You awaken from a night of restless sleep to the sound of paper sliding under your door. Still trying to wipe the sand from your eyes, you pull yourself out of bed and make your way toward the door to see what note the landlord left you this time. Probably an inspection notice or a reminder that they’re gonna spray for bugs… you think to yourself as you bend over to pick up the envelope. You notice something strange about the envelope. The texture feels strange and the paper it’s self looks like something from years ago. You flip the envelope over and see the word “Asylum” in bold hand written letters. You open the envelope and find five one hundred dollar bills inside and a letter.
“Meet me at “The Ground” coffee shop at noon today. It will be worth your while. We have a proposition for you and will pay you another five hundred dollars simply for accepting our invitation. Don’t be late.”
You start to wonder if this is a legitimate offer, and then remember how broke you are. You ask yourself what kind of business man would give you five hundred dollars in cash with a letter and another five if you accept his offer, but soon realize you don’t care. Worst case, you take the other five hundred and decline the offer. Easiest thousand you ever made, right?
You arrive at the coffee shop ten minutes early only to find that no one is there. A girl in her teens comes out from behind the counter to greet you and take your order. You ask for a glass of water and explain that you were told to meet someone here. The woman smiles and explains that she has been expecting you. She tells you that she has something for you but cannot give it to you until you are done. She then directs you to an empty high top table in a corner of the room with a wireless lap top computer on it. As you open the small computer it comes to life, and a load bar comes across the screen. You sip your water now more curious than ever as to what the mystery letter was all about. Suddenly a man’s voice greets you and you see a video clip begin.
“Thank you for your time, as promised, this will be worth your while, I assure you.” the voice says. A picture of an old abandoned hospital looking building comes across the screen. “This,” the man explains, “is the city’s Asylum. Or at least it used to be. In 1971 this asylum and all of it’s inmates burned to the ground. The cause of the fire was never determined and there were no survivors. You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with you. I’m getting to that. The Asylum is said to be haunted by the restless spirits of it’s patients. The only thing creepier than ghosts, are crazy ghosts.” The man says with a chuckle. The picture then changes to an unlit candle. As images of straight jackets and electro shock therapy rooms flash across the screen. “We are willing to offer you one hundred fifty thousand dollars to complete one simple task. In each room of the Asylum we have placed a candle. Should you accept, you will be given a lighter and your task is to ‘survive’ the night with your sanity in tact proving that you’ve been in every room on the main floor, by lighting each candle. Simple enough. If you choose to investigate the paranormal activity for us, go to the Asylum at 16661 182nd St. on the edge of town tonight at ten o’clock pm. Alone. If you decide to decline our offer, see the woman at the counter for the other promised five hundred dollars and go on with you life. That is all. Thank you again for your time.” With that the computer shut it’s self off.
You take a deep breath as you consider your options. That’s a lot of money. You tell your self. What the hell, I don’t believe in ghosts anyway. Light a couple of candles and sleep through the night. You then realize that you’ve made your decision. You collect the five hundred dollars from the lady at the counter then go home to get ready for what will surly be a boring night.
You arrive at the Asylum at ten pm sharp. Looking up at the old dark building a chill runs down your spine. You find a box at the door with your name on it. You feel a slight hesitation to open the box, but soon shake it off. You open the box to find a lighter, another letter, the key to the front door, and a flashlight. The letter warns you that this is your last chance to back out. After you enter the building, you will be locked inside, and your key will not let you out. It also tells you that with each room you visit, you will live that spirit’s experiences. You decide against backing out after reminding yourself of the large amount of cash on the line. You slowly open the door, unsure of what to expect.
You find yourself in the lobby of the old Asylum and hear something faint. At first you think it’s your mind playing tricks on you until you see a newspaper clipping on the floor. You pick it up and begin to read the headline.
“Killer Clown Admitted to City Asylum. Today a four foot tall man was admitted into the city asylum after admitting to local authorities that he had killed six children from different parts of the state, dressed as a clown. He also admitted that this was not the only state he had visited. The man…”
Suddenly the sound comes more and more clear and you realize it is not in your head. It soon became very clear as to what the sound is. Circus Music. You look up from the clipping to see what appears to be a child in a clown suit grinning at you, his body transparent. You can barely make out the blues and whites in his costume through the dripping with blood. As you look closer you realize that he isn’t a child but a midget and he soon opens his mouth to speak.
“WELCOME,WELCOME, WELCOME!” The Clown says. “Welcome indeed to The Asylum. The place that bends the mind so far that it snaps in two. All stories and poems are fiction... or are they? Some of the GREATEST horror stories of all times came from the minds of mad men. Simply consider Poe. If twisted tales touch your heart then beware yourself for you are not what you seem. In in The Asylum there are two main kinds of people, The Destined and the Damned. Which are you? You can find out here... These are the glimpses into a world you may not understand and they don’t come cheap, the price for admission is your sanity so WELCOME!”
The clown walks a few steps closer and looks you up and down then he continues, “Welcome to my Circus. I am the ringmaster. Welcome to my circus staring the cannibal clowns, the rabid ringmaster, and the jugglers throwing limbs. The place where children foam at the mouth and the rings are made of the skulls of beasts. The place where the tight rope walkers always fall to the spikes below, but hey, that gives the animals something to eat, so all is not lost and a good time is always had by all! Step right up! You probably wonder how, exactly I hit into this twisted little show, well let me tell you… I am but a psycho clown in a straight jacket who giggles uncontrollably. A madness which as overcome me controls my every action, right down to the twitch. Blood of life drips from my palms where I have clenched my fists a little too tight. My wide eyes are not the windows into my soul, but a peak into an insane world no normal man would dare venture. The smile of a clown, the darkness of a serial killer, and the hunger of a cannibal. That is me. You see I hide the truth from the outside world, the madness in your world is the sanity in mine. Your nightmares are my twisted reality. I eat your fear. FEED ME.”
Then as suddenly as he had appeared, he was gone. On the reception desk you find a candle. You could tell already that this would be no ordinary night. You light the candle and begin to walk toward the first set of rooms.
As you walk down the dark cold corridor, you come to the first door. You see something pinned to the door and read what it says.
