Monday, 5 February 2018


It is always quiet in the garden. You’d be surprised that such a place could exist, so close to the heart of the city. But it does. Has always existed, as far as anyone can remember.

Very few try to remember, though. The human mind is really good at glossing over things that unsettle it. The veneer of everyday normality is comforting.

Yet, there are a few who remember still, diligently. The ones who tend the fences, sweep the grey-bricked paths. And the ones who perform other, less mundane tasks.

No gardeners in this garden though. The plants take care of themselves. The trees are old and tall, trunks grey with lichen, the twisting, criss-crossing branches casting shadowy nets. And everywhere, white flowers bloom like bursts of flame in the gloom.

The air is still. Only a few beams of sunlight ever break through the canopy to illuminate the fountain amidst the trees.

And at night, they drift in on shadowy wings.


It was early autumn when she first saw the place.

The local park would mean having to meet Bertha and all the others, with their prim self-righteousness and their condescension and barely disguised pity. But she’d go insane if she stayed inside any longer. The cable had been cut off months ago.

The landlord had been hounding her for the rent for nearly a week now.

So she fled into the city, Timothy by her side.

Ava counted her blessings when it came to Tim. The boy never complained, never screamed or threw tantrums despite the meager circumstances in which they’d been forced to live for almost a year now.

And whose fault was that?

As they walked on aimlessly through the city, Ava noticed a fancy looking car stop across the street, all glossy black and shining chrome. A man got out of it, and for a moment her breath caught. Her hand moved towards the gun hidden inside her purse. But no, it wasn’t him. The nose was different. And he didn’t have the wretched walking stick either.

She seethed with anger and frustration. Fat lot of good it would’ve done even if she’d somehow found him. What was she gonna do, shoot him in front of Tim?

Lemuir was practically untouchable at this point. A single phone call from him and they'd all be killed or carted off to prison. And Tim would end up in some foster home somewhere.

She needed him to be dead. Didn't matter if she had to empty the gun into his smug fucking face herself, she’d gladly do it. All of their problems would sort themselves out once Lemuir was dead.

But that was easier said than done. She shook her head and glanced at her surroundings. They were in an old part of town, one she’d never visited before. She’d been walking for almost an hour now, and only had a very vague idea of where they were supposed to be.

“You tired yet, kiddo?” she asked Timothy.

“Kind of.” he said, and stopped.

She crouched down beside him and brushed the hair out of his eyes. Brown hair, like hers, badly in need of a haircut, falling down over a pair of mismatched eyes. One brown, one white. It'd been like that since the accident, and the doctors hadn't been able to do shit to cure the blindness.

Another reason to hate Lemuir.

“Wanna head back home?” she asked him.
“Not really.” He turned around and pointed- “Can we play in that garden for a while?”

She looked towards where he was pointing. There, across the street. The rows of buildings ended somewhat suddenly at an old stone wall, covered with vines. A massive gate was set in it.

She stood up and frowned. Something about it felt.. off.

“I’m not sure it’s open.” she said.

But Tim was already moving towards the place, pulling her by the hand.

“Look, there’s people inside!” he exclaimed. “It’s open.”

She could see them too now, just beyond the gate.

“Oh alright.” she gave in. “But we won’t stay long. It’s starting to get dark.”

As they crossed the street and came closer, again she had the impression that something was off. A strange feeling of unease had started gathering in the pit of her stomach.

It was too quiet. Too damn quiet.

They reached the gate. An iron archway twisted overhead, covered in twisting green vines which bore white flowers. Ava couldn’t see any name on the arch. No plaques or signboards on the wall either. She wondered if it was private property.

The massive gate swung open noiselessly at a slight push from her. A grey brick-path surged ahead into the garden.

An old couple stood near the gate, the man sweeping the path with a broom, the woman seemingly lost in contemplation, staring at the trees.

Ava gripped Timothy’s hand tighter and walked towards them.

“Good evening” she said as the woman turned to face them. “Are we allowed to be here?”

The man with the broom glanced at her for a moment, then went back to his sweeping as if she wasn’t there.

The old woman peered at Ava through her glasses for an uncomfortably long time, then said “Don’t see why not. The garden is open to all.”

Her stare was making Ava uneasy, and she could feel Tim squirming against her. “Oh, alright.” she said “What’s this place called? Didn’t see a name outside.”

“Never heard it called anything more than the garden.”

“Oh. That’s uh, okay, I guess.” Ava said.

The woman stared at her for a few more moments, then seemingly moved her attention back to the trees.

Tim was tugging at her hand again. “Ava! Come on.”

“Oh alright.” she said, and let herself be pulled along.

As she walked past them, the man stared at Timothy. At his eye, of course. People always stared.
Almost to himself, the man said “The fountain’s very pretty this time of the evening.”

“We’ll check it out, thanks.” Ava said to him, but he was already back at his sweeping.

Ava shrugged and walked ahead along the path.

Once she was a fair distance away, the woman turned to the man.
“Was that wise?”

