Room 13

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is my entry for the Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest and I am bringing some terror and suspense to this contest with this gem of a story I wrote a few years ago. Enjoy!

Submitted: September 13, 2017

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Submitted: September 13, 2017

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“Room 13”

 

By Christian Taylor

 

 

“Where are you going?”  Alex whispered to Taylor, as he was opening a window.

“I’m getting out of here for good!”  Taylor whispered back as he climbed onto the window sill. 

Alex sat up in his bed and said, “You know they’ll catch you, right?”  Taylor looked down at the ground from the second-story window before saying, “They’ll try.”

Alex got out of bed and slowly tiptoed toward Taylor without waking up the other children. “But they won’t,” Taylor said, as he adjusted the backpack that was on his right shoulder and started to get ready to jump off the window ledge.

“Where will you go?”  Alex asked him.  Taylor, whose back was toward Alex now, looked for a way down from the two-story building.  He turned his head to look at Alex and whispered, “Somewhere.”

Taylor eyed the huge oak tree that was standing near the window and looked for a spot to grab a branch.  Suddenly, he leaped off the ledge and grabbed onto some branches from the tree.  Taylor’s weight caused the branches to bend down.  Once the branches couldn’t bend any farther, he let them go and landed safely on the ground.

He then looked up to see Alex leaning against the window and waved at him.  Taylor started to run across the courtyard as Alex continued to watch from the window in silence. 

The courtyard was completely surrounded by the wings of the building.  Large bushes lined the side of the building, and several large trees were scattered across the courtyard.  Taylor walked onto the concrete path and went toward one of the four sets of doors inside the complex.  He slowly opened the doors, which squealed as they opened.  He listened carefully to see if anyone was coming.  After assuming that the halls were deserted, he tiptoed down the brightly lit hallway.

Taylor found a map of the Crawford Detention Center for Teens posted on the wall and pressed his finger against the glass, tracing the fastest route out of the complex.  After finding his route, he silently walked down the hallway again.

Suddenly, he heard voices coming from one of the corridors, so he looked for a place to hide.  He searched frantically for some place to go before finding an unlocked door.  He ran through the doorway and slowly closed the door behind him without making a sound.  The room was pitch black, and he didn’t want to turn on the lights to alert the guards.  He put his backpack down, unzipped it, and reached inside.  He pulled out a flashlight and toyed with the switch.  A bright beam of light shot out to light up the room.

Taylor looked around, beaming the flashlight’s rays in front of him and checking the room’s surroundings.  Suddenly, he shined the flashlight on what he thought was a mirror, which glared back at him. 

However, he realized it was a window.  “Yes,” he whispered to himself as he made his way over to the window and glanced outside.  He tried to open the window to get a better look; however, the metal handle was missing. 

He set the flashlight down on the tile floor and pulled the sleeve of his sweatshirt over his left hand.  He grabbed the flashlight, raised it up to his head and, taking a deep breath, smashed the window.  The glass crashed to the floor, and Taylor froze, waiting to see if anyone had heard the glass breaking.  After a few moments, he put the flashlight in his backpack and swung the bag back on his shoulders.

Carefully, Taylor climbed through the window, trying not to cut himself on the jagged edges of glass.  He jumped off the ledge to the ground a few feet below.  He hid behind bushes that lined up parallel with the building’s external wall.

He got on his hands and knees and carefully crawled through the flowerbed, sometimes peering over the bushes to see his surroundings.  Just as he got to the edge of the flowerbed…the sirens went off, echoing throughout the center.  Officers ran across the courtyard, scrambling to look for Taylor.  Meanwhile, Taylor crawled back a few feet so no one would see him behind the bushes.  He waited for things to settle down before daring to scale the fence or find another way out.

For what seemed like an eternity, officers continued to run across the courtyard speaking into their handheld radios.  Suddenly Taylor heard dogs barking in the distance.  He knew he must act fast before they found him. 