Notes: Called “The Man Child” by staff, patient 62581 suffers from delusions of inadequacy, and violent outbursts. Treatment included: writing letters to his abusive mother…”
You open the door, wondering what images will haunt you this time. When you enter the room you see a letter written in a child’s hand writing on the floor. You soon begin to read what it says.
Do you miss me mommy? Do you miss your little son? How I’ve grown up mommy. I don’t need you anymore I am a grown up now mommy I can make my own choices now mommy my own mistakes. Your little boy isn’t so little anymore mommy. You raised me mommy now deal with what you’ve done. You planted the seeds mommy, now watch them grow! You can’t stop me mommy! I’ll make you proud. Nothing can stop what you made me do. It’s not over mommy not now not ever. The times almost here mommy. Ill make them pay mommy just you wait and see, you’ll be so proud of me don’t you love me mommy? -Your Son”
You feel a cold chill breeze by your back and spin around, seeing an image of a face that screams at you. Your pulse begins to race and you fall back against the heavily padded wall. The face flies at you and then vanishes as if it was never really there. Once you catch your breath you start searching the room. You find no candle in the small room so you turn to the door to leave the room, but are met by the demented clown from before. He is changed. Different some how… darker. He smiles at you and hands you a candle. You take it, careful not to touch him for fear of what might happen. After lighting the candle you follow the clown to the second room.
“Ready for a ride?” The little clown says offering you his hand.
“No.” you reply taking his hand. In the instant you take his hand your mind floods with voices… but one is dominate…
They yell, they scream, they argue. Some are worse than others. Like her. The little girl. She sounds so innocent. HA! If she was innocent then why am I in here. She tells me things. Dark things. Things I would never think on my own and any normal little girl of her age would never say. She shows me things too, like the many colors and patterns in blood splatters. They can’t keep me in here for ever, damn it! I’m no animal. Yes I am, I hunt. I eat. I have the cunning and instincts of an animal. I feel like a puppet. They all yell and scream but when she speaks they all are quiet. She’s in charge. I see her sometimes in my sleep... when I sleep. She can’t be older then seven, maybe eight. Her eyes are dark and deep...evil for sure. She wears a long white dress with stains all over it. Blood I assume. She grins like a chesschire cat. And she always speaks so softly at first then when I ignore her she gets louder and louder. SHUT UP! I try to get her out of my head. It's MINE for god’s sake. She holds a long kitchen knife behind her back and I know its there because I can see it. I see the dripping blood puddle below her. She speaks to me but her mouth doesn’t move. KILL THEM, HURT THEM, MAKE THEM PAY, KILL THEM! shutupshutupshutupSHUTUP! She makes me make art out of them. Make them pretty. FIX EM! Paint the walls. She’s so sick. I can’t take it. Please make her stop. She controls me. I can’t stop her, she’s so hungry. CUT THEM. no, I can’t. YOU CAN AND YOU WILL. no. no. no. BOIL THEIR BODY AND EAT THEM. YOU WILL EAT THEIR SOUL. Please go away. NEVER. YOUR MINE! Stop it. I keep the bodies in my closet and only eat what and when I must. What and when she tells me to. LET THE MEAT DRY OUT IN THE WOODS. HANG IT TO DRY THEN EAT. No. It’s not right. IM RIGHT! She giggles making me go madder then I already am. the laugh of a child used to bring me joy, now it brings me terror! I don’t like it. YOU LOVE IT! She won’t go away. My life is built of sin. I’m going to hell. The guard hears me acting up. Go Away! I yell. He comes closer. The door opens slowly. I Spring forth, but I swear its not me! I bite him, his neck is hot and chewy. He screams, As the blood runs down my face I apologize. YOU ARNT SORRY! Yes I am. I didn’t mean to. QUIT WHINEING! EAT! I hear them coming down the hall more and more of them. YOU NEED FRESH SKIN! MORE FLESH FOR THE FEED! Stay back! I Yell as they come closer, She’s gonna hurt you too! SHUT UP. I can’t stop her as she rams my hand into the guard’s stomach to pull out entrails. Stop! EAT! I fight her. I’m not strong enough. I can't stop her. No one can stop her. They all tackle me and shove needles into my body. Even still she forces me to eat. I feel sleepy. Thank you.... I tell them, as I fall fast asleep.... all I see in my dreams is her. As I wake up in a cold sweat I realize it was all a dream. My room is normal. No needle marks on my arms... I am okay. I get up and take a shower to try to calm my shaken nerves. I then go to the kitchen to get a glass of milk. Maybe that’ll help. I open the fridge and see a bag of meat in the back with a sign in my hand writing. I move the milk aside to see what the bag contains, paying no attention to the sign... As I unzip the bag I see an eye ball looking back at me. Oh god! I say as I throw the bag to the ground. I look again and see the note. eat me. I pick up the phone to call 911 and before I can dial the first number a voice comes over the phone. EAT IT.
As you slowly regain control of your mind you realize that maybe this isn’t worth all the cash. You run from the room, headed toward the lobby, and when you get back to the main door, you pull on it with all your might. The door is locked. You’re in for the night.
“You’re going nowhere. You signed on for the night, friend.” Says an all too familiar voice from behind you. The clown. You take a deep breath and go back to the second room and light it’s candle, knowing you have no other choice. You turn expecting to see the clown but are semi surprised to find him gone. At this point you really don’t care. You head toward the third room.
The moment your foot enters the third room, lines of twisted poetry begin to flow through your mind. Your head begins to burn as your vision turns red…
“As the rage burns inside of me, I live my life so happily, but the fear that turns constantly inside of me, scares me, cause I never know what’ll set it free. The adrenaline rushes through my veins to my brain, till I start to lose control again. Sweat runs down my face like rain, I feel no pain, only rage again. I cant control what I say or do, so If I hurt you I didn’t mean to. There’s nothing I can say or do to make it up to you, cause I hurt you. I didn’t mean to. I go blind, I start to unwind as I’m lead by feelings that just ain’t mine. So on your heart I will dine, cause I cant find mine! So step in line, And you’ll be fine... in time. I yurn to gain control, bought and sold, I’ve become so cold, lost my soul to the rage that’s taken control.”
You’ve never felt such anger. You begin to feel sorry for the person in room three, unsure of what could have caused such pain and rage.
