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Shamyra Findlay English DC 5B McCormick 3/24/14 Fred I cared for nothing and no one in that place, except one person, and that was Freddy. He was the only one I trusted or even spoken to. Did I really deserve to be trapped here? Did he? Me, sure, but Freddy, he didn’t. He deserved so much more. I remember the last few weeks. At least the last I ever cared about. I spent each one with Freddy. He seemed to be perfectly bliss. He was happier than I could’ve ever imagined at the time. How could a person, seen as a dangerous, mental, prisoner to the rest of the world be so happy? I never understood his enthusiasm, but even he, the only friend I had, couldn’t put a true smile on my face. It wasn’t because I ignored his happiness and preferred to pity it. It was because I couldn’t help but to notice how the guards eyed him every time I entered a room with him. How the so called “doctors” acted around him. I never understood why until now. Usually I’d spend my days in the recreation, or “activity time” (as they called it to the patients), area of the asylum. I tended to many patients in my days working as an assistant, but only one in particular caught my eye, and that was Fredrick Winston. Looking around the room, I realized he was nothing at all like the rest. Usually, the patients here kept to themselves or had a number of imaginary friends, but Fred was open to anyone and everyone. And although he usually faced rejection by ones who feared his over-enthusiasm, or would even risk getting hit,

because he often approached members of the asylum’s “Watch Closely” list, he didn’t care. Nonetheless, he was happy. Never could I understand it, nor did I try to. One thing always kept me concerned about him. The question was, “Why?” Why was Freddy cast away to Yellow Ridge Insanity Asylum, if there was nothing truly wrong with the way he was? Yellow Ridge has such a peaceful tone to the name. If only the people on the outside really knew how it was. I see it every day, yet my fear of the doctors keeps me from exposing the tragic truth behind these doors. Simple minded patients become seen as savages. Simple doctors and nurses become experimental monsters. Any doorway can lead you to something that will leave you traumatized. I deeply feared the outbreak of these things to Freddy. He was so oblivious to it all, and therefore, he was safe from it. Just as Adam and Eve were protected from bad and evil by the lack of knowing such things existed. Blindness was a blessing for Freddy, but his eyesight remained very well intact. The moment he questions his need for being here will be the moment he’s truly lost his mind. The day was just like any other day. The guards were conversing with each other. The other assistants were trying to keep the patients under control, as the patients were trying to deceive them. And as for the doctors, they were down in the basement as usual. Freddy has just finished his lunch, and was ready to enjoy some of his recreational time. But I noticed certain things wrong with this picture. Freddy had seemed to lose much of his usual enthusiasm and energy. He was only willing. Maybe perhaps he didn’t get much sleep last night. Or maybe today just wasn’t his day. Either way his change of mood was bothering me, and not just the simple form of being bothered, but intensely. It was so unlike Fred, even if he hadn’t slept much the night before. I looked around and spotted one of the guards eyeing him as would have been usual, but this time he was staring with a face full of pity. Did he really feel bad for this mental patient? As if he

would feel guilty for one of the many he abuses for absolutely no reason. Still I paid more attention to Fred, as he was the only person here I cared about. I asked him what was wrong but he simply disregarded my questions and looked down trying to distract himself. Probably was a bad dream or something of the sort, but of what? I ignored my curiosity and went back to tending to Freddy. After about thirty more minutes I figured he could do with a snack. Maybe that could somehow cheer him up. So for once, I left him to himself since he seemed like he wouldn’t be up to anything regardless. As I was making my way to the vending machines, I overheard the guards and their usual talking. Only this time, they were purposely talking quietly. What possible secret could there be in this place. No one ever does much. Just as I turned the corner I heard an utterance of Freddy’s name. Fredrick Winston. The name stood out so well to me, even more than my own. They barely even knew of Fred. How could his name possibly be relevant to them? I had no idea, but I knew whatever it was, it might have to do with Fred’s new attitude. I snuck behind to a nearby hallway and did my best to eavesdrop on the conversation, with very little luck. Only one of them spoke loud enough at one point for me to hear. He mentioned nothing more than Fred being the next to be taken to the basement. His last words made my heart drop to my stomach. The doctors wanted to operate on Freddy. Operate on him for what? He was perfectly healthy. There was nothing obviously wrong with him. I still question why they put him in this asylum, let alone needing medical attention. The situation was completely insane to me. What was I to tell Freddy? I couldn’t just let him go on and fall into this. But how would he take it? Would he even understand? No, he probably wouldn’t, but I still wanted to save him. Before I could turn around and sneak off to the vending machine, I overheard one of them mention a cue. I wondered what he could have possibly meant

