Apocalyptic Solitude

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story about an insane asylum and a specter out to get the new worker in the ward.

Submitted: August 15, 2012

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Submitted: August 15, 2012

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Once there was a man with no face. He lived in a locked room with barred windows. He lived on the second floor in a brick building. The one who had brought him to this place he knew as “Mother”. Mother had brought him to this brick building when he was young to live with a man he knew only as “Father”. Father was head of the ward in which he had stayed for the majority of his life. Father had long since past, as did his Mother. The “Man With no Face” felt no sorrow.

 

Every day since he had arrived he had clay brought to him. Father had ordered it. With this clay he sculpted magnificent faces. After each had been completed, they were mounted on the wall of his room. Every face was unique, but all of them were similar as well. Each face was perfect except that they had no eyes in their sockets.

 

As he sculpted faces day, after day, the workers of the ward threw away ten or twenty to keep the room from becoming too over cluttered. Other than that the room was off limits.

 

The Man With no Face sat in his room all day. Sometimes the workers would hear whispers coming from the room. “I see all in the lack of light. But nobody can see what I have”.

 

David started Tuesday on the second floor in this particular ward. Bryan a fellow worker who had worked on the floor for several years led the tour. The first stop was room eighteen. It was dark inside, except for the small amount of light filtering through the bars of the window. From inside you could hear the squeaking of bedsprings as the shadowy occupant rocked back and forth. On the door hung a sign that said, “Make sure door is locked at all times”.

 

“Under no circumstances, are you to open this door.” Instructed Bryan. David nodded and continued to follow his co-worker after one final glance at the room number. Room Eighteen.

 

David was assigned to the night shift one night. He walked the floor and patrolled the rooms. Every room he passed was full of sleeping patients, some of whom were chained to the bed. David rounded the corner and saw the door that housed the man in Room Eighteen. He stood there for a few moments and then turned to walk back to his station. After a few steps he stopped and turned at the sound of a low voice. He turned slowly and looked again at Room Eighteen. “Help me; please” came a small child voice. “Quit whining! There’s nobody to help you.” Boomed another more manly voice. Then an earsplitting scream rung out through the halls and David rushed to the room and peered through the window. The room was empty except for the man rocking back and forth on the bed, a clay face smashed on the floor. David pulled out his keys and looked for the key for Room Eighteen. He then began flipping through his keys, “Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen and Nineteen.” David stared back through the window again only this time there was no man rocking on the bed. David glanced through the window at all angles. The man was no longer on the bed, but he must still be in the room. He put his face against the glass and peered down. Then somewhere up the hall there came the sound of a door opening and closing. David looked up the hall waiting to see someone but nobody came around the corner. He turned and looked back in the room, only this time he was met by a darkened face and long black hair. David leapt back surprised by the face in the window. David stood with his back against the wall reaching for the corner. Then he felt a hand on his hand and he jumped, it was Bryan.

 

“Your shift’s up!”

 

“Did you see?” Started David, pointing at the window, but the face was gone.

 

“You’re tired, go home and get some rest.”

 

A week past and David avoided the hallway that held Room Eighteen. The man in that room continued to sit there on his bed during the day and at night, screams rang out from his room. In the morning a member of the staff was accompanied into the room to clean up shattered pieces of clay. The activities of the man living in Room Eighteen continued to be mysterious to the rest of the ward.

 

Sunday was David’s day off and he was sure that when he went back to work Monday he would hear stories about the man in Room Eighteen.

 

Monday night came and David went into work. Bryan passed along the room keys and left for the night. David was alone for two hours in the second floor ward. He walked down the hall toward Room Eighteen but stopped short and doubled back.

 

He rounded the corner to the reception area and there he saw an old man sitting in one of the chairs, looking at the floor. David approached him slowly and started speaking to him in a low voice. “Sir?” The old man continued looking at the floor. David took a few steps closer and raised his voice a little higher. “Sir!” Still the man sat there looking at the floor. David reached out and tapped the man on the shoulder. “Hey, buddy... wake up!” Just then, the man flopped back in the chair and David leapt back in alarm as he saw the old mans face. His mouth was wide open and his eyes were gone. David took a step back covering his mouth and nose. David reached out and checked for a pulse, there wasn’t one to be found. David bowed his head for a moment to relieve his mind of this sight. When he looked back up the old mans face was inches from his, and his eyeless sockets looking at David. David fell backward and began to scramble backward across the floor. The old man stood up and followed him slowly across the floor until David was backed into a corner. Then the old man stopped and took a few deep breaths.

