Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Reports of inhuman screams coming from the Deviant asylum drew me to the site - cautiously, of course. Caution is the byword when dealing with lunatics.

The rusted gate was certainly unwelcoming: "Private. No Public Access. Dogs Beware." Dogs? I puzzled over that bit for a moment before pushing the gate open and walking through.

The old water tower showed further signs of neglect. If the inmates were subjected to these conditions, I was not overly surprised at a revolt.

The front porch was a shambles, with planks of wood tossed every which way and the door standing ajar. This was not a good sign. Stepping into the kitchen, I discovered that the signs were to become much, much worse. The floor was slick with blood; a knife, red and dripping, stood embedded in a countertop. The icebox door stood open, revealing...human organs. I gripped my pistol tightly before daring to move through the next set of doors.

The security office had been ransacked, and no sign of the security force was to be found - unless I had already found them in the icebox. I shivered.

Stepping into the bathroom, I noticed a set of bloody handprints on the mirror...handprints that disappeared as quickly as they appeared, then returned once again.

The nurses' station was a scene of total devastation. I thought I heard footsteps approaching and the whisper of voices, so I brought my guns into firing position and looked around, finding no one. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw shadows on the wall, shadows of human figures. And then I thought I saw the shadows move...

Clearly, I was on edge. The asylum - really, nothing more than an old house on a hill with some bars added to the windows and wooden doors replaced with steel where the inmates were housed - had obviously been the scene of a slaughter, the inmates overpowering the guards and escaping. I would let the police know. A few sleepless nights for the neighbors later and everyone would be rounded up and sent to a more secure facility. I resolved not to let my nerves get the better of me.

Another chaotic scene awaited me in the dormitory. Iron beds, bolted to the floor, had been tossed as though they were balsa wood. No human being could have such strength. As I sat, collecting my thoughts, I heard voices again, getting louder. They seemed to be chanting something, but the words were just below the level of audibility.

I heard footsteps in the hall. Rather than be trapped in the dormitory, I ventured into the hall and ran in the direction opposite the sound. Every step of mine seemed to bring my pursuers a little closer, and the noise level steadily increased, as though the pack chasing me was growing in number. Still I saw no one.

I started to descend the main staircase when I heard another set of voices - or were they the same ones? Sound echoed through the old hallways at odd angles, and I could not be certain of the direction from which they came. If I tried exiting the way I came, they would have me! The only path of escape appeared to be above me. I squeezed past iron bars that had been twisted out of shape, into a small spiral staircase that rose to the top level of the house. This was clearly a storage area, off limits to the inmates in ordinary times. Would it still be empty, or was someone waiting in ambush for me? Having no real choice in the matter, I charged ahead.

The top level provided access to the roof. My pursuers were close behind. I thought to buy myself a little time by firing two shots down the hallway, slamming the door closed behind me, and pushing several filing cabinets and a discarded sofa against the door to form a temporary barrier. It would not last long.

Pushing aside the door, I strode to the catwalk and looked down - far down. The house was built with a steep hill on one side, the side I was now on. Falling off that cliff would almost surely be fatal.
A steady pounding at the door behind me showed the pursuers' determination to enter, and the slow movement of the objects against the door indicated that they would succeed in short order. I had no choice: I swung across the railing and dropped, kicking my legs inward and throwing out my arms. I caught the railing on the floor below; it groaned and protested against my weight, but held. Repeating this process two more times, I leaped off the lowest floor, tucking myself into a ball, and rolled several times, stopping inches from the grassy ledge. I listened as debris fell over the side and hit the gravel lot, far below me. Other than a mildly sprained ankle I was, fortunately, not seriously injured, and I ran as fast as I could away from the accursed house and its lunatic residents.

After a pause to catch my breath, I composed myself as best I could and limped into a police station to report my observations. The sergeant on duty listened politely to my tale. He assumed a kindly expression on his face. "Well now, ma'am, it sounds as though you had quite a fright. I'll send a man over there when he has time - maybe some kids were playing up there and decided to have some fun with you."

"But - the blood!"

"Aye, there was blood all right. The inmates broke free of the secure area and attacked the nurses and security staff. But the security folks - almost all ex-police - fought back. I reckon that when you work with crazies all day you might become a bit crazy yourself, because those security guards shot and stabbed and beat the inmates until every one of them was dead, and even then butchered the remains before finally killing themselves. It was by far the worst killings that we'd ever seen in these parts. But that was twenty years ago, in 18__. Come to think of it, it was on this very night. Nobody has been in that asylum since then." He chuckled. "I'll say this, ma'am, you have a very vivid imagination!" With that, he turned his attention to something else. I limped out of the station, found a gypsy cab, and had the cabbie take me back to Caledon Downs - with a lengthy stop at the nearest pub.


HeadBurro Antfarm said...

I think I need a stiff drink after that - it took me back to a similar visit I foolishly made over a year ago...

Rhianon Jameson said...

Oooh, I wish I had seen that last year! I particularly liked the lobotomy tutorial: "1. Restrain patient. 2. Sedate. 3. Remove brain. 4. Sew up. 5. Clean floor." Yes, a messy business.

I hope you enjoyed your drink. :)