by a cue. When I finally reached the machine, I rushed getting him a honeybun. I felt that the sugar could brighten him up a bit. It was his mood. The cue had to be his mood. Why would his sudden change have brought the doctors to have interest in him? From this point on, I had to cheer him up. Me being the one to cheer Freddy up, when he was usually the main one to cheer me up, if he would even succeed, made no sense. I had no idea how was I going to help him. When I got back to where I left Freddy, I realized he wasn’t there. I frantically looked around for him. Did they take him while I was gone? They waited till I wasn’t around to do this. It destroyed me that I could never see him again. I didn’t even know where he was. I still don’t know what they were planning to do to him. I sat at the table with lost hope. They took the only friend I ever had from me. But as I kept looking, I noticed the guards were standing in their usual area and still talking amongst each other. They seemed to be uninterrupted. Maybe Freddy was still alive and safe. But where was he? I put away my worries for a few more minutes and waited for him to return. I sat there staring at the honeybun and occasionally looking up for him, but he never came. As more time passed I began to lose all hope again. Where Freddy and what was taking him so long? The guards couldn’t have possible taken him; it would have been made obvious. I decided to walk around and maybe I’d run into him attempting to make a new friend or something. As I walked around, the patients were at their usual antics, but still no Freddy to interrupt them. I decided to go up to his room and probably find him there. I kept the honeybun with me. I figured if I did find him, it might do him some good. When I got to his room, his bed was made. This was unusual to me. Fred was never the type to keep tidy in his room. He could barely even stand still long enough to concentrate on one thing. At that point it was obvious to me that he was

taken somewhere. I walked around the asylum still looking for signs of him. I finally had to face my worst fear and go down to the basement. It seemed so unlikely to find Freddy anywhere near the basement. But today with his sad mood and all these things happening, it seemed very likely. I approached the hallway and found myself looking back every few moments to see if I was being followed. I realized if someone would have seen me, my intentions would have been obvious. I allowed myself to relax and gain some type of composure before continuing down the hall. Suddenly I heard footsteps and my franticness came back. I tried to act as casual as possible, but I began to think it was a doctor coming to find me. The footsteps got closer and I tried to hide, but there was no place to hide in an open hallway. I quickly turned around and tried to rush down to another hall before the person spotted me, but as soon as I turned my left foot hit the vase that otherwise rested in the hall as a decoration. I tripped over it and went right to the floor. As I was trying to get up the person approached, and I looked up to see one of the other assistants. An immediate rush of relief hit me, as she rushed to see what was wrong. I assured her I was fine and that she could continue on her way as I got up. As soon as she cleared the hall, I quickly got up and made my way towards the basement. Now it was time to get Freddy. Approaching the door of the basement, I began to freeze up. I couldn’t just walk in here. What if a doctor spotted me? What if I see something that I shouldn’t? So many questions ran through my mind. But my task at hand disregarded my curiosity. The only thing I knew was I had to save Freddy. I quietly opened the door and walked in. Of course with my luck, it had to be dark and cold. The first thing I approached was a small set of stairs. I slowly made my way down them keeping and ear out for footsteps or voices. I heard none and saw no one. Once down the stairs I saw I little light further into the basement. Maybe Freddy was in there. I walked to the light,

being as cautious as possible. Upon approaching the roomed area, I began to hear clear voices and I peeked inside and saw one the doctors standing over a body. He seemed to be upset as he stared down at the body. I couldn’t look. My fear of seeing Freddy there kept me from facing reality. I had to know. As soon as I got a good view of the body, tears filled my eyes. My only friend lay there motionless. The truth was no longer hidden to me. I was too late and I knew it. I fled the asylum. Never again did I return to that place. I quit my job there. I could never go back. I never sued the asylum for the abuse of the patients. The people on the outside don’t care, and now I accept that they probably never will. They send innocent people here to die a sad life. They send them here for the simplest of reasons, just so they can have a pure society, yet murderers roam the streets and run and asylums they send those others to. And I could accept that. I no longer cared for it. But there were some things I could never accept. Never again could I be able to see the bright smile on Fredrick Winston’s face. The smile that even brought happiness to my dull heart, was now gone. My only friend had been given to me by an asylum, yet the same people that assigned me to him, took his life. I’ll never know why, and I’ve stopped asking why. So many unanswered questions, and I don’t think I want to hear the answers at this point. I only want one thing and that’s for Freddy. I want my good friend to have a happy after-life and I wish him the best. He deserves it.


the story of Fred, a young man placed into an insane asylum and the assistant that was assigned to watch over him

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