What fear can do to disarm all thought and process, when darkness feeds the very essence of a soul and the flesh just withers in its wake. Jake sat, fidgeting, his long narrow fingers trembling slightly, trying to come to terms with his confinement. He understood he’d not been well for some time, but his sister’s insistence to voluntary register at the institution hit him hard. It was as if all responsibility for his life had been removed, and he at the whim of doctors and indeed his sister.
Jake was a slender and painfully nervous man of twenty seven, and having been diagnosed as schizophrenic, he had taken a plethora of medication for some time. He hated them, they made him feel so lethargic and clouded. Yet to him, his symptoms were real and not imaginary as was suggested by his illness and the presiding medical fraternity. Yes, he heard voices, but they were never random, and had always been accompanied by the vision of a person long dead. Their words and purpose was compelling and not some trick of the mind. Yet here he was, on the other side of the fence, his immediate life in question.
He sat pensively at an oak bench in the waiting room, while Marjory, his sister, completed his admissions form. Then he was approached by a clipboard holding Sister, dressed in a pristine white uniform.
“Follow me Mr Lewis, let’s get you settled into your room,”she said brightly.
Jake picked up his bag and followed her to a stairwell, looking fleetingly over his shoulder, Marjory waving him off as if to say ‘be there momentarily’.
The institution was immaculately clean with many wooden panels and doors, and the stairwell banisters and rails were highly polished. A somber tone of ecru adorned the walls, which made one feel calm, as if everything was in place, and a skylight atrium above the staircase three floors up, gave life to an otherwise dim internal space.
“Here we are Mr Lewis, I trust you’ll find everything here to your satisfaction. I’ll let you say goodbye to your sister and then you may rest for and hour, before lunch is served in the dining room at 1 pm sharp. You’ll have no trouble finding it: ground floor, left at the bottom of the stairs.”
Jake looked up as if there were nothing more to say, and the Sister awkwardly smiled. “I’m Sister Wakely by the way. If there is anything you require, please use the red button by your bed and a nurse will attend you,” she said cheerfully, turning on her heels and leaving the room.
Marjory entered with her arms outstretched, eventually finding him firm within her grasp. She was a well-to-do woman of rotund proportions, a veiled hat, with silver pin and wearing bright red lipstick.“This will be good for you Jake, get everything straightened out in no time,” she whispered, squeezing hard. But Jake didn’t feel her regret or sorrow for his plight. He hardly responded.
After she left he closed the door and lay down on the bed, and after only one minute of closing his eyes…
“You like my bed do you?” Jake alerted with a rather obvious and unwelcome shudder.
He looked up and saw a Victorian gentleman, dressed in full dark suit, top hat and carrying a rather ornate cane with white gloves in hand.
“Your room?” he replied, gruffly.
“For some years good man,” he pressed, stepping closer to the bed.
Jake shook his head. “You’ve been dead for more than a long time, by the looks, so why are you still here in a room you occupied so long ago?”
The man twiddled the end of his rather broad mustache and looked deeply into Jake’s eyes, his almost black eyes, piercing. “You see I was killed here, murdered, by a doctor whose descendants still walk these halls, cursed blood and still committing atrocities.”
“You want me to help you, and me incarcerated in this institution for being insane and communicating with the likes of you?”
“Well… yes, you’re the only one who can see and hear me,” he replied.
Jake let out a pointed sigh. “What’s the Doctors name?” he asked reluctantly.
“Doctor Standish, Chief Medical Administrator and Psychiatrist. You’ll meet his soon, I sure.”
Jake rolled over, hunched up in a ball. “Just let me be today and tomorrow I’ll look into it.”
“ I will be forever indebted. The name’s Beemish, Charles Aaron Beemish. Good day sir.”
Tony DeLorger © 2017
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