He paused his sweeping, and stared at the handle of the broom in his hand.
“They are marked.”

“It will not end well.”
“That is not for us to decide.”

“Yes,” said the old woman, watching the figures of the girl and the child in the distance. “It’s for her to decide.”

* * *

The garden was deceptively large.

Ava hadn’t expected the place to be this big from the outside. But the path stretched on and on, the bricks a dozen shades of grey and black, undulating like a river of grey silk.

She felt very out of place here. The bright colors of their clothes seemed to be in harsh contrast to the surroundings, where even the leaves on the trees seemed so dark so as to be almost black.

Strange white flowers bloomed everywhere, unlike anything Ava had seen before. They bloomed along the path, in the branches of the trees, floated in the small ponds; filling the air with a fragrance that was at once familiar and unknown.

His initial enthusiasm worn off, Timothy was even more subdued than usual now, sticking close to her. They could see dark birds sitting in the branches, staring at them as they walked past.

There was no birdsong.

Only stillness and the sighing of the wind through the leaves.

The path seemed to lead to a low hill in the distance, its crown covered with a grove of trees.

“Ava” said Timothy, “I think we should go home now.”

“Yeah, okay.” she said, squeezing his hand. “Let’s just see that fountain the guy mentioned and we’ll head back, alright?”


We could leave now. Why am I making him climb a hill? She wondered. But she felt a strange compulsion, something she couldn’t explain to herself. The feeling that something was supposed to happen.

She had no idea what.

They climbed the hill in silence. The trees grew tall and dark here, their trunks covered by greyish lichen that seemed to glow in the dusk. Ava could hardly make out the sky, and the only light seemed to come from ornate streetlamps that cast a pale white radiance across the path.

They reached the summit. There was a clearing of sorts here, although the sky remained as inscrutable as ever. Four paths converged there, and at the centre was the fountain.

The silence was deafening.

Ava wanted to run. Every fibre of her being was screaming at her, to run, run, run away from this place. Something was deeply wrong.

But she couldn’t bring herself to move. She couldn’t bring herself to panic.

All rational thought seemed to be draining away in favour of a hypnotic urge- to move towards the fountain.

She gave in.

The fountain was white marble, and it seemed to glow in the gloom.

As she walked towards it, a thought in the back of her mind seemed to notice that Timothy had let go of her hand and was walking towards the fountain too. It didn’t seem very important at the moment.

The water splashing in the fountain made no noise.

It was crowned with a single carved flower, pure white, which wept streams of sparkling water into the pool below.

And the pool was black.

Ava moved closer, in a daze.

Coins. She thought. It’s a wishing well.

The floor of the fountain was covered with coins, mounds and mounds of coins, all of them rusted black with age.

Again, she felt that indecision in her mind. She had a choice here. They could leave now, and nothing would happen, and they would put this wretched beautiful place behind them. Or..

She felt it happening from far, far away, as if her mind was suspended in an ocean of treacle. “Should we make a wish?” she heard herself asking Timothy.

He nodded.

She rummaged around in her purse. The cold metal touch of the gun seemed to clear her mind a bit, but the dream-like quality of the situation persisted.

She found a coin, kept it in the palm of her hand, and stared at it. She looked at Timothy.

He nodded.

She tossed the coin into the water, and the world changed. As the ripples quieted down, she could hear the silence being broken.

A shifting, rustling sound, like thousands of papery voices whispering in unison. She saw smoke drifting into the clearing.

Her vision focused, and she saw the truth. Not smoke. Wings. Hundreds, thousands of black butterflies and moths, streaming through the trees towards the fountain. The beating of their wings created a continual whispering, like millions of ancient pages being turned, millions of dead voices clamoring for words.

She felt fear then. And yet they came, and came.

They streamed towards the fountain and floated in a shifting, swirling pillar above it, like a whirlwind of ash. And soon the individual insects blended into each other, and a shape came into being.

Human shaped, yet not, floating with inhuman grace and otherness above the shimmering water. Like a woman its form seemed to Ava, and yet at the same time completely monstrous, with an alien otherness that made her shudder.

She wanted to scream, to run away, to leave and never come back. But the dream-like state of mind persisted. She waited.

A voice spoke then, and it made her feel her mind would be torn apart. For she hated the voice and she loved it, wanted to listen to it for all eternity and tear off her ears rather than listen a second more.

The voice spoke, and a million whispering voices spoke as one:

What is it that thou desires?

Ava shuddered, and felt that her mind was made of drying amber, thick and golden and unyielding to thoughts.

Ask, within reason, and thy thought shall be fashioned into reality.

A trillion possible thoughts leapt into her mind, each more enticing than the last. She turned to find Timothy staring at her.

All color seemed to have been bleached from the world, and all that remained was black and grey and white. White, the terrible white of Timothy’s eye, staring at her.

She knew.

“Timothy-” she managed to gasp out, and turned to the fluttering, shifting figure atop the fountain “his eye-”

Healing for the child then? whispered the thing.