“Hey!  He came out through the window,” a voice said from behind.  Taylor looked back to see an officer peering out from the broken window.  Taylor stood still, hoping the officer would not see him.  The officer took out his flashlight, and its rays lit up the area.

“He’s in the bushes!” the officer shouted, as he climbed out the window.  Taylor sprinted out of the bushes, heading across the courtyard.  The officer blew his whistle as he ran after Taylor.

“He’s heading for the south fence!  I need back-up now!” the officer shouted into his radio.  Taylor’s brown eyes targeted the fence.  He never looked back as he tried to scale the fence. 

He climbed higher as three officers started grabbing his legs, trying to pull him down.  Taylor held onto the fence tighter, struggling and kicking at the officers.  Suddenly, he felt a numbing pain run through his body, and he screamed.  An officer had tasered him in the back of the leg, paralyzing him with its electric shock.  Taylor fell to the ground as the officers restrained him.

The officers removed his backpack before handcuffing him.  They got Taylor back on his feet as he moaned in pain from the taser.  Two officers, one on each side of Taylor, kept him on his feet as they escorted him back to the facility.  The third officer was speaking into his radio, following behind.  Just as they got to the main entrance, Taylor regained his energy and started to struggle with the officers.

“Let me go!”  Taylor shouted, as he fought the officers.  As they got into the main lobby, coming out of one of the hallways was the head of the detention center, Mrs. Crawford.  She was followed by two more officers as she approached Taylor with a look that would scare the bravest of souls.  Mrs. Crawford was the most hated person in the building.  She looked like the kind of woman who could be the devil’s wife.  She was tall and slender with shoulder-length red hair, and she had a heart made of ice.  She gave no sympathy or remorse to anyone at the Detention Center.

“Well, Taylor Hetrick, are you creating problems again?” she asked with a smirk.  At first, Taylor was silent, but then he responded sarcastically, “Gee, did you think I wouldn’t?”  She frowned before telling officers Christianson and Kelly, “Take him down to solitary confinement to Room 13.”

Taylor’s eyes widened like waxing moons.  “I will have a little chat with Mr. Hetrick in a bit,” she said, leaning forward toward Taylor before turning around and walking back down the hall.

“No!  Don’t take me there!”  Taylor shouted, the panic rising in his voice, as he was handed over to the officers.

“Please, don’t put me down there!  She’ll kill me!” he shouted, as he fell to his knees trying to prevent the officers from taking him to the one place that nobody wanted to go.  Taylor had heard rumors from other patients that Mrs. Crawford used Room 13 as a place to discipline individuals who didn’t follow the rules.  However, what frightened Taylor most was that some patients never came out alive.

“Get up on your feet!”  Officer Christianson shouted, pulling Taylor’s arm to get him up.  Officer Kelly pulled on Taylor’s other arm, getting him up on his feet as they began to walk down the hallway heading toward the living quarters.

Taylor continued to fight with the officers as they half-carried him down the corridor.  Several of the other patients were awakened by Taylor’s screams.  Some pounded on the doors trying to get the officers’ attention, while others just leaned up against the glass to watch what was happening.  The officers dragged Taylor down two flights of stairs, which took them to an underground section where the solitary confinement rooms were located.

The officers approached a steel door with a small square window in it.  By this point, Taylor was exhausted to the point of passing out.  Officer Kelly grabbed his keys and fumbled with them briefly.  As he opened the door, a bright light coming from the room blinded Taylor.  Once his eyes adjusted, he noticed a table in the middle of the room with restraints attached at the sides and at one end.

The officers dragged Taylor into the room, picked him up, and set him on the table.  They removed his handcuffs and then strapped his wrists tightly in the side restraints.  The officers also strapped Taylor’s legs into restraints before walking out.

“Have fun, punk!”  Officer Kelly said as he and Officer Christianson shut the door behind them.  Taylor shouted, “No!  You can’t do this to me!” 

There was nothing but an eerie silence in the brightly lit room.  The only sound Taylor could hear was his own breathing.  The cement walls and ceiling were painted white; the bright light that illuminated the room gave off heat that Taylor could feel on his face.