“Don’t pity him. He doesn’t want it. He’s killed more people in his life than you’ve even met. Move on.” the clown demands as if reading you mind. You begin to resent the little bastard. Nevertheless you light the candle and move to room four.
Peering into the bared window of room four, you see scratch marks in the walls and built in restraints. You wonder what kind of monster lived in this room. You pull at the door and find that it wont open. You look down and see a skeleton key. You use it on the door and cautiously enter the fourth room. Images flood your mind to the depths of your soul as you relive the experiences and feelings of the patient…
“A pretty little town. A pretty little town filled with all its pretty little politicians, pretty little houses, and pretty little churches attended by pretty little people who walk their pretty little pets and feed their pretty little kids, before shipping them off to their pretty little schools everyday. So pretty. Now tragically, magically, scratch the surface to see what lies just below. Just below the pretty surface lies the truth. Oh yes this pretty little perfect town is the number 1 meth capitol in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. Why? Because of the dark side of the town that infects the good kids when night falls. Because of crooked cops and Jaded Judge. Greed, Hunger and Blood. That is the truth of this pretty little town. An old man being beaten to death by 17 year old boys, all for 20 dollars of blood money. Old men die in the streets and the last thing they hear is laughter. The last thing they see is a fading street light. The last thought- Why? The answer- Why NOT? All because of lack of discipline. So welcome to a town full of pretties, but stay inside after nightfall cause the pretties turn ugly really fast when that sun goes down. Welcome indeed.”
The town that is described by the spirits thoughts sounds oddly familiar to you somehow… You decide to shrug it off and light the candle so you can get this night over.
As you look for room five you begin having trouble breathing. You stop from wandering through the hall, just long enough to wipe the cold sweat from your brow.
“Not getting sick are you? This is the best place for the sick…” The voice of the clown and his laughter echo through your mind. You look around to see him, but find him nowhere but in your mind. As you force yourself to get a grip, you notice a sign on a door.
You open the door and climb a steep flight of stairs to find the fifth room. Once on the second floor, you find the room you were searching for. Entering the fifth room you are greeted by a specter in a torn judge’s robe, and he begins to speak to you of the society he lived in…
“Society’s wasted time. The accidental drowning of a killer’s soul from within the lost innocence of a baby. The world is full of disillusioned lemmings trying to fit in with societies little hell spawns. Time burns away like a wick from a candle and people die and drip off the earth like wax. We all seek Devine Intervention. We find half truths. Twisted thoughts, lost memories and forbidden melodies. Spilled blood of innocent children. Some innocence lost to a wicked dream war. War brought on by a politicians lies. Elected by the people, yes. For the People, HA! A deep river of victim’s blood runs through us all as we watch an ancient empire fall. Pride consumes a bitter man's mind. Bent on revenge we all are. Let us not drown in the ocean of lies or get lost in the labyrinth of fear, tangled in the web of deceit we all helped weave. But fear not! Fear not, because our government will save us from their hell! The Spider Government scurries to our side to put an end to the misery in which they tell us we have created when in fact it was them that put us in this hell and started it all! But why not let ourselves fall prey to the spider father, or uncle. Uncle Sam the Spider, we'll call him. Screaming souls fill the halls of congress but fall only onto the ears of the def. They scream for some one to listen but no one ever does. Instead they demand more from us and less of themselves. What do they demand? Tax. Sales Tax. State Tax. Local Tax. School Tax. Tax on food. Tax it all! Oh yes and Federal Tax. Let us not forget the feds. I ask you this my friend, How many times can you tax the same dollar until it is no longer a dollar? This is the view of a mere observer. Consider it not too heavily, for I am but a madman right? Justice gone awry.”
This man must have been driven mad by all of the injustices he had seen. You think to your self as the spirit slowly fades away. You then find the room’s candle and light it, starting to wonder if your visits to each room and lighting each candle is some how setting the unsettled spirits free.
In the hall on the way to the sixth room, you see the ghost of a nurse pushing a med cart. Paralyzed with fear you cannot move as the spirit comes closer and closer to you, not seeing you, but ready to walk directly into you. As it passes through your body, your minds meld and you hear the nurse’s thoughts only for a moment…
The nurse in the hall
“Why start a fight you can't win? It's like kicking the Grimm Reaper in the balls, signing your own death warrant, bad idea. Like strapping raw meat onto your naked body then running through a tigers den just to dive into a pool of sharks, bad idea. Why start a fight you can't win? Because you can.”
It seems even the staff in this godforsaken place were insane. You find yourself at the door of the sixth room and as you grab for the handle, images flash through your mind. You see a man lurking in the shadows watching women and children. Stalking his prey…
“I am the plague. The disease that breathes fear into the lungs of children. The world is my playground, I slide down controversy and ride the marry-go-round of ridicule. You love me you hate me, you fear me. My name sends chills down your spine. The same chills that tickle the same spine as I walk by you in the darkened pub, my coat pushed back by a nonexistent breeze. You dare not make eye contact with me for you know, or rather you feel my eyes peering into your soul each time our eyes meet. You thought it frightened you at first, but when you realize that you cannot hide from me, you know what true fear is. I hide in the darkness watching. Waiting. Waiting with an inhuman patience. Barley breathing. I hear your pulse running through your panicked veins. Your pulse is racing faster and faster. Your eyes shifting back and forth. You feel a warm breeze in the cool summer night, or could that be me breathing down your neck? The very thought gives you another chill, as you spin around hoping to catch a glimpse of me. No one there. I'm still watching and you know it. So you run feeling that I am two steps behind you, run faster! Push it! Run Harder, you can't get away. You glance back to see if I am there, but you can't see me. Then you run into me. I don't move as you fall to the ground as if you hit a tree. You dare to look into my face. Blank, cold and emotionless. Almost as if Soulless... Then my lip curves into a half smile, a smirk if you will. You want to smile back but more than that you want to run. But to where? To me? From me? I put my hand out and you flinch thinking I'm going to hurt you until you realize it is to help you up from your fall. Your hands are cold and clammy. Mine are hot with the heat of hellfire. Just as you start to feel safe I lean forward and whisper two words into your ear: "Got ya." You close your eyes in disbelief, and open them to see that all has gone black. I am gone. You are left alone with only your confusion and fear as company. The game is over. The chase is done. But still I watch. Still I wait. Still you fear. Forever you fear, knowing the inevitable truth that eventually I will take your life.”
