Figments

A Twilight Minific

(prologue)

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
If there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

-The Pixies

I've only been in a hospital a handful of times in my life. But you don't have to live in one to recognise the smell.

Here's what happens:

Antiseptic scents wafting through the air, austere walls with only the necessary medical equipment adorning the walls. The beds, like a sheet wrapped in frozen meat, growing lumpier as you drift into consciousness. The invasive thought that you weren't wearing a glorified sheet of paper when you were last awake. The feeling that everything after this moment will only go downhill. The irrevocable Where am I? thoughts that buzz throughout your brain.

And the doctor standing at the edge of the bed.

"Isabella," he said. "Glad to see your awake."

I try to sit up. Its an unpleasantly vulnerable feeling, lying on your back in front of a complete stranger. But I can't. Something is holding me back. Something is pinning me to the bed, cutting into my skin like a thousands dull knives. Something is pressing against my chest, my legs, my feet. I can't move.

"Where am I?" I ask. The only thing I remember, past this foggy veil weighing down my mind, is standing in La Push. Leaning over the cliff, thinking of Jacob, off with his friends. I remember air rushing through my hair, my skin, so hard and so fast I'm afraid my face will peel off. Then I remember falling into the icy, frigid waters.

And now this.

The doctor smiles sadly, as though I'm a tragic case worthy of several television movies and award-winning biopics. "The same place you've been in for...oh, I'd say it's been three years now."

What?

"What?" I ask, realizing how hoarse my voice is. "What are you talking about? Where am I? Who are you?"

I start lightly struggling against my restraints, wondering if I've been forcefully volunteered for a sick scientific experiment. I look at the doctor, with his long nose and bushy eyebrows, his receding hairline. His skin looks to large for his face, sliding down his chin like hot cheese on a pizza. He has kind eyes, the sort that always look a bit sad.

"I am Doctor Raymond Christoph," he said quietly, almost like he had said it before. "You are in West Seattle Psychiatric Hospital." He watched me attempt to tug my arms from the belt-like restraints. "You are restrained to keep you from hurting yourself or my staff."

"Psychiatric hospital?" I breathed. "What...no, that's impossible."

Three years? I was just at La Push.

He sighed, leaning his wrinkled hand at the foot of my bed. "I'm afraid you have been suffering from extreme hallucinations for years, now. You awoke several days ago thrashing in your room, screaming something about an...Edward." He smiled woefully at me. "Took quite a hit to the head as well, while we were sedating you. That might be the reason for your disorientation."

I realized a lingering ache in my temple spread to the center of my forehead, my heart beating wildly in my chest. I looked around. Pale, neutral colors surrounded me, nurses and patients shuffling around like desolate ghost. Lumps of mumbling, tangled limbs lay comatose in the beds around me, some strapped down like me, others sitting up and staring, glassy eyed, at the floor. Do I look like that?

No. I am not insane, I don't belong here. This is a mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake.

"Excuse me," I said evenly, "but I think this is some sort of mistake."

He smiled again. "I'm afraid not, Isabella. You were admitted here by your legal guardian when you were fourteen. I have your father's signature, if you care to see." He waved his clipboard at me.

Charlie put me here? Charlie, who was afraid to take away TV privileges because he thought it would cause some kind of daughter to father domestic war? Charlie, who avoided hospitals like the plague? Charlie?

And one horrifying thought struck me.

"Where's Edward?" I gasped, suddenly breathless with horror. "Is he here?"

Suddenly, the doctor looked withered, his smile falling down his face and his eyes fixing on mine. Serious.

"Bella," he said, once again like he had had this conversation before. "Edward doesn't exist."

TBC