It can be done. But there must be- it paused, as if looking for the right word- balance. Dost thou comprehend?

Ava shook her head.

Something cannot come from naught. To fill one fount thou must drain another. Wilt thou accept then, knowing the cost of balance?

Realisation came to her. She looked at Tim again. Looked at his eye. And she nodded.

There was a noise like countless pages tearing as the thing laughed.

And so it is done.

There was a sound like the clinking of coins, and a blur of movement. And then Tim was on the ground, clutching his eye and screaming.

Ava reached him as he passed out and fell silent. Shaking, she removed his hand from over his eye. It wasn’t white anymore. It was bloodshot, but it was whole.

And then the dull pain that had started in her own eye twisted into a stabbing agony, and half the world went dark. On her knees, she crawled towards the fountain and looked at the reflection in the water.

Two eyes stared back at her. One blue, one blinding white.

She looked above her. The moths had scattered like ashes on the wind.


The doctors couldn’t explain it. Of course not. Stuff like that doesn’t happen.

She explained it away to the others as a transplant. She could see that they weren’t convinced. Well, half-see, anyway.

She had only the haziest of ideas as to how they’d returned from the garden. All her memories of the night were broken and shadowy, and all she could recall of the journey home were incoherent fragments.

She’d gone back, a week later, after the regret had made her weep all night. She stood outside the massive gates, unable to build up her resolve. An oppressive silence taunted her from the other side.

She walked back home, tried to forget, and cried herself to sleep.

Seeing Tim happy was worth it, she kept telling herself.


They lost seventeen people over the course of a month. All thanks to Lemuir, of course. The so-called cold war that the gangs were engaged in with him was getting warmer by the day. And bloodier.

Ava knew things were getting out of hand. And so when Gerald ended up dead in a gutter with a knife in his throat, she decided to put the plan into motion.

Cut off the snake’s head, and the body shall wither.

She hadn’t told anyone about what had happened in the garden, and she didn’t tell anyone what she planned to do that night either. She didn’t know if it would work. But if it did, if everything went as she hoped, she wouldn’t be coming back.

She said her goodbyes.

The final and hardest farewell was to Timothy. Little Tim. Her Tim.

He couldn’t understand what was happening, but he knew something was wrong. Wouldn’t let her leave.

But she had to. For his sake.

Ava walked to the garden alone, her mind made up.

She entered without pausing at the gate, and set off towards the hill.

The old woman was waiting for her on the path. She knew.

“Please.” said the woman, her voice earnest. “I know what you plan to do. Reconsider.”

Ava shook her head and pushed on past her

“Vengeance is a blade without a hilt. Do not use the fountain for this purpose.” the woman said, clutching Ava by the shoulder, “Or you shall know true regret for the small remainder of your life.”

“I know how it works.” said Ava, shrugging off her hand. “I’m prepared to make the sacrifice.”

She walked on towards the hill.

“Oh, but are you?” said the woman softly, watching her go.

The moon hung high in the sky when Ava began her climb up the hill. Moonbeams filtered down through the branches, illuminating the path with a sickly white radiance. She could feel the dream-state descending upon her mind as she neared her journey’s end.

Before she knew it, she stood before the fountain, coin in hand.

Again, a moment of indecision, of possibilities. Last chance.

She tossed in the coin.

The moths and the butterflies streamed into the clearing, tiny black wings fluttering and whispering, sibilant voices chanting as they flew.

Once again, the whirlwind of ash rose above the fountain, the wings melting into an ethereal solidity. The shape took form.

Thou hast returned.

Ava nodded. The voice made her skin crawl.

What is thy desire this time? Speak and-

“Death.” said Ava, and the whispering seemed to grow a thousandfold. “The death of Antoine Lemuir is what i desire.”

Very well. Thou recalls the matter of the balance? It seemed to Ava like the thing sounded almost smug, if that was possible.

“Yes” she said, closing her eyes. “I am ready to make the sacrifice.”

Thou might find thyself not as willing when it is time for thy reckoning.

Again, there was that horrible laugh, like a million pages being ripped apart.

We ask thee again. Ava jumped, but kept her eyes closed. The voice was right in front of her now, and her heart felt like it would burst.

Is this what thou desires?

She steeled herself and opened her eyes, and found herself staring deep into the faceted black voids where the shape’s eyes should’ve been. The world was drained of all color.

“Yes” she said, as every fibre of her being screamed at her to run. “Death it is.”

The shape floated back to the top of the fountain in a whirl of shadowy wings and whispers.

It is done.

There was the clink of coins again, and this time she saw something emerge from the fountain. Huge, razor-edged claws, its body undulating with black coins like a suit of armor. Compound eyes stared at her for a moment as mandibles clicked and giant wings unfolded. She fell to her knees in horror.

There was a blur of movement, and it was gone.

The man thou named now chokes to death upon his own blood. The thing atop the fountain turned to face her. And thy debt is paid.

