Service brats grow up on military bases. Asylum brats grow up on the grounds of mental hospitals where their parents work. Both juveniles and adults will be riveted by the story of high school asylum brat Brad's week in 1964 that tests his sanity and grows him up faster than he ever wished.
The potential for bizarre at the Larned State Hospital is coalesced into one week of Brad's life. He thinks he's in love with the schizophrenic teen, Suzanne, who has to be tied up to keep from picking her palms until they bleed. Only Brad believes her story that she is trying to cleanse her palms of her father's semen. And only Brad believes he has the plan to save her when her father wants her released back into his care.
But it is the brutal murder of a townswoman and the missing status of her daughter, a nurse at the mental hospital that rivets the town's attention. Brad becomes a hero when he leads campus police to the hiding place of an AWOL patient/suspect, who believes he's John F. Kennedy. Brad knows he's not the culprit and gets further enmeshed in the mystery when, while working in the mental hospital's cafeteria's dish washing room finds a finger stuck in the mashed potatoes.
A group of employees who run a theft ring believe Brad is ratting on them so they take him to see Alex Krout, mass murderer and the most dangerous of the criminally insane, and threaten to throw Brad to the caged madman. And it's prom week at school. The desire for normalcy finds Brad with a dream date who's crazy about him.
The lit fuses hit the dynamite on prom night when a group of patients in the building for the criminally insane hold guards hostage and Alex Krout, squealing in his cell, waits for his chance to run amok.