To his right, Taylor could see a bunch of hanging cabinets with a counter a couple feet below them.  He struggled to get out of the restraints.  Suddenly Taylor heard a faint sound from the other side of the locked door.  He listened intently as the sound started to get louder.  His heart started to race as he realized that it was the sound of high-heeled shoes heading toward the door.  Mrs. Crawford was coming.

Taylor fought to escape the restraints again as he heard keys in the doors.  The door swung open causing Taylor to freeze as Mrs. Crawford, wearing a white lab coat, walked in and closed the door behind her.  She walked over to the cabinets, her back to Taylor. 

“Taylor, we warned you before what would happen if you tried to escape again,” Mrs. Crawford said, as she pulled her dark red hair into a ponytail.  Taylor did not respond.  He just stared at her as he was paralyzed with fear.

“Do you know what happens to people who break the rules, Taylor?”  Mrs. Crawford asked, turning her head back and staring at him.  Taylor, however, still did not say anything.

“What’s the matter?  Lose your voice?” Mrs. Crawford asked, grabbing a bottle and something from a drawer.  Taylor could not see what she was doing.

“Screw you, bitch!”  Taylor muttered, keeping his eye on her.  Mrs. Crawford turned her head and looked at Taylor with a slight grin on her face.

“You still have your sense of humor, despite, the circumstances you are in right now,” she said as she looked back at the counter, getting ready for what she was about to do to him. 

“Why do you get the pleasure of watching people suffer?”  Taylor asked.  Mrs. Crawford grabbed a pair of latex gloves and started to put them on.  “Don’t you have any remorse for anything you do here?”  He said.

Mrs. Crawford looked up at the wall and seemed to just stare at it like Taylor’s words were started to get to her.  She turned around and leaned on the counter staring back at Taylor.

“When you’ve been through so much, especially at a young age, you no longer feel empathy or remorse toward anyone.  When people don’t follow the rules, have exhausted their chances, why should I sympathize with them?” she asked Taylor.  Taylor stared at Mrs. Crawford with a stern look on his face.

“What happened to you?” he asked.

“Some experiences that made me the person that I am today,” she said as she grabbed something off the counter and kept it out of Taylor’s sight.

“Who you are today?” Taylor shouted with disbelief by her remark.  “I can tell you what you are: an evil, cold-blooded killer!  That’s what you are!”  Taylor shouted.  Mrs. Crawford only gave a slight smirk as she turned around, keeping her hands behind her back.

“Maybe so, but then again I’m not the one that’s being restrained right now.  So you’re not in the position to be lecturing me about what kind of a person I am.  Perhaps, if you knew how to keep your mouth shut and follow the rules that I’ve set forth to this place…maybe I would’ve gone easy on you.  But now you made that impossible,” Mrs. Crawford said coldly.  She began walking around the table, her hands still behind her back.

“What are you going to do to me?”  Taylor asked, watching her as she came toward his head. 

“I’m going to deal with you the same way as I do with every other individual who doesn’t like to follow rules,” Mrs. Crawford said, as she got down to Taylor’s level and brushed his shaggy brown hair back from his face.  She then softly whispered into Taylor’s ear, “And I’m going to enjoy it.”

In an instant, Mrs. Crawford slammed a rag onto Taylor’s face and applied pressure on it.  Taylor screamed as he struggled to get the rag off his face.  “This can be a whole lot easier if you just stop fighting,” Mrs. Crawford said, as she kept the rag on his face and tried to stop him from moving.  After about 30 seconds, she removed the rag and took a step back from the table. 

Taylor screamed at her, “I’m going to bury you!” 

He began to lose feeling throughout his body, starting with his legs, then moving up his body.  Taylor raised his head in frustration, trying to move his arms and legs, but with no effect.  He laid his head down on the table before being completely paralyzed by the drug that Mrs. Crawford had soaked the rag in. 

Despite his paralysis, Taylor was fully aware of what was going on around him.  However, he could not move his head, blink his eyes, or utter a single word. 