This mad man must have been a stalker. You’ve lived his story before even entering the room. You finish opening the door and find the large candle in the room. You swiftly move in, light the candle, and get out, not wanting to see anymore of what the spirit could show you.
Across from room six is room seven. A sign on the door reads “No Meds, Alternate Therapy Only.” Wondering why a room would need that kind of sign you open the door. As you step into the room you see insane messages scribbled on the walls in, what appears to be, dried blood. You begin to read the rants of the madman…
“I see dirty veins, dirty veins, dirty veins! Blackened blood running warm throughout the blackened dirty veins. Dirty from the injections or the joints take your pick. None of it is clean, cant you see that, you nasty Bastards?! Fry the small number of brain cells you may or may not have left. Its your body and if you don’t kill it time will right? So kill time by killing yourself slowly. A Cowards Suicide. Trust me Mr. Nasty, a bullet is just as dirty but much faster! Just think of it as the one drug you only have to shoot up once to get the ultimate high! Nice and Dirt cheap for a dirty little suicidal pussy punk bastard like you! Eat it up! Shoot it up! Smoke it up! They’ll call it lead poisoning! Get loaded! Get Blasted! Much Faster! Sleep the sleep of death in a pool of your own blackened crimson blood of life that rushes from your dirty veins! Sleep Mr. Nasty! Sleep Dirty Veins Sleep! Night Night. That wasn’t so bad now was it?”
A drug addict. That explains the sign. You start to feel like you understand the patient’s point of view, and that scares you. Am I going mad? You ask yourself, afraid to know the answer. You light the rooms candle and close your eyes tight, trying to forget what you just read. You feel the heat from the candle on your legs, as you squeeze your eyes tighter. You hear the flame of the candle grow and feel it’s heat as if it has engulfed the room. Frozen in fear, you open your eyes only to find that the writing is gone. The walls are clean. The candle is burning calmly on the floor. Freaked out beyond words, you run from the room headed toward the eighth room.
“I love this room. Then again I love all children.” The twisted clown stands by your side looking up at the door. Your psychotic tour guide then fades into nothingness. You open the heavy door and in the eighth room you see a small child huddled in the corner. You look around the room, thinking that maybe your clown friend frightened him. After seeing no clown, you go to ask if he’s okay, and as you touch his shoulder, you see that he is not a child, but a grown man with his mind stuck in child hood. You are filled with a sense of sadness and fear as tears fill your eyes and you feel your heart break as if let down in an unimaginable way.
You feel the pain of the man who was abused as a child and still felt like his father was his hero. You light his candle and silently say a prayer for the spirit. As you finally begin to collect yourself, you leave the room and walk down the hall to the ninth room.
On the door to the ninth room you find a similar sign as the one you had seen a few rooms back, this one warned that the patient within should not be allowed near sharp objects…
The blood runs from the wounds like water from a sink, forming a crimson puddle around his body. As the puddle grows and the wounds pour, so does the life, the dreams, the pain, the anger, the sadness and all the ills that the living are damned with. He tiptoes the fine line between the land of life and the realm of death. Dancing on the edge of madness and sanity. Seeing all of the souls of his fallen friends and loved ones at peace, but hearing the screams of the living people. "HOLD ON! DON'T GO! PLEASE GOD! PLEASE!" And he hears, a single sound that comes and goes: “Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep...Beeeeeeeeeeee...” He hears another voice.... "We're losing him, Clear!" And then the light fades and turns dark... all the sounds quiet down slowly. "CLEAR!" Black. Quiet. No Sound. Nothing. Nothing but peace. Then Suddenly light! Oh my god the light! It's so blinding! the images are fuzzy... oh wait... their clearing up...Mom?! A nurse..."He's gonna be just fine." "Hear that honey? You’re gonna be okay. Don't worry he can't hurt you any more. He's gone now. I need to tell you this. Your father shot himself after he beat me. We're gonna be okay." True peace. He closes his eyes and wakes to find that the dream has ended. He has been awakened by his father's drunken screams. He walks to the bathroom to remove the razor from the cupboards. To finally find peace...
You realize why sharp items were not a good idea for patient number nine.
“We’ve all considered suicide as the great escape at one point or another. There’s really no denying it. To quote Shakespeare: ’What dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil? Must give us pause…’.” The clown says, again exposing his voice only and no image of himself.
As you had done in all the other rooms, you light the candle and walk back into the hall, searching for room ten.
As you walk down the hall you see yet another sign that indicates that the tenth room is down a long, dark corridor. You get to the door and see that room ten is a solitary confinement chamber. Unsure as to weather or not you want to enter the small room, you open the door. The room looks to have four foot walls, and no leg room, forcing it’s occupant to sit in the fetal position. The only light that enters the room is from the open door. Kneeling to get inside, you suddenly are overwhelmed by a feeling of claustrophobia, though nothing happens, and you find no candle… until you pull the massively oversized door closed…
“Silence plays wicked tricks on the mind. Quiet turns to screams. You start to hear your name spoken by millions of unfamiliar voices over and over again. You may hear a high pitched squeal. No matter what it is that you hear it's usually at night while you're in bed. So you can't really see anything either. That's a whole new mind game. You start to see colors that you KNOW aren’t there. Shapes in the shadows. You see things moving, dark things. Scary things. Then you see nothing. Just black. You start to worry about this. Maybe you've gone blind. Maybe you're blind and deaf. OH NO! Your HELLEN KELLER! Oh wait, you can still speak... right? "Hello?" Whew! You're still able to talk. Can you hear? You smack yourself. "OUCH!" Well you can feel and speak but you forgot if you heard the smacking sound so you tap your bed post. Yup. You can hear. Now, Can you see? You open your eyes really wide (As if that helps or matters). You can't see a damn thing. Ahhhh! Your Blind! Oh wait! You remember, you are lying safely in bed, with the lights out. oh well. You scared the hell out of your self for nothing. You go to sleep and that's when the REAL mind game begins…”
The candle appears as you slowly regain control of your mind. You shiver after lighting the candle in the cold, dark room. The warm glow of the candle illuminates the room as you leave, wondering what could be next.
