Jake slept, a dark and numbing sleep that kept him out until the following morning. Doctor Standish had even given him a sedative, not knowing yet how to deal with his patient.
We he awoke, he felt like hell and remembered nothing but a faint recollection of Beemish and his proposition. At the foot of his bed were some very loose attire in blue, reminiscent of a prison. Reluctantly to changed and went down stairs toward the dining room; he was famished.
Everyone was seated and eating when he arrived and as he stepped into the large room, everything stilled, all eyes upon him, in complete and unnerving silence. Jake felt a cold shudder envelop his being and as he smiled a most awkward smile, the patients collectively returned to their breakfast.
“Good morning Mr Lewis, a well -deserved sleep you’ve had,” announced Sister Wakely, briskly moving toward him. “Please help yourself,” she said, gesturing to a long buffet table, filled with a variety of cereals and meats, eggs and juices.
Jake nodded and retrieved a plate of cereal and fruit and looked around for a free seat. It was then, suddenly, he noticed the other patients, really noticed them. Every one had the same expression; there was no laughing, not smiles, just a low mumbling, as if words were dangerous and no-one dared to test it. He felt somewhat overwhelmed and the tremor in his hands increased slightly.
Jake sat down as a table of seven patients and began to eat, not one looked at him, as if they’d been told not to. He introduced himself. “I’m Jake, he said brightly, but only one patient responded. “I’m Edward, but around here no-one uses names, there’s no point,” he replied looking back down at his breakfast plate.
Jake scanned the table. One rather over-weight gentlemen was fidgeting incessantly with his fork and mumbling incoherently the same phrase, over and over. Another, seated next to Edward had many ticks and his face appeared as if it would explode: eye blinking, jaw-grinding and a plethora of uncontrolled jerking accompanied his just being seated. Others were still and silently eating, with so little energy they appeared as zombies. Jake put down his spoon and cradled his head in extreme anxiety. What had he done, coming here? What had his sister done?
At 11 am Jake had his first consultation with Dr. Standish in his rooms on the ground floor. He didn’t know what to expect as he nervously awaited this man who’s family supposedly committed atrocities against patients.
The office was opulently decorated, the finest of everything including a French office desk and plump leather chair. “Sorry to keep you Mr Lewis, I trust your accommodation is satisfactory?”
“Yes, quite,” he replied, looking up. His face crumpled into a kind of manic confusion, for the man standing before him was no doubt Beemish, without the Victorian apparel.
“Everything alright Mr Lewis?” he asked, Jakes facial expression somewhat alarming.
Jake pulled himself together and formed a rather inappropriate grin.
“Shall we get on with it then?”
Jake spent an hour with the doctor, answering questions and he taking notes, and by the end of it, he was quite exhausted. The Sister took Jake back to his room and gave him another sedative. Jake lay on his bed, his mind scrambled, not really wanting to understand. He closed his eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
Everything felt like clouds, his body and mind swaying to some euphoric melody, and Jake tried valiantly to open his eyes, but they were like lead weights. His entire body was numb, completely without feeling and all he could move was his facial muscles. Eventually at great cost of energy, he managed to open his eyes and as the person above him came into focus, a cold chill swept his paralysis. It was Beemish, attired in surgical gear, mask and all.
“Just relax Mr Lewis, the doctor’s here to help you, make everything better,” he said with a strange maniacal pleasantry.
“Your not the doctor,” slurred Jake, more than confused.
“Indeed I am Mr Lewis, and after this procedure, life will never be anxious again. I can assure you of that,” he finished.
The unsettling sound of a bone saw echoed in the room and Jake closed his eyes, helpless, feeling only the vibration in his skull.
Tony DeLorger © 2017
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