Mrs. Crawford walked over to the cabinets before saying, “That went well.  Now the fun begins.” 

She started taking tools and syringes from drawers and placing them on the counter.  Taylor’s eyes darted around the room, trying to make sense of what was happening.  He could see Mrs. Crawford selecting a sharp-edged tool from the counter.  She turned to Taylor with a scalpel in her left hand.  He moved his eyes left to right, trying to get her to stop. 

Mrs. Crawford played with the scalpel as she walked around the table like a hawk flying over its prey.  She stopped next to Taylor’s left arm.  “This is why some patients do not leave here alive,” she said grinning.  She took the scalpel and began to cut Taylor’s forearm.  Blood oozed from the cuts she was making.  Taylor could not scream or make a sound as Mrs. Crawford tortured him. 

“I’m sorry, is this hurting you?  Oh wait, that’s right; you can’t talk,” Mrs. Crawford said with an evil laugh.As Mrs. Crawford continued her torture on Taylor, tears began rolling down his cheeks, which was the only sign that he was in pain.

Suddenly Taylor shot up from his bed, screaming at the top of his lungs.  He sprang out of bed, running for the steel door begging, “Let me out of here!  They’re trying to kill me!” he yelled as he pounded on the door.  Two guards ran down the hall, one peering through the window and the other calling for help.  Taylor continued crying for help as he slammed his fists on the door.  He ran toward a corner of the room, sat down, and wrapped his arms around his knees.

When the Psych Ward’s doctor, Jim Anderson, and Head Nurse Alice Meyers arrived, a guard opened the door.  As they did, Taylor went into a panic. 

“You’re going to kill me!  Don’t take me to Room 13!” he screamed, as the two officers strained to get him to settle down.  Dr. Anderson grabbed a syringe with a sedative solution from his coat pocket.  “Hold him still,” he said to the officers as Taylor struggled with them.  The officers rolled Taylor onto his back, and once they had him restrained, Dr. Anderson injected the sedative.  Taylor continued screaming, “Don’t let Mrs. Crawford get me!  She’s going to kill me.”

After a few minutes, Taylor began to feel the effects of the sedative.  He stopped struggling, and his screams diminished to a mumble.  The officers released his arms from their tight grip and waited to see what would happen next, as did Dr. Anderson and Nurse Meyers.  A couple of minutes elapsed before Dr. Anderson approached a now sedated Taylor to see how he was.

Suddenly, Dr. Anderson shouted to the guards, “Call 911!  NOW!”

They nodded before running from the room.  Nurse Meyers, puzzled by the doctor’s command, approached the bed.  Dr. Anderson looked at Nurse Meyers and asked, “Ms. Meyers, look at this and tell me what you see.” 

Nurse Meyers sat down on the bed.  Dr. Anderson lifted Taylor’s arm, causing the nurse to gasp. 

“How did he get these cuts?” she asked. 

Taylor’s left arm was covered in blood with cuts running from his wrist to his forearm.  Dr. Anderson grabbed a bed sheet to stop the bleeding as the nurse asked again, “Dr. Anderson, how did he get these cuts?”

All the doctor could say was, “I don’t know.” 

He looked back down at Taylor’s arm, which now was wrapped tightly in the bed sheet.  And the nurse asked, “Who is Mrs. Crawford?”

Dr. Anderson stared down at Taylor.  “I think he’s referring to Alicia Crawford, who founded this place over 50 years ago,” he said as Nurse Meyers looked at him with disbelief.  “It was later discovered that she killed nearly 30 patients over a 15 year period during her time as head of this facility in a room down in solitary confinement, which is now sealed off.  She was later arrested for the murders and sent to prison, but…,” Dr. Anderson paused.

“But what?”  Nurse Meyers asked.  Dr. Anderson looked up at Nurse Meyers and said, “Alicia Crawford has been died for over 20 years.”

 

The End



© Copyright 2017 Christian Taylor. All rights reserved.

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