Room 200

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Horror House
Carol Ann Broadshore has never been normal, Dr. Radley sees that. He is her appointed doctor at Harrington Sanitarium where Miss. Broadshore is staying. Carol likes to play practical jokes, solely to see the fear in the other persons eyes. This is Dr. Radley's account.

Submitted: September 06, 2013

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Submitted: September 06, 2013

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Room 200

 

Harrington Sanitarium
Friday, 13th December 1872


  Carol enjoyed playing practical jokes on people.
  She enjoyed watching the confusion and equivocality in their eyes and how they would flush with embarrassment.
  Carol doesn’t play normal practical jokes; she enjoys playing ‘hurtful’ practical jokes. One may even consider neither them to be ‘practical’ nor a ‘joke’.
  Carol has displayed a sadistic nature and has a clear obsession with pain while spending her time here.
  After six months I recommend further treatment for [Carol Ann Broadshore] and a carefully monitored program to help her on her journey to a stable mental state.
  No reason can be established to clarify her behaviour.
  I would suggest a carefully monitored eating and exercise program as well as at least a further six months here in Harrington Sanitarium to become certain that [Carol Ann Broadshore] is healing correctly.

Dr. Frank Harrison Radley.

 

The quill glided across the typed page swiftly and I set the report it aside in Carol Ann’s file. After my last session with her – some twenty minutes ago – I had finalised her need to stay at Harrington. Her unstable condition was evident yet allusive at the same time. She undoubtedly was troubled but her family offered no explanation as to how she became this way even at such a young age. Carol Ann had been a public menace since she was grown enough to walk and even now at age thirteen she only seemed to be getting worse. I straightened the few items on the desk and lifted the typewriter back into its worn leather box. A floorboard creaked behind me and I turned towards the doorway of my office. A tall nurse stood at the doorway. She juggled a stiff pile of written papers in one hand and knocked softly on the oak door with the other.

“Dr. Radley?” her sweet voice carried against the office and I smiled in response. “The patient reports of numbers #134 through to #145,” she continued and walked over to my desk holding out the thick bundle of papers and I stood to collect them from her. The nurse relinquished them and I placed them softly on the desk, straightening them in the process. “I also came to report-”she piped up. “- that there is a disturbance in room 200, Miss. Broadshore had another episode after you left,” I grumbled quietly and nodded at the young nurse.

She curtsied quickly before scurrying out of the office and I sat back down on the chair. The window in front of me had frosted over in the bitter cold of winter and the clean snow outside was barely visible. I huffed and grabbed my medical bag off the corner of the desk before making my way to room 200.

The distraught girl was curled up in the corner of the cushioned room and held her head in her small hands. I placed the medical bag on the bed and squatted down to Carol’s level.

“How are you Carol?” I asked softly. Carol began to whimper and she clapped her hands down on her knees and snapped her head at me to reveal the usual bloodshot eyes and ripped skin. I looked down at her fingers to see the blood and skin that had collected under her nails. Her body was curled up in a white nightgown and her bare arms revealed more deep scratch marks that seemed to continue down her legs.

“They are trying to get me! They are in my skin, they are in my skin! I have to get them out! They’re trying to get me!” she screamed. Carol kicked out at the padded wall and retorted in pain. I pulled the medicine bag off the bed behind me an unclipped it. The nurse that had collected me stood calmly at the door and seemed to stare blankly at the curled up Carol in the corner.

“I’m going to need some bandages for these scratches,” I said to the nurse. She snapped out of her trance and left with a nod of her head. “What is trying to get you, Carol?” I asked her calmly. She tightened her jaw and hissed at the air in front of her. “O-kay,” I muttered to myself. The nurse came back in with a basket of bandages across her arm. She handed them to me and I moved closer to Carol. “Do you want to sing something to me?” I asked calmly. She clasped her hands together carefully and her frazzled brown hair seemed to calm slightly. The knots at the back, however, stuck out against the cushioned walls like horns.

“I can’t sing if there isn’t any music,” she answered with an exasperated sigh. I wrapped the bandage around her arm carefully and watched her for any sudden movements.

“Why don’t I start? Do you know ‘All The Pretty Little Horses’?” I asked her calmly. Carol Ann nodded her horned head and I cleared my throat.
 

“Hush-a-bye,
Don't you cry.
Go to sleep, my little baby.
When you wake,
you will find,
All The Pretty Little Horses.”

Carol shifted her body to face me and turned her head to the side. Her sweet melodic voice began to filter the room and she joined in.
 