“Why” said Ava shuddering “am I still alive? What about the balance?”

Thou took from him that which he cherished most. His life.

But thine own life is not what thee cherishes most, is it?

The sick realisation washed over Ava. “No. That is not what was agreed on. It was supposed to be his life for mine!”

The most cherished belonging, taken from each. The balance is - fulfilled. And with that, the thing burst asunder into a storm of moths, fluttering and whispering in the moonlight.

“NO” she screamed, as her feet took her away from the wretched place. “NO, NO NO NO NO. NOT LIKE THIS. NO.”

She was sobbing with desperation by the time she reached home.

She saw it on their faces when she arrived, and she knew. She knew.

She went into his room. She shook him, trying to wake him up.

But Timothy would not wake.

She kept shaking him, weeping now, beseeching him to wake up, to say something.

But the only sound in the room was the fluttering of moth wings, black in the moonlight.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Maid Madeline

There was a mad maid named Madeline,
She was a lunatic and a dunce,
She played with guns and a horse's spine,
And obeyed her elders not once.

Madeline's teacher asked her,
'Do you wish to go to Heaven?'
Madeline said with great fervor,
'Yes, yes, I wish to go to Heaven!'

"Then be a good girl and answer,
What is three times eleven?''
This for hours Madeline did ponder,
Then stabbed the teacher with her pen.

'You'll never go to Heaven!'
the horrified teacher said,
Madeline took her AK-47,
And shot the teacher dead.

Saturday, 12 April 2014


They weep, they cry.
You ask: Why?
For You, they reply.
You ask again: But Why?

They weep and cry and and wring their hands.
And say: Behind you She stands.
Who? You ask and turn around.
A Whisper- and your head falls to the ground.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Second part of the Tea Party Series. 

Teashanks had been reclining at a corner table at the pub. He waved them over for a chat when they entered.

"It must be the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life!" he  exclaimed after introducing himself, putting down his glass. "Building houses on Shelly's Lane, what's more, at the site of the Shelly hell hole itself! Raving mad you must be!"

"Are you done Mr. Teashanks?" asked Nathan, bored with the same old conversation.

"Oh, come on Nat!" said Leslie, playfully punching him on the shoulder. "What if he's right? What if that place is really haunted?"

"Listen to your girlfriend!" said old Teashanks, "She seems to have a lot more sense than you! Heed my words boy! Demons inhabit that place!"

"Yeah right." chuckled Nathan, sipping his coffee, "I suppose we'll just have to evict the demons then, since the land belongs to our corporation now." He grinned. "Or they can buy the new houses if they're so dead set on staying there."

"Don't joke about this, young man." Mr. Teashanks said sternly. "There is great evil in that place!"

Leslie smiled, "What is so evil about it? What's the story of Shelly's Lane?"

Teashanks leaned back in his chair.

"My Father told me this story when I was a child-" he began.

"A story." snorted Nathan "That's all it is!"

"Nathan! " frowned Leslie,  "Don't interrupt! "
Nathan sighed and drank his beer.

"So as I was saying," continued Teashanks, "Before it was called Shelly Lane, that place used to be called Lemon Lane. The Shellys had a large house there, the husband was a businessman of some sort.
So the Shelly woman, whom the children call Helly Shelly, see, she was crazy. People say she practiced witchcraft. Horrifying she was. Don't know what he saw in her.
Well she got rid of him soon enough . Used witchcraft to kill him soon after their daughter's birth.
And the daughter, my, what a horror! A squint-eyed abomination named Cynthia, born with horns!"

"Seriously? " asked Leslie, a bit amused.

"That's what everyone says. " replied Teashanks. "Well what happened next was, Helly Shelly killed her own daughter for some reason. Ate some parts of her as well. Then she stowed her down in the basement at a tea table, and went on as if nothing had happened.
She secretly started killing poor little innocent boys and girls as well, and seated their corpses at the table to keep her daughter company!"

"Whoa!" Leslie whispered.
Nathan shook his head in exasperation.

"And then when the townspeople finally caught her, she reverted to her true form." Teashanks lowered his voice. "Shelly turned into a demon and flew away! That very night, lightning struck her house, and half the street burned down...
The priest who arrived to cleanse the site with Holy water collapsed and died!
Even years after all this, the people living on Lemon Lane kept dying from mysterious illnesses. There was such a stench th-"

Nathan interrupted him, "That was because of the gases rising from the nearby marsh. We've already drained and filled it up, and the health inspectors have declared the area safe."

"Never knew a bit of marsh gas to drive men insane." said Teashanks, lighting a cigar, "Well.... pretty soon, the whole Lane was abandoned. No one would even dare go there. Those who did came screaming back without their wits.
And now here you are with your bulldozers and machines and your talks of building houses on that accursed land!"

Leslie turned to Nathan. "There had to be some reason why you got that land cheaper than dirt."