As you continue your journey into madness, you search for the eleventh room. At the end of the hall is another door leading to the stairwell that takes you to the third floor. The third floor is home to labs, patient observatories, and of course more rooms. You see the eleventh room, indicated by the number scratched in the door. Once you find it, you realize that the eleventh room is a therapy room. The sign by the door is burnt but you can make out the words, electroshock and hydrotherapy. Somehow you doubt that the spirits in this room will be as ‘easy’ to handle as the others. You suddenly feel constricted as you enter the eleventh room. You see a metal bed in the center of the room. You reach out to brush you fingertips across it and you almost feel as if you have been put into a straight jacket, as a demented and unfamiliar voice starts to speak to you.
“So many years on this earth, so many things I’ve learned. I make you see the truth, in return you make me see the doctors! You make me doubt my self, doubt what I know to be the truth! They Brain wash me. The pills, the injections, all the meds make me sick. Make me go mad. These four walls my only company. The designs of the pads dance when you look long enough. Sometimes they want a show. They watch me on their little black and white screen, but who watches them? I am one hell of a case study! I frighten them. I give them their show. I pretend for them. I kick, scream, laugh at nothing and everything all at once, and I bounce off their pretty padded walls, smile purdy for the camera! I peek through the wired glass on the padded door and see the nice young men in their bright bleach white coats. Big guys! They come for me holding my custom coat, my fitted jacket and a muzzle. peek-a-boo! I See YOU! I run in circles to gain momentum as they come closer and closer to my little room. Faster n Faster, Round n Round, till the door swings open- CHARGE! I hit one and fall backwards onto the table-on-wheels being pushed by the other. JACK ME UP! I say as I put my arm in his face, and as if on cue, he sticks the needle into my veins to sedate me. I foam at the mouth, just for show. The world is my stage! They strap me down and I watch as the lights go by. ONWARD! I shout headed toward the Therapy Room. Oh Look! A magic mirror! GOOD MORNING DOC! I say to the people on the other side watching me and my show. -Hydrotherapy one- I hear a voice say over the loud speaker. I watch as the hoses come out at least two inches from the walls. The clean men leave. -Begin.- OH THE PAIN! THE AGONY! The pressure pulls at my flesh, tears at my atoms! I look toward the mirror and grin ear to ear. Laughter. All they say and all they do to me and all they get is laughter. Why let them inside my mind when I’m just fucking with theirs? All in a days work, or a nights sleep. I open my eyes and see my T.V. in the corner. I see my room. I close my eyes and sigh with relief. I open them again just to see the mirror, feel the cold steel, and hear that word. That awful terrible word. -Begin.- My room. Therapy. Room. Therapy. Room. Therapy. Room. Therapy. I keep blinking. Room. Therapy. Therapy Room.”
As the voice fades away, you find yourself gripping the room’s candle in the fetal position as you shake with fear. What the hell kind of place was this? You ask yourself, as you stand up and light the candle. You tell yourself that you don’t want to be here anymore, but know that there are no other options. You close the door, leaning up against it as you take a deep breath. You know you don’t want to move on, but you know that since you can’t leave you might as well finish lighting the rest of the candles so you can get your money. If only there was a way to light the candles without entering the rooms… Giving up on the thought you head to room number twelve.
As you come to room twelve you see that the room is nicer than the others. Almost like a hotel room. The walls are covered with pictures of 70’s pop stars. You enter the room, hoping for a happy encounter, but suddenly feel very alone. You see a girl appear on the bed, and begin to feel what she feels…
A little girl sits alone in her room listening to the screams from the other room. She feels lost, So alone in her room, her sanctuary. She lies on her bed staring into the light on the ceiling, her tears her only company. The sadness in her eyes is only a glimpse of the pain in her heart. Her grades aren’t good enough. Nothing ever is. Nothing she ever does is right, everything she ever says is wrong. They always yell, at each other, at her, at everything. "Leave me alone. Go away. Just S T O P ! !" The thoughts dance in her head flooding her heart. "Just once..." She thinks, "...Tell me you love me." She is never good enough. Gotta be perfect. Gotta Be the BEST. Can't ever have fun. She has to grow up. Can't be a kid. No sleep-overs. No friends. No life. She looks at her parents wrong and she's grounded. Stuck in her hole, her room, her sanctuary. So she lays back and looks up at the light, almost as if to look through it. Beyond it. Past it, into the sky, into the darkness only lit by the moon and the stars. "God, just once, for like a month, I wish I could just go away." They never hit her with their hands, just their words. Sometimes she wishes they would hit her. The pain would be less. The pain they cause will last so much longer. "Just once... Tell me that you love me... tell me you're proud."
A tear streams down your face as you feel as if a hole has been left in your soul. You ache for the little girl. You light the pink candle in her room, and as you to the images of the room fade away and the room is left empty. You find that your not surprised by the room’s transformation. You begin to doubt that anything could surprise you.
In the thirteenth room, you find a note indicating that it used to be occupied by a manic depressive patient. You soon begin to live his thoughts.
All this time spent lost and alone, never truly alone but alone within my self. Pain. I know what true pain is. I feel the psychological equivalent to labor. The closest thing a man can get to that pain. I cannot be in two places at once but god how I wish I could. True Happiness cannot be acquired, only yurned for. So I yurn. I want, I need and I yurn. Death is but a dream. Shakespeare said it best in his to be or not to be speech. Hamlet contemplated suicide, decided against it and made his enemies pay. I have but one true enemy, myself. Yes, this misery I am in, I alone have caused, brought onto myself. Inflicted on others. It's what I do. I have but one person to hate, to blame, for my burdens and that is me. I could have stopped it. I didn't. I could have avoided this. I didn't. "I've gone insane with this pain that I surely know." I look to god and ask him to take away this pain. Heal this unmendable heart and the pain to it that I have inflicted. God laughs. First he snickers, then he giggles, then he laughs. For he knows that I am the only one who can end my pain. But how? I truly hope time heals all wounds, if not then I am in trouble. "And by a sleep we say to end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. 'Tis consummation devoutly to be wished."
You light the candle and move on, wondering where the ride will lead you next in this emotional roller coaster.
