I wake up at the asylum, because Fogg is standing there with the Beadle. "Time to get up, Princess," Fogg says mockingly. I get out of the carriage, and he pulls me inside. He opens the door and all of the girls in the room cowered away from him. He pushes me into the room, and throws me down. Then, he just turns and leaves.
"Uh, hi," I say awkwardly. "I'm Johanna."
"A new one," one of the girls hisses. She then begins laughing uncontrollably. Soon, the other girls join in. I start to laugh awkwardly. Soon, they all stop, staring at me dangerously. I feel like they're about to attack me, and the one that had spoken for them, approaches me. She leans in towards me and whispers "Some of us are insane, some of us aren't. I'm not, but they, on the other hand, are. I'm Victoria."
"Hi," I say. The girls back away, and go back to their various stages, rocking themselves, laying in fetal positions, and other things. Victoria stays by me.
"If you're not actually crazy, then I'm sorry you're here," she says.
"I'm not. I'm just here because Judge Turpin sent me here," I say.
"Why?" she asks.
"Because I was planning on eloping with a boy I had fallen in love with, but the judge wanted me," I reply.
"Oh," she says. "That's horrible." Victoria became my only consolation here.
A week later, I hear something outside of the window. "Johanna?" a voice, much like that of my Anthony, calls. Victoria looks at me, wondering who that is. I stand, and make my way to the window, where I look down and see him. It is Anthony. He looks up and sees me, and I smile sadly at him. "I'll come back for you."
"Please hurry," I say. He nods, before running off. I sit down on my bed, quietly flicking a tiny bug off of me. When I first came here, Victoria told me they were lice. The door slams open, and Fogg comes in. I look at Victoria, silently asking if she remembers our plan. She nods. He starts looking at us, quietly deciding which of us will disappear for an hour or so. No one knows what happens unless you're picked. Even then, you don't want to talk about it. Victoria and I have never been picked, so we can't say. He starts walking towards me today. I back up into the wall.
"I think I'll take you today," he says darkly.
"No, please don't," I beg.
"So now you're a crazy beggar woman like that one on the street. How fitting. Pretty little thing ended up here for taking arsenic. She should've died with that, and I wish she had," he says. Anger boils up inside me from hearing him talk about my mother that way. Without thinking, my hand comes up and there's a very audible crack sound in the room. His hand flies to his nose, and the girls jump back, before laughing and responding in what I believe to be a supportive way. I look at my hand, clenched into a tight fist, and wipe the blood from my knuckles.
"Don't you dare talk about my mother that way, you filthy, slimy dog," I growl. His hand comes away from his bloody, now crooked nose, and he grabs me.
"I'll show you to fight back!" he yells. He pulls me out of the room, kicking and screaming.
"No! Please, let me go!" I cry.
"'Fraid I can't, now," he says. He ties me to a post in the middle of the room, then begins to beat me. I cry out in pain, and the girls in the room next to us start cackling and screaming in fear. He beats me and hurts me for an hour, before returning me to the room, bandaged and looking as if nothing ever happened. Then, he puts me in a strait jacket. "Be quiet and know your place," he growls. He leaves and shuts the door behind him, locking it.
"Are you okay?" Victoria asks. I nod silently. "You do realize none of us will tell him if you speak, right?"
"I can't do that to any of you," I whisper. "It was awful."
"There, see? You're speaking already. What happened in there, anyways?" she asks.
"I can't talk about it," I say.
"Did he tell you not to?" she inquires.
"No, but it was too horrible for words," I say.
"Oh," she says quietly. "Well, that boy'll come back for you, won't he?"
"Maybe. Listen, Victoria, if he does, you should come with us. Anthony won't mind," I suggest.
"Are you sure? I'd love to get out of here," she says.
"Why are you in here, anyways?" I ask.
"Judge Turpin," she replies.
"What'd you do to him that made him angry?" I wonder.
"What do you think?" she asks. I look down, blushing.
"I hope Anthony hurries," I mumble.
"What's this 'Romeo' of yours like, Johanna?" she asks, trying to cheer me up. I feel a smile creep across my lips at the sound of his name.
"Oh, he's amazing. He's so sweet, and honest, and gentle, and all around wonderful!" I exclaim. "We want to be married. The only problem, is that Judge Turpin wants to marry me. He said he'd marry me on Monday, but Anthony decided to marry me on Sunday!"
"That's so sweet!" Victoria says. The girls start to crowd around, listening to my stories. They began talking about their own sweethearts outside of this, the people they wanted to marry. "I had a nice one before this. His name was Frederick, but I called him Fred. We always said we'd run away to Paris, and be married there, or on our way there. Sadly, that never happened."
"Maybe one day," I say hopefully.
"Yeah," she says. "I hope so."
A/N: Hi! So, I didn't put an author's note on the first chapter, so I'm putting one here. Thanks for checking out my book! I hope you like it so far, and I look forward to writing more chapters and hopefully seeing your reviews! That being said, please do R&R and tell me how you like it! Thanks a lot!