The old man turned to Nathan with a serious look on his face.  "Leave Shelly Lane and go back, son." he said, "I'm saying it for your own good. People will get hurt. '

"For God's sake, nothing's going to happen to anyone!" Nathan exclaimed in anger. He got up and walked away.

Leslie looked at Teashanks, then got up and followed  Nathan.

"For your sakes, I hope you are right." said Teashanks quietly.


Leslie and Nathan went outside after sometime and walked towards their car. Leslie, an art student, had met Nathan an year ago at a renovation site he had been supervising. It had been love at first sight.
Nathan's father owned a construction company, and Nathan had been supervising the building of new houses in the town of Summerhill. He hadn't expected such a high degree of superstitious fear in the townspeople though.

"Baby, do you think there could've been anything in what he said?" Leslie asked Nathan.
"Of course not!" exclaimed Nathan. "It's just a local myth! There was probably a mad woman named Shelly there at some point, but the story's been blown way out of proportion!"

"Yeah. I wonder when these superstitious rumors will stop." sighed Leslie.

Nathan turned to face her.
"I'll tell you what we'll do." he said,  "We'll move into the very house which is being built at the site of the Shelly house." He held her hands. "We'll put an end to these rumors once and for all."

Leslie nodded.
He bent down and kissed her.


"That was that new architect, wasn't he?" Mr. Morris, the owner of the pub, asked Stella.

"Yeah." said the barmaid. "Weird couple though."

"How so?" Morris asked her.

"Well-" answered Stella, polishing the glasses, "They were behaving really odd, you know having this strange, broken conversation. Really, just Disconnected sentences, staring at the empty chair. And... They were sitting at that table."
"What table?"
"You know... " she said, "Teashanks' table."

Morris suppressed a shiver.
"Yeah. " said Stella, wiping the tabletop, "No one's sat there since he went crazy on Shelly Lane and killed himself."

Monday, 31 March 2014

Bed Time

The doorbell rang.

"Honey, could you answer the door please?" Claire shouted.
"Sure!" answered her husband John.

He walked out of the living room into the hallway. The clock read 10:37 pm.
Who could it be at this hour? he wondered.

He opened the door.
A cold blast of wind rushed in.
There was nobody outside. John went out onto the porch and looked around.

"Hello?" he shouted. "Anyone there?"
There was only silence and the cold wind.

Weird, he thought, going back inside and locking the door.

"Who was it?" asked Claire, coming out of the kitchen.

"There wasn't anyone out there." said John, "Some kids playing a prank I suppose."

"Odd." said Claire.

Claire glanced at the clock. "It's getting late." she said, "Could you put Sarah to bed?"
"Okay. "

John walked to Sarah's room. He could see that he light was still on.

"Sarah, it's way past your bed time!" he said, entering her room.

"I know." replied Sarah from her bed, completely hidden inside her blanket.

"Sarah, honey, why are you hiding inside your blanket?" asked John, a little tired.

"I'm scared."

"Why sweetie?" asked John, moving to the side of the bed.

"Because there's a monster inside my closet!"

"Oh, my sugar plum, there's nothing to be scared of!" said John, "There's nothing in there but your clothes!"

Then he heard the rustling.
From inside the closet.

John turned towards it, his heart beating faster.
For he moment he stood still, thinking. He picked up a vase and silently moved towards the closet.

He could hear more rustling.
John yanked open the door.

Sarah was sitting inside, half hidden among her clothes.

"Daddy" she whispered, "There's something in my bed." 

Friday, 28 March 2014


It hadn't seemed such a bad idea.

Carl had been jogging through the park on his endurance run that morning when he saw her.

She was lying on the ground near a bench, gazing up towards the sky.
An old, old woman, probably in her nineties, with wavy white hair, wearing a green cardigan and faded skirt.

Oh God, is she all right? Carl thought as he rushed towards her.

Her face was lined with sorrow and exhaustion, eyes looking around dazed.

He lifted her right hand to help her up, but she wouldn't, or couldn't, get up.

"Ma'am, what's the matter? Are you all right?" Carl asked her, worried.

She slowly lifted her left hand.
"Please" she whispered in a voice that seemed near death.

Carl felt her pulse become erratic.

Something on her hand caught his eye. A ring. Silver or platinum, with a huge grayish diamond set in it. Black lines etched on the band. Alternating black and gold stones surrounding the diamond.

Carl's mind raced. He was in desperate need of cash. Jason had told him that the next dose of steroids would cost him eight grand. Judging by the size of that diamond, if it was real, the ring was probably worth several times that.

He debated whether to do it. She wasn't going to need the ring when she was dead, was she?

"Please, I beg of you-" she whispered.
Carl glanced at her face. Diamond earrings. Silver necklace. Rich. Her family weren't going to suffer too much for one ring, were they? If she even had family.

Her eyes pleaded with him, her breath coming in wheezes. She was not going to last long.

Carl decided.
"I'm sorry Ma'am," he murmered, easing down her right hand and taking hold of her left, "There's nothing I can do for you."

