JW

In Central City the sun almost always shines. But not today. It's as if the whole world knows where I'm going, and it changed the backdrop just for me. I'm going to Arkham Asylum, even though it's 2 hours out into the middle of nowhere and closer to Gotham than Central City it somehow still belongs to Central. The fuel light comes on and I pull over at a small gas station to refill. Since it's such a cloudy and stormy day one of employees is filling up the tanks. I crack the window when I get under the awning and ask the worker: "Three gallons please."

"Right away sir." The person pumping gas is a teenager who looks to be around 17. He has shaggy brown hair swept pop-star style and blue sunken eyes, it's obvious that he hasn't slept for several nights. "If you don't mind me asking where are you goin'?" The boy exclaims not looking up from pumping gas.

"Arkham Asylum." I reply casually, as if I visit a mental institute everyday.

Obviously the boy doesn't think that it's something you do everyday. The second I say my destination the boy's head shoots up and his hand lets go and grabs the car handle, as if he's trying to prevent me from leaving. "You shouldn't go there; bad things happen. Even though we're twenty minutes out I can hear the screams of the patients in the night. If you go there don't expect to leave the same as you came." A concerned look fills the boy's eyes.

"I'm a cop, I'll be fine." I respond top this unusual comment, although I am a little shaken by the screams in the night, that's completely normal for Insane Asylums... Right?

"No one is safe at Arkham Asylum." The boy replies, his pupils still filled with terror. He calms down and his face returns to the simple smile he had before he started talking about the asylum. ¨That will be $7.20 please.¨
¨Oh, um, here you go.¨ I exclaim, handing the boy the money.

¨Have a good day, but if you really want to don´t go to Arkham.¨ The boy says, his grim expression returning with the last part of his sentence.

Rolling down the window I hesitantly say ¨Thanks¨ and continue driving down the road.

When I get to Arkham Asylum it´s not what I expected. The front room is painted white and everything seems very clean- but it´s too perfect. The clerk at the desk has a large smile permanently pasted on her face. Her blonde hair curls around her cheeks and she, like the lobby, is wearing all white. Her lipstick is perfect and her posture is straight.

There are several people waiting in the lobby, but their less picturistic. A man in one of the chair is wearing a blue jean jacket and has his head in his hands, a woman is nervously bouncing a toddler on her knees, and a middle aged couple are crying in the corner. A nurse is walking by with an empty wheelchair, she has the same white uniform and perfect smile on her face.

¨Excuse me sir.¨ The receptionist says. Her smile is just as big and her teeth are white and straight. She has dimples on her cheeks and her eyes are smiling along with her face. As she´s speaking the curls framing her face bounce around her cheeks. ¨What are you looking for?¨

¨I´m the detective. I´m here for the missing persons report.¨ I hesitantly reply. People who are sugary sweet often aren´t actually that sweet.

When I tell the woman who I am her face lights up like a christmas tree. She somehow smiles even brighter. ¨Oh! That´s you! My name is Olivia Smith.¨

¨Nice to meet you .¨ I reply, not really paying attention, I´m too busy peering behind the help desk to see if anything shadier is going on here. This place doesn´t seem like the screams in the night hospital I was expecting.

The woman giggles, as if I was flirting with her. ¨Aren´t you a cutie! I´ll call Nurse Johnson right away!¨ The woman picks up a white phone that looks like it was made in the 70´s and puts it up to her ear. ¨Nurse Johnson, the detective for room 47b is here.¨ She´s twirling the cord around her perfectly manicured fingers, because it´s not like she´s working at an insane asylum or anything- oh wait, she is. ¨Mhmm. Yeah. What´s your name sweetie?¨ She holds her hand over the mouth piece of the phone as she asks me.

¨Detective Joe West, from CCPD.¨ I reply to her question.

She smiles at me again and speaks back into the phone. ¨Detective West. Yes, I´ll tell him okay.¨ She clicks the phone back onto the part that supports it. ¨She´ll be right here, but for now could you sign in and may I see your badge?¨ She asks, pointing at a clipboard on the desk with a list of names and a pen. The list of names was short, because very few people would want to visit an asylum. I show her my badge. ¨Thank you so much. You can have a seat.¨ She points again at a seat, like I´m a toddler still learning how to sit in chairs.

After a couple of minutes I start to hear the sound of shoes walking down a hallway. I look up and there´s a woman dressed completely in white with a name tag that reads: Nurse Johnson. She looked almost identical to the receptionist. She had the same bouncy blonde hair, the same bright blue eyes, the same ruby red lipstick and the same color scheme for their uniforms. The only difference between Nurse Johnson and is Nurse Johnson´s cat-eye eyeglasses studded with little gems. ¨Hello, you must be Detective West. My name is Emma Johnson¨ She exclaims as she sticks her hand out to shake mine. I shake her hand roughly, but she´s not discouraged at all.

¨Come with me.¨ She says, turning on her heels and walking towards a white door. She has a keychain around her neck and takes one of the keys off of it and unlocks the door. She turns back to make sure I´m following and messages with her hand for me to come. I walk towards her and go through the door into a long hallway.

The hallway, like everything else in this place, is painted white. But that doesn´t mean that this hallway is the same as the lobby. The second I walk through the door I instantly see more doors. But they´re not the same. These doors are made of metal and the only windows are small metal flaps. The freakishly horrifying perfection of this place apparently isn´t the most terrifying thing here, there are people behind the doors.