 

“I see all in the lack of light. But nobody can see what I have”.

 

David closed his eyes so they were shut tight. “It’s not real,” he told himself, “It’s not real!” David opened his eyes and the old man was gone. David took in a few deep breaths and laid his head against the wall and closed his eyes. Then he heard a small patter on the floor next to him. He hesitated to open his eyes at first, but finally opened one. He jumped with a start as the old man was knelt beside him looking through his eyeless sockets.

 

“Do not forget my words.”

 

The old man stood up and walked around the corner. David waited a few seconds and stood up and slowly walked to the corner. He wanted to look to see if the man had finally gone, but at what cost? He took a deep breath and leaned around the corner...

 

“Jesus man! What the hell are you doing popping around corners like that at night?” Bryan was clenching his chest and breathing heavy.

 

“Did you see anyone walk up this hallway?” Asked David still bewildered.

 

“No. It's just me. I came down here because I heard a raucous and I came to investigate”

 

David walked down the hall and stopped outside of Room Eighteen. Bryan watched from his spot against the wall. David peered through the window at the man in Room Eighteen. He was sitting on his bed working a piece of clay. For a second he stopped and looked over his shoulder at the door. David could almost swear he could see a slight smile. Bryan walked up beside him and peered in.

 

“Man you have been obsessed with this room since the moment you started here. Why?” Bryan watched David’s face for recognition and an answer. David turned his head but didn’t take his eyes off the occupant of Room Eighteen.

 

“My first day here... I could swear this guy has been watching me everyday since then.”

 

“Are you sure you’re not just being paranoid?” Bryan glanced back through the window.

 

“It's possible. Why don’t we have a key to this room?” David looked away this time to make eye contact with Bryan.

 

“Read the sign, apparently they don’t want to run the risk of him getting out.”

 

Bryan looked at the window again and jumped back. David responded the same except he didn’t need to look. The man of Room Eighteen was behind the window looking out at them, or at least one would think when he smiled at the sight of the two of them jumping away.

 

Bryan took a step forward and started banging against the glass and yelling. “You think that’s funny? Wait till I find a key and come in there! You’re going to get the worst beating of your life!”

 

David stepped forward and slid between Bryan and the door, blocking his view. “Listen, I know he just scared the hell out of us, but making threats like that isn’t going to change the fact that we’re both workers of this ward. Okay?”

 

Bryan turned away for a few seconds and then turned back to David. “I just hate being scared, especially at night in a mental institution surrounded by a ton of crazy people in gowns and straightjackets.”

 

David smiled a bit and put his arm on his friend’s shoulder. They both walked to the main desk in time to catch the next shift coming in. They both walked out the front doors into the early morning sun.

 

The next night came and Bryan and David returned to the second floor ward. David patrolled the hallways as always and Bryan had gone to the bathroom. David followed the wall, fingers feeling the texture of the wallpaper. Behind him he heard faint footsteps approaching. He turned expecting Bryan, but instead there stood the man from Room Eighteen. His dark hair shadowed his face, but you could make out his mouth in a half smile. Then he leaned forward slightly and drew in a deep long raspy breath then he started coughing and gagging. His jaw dropped down farther and he began to vomit. David stood frozen watching the man, he was frozen in fear. The man reached inside his mouth and grabbed something. Then with one strong heave Bryan erupted from his mouth and fell on the floor squirming. The faceless man wiped his mouth and looked down at what he had left lying on the floor. Then he smiled at David. Stretching out his arm, he pointed a finger at David. With the other he corrected his limp jaw with a bone-chilling crack. David took a step back, not letting his eyes wander away from the man. Then David turned quickly to try and run away, only to run headlong into the man from Room Eighteen. David fell backward stunned. He began crawling backward watching this man, this thing that was watching him intently. David stood up and backed up slowly. Watching the man’s little half smile erupt into a big toothy grin, he darted around the corner.