He slipped the ring off her bony finger. It was cold. He slipped it inside his pocket.

"I'm sorry." he said again, standing up and looking at her. Tears were streaming down her face. She was trying to say something, but couldn't.

Carl took one last look at her,  then sprinted away, feeling a heaviness upon his soul.


She watched the man jogging down the track. 
The tears of relief still flowed down her cheeks. 
She finally found her voice. 
"Thank you." she whispered, "Thank you so much..." 

She felt her burden ease. She was finally free of it! After all those years, she was free of that accursed ring, and she was free of It. 

She watched as It grinned at her one last time from the shadows of the bushes, looking at her with its dark, eyeless sockets. 
It turned its broken, twisted neck completely around and snuffled at the air through Its bleeding mouth and nostrils. It saw the man. 

It hoisted its torn, white decaying body onto the path, in pursuit of Its new prey. 

Even as she watched, Its broken, slimy skin grew fainter and fainter. Soon It would be visible only to the man. 

She was so tired. 
She closed her eyes. 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Patient #0017893

Source: Unkown

Data bank feed 976539856¦BX59


1.) ADMISSION FORM, PATIENT #0017983 – 11/18/05 15:12
Involuntary admittance requested by patient’s relatives in response to apparent self-destructive behavior cycle. Self-harm evident in physical exam: signs of past abrasions on head and neck, apparently due to self-inflicted scratching, and both fresh and partially-closed surface lacerations on arms and legs. Signs of extreme fatigue also evident – in examination patient admitted insomnia for, as quoted, “longer than you’d believe.” Patient unable to give exact time for length of insomnia, likely due to extended period of insomnia itself. Confusion and moderate delerium evident. 
PRELIMINARY MEDICATION ISSUED: Triazolam 0.25mg for insomnia, topical Bacitracin for wound care.

2.) ADMISSION EVALUATION, PATIENT #0017983 – 11/18/05 16:56
PERFORMED BY: Dr. Emil Lafayette. Self-harm confirmed. Patient removed dressings from arm lacerations, reopened wound while waiting for interviewer. Definite evidence of somniphobia in patient justifications for harm; patient refers to sleep with anxiety, and consistently acts against self to cause pain in response to lengthy periods of silence or other lack of stimuli. Issue of insomnia needs immediate attention, given evidence of exceedingly prolonged duration. Likewise possible agoraphobia. Patient requests an isolated bed, becomes withdrawn/agitated when request is denied, refuses to cooperate further with interview. Offers vague suggestion of hostile “She” in justification, but will not elaborate, as quoted, “because you’re not going to believe she exists until she hurts someone anyway.” Evidence for likely paranoid schizophrenia. Recommend further interview with full psychological spectrum testing for exact diagnosis. 
FINAL RECOMMENDATION: ADMIT PATIENT. PRELIMINARY MEDICATION ISSUED: Cancel Triazolam, instead 5mg Diazepam twice daily for insomnia, anxiety, and probable sleep disorders.

3.) FINAL ADMITTANCE REPORT, PATIENT #0017983 – 11/18/05 17:13
Patient issued bed in Room 409. Current occupant(s): Patient #0017802, Patient #0017983. Clothes from admission remanded to family of patient, three sets of common dress issued for immediate needs. Further psych eval scheduled for 10:00 11/19/05, determining future length of stay.

4.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/18/05 17:30
During routine new patient room check, Patient #0017802 places request with staff for transfer to, as quoted, “some other room.” Appears agitated, claims Patient #0017983 has been disturbing him. Patient #0017983 likewise requests transfer, to isolated bed. Both requests denied. 
ORDERLY NOTE: Followup room check suggested to avoid possible intrapatient conflict.

5.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/18/05 19:00
Followup room check. Patient #0017983 claims Dr. Lafayette has ordered him moved to Isolation. Patient #0017802 backs claim. Administration records demonstrate no such order. Upon informing room occupants, Patient #0017983 attempts to assault staff and Patient #0017802 becomes uncontrollably agitated. Additional personnel required to contain incident. Both patients restrained, sedated, forced into early lights out. 
ORDERLY NOTE: Exercise caution in all future room checks for 409.

6.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/18/05 23:57
Staff on Hall 1, Floor 4 report loud sounds from room 409 after facility lights out, disturbing other rooms and patients. Patient #0017983 found awake, extremely agitated and struggling against restraints. Demands lights be turned back on, as quoted, “before She comes.” Self-sustained injuries to wrists and ankles at points of restraint. Patient attempts to struggle against staff during trade to more comprehensive restraint, requiring additional personnel to contain incident. Additional sedation required for Patient #0017983. Patient #0017802 does not respond during course of event, likely due to sedation from earlier incident. 
ORDERLY NOTE: Maintain restraints on Patient #0017983 until further notice. Sedate patient before removing restraints for any reason. Recommend anti-psychotic be considered in future psych eval.

