The following information is top secret [TS] clearance. Reproduction [electronic or otherwise] of the report is prohibited by this department and should only be used for immediate informational use unless explicitly permitted by Head of Operation. Briefing for case #G78 [logs also enclosed].
From the desk of Bernard King:
An incident of unknown origin occurred at the Horseshoe Institution for the Mentally Ill somewhere between the dates of January and March. Unfortunately, not a single piece of hard evidence surfaced during the two-year investigation. Of course, it wasn't without at least one exception. Taken from 1/21/12 through 3/3/12, the following logs were discovered inside the hard drive of an out-dated Linux. Other than the aforementioned files, investigators came across zero evidence in the facility.
Bernard King, HSO
Eric Heston's log 1/21/12
So this is John. I'm John. They told me to write in a journal to pass the time. The way they put it, it sounds like I'm here forever. Right now, I'm writing as John Mich. The damn orderly put Eric on the file. I'M NOT ERIC!! How many times must I tell them? For simplicity's sake, John tucks his shirt. I had my shirt tucked in so this is John's journal now. If I catch anyone else here, I'll delete everything. You hear me? EVERYTHING. Well, not too bad for a first entry. This is John Mich saying bye.
Eric Heston's log 1/22/12
John is a bit obsessive. I'm really sick of him. I find his pills hidden under the pillows. Why would he hold on to them if he's not even going to take them? I stopped trying to reason with him; instead, I go around apologizing to everyone for John's behavior. Well, we are in a psychiatric ward. At least we aren't homicidal. Sorry, bad joke. This place can get to you. And the food! Oh Lord, it's delicious when you're starved. John never eats it though. He should do us both a favor and just eat. He'll try to delete this too but I'll lock it in with a password. That's about it. I'm done for today.
Eric Heston's log 1/23/12
I knew it. He really did it. Eric wrote in MY journal. And no, Eric, I'm not hungry. I won't eat anything because I'm fat. Stop apologizing to everyone, you push-over. They're freaking annoying! Let me tell you about Francis, the paranoid. He always follows me around. Like what the hell? Leave me alone! Always asking me what I'm doing or what's in my pockets. Why don't you just buzz off? Then there's Gerry. He's insanely claustrophobic. It pisses me off that the nut case can't stand anyone even 2 feet next to him. I was in the chow-line when I strayed too close. He pushed me away, knocking my soup everywhere. Then he has the nerve to call me Eric! Can't you see, Gerry? My shirt's tucked in! Jesus Christ. I'm going to bust a blood vessel writing this down. Whatever. Bye.
Eric Heston's log 1/25/12
I just read John's entry. He's rude. That's it. Today, we got a new patient. A pretty, little thing by the name of Bernadette Kusta. She's anorexic and suicidal. Her arm's adorned with those crisscross scars. Her legs must have their share of scars. I risked getting closer and saw each forearm had a deeper scar zigzagging its length. We call her Bernie.
Also, what's up with Francis? I haven't seen him since yesterday. John must know; Francis always follows him. Dr. Bradell finally granted me access to the garden. I really missed it. Kenneth met me at our usual bench to pick up the morning chess ritual. He didn't ask.
Ken suffers from amnesia. Some time ago, he suffered a head injury during a highway pileup. Apparently, an SUV careened into a semi and then everything went to hell. Ken's life fell apart after he lost memory of literally everything, even his gender and how to talk. Right now, Ken's piecing things together, learning to write and such. His short-term memory also suffered so he scarcely remembers events from the day before. So yeah. We played. I went back inside to read and finish off with this entry. Goodnight.
Eric Heston's log 1/26/12
Bernadette kept shooting glances at me every time I turned away for a second. Like she knows who I am! Eric may be crushing on her but I'm not! John Mich would never go for a skeletal witch with self-destructive tendencies. I'm not being a hypocrite! Never once did I take a blade and slice my arteries open or attempt to play tic-tac-toe on my skin.
I don't see what Eric could possibly find attractive in that woman. Personality? Nope. Looks? Please! Maybe he's just desperate. Yeah, that sounds like Eric. I'd like to see how they'd fit back into society. She could be a seamstress since she loves to cut things and he'll be an actor. I mean, he's already excellent at imitating other people! I am a dick! Oh well. I'm sleepy. Bye, journal.