 

David slammed the door to the employees lounge closed and pushed himself against the door. He waited inside as he heard footsteps coming closer. David held his breath, just in case this thing was following him. Outside the door the footsteps stopped, and David could hear the breathing, that deep raspy breathing. He looked up at the window and could make out the man's face pressed against the glass, his breath making the glass steam up. Then, the thing outside the door opened its mouth and licked the window. David waited patiently, finally it looked up the hall and walked away. David took in a few breaths and looked around the lounge for something, anything he could use as a weapon. He dug into his bag and pulled out his matches and cigarettes and tucked them in his shirt pocket. He would make for the nurses’ station as soon as he was sure it was clear. He looked through the window and saw no sign of the man from Room Eighteen. David pulled the door open and ran up the hall toward the nurse’s station.

 

The footsteps were closing in behind him as he scrambled through the drawers of the nurses’ station. “There, a sedative,” he slid it into his pocket and grabbed three syringes off the shelf as a loud bang hit the door behind him. He looked around again for something, but all that was in this room were meds and an air tank. “There!” David reached over and grabbed a hose on the oxygen tank. He turned the wheel until the air inside was pushing out, and then he kinked it and dug through his pocket for some matches. Another two loud booms erupted from the door behind him. David pulled out the matchbook and attempted to light a match but he dropped one. He put the kinked hose between his teeth and he managed to light one.

 

The door burst open and David instantly reacted. The match ignited the air and a long line of flame shot forward engulfing the trespasser where they stood. David started screaming out loud. “Yeah! Take that you!” The burning human shape fell to the ground and behind it stood the man from Room Eighteen. David felt sincerely scared at the sight of the un-charred man. He looked down at the ashen human lying on the floor, a large brass emblem melted to his head. David slowly raised his eyes to that thing that dwelled in Room Eighteen. It took a few steps toward David and stopped. It looked down at the burnt policeman on the floor and let a tiny grin cross his face. It grabbed the charred remnants of the man by the leg and dragged him off down the hallway. David peered out the door to see the man round the corner in silence. David took this as an opportunity to flee to another room. As he rounded a corner he saw Room Eighteen and slowly edged toward the door, he looked inside and saw no sign of anything, all the masks were gone off the walls. David went to close the door when he noticed a key in the lock. Then everything went black.

 

“Wait till I find a key and come in there! You’re going to get the worst beating of your life!”

 

“It's possible. Why don’t we have a key to this room?”

 

“Read the sign, apparently they don’t want to run the risk of him getting out.”

 

“Listen, I know he just scared the hell out of us, but making threats like that isn’t going to change the fact that we’re both workers of this ward. We're both workers of this ward.”

 

David opened his eyes a little, but everything was distorted and fuzzy. Finally his eyes focused a little and he could tell where he was. David was lying, strapped to a table, facing the ceiling, his mouth silenced by a muzzle. He started wriggling back and forth, but unfortunately for him he was restrained. A small giggle broke the silence of the room. David looked around. He saw nobody. He started to panic. “What could it be now?” He thought. He squirmed more; the springs of the bed squeaked more. Another giggle erupted from nowhere.

 

“Look... a new toy. I want to see if its head comes off.”

 

David looked down at his feet to see a little girl, maybe fourteen or fifteen, peering over the foot of the bed. She was wearing a straightjacket, but the restraining ropes were not tied and in her hand she held a scalpel.

 

“Do you want to play little boy?” She said in a half cackle.

 

David started shaking up and down trying to loosen the restraints but it was no use. The girl walked up next to the bed and grabbed his chin with her fingertips.

 

“My you’re a cute one. If I let you up are you going to play nice?” She walked back to the foot of the bed and examined the scalpel. “Maybe I should give you an incentive to play nice.” Then with one slick powerful jab she drove the scalpel into the meat of his calf. David screamed but the muzzle he was wearing muffled it. “Are you going to play nice?” David started nodding his head, tears of pain running down his cheeks. “I don’t believe you.” She took the scalpel and ran it across his shin, the blade splitting flesh. David shook up and down more whimpering under the pain. “Now this time, if I don’t believe you, I’m going to slice the skin between your fingers. Now, if I let you up, are you going to play nice?” David shook his head. “Oh. Goody! Finally I have someone worth playing with.” She took the scalpel and cut the strap off the muzzle. David started breathing heavily in attempt to catch the breath he lost from screaming. She cut one of the arm restraints, and then she went and sat in a chair to watch David intently.