In room fourteen you find pictures of wolves attached to the walls. The only picture not of a wolf is that of a police officer in full uniform, at what appears to be the prime of his career. The words “Lethal Protector” are scribbled on the floor in crayon. Suddenly the images begin to flash across your vision and invade your mind again…
“I work hard everyday at hardly working, and yet here I am destined to be Damned. A demon within an angel. I would kill for you, die for you to die for me. I am not what you think I am. I am a clown possessed by a wolf possessed by a demon. The demon strengthens the wolf that eats away at the inside of the clown. Clawing and tearing at my insides, ripping me to shreds, the wolf wants out. I fight it. An eternal struggle. An epic battle of Good vs. Evil, raging constantly inside of me. I’m a golden hero in a dark way in this dark age. I would rather kill the bastard criminals then let them get off scott free because of a judge and jury bought and paid for. I wouldn’t kill them with a gun or even a knife. Way too easy. Too painless... I would give in to the wolf. It would command me. Control me. Beat them to death. Do to them as they have done to their victims. Destroy them. Clean up the streets in a very dirty way! Let the rage consume me only for a minute. Like watching a bloody ballet. Like watching a cat playing with a mouse before he eats it. Disgustingly morbid but hypnotically beautiful. Leave the body on the steps of the police station. All Superheroes leave the bad guy with the cops right?”
This was no superhero. This was truly a sick madman. You begin to wonder if the patients that had the murderous impulses ever gave in to them. You realize that you’d rather not know.
“We’ve housed madmen, cannibals, children, rapists, murderers, prostitutes and priests. No one is safe from the dementia that lies just below the surface. We all have primal instincts to feed, we just pick and choose which ones to give in to…” the clown says sitting on a table in the middle of the hall. He sits almost childlike, swinging his legs back and forth as they dangle from the table’s edge. The clown begins to fade away.
As you turn to enter the fifteenth room you realize that this is the last room on this floor, and that the fourth floor is the top floor, which means you are almost done. That feeling puts your mind at ease some what. As you look around the dark room, it all starts to melt away. You find yourself in a car driving down an old country road. You try to step on the break, hoping that somehow this had all been in your mind, but soon realize that you are just along for the ride.
The first thing that hit me was the smell. I nearly doubled over and vomited at the stench that filled the house. The smell was enough to make my eyes water. I didn't remember that smell from when I visited as a kid. I figured the plumbing got backed up or something. I called for my cousin, but got no response. The house looked as I remembered it, well kept and neat. I headed over to the fridge for a cold beer, something my uncle always kept stocked. As I opened the door I again was taken back by a wicked smell. This time one of rotting meat and spoiled milk. It appeared that the fridge had been broken for some time. I decided to head up stairs. As I made my way to the old wooden grand staircase, I found my self remembering the creaking sound that the stairs made and how that always spooked me as a kid. As I came to the top of the stair case, I again yelled for my cousin, or uncle. Neither they or my aunt were any where to be found. I opened the door to my cousin’s room and got a fresh whiff of urine. I knew that smell all to well, as my cousin wet the bed until he was 13. I was about to close the door when I heard a distant thumping coming from the closet. I walked slowly to the closet and placed my hand on the handle. I took a deep breath as I opened the door to discover that nothing was inside. Again I heard a small thump. Thump. Thump. As I moved the clothes aside I noticed a small hole in the back of the closet. Because I had no idea what kind of animal might be inside the small hole, I took a pen out of my pocket and pulled at the hole. To my surprise, A door opened into another room that I never knew about. Then I saw something that would forever be burned into my memory...
... A Boy. He was bound with barb wire to the wall and couldn’t move. He was blind folded and the only thing he could move was his heel which he had been thumping against the wall to get the attention of the stranger he had heard. I quickly hurried to his side to try to untie him. I grabbed my cell phone to try to call the police, when I realized that I had no signal. I was in the middle of nowhere. Of course my phone wouldn't work. As Removed the pair of dirty underwear that had been stuffed in his mouth, he spoke to me. "Get out." He said. I thought for a moment that I had misunderstood him. "What?" I asked. "Get out." He repeated. I began to remove the barb wire that held him, and suddenly he began to scream. It was an almost barbaric scream, not of pain but of annoyance. I clapped my hands over my ears until he stopped. "He is in the basement. Get him and leave." The boy said. "Who?" I asked. Again he screamed but this time he didn't stop. I quickly left the room, but left the door open. The moment I stepped out of the room he stopped screaming. I thought it might be time to check the basement, but had a strange feeling.
As I approached the Basement door I remembered why I hated the basement of that old farm house. The gutted and cleaned carcasses. My uncle was a hunter and he cleaned the animals in the basement. I remembered when I was a child and wondered into the basement on accident. I saw a headless deer cut from chest to groin, it‘s blood pouring into a bathtub below. That picture haunts me to this day. As I opened the door, I came to the conclusion that the horrible smell had to be coming from the basement. I tried to flick on the light switch but there was nothing. "Great. A fuse must be out." I said to myself. I must not have noticed it before, but all of the power in the house was out. "well," I thought, "that explains the refrigerator." I took a few steps down into the darkness hoping that the small windows would be enough lighting for me to find the box or at least a lantern. That's right! I remembered a lantern that my uncle always kept in a storage room in the back of the basement. The light was minimal and I was scared. I felt my way around the basement, and through the cobwebs that were everywhere, into the general direction that the storage room had been in. I felt around for a wile with no results until suddenly I felt it. The old wooden door to the storage room. As I opened the door, pushed it open but it was stopped by something blocking it. I pushed harder, hoping to get it open enough so that I could squeeze through. Slowly the door gave way, but there had to be at least 150 pounds of weight behind it. I squeezed through the door and bumped into something that had been hanging from the rafters. I felt it and realized that it had to be the ribcage of one of my uncle's deer carcasses. "Ewwww." I said as I felt through out the room and bumped into another. And another. I felt for the counter and found something hard and sharp poke my exploring hand. "Antlers." I said as I continued to feel for the lamp. I Finally felt a shelf... and my hand brushed against something hard and furry. "Must be a stuffed rabbit or something." I mumbled trying to reassure myself. Then I felt it. The evasive lamp. I turned it on and a dim light began to feel the room. I turned around to see the quickest path past the deer carcasses that I had bumped into, and realized that they weren’t deer. Suddenly I felt a rush of illness rush over me as I saw what filled the room. Bones and human skulls lined the counter. The shelves that I had just retrieved the lamp from were home to severed heads. The lamp in the corner was made of human flesh, and the bodies that I had bumped into were headless. I forced myself to get a better look at the all too familiar severed heads on the shelf. My uncle and aunt. Even decomposed I could tell it was them. Then without warning, the lights came on and I was amazed by who stood in the door. It was him. The boy from upstairs that had appeared too weak to walk. "Don't you recognize me?" he asked and as I looked closer I realized that the boy in front of me was in fact not a boy but a fragile man. My cousin. He held the large kitchen knife in his hand and stepped closer to me. I panicked. He lunged and I pushed one of the hanging carcasses toward him, throwing him off guard. I ran past him, up the stairs and out the front door. Then I slipped. The owl. I had forgotten about that damn owl. Slipping on that owl was a big mistake. I smacked my head on the cement stairs and everything faded to black.
