone. Even though he was barely there for three minutes, she felt as if it was forever.
The dark air that followed the malicious man seemed to linger, before fading slowly out of the room. Kiko sighed, letting out all the anxiety that filled her lungs and heart.
She looked towards the bed frame, seeing Joseph's ecstatic smile.
"What did I say? I don't need rules!"
Kiko laughed, smiling at his comment. He always knew what to say to lighten the mood, and never failed to make everyone feel a little bit better.
For the rest of the day, Kiko and Joseph talked. It was the one peaceful moment of her day, looking at his half burned face. Even though he was deformed, he acted confident about it.
He was the optimistic one here, even though most people thought it was her. That was one of her favorite things about him. He always managed to make a rose out of a weed.
Circa was intimidating, but he wasn't around much. Often he stayed in his lab or out in the town that was said to be hours away.
Even though he wasn't always there to keep the asylum in line, his minions were.
They were designed after fairy tales. Goldie Locks, with her stringy, blonde hair that fell right below her thighs, and Stanley, with his bald, stitched up head and his missing eye.
They wandered, not afraid of death or harm. They had nothing to fear, afterall, because they weren't really alive.
They were just some of Circa's experiments that weren't afraid to harm those within the asylum. He knew that the biggest weakness of humans were their emotional attachments.
Maybe because that was his biggest weakness, or maybe because it was his biggest strength.
The monsters here didn't have those, making them even more frightening than their appearance already did.
Kiko never really felt afraid of them, though. She had become numb to the chaos around her, and the only thing she really feared was losing the man in front of her.
She stared at him in amazement, fascinated by the strength he held within the walls of his body. He snapped her out of her thoughts by starting up a dark conversation.
"Hey, Kiko? Do you mind if I ask you something a little...personal?"
She paused before answering,"Sure, Joseph. You know you can ask me anything."
"So, I was overhearing a conversation Circa was having. You know that I like to sneak around.
Anyways, I heard him mention you and someone named 'Kyu'? I was wondering if you knew who that was or if it wasn't really related to you."
Kiko reflected, thinking of something so long ago that it barely still resonated in her mind. She seemed to drift off to a world where she was happy; where she wasn't here.
"He was someone I once knew. He was my first love. I felt something for him, but I never shot my shot since Circa liked me, and Circa was my best friend.
Circa still saw Kyu as competition, though, and decided to take his life before he lost me. I didn't know what to do, so I stuck with Circa because I knew he wouldn't hurt me.
It was a mistake I made, one of the regrets that I keep on my sleeve everyday. I miss him. Some part of me wishes I could see him again, but I know it won't happen.
I would do anything just to have him hold me again. I'd tell him to run, to get away as fast as possible. Hell, I'd probably go with him. I had nothing left in that dead town anyways."
Joseph could see the regret flowing through her veins, debating to himself whether or not he should've asked the question, but he decided to let it go.
He wasn't much of an anxious man; he never really understood the point of worrying about minor inconveniences that didn't even matter in the long run. However, he still felt bad for her.
His tongue didn't know the words that would calm her heart, so he rubbed circles on her back as a sign of support.
She let it go. It slipped past her mind in seconds as she saw a small note pinned to the inside of Joseph's shirt.
"What's that, J?" She whispered, pointing to the white edge.
"Oh, that's really nothing important. It's from the newbie, Amelia. I'm sure you've heard of her arrival."
She blinked, staring blankly at the wall for a minute before responding.
"I wasn't even aware that we had a newbie. I've been really out of it for the past couple weeks. What does the letter say?"
Kiko always found herself being nosy, even when she wasn't trying to. She always found stories and story-telling fun, even if it was about something dark. Fictional ones were her favorite.
She knew there was always some truth in a fictional story; some real-world problems.
She'd spend her time thinking of new stories to tell, not even realizing that the characters represented her in some shape or form.
"It says," he started, unfolding the letter,"'Hello. I really need someone to talk to. I was hoping we could be friends? I've seen you sneaking around.
I think you're pretty brave for doing that. I'd like to join you sometime...but don't bring that girl you're always with. Meet me when the sun starts setting under the stairs. See you soon.
She had felt some sort of anger rise past her knees to her stomach. She wasn't one to get jealous, but she found it impossible not to.
She hadn't even met her yet, and Amelia already didn't seem to like her. Kiko was afraid that Joseph would somehow be swept up from underneath her feet.
She wasn't as rebellious as Amelia, and she didn't plan to be. She didn't like the idea of risking someone else's life just to hangout. That's why she rarely ever snuck out to Joseph's room.
If Circa had caught her, he'd be killed on the spot. She couldn't do anything to stop him from sneaking to her room, though. She didn't admit it, but his company was all she wanted.
"No, I'm just a bit worried. I always am." she said, trying to convince him it was the truth.
He smiled at her, brushing a piece of hair behind her ear, his hand moving down to hold her face.
"You always are."