The Death of Newman Mike

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mike, a five year old, breaks his leg and ends up in a hospital. there, he finds some friends who are less willing to let him go than he thinks...

Submitted: November 12, 2009

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Submitted: November 12, 2009

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Twenty years ago, some rich couple died in an accident and left all their childhood toys to a children’s ward of a hospital on the north side of town. The hospital, grateful to the late man and wife, built a playroom with a plaque nailed beside the doorway.

The toys ranged from Barbies to Mr. Potato Heads, from Lincoln Logs to water colors. All were cheap but lasting. But sitting quietly, side by side, in the corner closest to the window were two porcelain dolls.

The one sitting nearest to the window was a Victorian clothed doll with glass blue eyes and coffee brown hair. The other was in a red and white checkered uniform of some fast food restaurant called Donuts GALORE. A small plastic name plate on her chest read Donna Burns.

  They were hidden behind three large stacks of outdated board games, so large and so outdated, that it was impossible for someone to find interest in rifting through the junk and finding the two.

  On the other side of town, twenty years later, Mike’s friends invited him to bike around the local lake. He was a wiry boy for his age with natural dark brown hair. But by the end of summer, endless hours in the sun, they’ve turned into a medium copper color.

At one point, the bunch found two skinny trees growing no more than two or three meters apart. Mike climbed up one and, loudly, declared that he was a monkey. He obviously wasn’t because when he tried to swing from one tree to the other, he fell, shattered his leg in two places, was stabbed in the shin by a tree branch, and received a concussion.

His friends took him to a hospital via a bicycle.

The doctor announced to his parents, twelve hours later, that Mike was going to be fine. But he was going to be in a wheelchair until the bone is healed, he also told them they’re going to keep Mike in because of the wound in his shin.

When Mike regained consciousness, the doctor told him of his injuries and began to leave when he suddenly stopped and turned back around to remind Mike, who’s mind was on how he was supposed to survive the first day without ever leaving the bed, that if he might see things that are a tad bit on the strange side, it would be because of the concussion.

On the first day, Mike was showered with flowers, get-well cards, and visitors. Most of them were the friends who were with him when he fell and a girl who was sweet on him. Out of guilt, they’ve brought him books to read (unlikely), a soccer ball to kick around with (impossible), and a package of darts (possible). They threw the battered dart board away and fashioned another one that weakly resembled their second grade teacher and tacked it to the wall.

Mike was soon fed up with hitting everything but the teacher.

On the second day, the doctor found a severe infection spreading from where the branch stabbed his shin. The doctor gathered Mike and his parents to tell them that Mike would be staying for a few more weeks due to the infection and estimated the cost of it all. As soon as Mike’s parents left the room, his father cursed richly about something like “damn doctors like to laugh at those in pain.”

Mike heard his father and used his newly grown vocabulary to impress his friends that night.

On the third day, Mike’s only visitors were his parents, the doctor, and the girl who was sweet on him. The fever resided but the doctor expected it to come back anytime.

Meanwhile, Mike was becoming edgy. He became latent at random times and even threw darts at the nurses at even more random times. The doctor, hearing the pleas of the nurses, allowed him to (“carefully!”) get on a wheelchair and stroll around the hospital.

He found the playroom with its doors open. Mike peered in and found the treasure, and the rubbish it held. He looked around cautiously, not that his friends were ever around, so that they won’t see him entering a room with Barbies in them.

Mike wheeled himself and closed the door behind him.

He came back to the playroom the next day, the week, and the week after. He never missed a single day, except for that one time where his fever broke out for two days. Everyone who worked in the hospital gradually began to know him as the Playroom Boy. People who passed the room sometimes heard someone mumbling behind the door. The kid must like television, they all thought.

Once, the doctor opened the door to tell Mike to get some rest and found Mike sitting by the window gazing intensely at a board game.

“Mike!” the doctor barked and Mike’s head whipped around. “The fever’s going to break out any second at the rate you’re going! Git back to bed!”

Mike, still wide-eyed, began to clean up rapidly. As he did, the doctor caught sight of two china dolls sitting hand in hand on the windowsill, heads bent towards the ground as if viewing the process of the board game.

The doctor pointed to the china dolls, “Hey there, you playing with those?”