“Blacks and Bays
Dapples and Greys
And a go to sleep
my little baby.
Blacks and Bays
Dapples and Greys
And a coach and six a little horses
Hush-a-bye,
Don't you cry
Go to sleep
my little baby.
When you wake,
you will find all the pretty little horses.
All the pretty little horses.”  
 

Carol began to rock slightly and repeat the last line.

“All the pretty little horses, all the pretty little horses, all the pretty little horses...” I finished dressing her arms and legs and wiped away the blood from her head between her rocks. The nurse tapped me on the shoulder and I took the straight jacket from her.

“You look a bit cold, Carol. Why don’t you put on this jacket,” I said to her. She looked up at me with her still bloodshot, light green eyes and shuffled away from the wall. I draped it over her shoulders and fastened the ties and locks over her chest. “That’s better isn’t it, Carol?” the girl nodded in response and – using the wall – stood up in front of me. I clipped up my medical bag and stood up and walked out. The nurse held the heavy door open for me and I stopped in the archway to look back at Carol. She stood in the centre of the room, her white straight jacket fastened to her body and the skirt of her white night gown falling to just above her bandaged knees.

Carol Ann Broadshore seemed to stare blankly at me but past me at the same time. “Goodnight Carol,” I called out softly. Her thin, purple lips creased into a haunting smile and her light green eyes met mine. The smile spread across her pale face and shadows cast over her eyes until the only thing visible in the dark room was the white of her teeth and her light green eyes. I turned and walked out of the room, the nurse closed the door behind me.

“I’ll be in my study, finishing up some reports. Please, nobody disturb me,” I said to the nurse. She nodded and walked in the other direction in the hallway.

The snow had begun to fall outside and the frozen petunias potted in my windowsill became covered in a new layer of falling snow. I sighed and watched my breath turn into cloud in the cool air. The Sanitarium wasn’t allowed fires since one of the patients escaped and tried to burn the place to the ground. I pushed aside the lessening pile of papers that had collected on my desk and took off my reading glasses, pressing my nose between my fingers.

“They’re trying to get me, doctor,” a soft voice called out behind me. I turned around quickly to see Carol Ann Broadshore standing apoplectic in the middle of the study, right in front of the unused fireplace.

“Carol Ann, what are you doing here? Who let you out?” I yelled agitatedly.

“But doctor, they’re trying to get me! They are under my skin, they are under my skin!” she cried out. Her straight jacket was gone with the bandages and her skin bled where she had picked at the dried blood of her wounds.

“You have to go back to your room, Carol Ann,” I said evenly and turned back to my desk to grab my medical bag. A cool wind blew at the back of my ear.

“They’re trying to get me, doctor,” Carol whispered into my ear. I jumped back onto the desk and saw her ghostly pale stature move even closer to me, scratching hectically at her already red arm.

“Who?” I yelled at her frantically. She stopped scratching and looked up at me blankly. A smile crept onto her face. She turned suddenly and walked back out of the door to my office. I looked around and followed her laboriously. The oak door creaked as I pulled it open and I stepped guardedly into the dark hallway. “Carol Ann?” I called out into the darkness. “It’s too dark,” I muttered to myself and walked back into my office and unhooked a candle from the wall.

“You called for me,” a satanic little voice filtered the air behind me. I turned with the melting candle in one hand to see Carol standing immediately behind me. She turned and walked back out of the office. I followed her with the candle, terrified of what the crazed girl might do. Her small figure appeared and disappeared in the light of the candle until she stopped suddenly in the centre of the hallway. I held up the candle and looked at the room we had stopped by. In the dim light I could see the ‘#200’ etched into the door. The candle flickered slightly and I looked back to where Carol was standing. She had disappeared.

“Carol? Carol Ann Broadshore!” I shrieked. There were three taps on my shoulder and I pivoted around gently. Her light green eyes had shadowed in the dim cast light of the candle and she smiled once again. “Carol, it’s time for bed,” I said faintly. Carol stood up on her tippy-toes and blew out the candle. The darkness draped over me in a tight embrace and I dropped the candle and its holder in fear. “Carol! Is this some kind of practical joke?” I called out, my voice rattling when I spoke. I spun around in the hallway and felt around for the wall. “Carol Ann?” I said softly. I felt the cool breeze behind my ear and cringed my eyes.

“They’re trying to get me,” Carol whispered into my ear satanically.


© Copyright 2020 Rose Burg. All rights reserved.

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