 

David pulled off the muzzle and threw it across the room. He sat up and untied his other restraints. Then he spun on the bed and sat there for a few minutes.

 

“You had better hurry up. I’m a patient!” David smiled a little and hopped down off the bed.

 

“I think you mean impatient,” David chuckled as he watched the girl fiddle with the scalpel. Then she carefully licked the blade and smiled wide.

 

“I know what I meant, and I said what I meant. My name is Angelica from the third floor ward, Room Twenty. If you know what’s best for you, you better take me seriously.” She smiled a big fat grin and stood up to face David.

 

David pulled the pack of cigarettes out of his pocket and lit one. “Third floor ward, huh? You came from the Children’s ward? Mind if I asked how you got out of your room? It’s past your bedtime.”

 

“Don’t get wise, you know who let me out. You’ve seen him. That man from Room Eighteen. His name is Hatchet, and he wants you David.” She smiled an evil little smile and ran across the room at David. She knocked him off the table backwards, digging the scalpel into his shoulder. David winced and threw her off him. He grabbed the scalpel and pulled it from his flesh.

 

“I’ve just about had enough of you!” Angelica ran toward him and tackled him. Then all was still and quiet. David looked up at the frozen face of the vile child from Room Twenty. The scalpel pierced her chest and luckily for David, her heart also.

 

“Yeah! Four years of medical training, in your face!” David threw her on the ground beside him and picked up his dropped cigarette. He sat on the bed and smoked for a few minutes, and then he bandaged up his leg and shoulder and exited the room. He looked around for a few moments until he saw a sign. “Third Floor: Children’s Ward” David turned around and looked back at the room. There was another sign on this door too. “Keep Locked at All Times.”

 

 David hobbled down the hall to the elevator, but as he pushed the button, something ripped him away from the elevator and sent him sliding across the floor. He stared up to see the man from Room Eighteen looming over him. David started breathing heavily, and the man reached down and grabbed the scruff of his shirt tightly. Then, with one quick powerful motion, threw David straight upward into the tiled ceiling. The ceiling crumbled with the impact. David and the debris fell to the floor. Then with another quick motion he was thrown across the room into the wall. He hit the floor hard and rolled onto his side and passed out again.

 

He awoke on the floor looking at a pair of feet. “Why?” David tried to move but he couldn’t. He couldn’t feel his legs. He lifted one of his arms in the air and pointed at the ceiling. The whole room went black. His arm remained outstretched illuminated by the moonlight flooding through the window.

 

The person standing next to him started breathing heavily. The darkness hid his face but David knew he was there. He tried to lay his hand back down, but as he was lowering it, two ice cold hands grabbed his wrist. Next thing David knew was that he felt pressure on his finger, then he felt pain and the wetness of blood. He tried to pull his hand away, but the cold hands held tighter. He felt another shock of pain as another finger was bitten off.

 

David reached in his pocket with his free hand and pulled out a syringe. He drove it into the leg planted next to his head. There was a screech of pain and the person retreated back. “Is that you Hatchet?” There was no answer, only a quiet growl. He reached into his pocket and drew another syringe. Whatever was hiding here in the dark was circling him. He could hear every step echo in the hollow room. David felt something hit him and he was knocked onto his side. There was a burning in his chest. He reached over and felt the outline of the syringe. “Please, tell me I didn’t just do that.” He felt the plunger. It hadn’t injected the sedative, but it burnt like a hot iron. He carefully removed the syringe and looked around him. He could not see anything. Then something grabbed his leg and dragged him across the floor. David kicked at the hand, and finally, he was free. He stood up and placed his back to the window, syringe pointed outward, plunger resting on his chest. He heard feet running at him and at the last moment, he saw the face, wrapped in gauss, except for the mouth, which was chewing on the remains of his finger. The creature became still. Its mouth ceased to chew. Its limbs went limp. David pushed it away from him and it fell backward on the floor.