Mike shook his head side to side and resumed his fast-paced cleanup.

“Well, move them somewhere else. They’re delicate,” said the doctor.

Sometime long after Mike reached his hospital bed and fell asleep; the doctor was awake in his own bed thinking about the china dolls. When the donation came, they assigned him the task of writing them all down. He couldn’t remember writing down a china doll, or even two.

Well, perhaps you missed something, he supposed. You probably just missed them. Then he moved on to what he’s going to buy for his wife on their 12th anniversary. The doctor fell asleep.

As the days passed, Mike’s copper hair turned into a dark brown from lack of sunshine.

On the third week, the doctor once again sat Mike’s family down. This time, it was good news. The doctor told them Mike’s fever has dissolved finally and all that’s left to do was for Mike to get a few days of rest and he would be ready to go.

That day, Mike wheeled himself into the playroom for the last time and shut the door behind him as usual. He heard a fffflick and something caught his eye: a porcelain arm waving.

Mike wheeled himself towards the windowsill where his companions for the last three weeks sat hand in hand.

“Natalie!” he shook the Victorian’s porcelain hand. Natalie giggled.

“Oh, Mike!” she said delightfully. “You’re here. That is excellent. It has been absolutely colorless without you. Hasn’t it?” She directed the last part to the waitress doll on her left.

The waitress was still as clay.

“Oh dear, Donna, you’re not still asleep are you?” Despite Mike’s protests, Natalie jabbed her elbow into where Donna’s ribs would be if she was a real person.

Donna woke. First, her eyelids flew open revealing her chocolate brown eyes. Then, they rolled towards her head showing nothing but her whites; fffflick!

The doctor said this was normal, thought Mike. You got a concussion; you ought to be seeing those things. In the movies where the main character got bonked on the head, they always started seeing ghosts and stuff like that.

To Mike, a five-year old, it didn’t alarm him one bit that the doctor actually meant that he might be dizzy, or his vision blurred. And the fact that even if he did see some talking dolls, the effect should’ve faded by now.

Donna’s eyes seemed to light up. Her head jerked, not turned, towards Mike and her lips curled up like a dried fish.

“Oh, oh my God. I’ve been sleeping.” Her eyes said just the opposite. Both Natalie’s and Donna’s eyes seemed to burn with some kind of white, bright fire and dance with excitement and hunger.

“Mike, would you like to finish last night’s checker game? I remember specifically where each piece was. But we can start a new game, can we? ” Donna was ignoring Mike’s protesting voice.

“You know what? Checkers is boring. And we’ve been playing that for the last two days. How about Snakes and Ladders? Nevermind, there’s a lot more we can do than board games. Maybe that weird thing you call… you call…oh, Playstation – “

Donna received another sharp jab by Natalie. “Listen!” the Victorian doll snarled.

Mike hung his head gloomily. “Today’s my last day with you.”

The dolls sat silent and stony. Their expression was unreadable.

“Tomorrow, I would be leaving in the morning. There won’t be time for me to visit you. So today is my last day with you.”

Mike twiddled his fingers for a while, waiting for a response. The two dolls looked at each other and for one fleeting moment, Mike could’ve saw. He could’ve seen that there was something terribly the way their eyes connected, as if they were one person. He could’ve seen that there was a kind of hunger, hunger for joy, their own kind of joy, burning behind the glass eyes. He could’ve felt that something was not right, that he must run that he has to get away, as far away as possible.

He could’ve. But his head was down when the china dolls looked at each other. So Mike didn’t.

Then they lowered their gaze and Natalie spoke up.

“We never played a game of Jacks before,” she said quietly. Mike, astonished that they weren’t upset, reached over to pick up a bag of Jacks.

“You guys know how to play right?” Mike said as he started dumping the contents on the ground.

“Yes,” said Donna. “We’ve seen people play it. It’s just that they’ve never invited us.”

“Ok,” Mike said. He tossed the jacks and the rubber ball in the air and swiped his hand in the air. He caught three including the rubber ball.

“Oh, no thank you,” said Natalie when Mike offered her the game. “We can’t play it. Our hands are too small.” She held up her hands for Mike to see.

“We’ll just watch you play!” Donna said happily.