7.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/19/05 00:20
Staff on Hall 1, Floor 4 again report loud sounds from room 409. Patient #0017983 found catatonic on floor, with severe self-inflicted scratches on head and neck. Restraints are severed at connection points, with severe bruising on limbs possibly indicating more severe injury at restraint points with patient. Patient #0017802 is found deceased. Severe disfiguring wounds to face, complete with destruction (ORDERLY NOTE: Ingestion?) of patient’s eyes. Moved to room 101, locker 2, awaiting autopsy. Patient #0017983 transfered to Isolation, room 626, given injected dose of 100mg Zuclopenthixol on attending physician’s orders to control acute psychosis. ORDERLY NOTE: Recommend video observation to allow better control of future outbursts. Stay at least an arm’s length away from patient upper body restraints at all times. Just in case.

8.) AUTOPSY REPORT, PATIENT #0017802 – 11/19/05 09:44
PERFORMED BY: Dr. Julius Tweed. Ragged lacerations prominent around subject’s head and neck, increasing in severity and depth on the regions of the face itself – at several points, the flesh is cut to the bone. More disconcertingly, subject’s eyes appear to be violently removed from their sockets and are missing. 
CAUSE OF DEATH: Exsanguination from wounds. FINAL JUDGEMENT: Homicide. 
CORONER NOTE: Recommend consideration of Patient #0017983 as dangerous to staff and facility residents. Urge continued maintenance of restraints and isolation from contact with others in patient population. Also recommend digestive endoscopy to determine fate of missing tissues for staff cohesion purposes – orderlies from Floor 4 suspect cannibalism, promise to refuse Isolation shifts until such belief is disproven.

9.) MEDICAL REPORT, PATIENT #0017983 – 11/19/05 10:07
PERFORMED BY: Dr. Antoinus Cayle. Patient is cooperative, if withdrawn, during examination. No outbursts or threats. Current drug regimen appears effective. No unusual tissue or objects discovered in digestive endoscopy. Radiology tests discover hairline fractures in tibia, fibula of right leg. Severe abrasions evident on skin of restraint points, also head and neck, necessitating topical treatment. Troubling instability in vitals – BP is acutely elevated, pulse rapid and weak for patient’s size. Extended stress from anxiety, elevated mood, and insomnia likely cause. PHYSICIAN NOTE: Patient must sleep to begin recovery process. Recommend elevated dosage of Diazepam to encourage this result. Firm contact-point restraints not recommended for this patient due to risk of further injury. Full-body restraint must be considered as alternative.

10.) PSYCHIATRIC EVALUATION, PATIENT #0017983 – 11/19/05 10:39
PERFORMED BY: Dr. George Tulling. Definite evidence indicating disassociation of identity from actions. Patient expresses remorse for death of Patient #0017802, yet refuses to admit responsibility for actions in said event. Instead externalizes blame into antagonistic female “She.” Same figure, apparently referenced in prior evaluation, seems to be central actor in patient’s paranoid psychosis. Behavior and actions of said “She” justified through magical thinking, despite recognition of depicted individual’s illogically-defined capabilities to sustain reported antagonism. As quoted, “I don’t know, you don’t know, and she doesn’t care.” Patient requests observation of room be terminated, grows agitated when request is denied, makes threats, refuses to continue interview. 
DIAGNOSIS: Paranoid schizophrenia manifesting in somniphobia, violent psychosis, and disassociative episodes. 
MEDICATION ISSUED: Up dosage for Diazepam to 10mg twice daily, on 11/24/05 begin issuing 2.5mg doses of Haloperidol twice daily for psychosis. INTERVIEWER NOTE: Utilize patient observation protocols and ward rounds to check for possible drug interaction effects, followup immediately if found or on 11/30/05 otherwise.

11.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/19/05 14:32
During standard rounds Patient #0017983 requests that observation of room be terminated. Warns staff of perceived threat inherent in observation protocol. When request is denied, begins struggling against restraints and screaming warnings to staff, observation camera operator regarding disassociative, antagonistic “She.” ACTING PHYSICIAN NOTE: Reject recommendations from orderlies to sedate Patient #0017983 unless medically or procedurally sound. Sedatives are not a safety blanket. 
ORDERLY NOTE: They say this guy is at his sedative limit, and he was nearly pulling his bed off its bolts. Use double staff if at all possible when dealing with him. Whatever’s in his head… it’s strong.

