The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

  • April 9Four members of the debate team qualified for States at their Super Regional tournament on April 6. States will occur April 26 and 27 at JMU.
  • April 9Prom guest forms are available in the front office. Guests who do not attend FCHS must be approved by Mrs. Bruce. Tickets go on sale next week.
  • April 8Culinary will be selling Cake in a Cup, sweet tea, and lemonade during April. Cakes are $3 while sweet tea and lemonade are $1 each.
  • April 8SOL retests will take place April 24 at 8:40 am in room 3110. Contact Ms. Blevins ([email protected]) to sign up.
  • March 26The FCHS Speech team won the State Championship on March 23 at Dominion High School. Five students placed first, two placed second, and one placed third.
The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Kessler Potter
A white cinderblock wall photographed at a diagonal angle. Photo courtesy of Kessler Potter.

A Figment of Reality

“Caitlin Davis, we’re ready to see you now,” the secretary said, playing solitaire behind her tall desk. 

The doctor stepped out of a room ahead and stood eagerly waiting for me. As I made my way towards the doctor, I realized how brand new this mental hospital looked. The reflective, multicolored tile was so clear I could see my face through it, and the walls had the cleanest, freshest coat of blue-gray paint. I stared at myself through the tile; my pink hair was fizzy and untamed, my pale skin looked sickly under the light, and my eyes were a fierce green. Regardless of how I looked, I followed the male doctor into the evaluation room.

“Ms. Davis, please have a seat,” the doctor said, grabbing the clipboard from the table. 

The room was a warm gray, and the arm chairs were a sterile white. In between the two chairs facing each other was a table with various fliers for different mental issues. 

“What is the reason you’ll be staying with us, Ms. Davis?” the doctor inquired. 

I stayed silent, I was reluctant to answer this stranger’s question.To be completely fair, I didn’t remember much about how I ended up here in the first place.The last thing I remembered was ending up in the waiting room of this establishment.

“Alright,” the doctor said, plastering on a fake smile, “why don’t you just follow me to your room?”

Suspiciously, I followed the doctor to the chamber I would be in for the next couple months. You know what? A chamber is an understatement. It’s more accurately a prison cell, I thought, laughing to myself. I couldn’t help but notice the occasional flicking on the lights. Why does a brand new establishment have flickering lights? I stared at them but I couldn’t help but feel an unsettling discomfort when I looked at them.

After a long walk with the doctor pointing out every room on our way, we finally made it to my room, 107. 

“Where’s my backpack and my clothes?” I said, searching around the room. I checked the closet, under the gray sheets of my cardboard-like  mattress, and in the sterile white bathroom. 

“We have a strict policy here about clothes in order to avoid bullying, so you have the same gray uniforms as everyone else,” the doctor informed me. “Now come on, it’s lunch.”

Minutes later I walked out of the cafeteria lines with my cold spaghetti sloshing around on my styrofoam tray. Where to sit? I asked myself, scanning around the room at all the cliches. As I walked over, I immediately noticed the hesitation in the nurses around me, and the weird flickering of the lights that followed this uneasy feeling. 

“Over here, newbie,” a tall blonde girl said from the table in the back. 

“Why is everyone around here so weird?” I asked, sitting down on the cold, blue benches. 

“You mean the nurses?” the blonde girl asked. “It’s because they don’t want me telling you the truth.” 

“The truth?”

“You’ll see,” the girl said with a wild look in her eyes. “Whatever you do though, never trust them.” 


The next morning…

The nurses banged against my doo.r, “Rise and Shine!” they said as they walked in with my breakfast and a cup of water. 

“No medicine?” I asked, puzzled.

“Oh honey, you don’t need medicine,” the nurse said, clicking her tongue in disappointment. 

No medicine? I thought, now I really need to find out what’s wrong here. 

After I had  finished up my breakfast, I made my way out into the hall and roamed around. I need to find something, anything that makes sense about this place. As I walked, I overheard some nurses talking.

“Patient 107? Yeah, I think she is onto us. We have to keep it hidden or she’ll leave,” a nurse said.

“Maybe we should up the security? We can’t have her finding it,” the other nurse whispered. 

Hiding? Hiding what? I need to talk to that blonde girl again, I told myself. 

I threw my tray down on the table next to that familiar blonde hair. All the noise buzzed in my ears as the confusion built in my head. Finally, I asked the question,“What are they hiding from us?” 

The blonde glanced around us and moved closer to whisper in my ear, “The medicine. You need to find it to escape.” 

“Escape?” I said. “Why do I need to escape?”

“If you don’t, they will conquer you. They will take over your mind and you won’t be able to think on your own. Go on, Caitlin, escape!” the blonde girl said, the desperation rang in her voice. The lights in the cafeteria flickered off and I booked it out of the room.

Aimlessly, I ran around the halls, desperate to find a place to escape. My initial thought was to go to the entrance I originally came from. As my mind raced, I noticed another light flickering above me.  What is with these lights? I slammed my body into the entrance door, just for it to not budge at all. All the lights flickering above me overwhelmed me as I tried to quiet my mind and think of another way. 


Eventually, the loud buzzing of the lights flickering was the only thing that flooded my mind. In a crazy, manic delirium I started throwing things at the lights. Satisfied by the temporary silence, I kept smashing the lights down the hall.

 In my haze, I didn’t even realize what some of the lights were dropping. Below my feet stood a dusty, cream- colored paper with the word, “one.” Curious and confused, I busted open the next flashing light. Out came from the shattered glass, another creamed paper and a ziploc baggie. I unfolded the little cream paper and read the words, “TRUST, two.” I opened the bag to find a small white pill. Trust, I thought, and put the pill into my mouth. 

The world spun for a moment, flickering lights showed the familiar hallway, but also occasionally, an unfamiliar abandoned one. Blinking rapidly, the spinning slower, but the flicker stayed. This time, however, it was just the flickering of the hallway. 

To finally get what I thought was the end, I busted open the next window. The wild beat in my heart was beastly, and the determination in my eyes was fierce. The glass crunched under my feet as I picked a foreign piece of paper. The paper was red, neatly-folded and had bold white letters against it that seemed to glow and read “FREE, THREE.”

“Free, three?” I said aloud to myself, trying to comprehend it. 


Bright, white light consumed my vision. I blinked, turning myself around to see a huge sign above me. “Western State Hospital,” it read in bold, cursive letters. Behind it stood an ivy-covered brick building with white columns and broken windows. I turned back around to see a low wall covered with graffiti on the horizon, and sloppy landscaping around it. I looked down to find a pink folded piece of paper at my feet. I opened it to see these words:

“You’re free.”



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