Where the hell did Francis go?
Eric Heston's log 1/27/12
This may get confusing soon. I'll have to sign in every time I make an entry. I'm Scott Greene, yet another person who has to write on Eric's journal. Why don't they just give us three? Eric and John haven't been giving me a chance to do anything. It's usually them running the game. No one's even met me yet. Eric was nice enough to show me how to lock my documents in so John wouldn't delete them.
Some really nice guy, Kenny, played chess with me today. I don't know him but he says he's Eric's friend. I asked about John but Kenny doesn't like him. No one likes John. Don't feel bad for him though. He's really abrasive. Also, when do we get to go? I don't like this place at all. Nothing of interest happened today except during group therapy Sherry, one of the manic-depressive people, began crying uncontrollably. I feel bad for these people. That's all I can think about for now. Goodnight.
Eric Heston's log 1/28/12
So Scott finally decides to write. I wondered where he'd gone. John probably never let him out. Bernadette talked to me today. She asked how I was doing. I said fine but I'm still mulling the question over in my head. Am I fine? To what extent does that question probe? Am I physically fine? Yes, I'm intact. Am I sad? Not really, no. Am I fine for the moment? I don't know. In the long run? I don't know either.
We sat down outside with Ken in the garden area. Bernie's mood had been higher but that's probably the medicine. Her issue is fixable. She might be out of here soon. Mine is a bit more difficult to manage. Ken's not crazy like us. He's sick really. They just threw him in here because West wing is a neurology center.
So, yeah, let me break the institution down. The 5-story building, Horseshoe Institution for the Mentally Unhealthy, is divided into three parts: West wing, East wing, and Center building. The whole structure almost bends in on itself like a giant horseshoe. West wing, neurology, is mostly a clinic where everyone- including sane people- shows up.
The top floors are reserved for the permanent patients who are in comas or are on life-support. The bottom is for the passerby. East wing, the Ward, is where patients like me live. You can tell which wing is which because East has tiny windows. Center is for therapy and visits. That's basically where the doctors interview you and decide whether you belong in East wing or West wing. The latter is obviously where you want to be assigned. You'll stay there for a day maximum. Then you go back to Center, get your prescription, and are on your merry way. The former's a real buzzkill. Oh well, we adapt. Except for Scott. He's really timid. Oh well. I'm going to sign off.
Eric Heston's log 1/29/12
Scott. He never met Francis so I can't ask him if he knows anything. John says he knows nothing, too. I believe John. He's a rude, inconsiderate person but he doesn't lie. If anything, he's too honest. I shouldn't get so worked up over Francis; he's probably in a bind.
They don't tell us when patients go overboard as to avoid panic. Speaking of missing people, no one has asked about John. From what I've gleaned, he hasn't been around for three days. I guess no one misses the neurotic a-hole. It probably has something to do with Scott coming back. Or maybe John isn't around long enough for an entry.
Log entries blank 1/30/12 - 2/26/12
Eric Heston's log 2/27/12
Someone needs to help me.
Log entries blank from 2/28/12 - 3/2/12
Eric Heston's log 3/3/12
This is insane. There is NO ONE HERE. Bernie, Ken, even Dr. Bradell are GONE. Eric isn't posting on this log. It must be him! He's the reason no one touches the log. Scott…
Fortunately, further investigation turned to light grotesque and opaque writings.
The following was recovered from inside the West wing cafeteria written over the mural in large, scrawled letters.
I FOUND HIM!!!!
Upon closer inspection, the material used was blood from several dead rats.
Another disturbing note found stuffed down the drainage in East wing's public bathroom. Partly destroyed due to handling and water damage, this was the only thing legible
…We're OK… it needs to… outside… WE FOUND HIM… keep him… here they… never get… help… they are starving… shut… bye, journal.
Current investigations are pending as most officials have rendered the case "a lost cause." Consensus shows explanations are lacking both simple logic and plausible theories. As of yet, no one has supplied the Orange Grove Police Department with a reasonable explanation. The Horseshoe Institution incident, whatever it may be, will be barred from every and any media outlet. Reminder: The contents of this report are TS clearance. Leaking any information (orally, electronically, or otherwise) is a federal offense. Any comments on the matter should be directed to Head of Operation Bradly Sontin only.