Mike shrugged and continued to throw the jacks into the air.

A minute passed in silence until Natalie quietly spoke, “It’s lonely in the playroom.”

“Hmm,” said Mike.

“No one ever comes in to play with us,” said Natalie.

“Hmm,” said Mike.

“Mike, if you can, will you stay with us?” said Natalie.

The jacks Mike tossed clattered to the ground. “What?”

“I said, if you can, will you stay with us, Mike?” said Natalie with absolute seriousness.

“I-I-I…” he stuttered.

“Imagine being alone forever. No one talking to you for ages,” Donna piped up,
”You made us alive, Mike. Without you, we’re stuck, unmoving. Please think about that.”

“I-I don’t…”

“Please Mike,” Natalie’s white eyes glimmered strangely under the sunlight.

Mike’s mouth gaped. He never made a decision as important as this. Usually, his parents did. They did it by signing some sort of paper. But there was no paper anywhere now.

He didn’t want to, but he didn’t want Natalie or Donna to feel bad. After all, all they said was if.

“I- sure,” he muttered in the end.

“Is that a yes or a no?” Natalie demanded.

“Y-yes.”

Natalie and Donna smiled broadly. Their white eyes burned more intensely. Then Donna stiffly lifted a porcelain arm out and said, “Well, I think I’d like a try at Jacks.”Relieved that his response was just another answer to another question, he handed her the jacks and rubber ball. Almost immediately, Donna grabbed his forearm and drew him towards her tiny china body.

“What – “

Then he felt another hand, Natalie’s, pull his body onto the windowsill. He tried to wrestle away. But the hands remained as hard as stone.

“Let g - !” and he felt a pillow being held over his face. Then Mike sensed himself tip forward and he felt a cool waft of air rush over his head. He was being thrown out the window!

“Thank you Mike,” he heard Natalie call courteously. Now the pillow fell away from his face but there was nothing left that was good to see because he was falling now, falling and seeing the concrete below –

There was a gruesome noise.

Then an equally gruesome silence followed.

The china dolls drew their heads back from the window and looked at the jacks. The Victorian doll took a couple and tossed them out the window. Then both of them slid smoothly off the windowsill and walked back to the corner Mike found them on his first day.

The light in their eyes resided and their eyes flicked back showing their normal glass eyes. They sat down and were still for a long time. But there were not alone.

There was a new doll in the corner with them. It was a boy. One with copper hair and a wiry body. His eyes were already open, glowing with a sort of frenzy. Then he closed them slowly and he sat with the two other dolls for a very long time.

<note to reader: the article is optional>

Hillsville Headlines

July 23

BOY FALLS TO HIS DEATH

By Janet Wallace

At 6:21 a.m., Michael Newman was pronounced dead after he accidentally fell to his death at the hospital.

Newman was a patient of Dr. Allan at the time of his death. Allan tells HH of Michael’s condition at the time of his death.

“Michael fell from a tree three weeks ago,” says Allan, “he received a mild to heavy concussion, a broken leg, and a stab wound in the shin.”

Allan continued to tell reporters how Newman was just about to leave when the accident happened. Apparently, an infection reached the wound in his shin and Newman had to stay in his sickbed for three weeks. If not that, then Newman would’ve left within a week.

Newman’s parents are filing a lawsuit for leaving their son unsupervised.

“We brought our kid in to get better, not to get worse, in this case, dead!” complained Steven Newman, the boy’s father.

“He gets really lonely because his friends don’t come as often as they used to. So goes into the playroom all the time. I didn’t know closing the door would be a hazard. I mean, he’s five, he knows not to jump out the window!” says Allan.

In the meantime, an autopsy will be performed on him but no foul play is suspected. Police found two jacks on the ground below beside Newman’s body and the rest of the package upstairs on the windowsill.

Investigators believe that Newman was playing jacks when some fell out the window and Newman simply reached too far out to catch them.

“I don’t think Dr. Allan or anyone should get blamed,” says a doctor who wishes to remain anonymous. “It’s tragic enough and it’s going to get even sadder when we set the blame on someone else.”

On the left is a picture of a memorial set up by his friends and family. His short life was taken too suddenly and too soon but will be remembered forever in our hearts.

 

 

 


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