 

He ran. Out the door he ran. Down the hall he ran. Into the supplies closet he ran. He searched the boxes. Every box he tore open and searched through. He searched for bandages, gauss and cotton. He found them, in one of the last boxes. David wrapped up his hand. He pushed boxes aside and found many pairs of scissors. He collected them up along with some extra gauss and some hand braces. David knew what he must do. He had a plan. He broke the scissors apart and he lashed them to the hand brace. Then he tethered the hand brace to his injured hand and wrapped some extra gauss around his wrist for support. He pulled out the syringe and emptied the contents and grabbed a bottle labeled Clopixal and refilled it to almost max. He held the syringe tight in his hand. This was it. He felt weak, but somehow he felt invigorated.

 

David pushed open the door on the second floor landing. The door hit the wall with an echoing crash. He looked around the floor, “Hatchet!” He yelled. Somewhere in the distance a door shut and was followed by footsteps. David gritted his teeth. He watched the corner for any sign of Hatchet.

 

A hand grabbed the corner of the wall. Then a smiling face shrouded with long dark hair peered around the corner. It was Hatchet. He licked his lips intently as he slowly walked around the corner. David took a step forward, and then was knocked across the room. He looked up Hatchet was still standing there grinning. David began sliding across the floor. He looked down to see a stretched hand dragging him across the floor. With a quick motion, he was thrown against the wall. David jumped to his feet just as Hatchet grabbed him by the throat and slammed him back against a wall. David felt himself start to black out.

 

Hatchet dropped him to the floor and picked him up feet first and held him over his head. Hatchet held David at eye level. David, worried what might happen next, searched Hatchet’s face for some sign of remorse. Hatchet pulled his hair out of his face and David could see that there were no eyes to look into. All that was there to look at was an eyeless, nose-less face, with a big grin. Hatchet tilted his head to the side, leaned forward and licked David’s face. David swung his scissor gauntlet at Hatchet’s face. Blood splattered across the wall and David fell to the ground. He rolled around and then looked at Hatchet. His face was torn open and blood was slowly dripping from his open wounds. Hatchet’s tongue licked at the dripping blood and his face broke into another big grin.

 

“What are you smiling at?” David felt something dripping down his face. He raised his hand and pulled his hand away. Blood! David was bleeding. Hatchet lifted his hand and dragged a single sharp nail across his own face. David felt a stinging pain tare across his face. “What are you doing to me?” Hatchet lifted his hand and David’s body mimicked it. “Stop it now!” David had no control. His body was at the mercy of Hatchet. They reached behind them and pulled out the syringe. The needle slowly moved toward David’s neck.

 

“Hey, buddy! How’s the jacket fit?”

 

David looked up and saw a face looking through the window. “Where am I?”

 

“Solitary”

 

David started flailing about. “Why am I here?”

 

“Last night, you broke out of your holding cell, you killed your attending doctor, killed a security guard, and two patients on the third and fourth floors. Then for some odd reason you chewed off your own fingers and inflicted several self-inflicted wounds.”

 

David stared through the glass, bewilderment on his face. “Are you sure?”

 

“I’m positive, Hatchet”

 

“What was that?”

 

“You are David Hatchet aren’t you? Resident of Room Eighteen, Second floor ward?”

 

David Hatchet was his name. “Who is Angelica?”

 

“That was your mother’s name.”

 

David Hatchet stared into oblivion. He lay on the floor and stared at the ceiling. Then, from outside he heard the ringing of a bell. He managed to get to his feet and stare out the window. At the corner of the street stood a vendor and his cart was covered in a variety of clay faces. David’s eyes got wide as the vendor turned toward him. The vendor had long black hair and a big smile on his face. David Hatchet watched this man for a long while, but couldn’t place his face. The vendor grabbed a mask and threw it to the ground with an echoing, smash. David’s mind went blank. His world became dark. He felt himself falling. He was falling forever.

 

Death had won.


© Copyright 2017 Bodis. All rights reserved.

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