As I figure out what’s happening inside, there are still things happening outside.
Hasher Mansfield had seen the lights from the Asylum long before he exited the highway. He never liked delivering there, but he’d always made his drop offs in the semi-darkness. Apprehension and excitement rolled in his chest.
Once before he’d seen a bright light coming from the Asylum. When Hasher had pulled up, he’d seen an ambulance and armed guards. He thought he’d heard a scream before all went suddenly silent.
Now the Asylum lights lit up the sky like never before. He turned up the dirt drive and stopped at the gate. The guard moved more slowly than normal. Hasher’s unease grew.
The guard stepped out of his shed. He had a phone to his ear. After a glance at Hasher, he waved him on through.
Hasher took a moment to put his truck into gear. He’d never been waved through without a complete and thorough check of his papers and his cargo. Years of this same gig, seeing the same guards, and they still insisted on following every last procedure. Their obsessive checklists irritated him, but this laxness unnerved him. If there was a reason for them to forget procedure, it had to be reason enough to stay away.
The guard was shouting into the phone. Hasher shook his head, crossed himself, and drove the truck onto the grounds.
At the curve in the road, he slowed down. He was glad he did. A young man ran across the road, directly in front of the truck where he threw himself in the dirt.
Hasher slammed on the brakes. Bruises and cuts covered the young man. His clothes were torn. He made no further move. Hasher looked up at the Asylum lights unsure of what to do. Wait? Get out and check on the boy? Back up?
He rolled down his window to shout for the boy to get out of the way. Maybe this was some kind of prank, though he knew it wasn’t. The night air entered the truck and so did the sounds of shouts. Glass broke somewhere, the sound perfectly carried on the breeze. A scream followed.
All the lights of the Asylum wavered. They flickered. And everything was thrown into darkness. The only light left came from the truck’s headlights, which spilled over the boy stretched out across the drive as if dead.