I woke up some time later in a hospital. I got up and tried to go to the door but was stopped by a large male nurse. "Whoa, where you goin' buddy?" he asked me. "I have to get out of here, he'll come for me!" I said. As the nurse lead me back to the bed I saw a sign over his shoulder that I wish I had never seen. Through the window the words CITY ASYLUM tore through me like a knife. They thought I was nuts. I let myself heal for a few days then convinced a local cop to go back with me to the house of horrors. There, I told him, he would find the bodies, the blood and the psycho man who my cousin had become. As we drove up to the house, my stomach fell as I saw the dogs playing in the yard. We got out of the car and were greeted by my loving aunt who welcomed us with open arms. Behind her stood my uncle who wanted nothing more than to have me come in, sit down with him and his son and a cold beer and watch the game. I took him up on the offer thinking that surly the cop would smell that rancid smell that almost took me out. We walked into the door and the only smell in the air was that of a dusty old country home. I took the cop upstairs. The secret room! That would show him! After inspecting the closet, the basement, and the storage room, the cop had decided that I was nuts. I'm not nuts. None of them believe me, but I swear to you this: I swear it's all nothing but the truth! You believe me right?
Before you know it, your back in the dark hospital, lighting the second to last candle. You see a man on his knees at your feet begging for you to help him out. To believe his story. You reach out to help him up, and feel yourself pulled out of the room as the door slams. You reach to open the door again, wanting desperately to help the man, and find that the door is locked. You slam your head on the door asking yourself if anything you had seen tonight had been real. You know it couldn’t have been real, maybe the asylum was filled with some kind of gas that made people hallucinate. You know that had to be the case. You go to the sixteenth room and see a man sitting in a room being interrogated…
“That night I came home after a late night at the office and noticed my door was open. I never leave my door unlocked, let alone open. I was shocked and appalled to find my house had been vandalized. I felt so violated. My house was a complete mess. I ran to the living room to get the phone to call the police trying not to touch anything else in the mess. I didn’t want to mess up evidence. I began to reach for the phone when I noticed something that I had never seen before… Not in real life anyway… a blood trail. It looked like someone or something had been dragged across the living room, through the kitchen and up the stairs. I followed the trail, driven by fear and sheer morbid curiosity. I tried to be quiet as I went up the stairs, fearing that the person who did this could still be in my house. When I came to the end of the trail I found that it lead to my closed bedroom door. I slowly pushed open the door and witnessed a man raping a woman I had never seen before in my bed. He was stabbing her while he violated her. She was barely alive and couldn’t put up much of a fight. I opened the hall closet door to grab my metal baseball bat. I kicked open the door, ready to defend the woman. The man stood up just in time to catch a bat across the face. I ran to the woman to see if she was alright. Her neck had been slashed and she suffered many stab wounds in her chest and abdomen. I turned to look at the man, when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my side. The man had stabbed me.”
“I managed to get a good look at his face. He had narrow brown eyes with a long nose. I could tell that my hit with the bat had broken his nose, and probably some other bones in his face. His hair was pulled into a pony tail and he had a scar above his right eye.”
“It was at this point that the intruder ran from the room and out of the house. I turned to the woman and found her choking on her own blood. I reached for my bedside phone and discovered that the cord had been cut. I remember telling the woman to stay calm and that I was going to get help. That she would be alright. I knew in the back of my mind even then that she would never see another morning. I ran down stairs and grabbed the phone fumbling to remember the number for 911 then struggling to dial it, my hands trembling with fear and dripping with the woman’s blood. My fingers kept slipping over the buttons as I dialed the number and told the lady on the other end frantically what had happened. It took thirty-two minutes for the ambulance to get to my house. The hospital is less than a mile from my house and it took thirty-two minutes. She was dead before they even pulled in the driveway.”
“I remember being interviewed several times, as I was the only witness and chief suspect in a grizzly murder. The police sketch of the man from my description was all over the news, but not one tip came in. The news had said that she had been stabbed fifty-seven times.”
“Eventually I was dismissed as a suspect and, despite massive media coverage, the case went cold… until I saw him. I saw him at a gas station a quarter of a mile from my house, scar and all. It had been over a year since it happened. I remember being totally shocked. I remember the images of that night came back to me. They hit me like a tidal wave. I was filled with rage. I knew I couldn’t let him see me, so I followed him to his house. There I used my cell to call the police. They came and brought him in for questioning. He must have had all the answers because they let him go.”
“A week later a woman was found raped, stabbed and with her throat slit a mile from his house thrown like trash into the river. I guess it was too similar to the murder at my house for the police to ignore so he was arrested.”
“After a long and grueling trial, even with my testimony, the bastard got off. Despite massive evidence against him, he was found ‘not guilty’. NOT GUILTY?! Can you believe that?”
“I couldn’t let it go. I tried and tried to go on with my life, but I couldn’t let it go knowing that that sick piece of meat had gotten away with it. So I began to plan. I knew I had to take justice into my own hands or he would kill again. Who’s daughter would be next? I couldn’t let it happen again. The blood on his hands was still on mine. I planed out everything perfectly. I left no detail unattended. I had thought of every thing that could happen. I went out to the local hardware store and bought wire cutters, some chains, a box of 20 gallon black garbage bags, a hack saw, and painters plastic.”