12.) STAFF COMMUNICATIONS – 11/19/05 16:53
FROM: Charles McKinney – Head of Patient Care Division
TO: Patient Care Staff List
SUBJECT: RE:FWD: Patient #0017983
This has officially gone far enough. I did not intervene in this matter before, because I was under the impression that the men and women under my supervision were beyond such things as this, but circumstances have proven me to be mistaken and I will not allow these rumors to progress any further. The only thing “wrong” with Patient #0017983 is that he is seriously ill and dependent upon us for care and assistance in his recovery. He is not the first patient with explosive episodes we have treated, he is not even the only one currently in our facility, and he will not be the last. It thus pains me to discover that one singular breach of safety, which WAS properly addressed by facility protocol, has left my staff whispering superstitions to one another and accepting the delusions of our patient as truth. We are better than this. There are indeed risks inherent in this profession, risks we all knew about upon assuming it, but that is the burden we bear to render aid to those who find themselves in our beds.
Until otherwise noted I will not approve of any shift changes from scheduled Isolation hours. Our staff counselors are always available during standard hours for those who need to consult with someone in light of the recent event and associated workplace anxiety. It is a fringe benefit of working in mental health, and I suggest anyone having difficulties make use of it. This matter is closed, and I want to hear no further mention of it. As previously stated, I expected more from all of you.
- Charles

13.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/19/05 20:44
During standard rounds Patient #0017983 requests that lights be left on after scheduled lights out time. After consultation with attending physician and therapist, request granted. Room check proceeds uneventfully until staff move to depart, at which point request is made for observation to be terminated. Upon denial of request, patient instead requests for lights to be doused as usual. Request granted. Another request is made, now for red-bulb sleep lights to be doused during scheduled lights out time. Patient understands that low-level light is necessary for room observation – as quoted, “that’s why I want them off.” Warns observation camera operator against Her. Attending therapist denies request. Sorry Jacob…

14.) STAFF COMMUNICATIONS – 11/19/05 21:12
FROM: Dr. Emil Lafayette
TO: Patient Care Staff List
SUBJECT: Lights in 626
I happened to notice tonight while in final checks that the sleep lights in Isolation 626 were turned off after standard rounds – without my knowledge, or consent. As I am sure you are all aware, this is a SEVERE breach of facility protocol. When video observation of a patient is recommended and approved, there is a reason for such a decision to be made. Patient #0017983 has violent episodes and MUST be monitored to minimize the risk of him causing further harm to his already precarious physical state. You have ABSOLUTELY NO authority to override decisions made by the medical personnel of this, or any other, facility. NONE.
I have been hearing talk around the halls that some of you are AFRAID of this man. He is bound to a bed, under the highest sedation we can medically provide, and both physically and mentally suffering from acute fatigue. Do you also jump at shadows? Regardless of the reason, I will NOT permit untrained orderlies to begin interfering in the care provided to our patients. If such an event occurs again, I will inform Mr. McKinney and see the entire night’s orderly staff barred from the premises. Do I make myself clear?
- Dr. Emil Lafayette MD, FACEP, MHSC

15.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/19/05 23:27
[PATIENT #0017983, NAME REDACTED] won’t stop screaming. It just won’t stop. Hours of it. It echoes in my ears, in my skull. Whenever he’s coherent he begs us to turn the camera off, or the lights off, or just make everything go away. I’m sorely tempted, poor [SOFTWARE CENSORED], but Doc Lafayette pulled Jacob from observation and is watching everyone from the video room for the rest of his shift thanks to Michael’s business with the lights earlier. Last I saw of him, he was headed for the elevator with his jacket saying he “just can’t do this to my kids.” I don’t know why I’m here anymore. I just keep staring up at the cameras. Is that [SOFTWARE CENSORED] busier watching his patient, or us?
I’d only need one needle to stop the screaming…

16.) WARD EVENT REPORT – 11/20/05 00:01
It stopped. Just… stopped. No one’s willing to check why. I think [PATIENT #0017983, NAME REDACTED] is gone. I pray She is gone.

17.) STAFF COMMUNICATIONS – 11/20/05 00:04
FROM: Dr. Emil Lafayette
TO: All
SUBJECT: Patient #0017983 AGAIN
i will be good mommy
please not the belt please
hE iS dEAD i aM dEAD sHE iS dEAD wE aRE dEAD aND
we. all. fall. down.

18.) ADMISSION EVALUATION, PATIENT #0017986 – 11/20/05 9:25
PERFORMED BY: Dr. George Tulling. Former staff. Patient discovered in locked observation room setting fire to equipment and recordings. Attempted suicide in flames before rescue by staff. Claims to be antagonized by same female “She” as former Patient #0017983. Possibly involved in death of said resident. If so, evidence obvious for disassociation of self from actions. Likely paranoid schizophrenia. Patient will not respond to further questions – as quoted, “Don’t go looking for her. She’ll find you.” 
FINAL RECOMMENDATION: ADMIT PATIENT. PRELIMINARY MEDICATION ISSUED: 2.5mg doses of Haloperidol twice daily for schizophrenic psychosis.

19.) STAFF COMMUNICATIONS – 11/20/05 9:36
FROM: Dr. George Tulling
TO: Charles McKinney – Head of Patient Care Division
SUBJECT: I’ve just heard.
Seal him in Isolation, wait Her out, cremate both bodies. As far as the relatives are concerned, Patient #0017983 died in the fire set by Lafayette in committing suicide. That’s all anyone needs to know.
Let’s just hope the rest of us don’t wind up needing time in these beds as well.