I can hear screams and cries and the banging of fists and heads against the walls. On my left there´s an old withered right hand pushing out through the metal slot and on my left I see a pair of chestnut brown eyes peeking through the skinny hole. Nurse Johnson seems not to care about any of this at all, and keeps on walking at the same pace, her high heels clicking when they touch the floor.

¨It really is a positively horrible thing about this girl." Nurse Johnson exclaims, not even bothering to turn around. ¨Tsk, tsk. And she´s one of our more...¨ She stops, as if trying to think of a word to describe the woman. ¨Troubled patients.¨ The nurse finishes, but she acts like the patient is gum on her shoe, her tone is dry and uncaring.

¨Could you tell me a little bit about the patient?¨ I ask, trying to close this case as quickly as possible. I can deal with murderers and arsonists, but an asylum? No thanks.

¨Yes. She was admitting for a number of reasons.¨ The woman begins to count on her fingers while talking. ¨Delusions of grandeur, hysteria, spontaneosness, violence and amnesia.¨ The woman stops at a an elevator. ¨Right this way.¨ She gestures for me to follow once she typed a code on the keypad.

The elevator is empty but it´s just as perfect as the rest of the building. It´s painted white and looks like you could eat off the floor, but why you would want to eat off an asylum´s floor is beyond me. The elevator, like the rest of the building, is a little bit off. There is annoying elevator music playing in the background and the floor has white tiles. There are scratch marks on the floor from wheelchairs- or something else. I notice something about the elevator that unsettles me. A single drop of ruby red blood in the corner, next to one of the largest scratch marks.

But before I can go over and take a look at it the elevator dings and Nurse Johnson messages for me to get off the elevator. We stop at the fourth floor and everything is more terrifying. Besides the creaming and crying noises from the first floor there is scraping and shaking and moans here. All across the sides there are hands sticking out, not just the one or two from the first one but out of nearly every single door. Everything is still completely clean and painted white. There are several doctors and nurses walking around, and I spot one woman with a patient in a straight-jacket strapped into a wheelchair just before she wheels them around the corner. On this level there are many more guards, men and women in gray uniforms.

After walking for a couple of minutes we stop at a door with two men in uniforms. "Here we are." She exclaims with a smile just as big as when I first met her on her face. "This is the patient's room. And this is Liam Williams and Noah Jones, is our head of security here at Arkham Asylum, if you have any questions about the security at our establishment they will be directed at him." Nurse Johnson finishes.

"It's a pleasure to meet you." Jones exclaims in a gruff voice, he sounds like it's not a pleasure to meet me and he would rather be anywhere else but here.

"If you need anything they'll be right here." Nurse Johnson says.

"One more thing, when did the patient go missing?" I ask, again trying to spend as little time as possible in a cell were a crazy person was.

"Go missing? The patient didn't disappear, she appeared." Nurse Johnson says as she shoves me into the room.

The inside of the cell is very different from the rest of the building. The walls are made of metal and there dirty, gray, and peeling. On the walls of this cell there is chalk. On the one in front of me there are names: Mom, Jade, Roy, Dick, Babs, Zatanna, Kaldur, M'Gann, Connor, Oliver, Dinah, Bart, Lian, Barry, Brucely. Written in messy scrawl the wall was covered with hundreds of names.

The right side had different pictures on it. An arrow, a mask, a beret, a helmet and more. For a loonie this woman sure could draw.

The left side didn't have letters or pictures, it had numbers. Different equations with division symbols and quotients and equal symbols and multiplication symbols. So many equation that they took up the entire wall.

The floor was bare, except for small tatters of clothing I assume she ripped from her outfit and the woman's shoes. On the far end was a bed. The springs were stretched out and the sheets yellowing. The sheets were also ripped and the supports were made out of rusty metal.

The patient was standing on her bed writing on the wall of names. You'd think that she had written all the names she could have written but she was writing another one vertically on the wall this one said Bette. She was also a blonde female but that was about where the similarities to the other women ended. She was wearing a gray hospital gown that had several pieces ripped from it, but still wasn't revealing enough that it showed you anything that she didn't want it to. He shoulder-length blonde hair was knotted and in tangles. Her skin was pale and pasty and she had scars covering her body.

When she heard me come in she says: "I'm not crazy." She turns around and jumps of the bed, it squeaking as she did so. Her eyes are dull and her cheeks had lost all of there lust. She looked like she'd lost a fight and then threw another punch. "They all say I am, but I'm not."

"Um, sure." I exclaim, not really knowing how to talk to a mental patient. "My name is Joe West, I came from CCPD to find out where you belong."

"I don't belong here. I don't belong in an asylum. I'm not crazy." That seems to be the phrase of the day: I'm not crazy.

"What's your name?"I ask, whipping out my note pad.

"Artemis. Artemis Crock." She looks like she's going through pain to tell me a secret, even though it's just her name. But here, where she's treated like no more than just a room number her name probably feels like a secret to her.

"Why did you come here?" I exclaim.

"I was looking for something." She responds, her face a little bit guarded but she looked to drugged up to protest.

"What?" I ask, leaning in to hear what she has to say. The patient doesn't say anything, she just points behind me, to the wall with the door I walked through. On the walls there were two words written over and over again in her loopy script: Wally West.


A/N Hi everyone, this is Tigresssss. I hope you guys are enjoying the story. I know it's sorta creepy but I'm best at writing creepy stuff and grief. For those of you who don't know me my name is Tigresssss (it has 5 s), I write crossover stories between tv shows in the arrowverse (The flash, arrow, etc.). If you like this story read my other one, In Wonderland. It's about Artemis joining the Legends after Wally dies. Please heart, comment and follow. As always have a wonderful day!