“I followed him for weeks, learning his routine. Turns out everyone has a routine. I stalked him like he had done to at least two women. Following his every move, I soon learned that he regularly patronized a local bar. That night I laid plastic out in my bathroom, knowing I would need it later. I followed him into the bar and waited until he was just drunk enough to approach. He thought at first that he knew me, but couldn’t put his finger on how. I assured him that we had never met. I offered to buy him a drink, and like the moron that he was, he accepted. He went to the bar’s bathroom and when he returned I had a nice, tall, cold, drugged beer waiting for him. He chugged it down, without thinking twice. After about ten minutes the drug took effect and he began to slowly pass out. The bartender suggested that I call him a cab. I offered to take my ‘friend’ home, being that I was totally sober.”
“I remember loading the heavy bastard into my car and taking him back to the house that he had destroyed a year before. I carried him into the bathroom where I chained him to the toilet. I can only imagine his surprise when he came too and found himself chained to a toilet, sitting in a plastic coated, sound proof room, naked with a long glass tube injected into his penis…”
“I told you I planned out everything.”
“When I went in to check in on my guest, I brought my beloved baseball bat. I asked him if he remembered me. When he said no, I asked how well he remembered the bat, and hit him across the face with it. I must admit it felt so good to hit that son-of-a-bitch. He swore he had no idea who I was or what I wanted. I welcomed him to my violent pornography. I remember slamming the bat down on his crotch and could only imagine the agony the broken shards of glass must have caused. I wanted to make sure he never used his ‘weapon’ on anyone ever again. Once he stopped screaming, the man looked up and smiled at me. He smiled! I left the room and went to the kitchen, where, using duct tape I strapped a butcher knife to the bat, and brought my new toy upstairs. Back in the bathroom, the bastard, dared me to kill him. He tried to tell me I didn’t have the guts, and that he knew what it was like to kill. What kind of a man it took. I remember slashing at him with my baseball bat-blade, and blood spraying all over the room. I used the wire cutters to cut off his fingers and toes one at a time. I believe part of my justice involved shoving a plunger up his rectum, so that he could feel what it was like to be raped, but I could be wrong there. I remember that his screaming became almost symphonic to me. I can still hear it ringing in my ears. I took great joy and pride in avenging the deaths of the two women. I knew that their families would thank me. I was sure to stab him fifty seven times and not one more.”
“By the time I was done, I had made quite the mess, and my ‘friend’ was quite dead. I had planned the clean up too. I unchained him and lifted what was left of his corpse into the tub and turned the hot water on. This was to rinse the blood away during my next stage. After changing clothes, I wrapped them in the plastic from the walls and floor, and brought it out, in the middle of the night, to the burn barrel in my back yard, where I burned some ‘leaves’. It took almost a whole can of lighter fluid to get the package to burn. Once this was done, I went upstairs with my hacksaw and trash bags to finish cleaning up my mess. I was glad I had thought to run the water while I burned the plastic and clothes, because it made it cleaner during the dismembering process. I cut off his hands and feet at the wrists and ankles. I was sure to place them in separate bags, so if found, they would be harder to identify. After removing the head, I placed it in my bowling ball bag and buried it in my back yard. The rest of the body was fully dismembered and placed into garbage bags, and then loaded into my truck. I loaded some bags of other miscellaneous junk I didn’t need and waited till daybreak to take the ‘trash’ to the landfill. It cost me, ironically, thirty-two dollars to dump my garbage at the landfill where it would be buried immediately.”
“I went to the police to tell them my story because, unlike the monster I killed, I do feel guilt. I kept having the same nightmare over and over again. I relived that night. The nightmare went on for weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I would do it all over again, but I still don’t feel quite right about it. They didn’t believe me. So I showed them where I buried the head. In it’s place were the heads of two women. I knew I had buried the man’s head there! They said that many women in the area had turned up missing, and that now I was the chief suspect! They blamed me! ME! I knew I didn’t do the things they had said. They later found the dismembered body parts of several women, all missing their heads, in the city landfill. It was a nightmare. Only a dream! I only killed one person and he was a man, not several women…”
As the interrogation/confession came to an end, you see the room return to it’s darkened state. You feel sick to your stomach after hearing the mans twisted delusional rants. He was a woman killer. And a sick one at that. You have tried to reserve judgment in all the rooms, but in this one, there is no doubt in your mind that he deserved to be here, or dead. You light the candle in the room and throw it in, closing the door.
Just as you begin to go to the last door, you see flashes of war across your vision. Lines of twisted, angry poetry flow through your mind. You can’t make out the words but they slowly become clearer. You see a man banging his head against the wall of the hall as he begs for the poem to stop. He screams his apologies in vain. You suddenly begin to hear, the poem yourself.
You watch the man fade away into his infinite suffering and you morn for both he and his friend. You take a momment to collect yourself then head into the last room…
You enter last room and hear a click behind you as you enter. You reach for the door, trying to get out, and find that it’s locked. You begin to panic. Then you hear a familiar voice.
“Light the candle.” The voice says. Where have I heard that before? You ask yourself. Then you remember. The voice in the room was the same as the one from the laptop in the coffee shop. The door opens as the clown returns. He shuts and locks it behind him then he begins to speak to you as his body mutates into that of a grown man. A doctor. He holds something in his hand as he steps closer to you. You try to back away but cannot move. He tries to hide it behind his back, but you know it’s there. You look down and find that your wrists and ankles are chained to the wall. You’re trapped. You watch as the walls morph into clean where they once were charred. The pads of the walls go from ash and charred wood, to thick white pads.
“I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but you continue to show no progress.” The doctor says. “We’ve tried every therapy we can and still you insist to tell these stories of ghosts and fire. I’ve worked with no patient as much as I have you. I’ve made curing you, my passion… Until I finally have realized that you are the only one who can cure yourself. The state will not allow the funding it will take to keep you here, and I refuse to allow you to return to the streets. I’m sorry that I have no other solution. Here is your final medication. Take one to cure all your ills…”
With that he places a gun on the floor just out of your reach. You stop to think about what has happened, confusion washing over your mind. As the doctor leaves the room, you hear the door click behind him, locking you in. A loud buzz sounds as the shackles that held you prisoner open, releasing you. You pound the door as depression and panic sweep over you. You look at the gun and consider your options… you aim at the door and realize that shooting it will do no good. After considering all your options, you place the cold muzzle of the gun under your chin, look to God and close your eyes…
…All you want is absolute freedom.
Horror Links 2: Banners and Webrings