I don’t know what time it is. Its dark out. The barred windows allow just enough light through to show that dawn is dressing herself up to make an entrance. This makes 3 days now I’ve not slept, my mind racing, filled with lunatic ravings, oh the desire to fix this. I’m sick, physically sick, exhausted, restrained. I deserve it, after last time.
I know…I KNOW…Stop telling me. Just stop, it’s not helping. It only drives me to end it. End it with me, or with the next person who walks through that door. The hospital staff peek through the small window, making notes and nodding to themselves. They feign concern, but I’m truly an experiment to them.
I’m not sure if my roommate is real or a figment of my imagination. He sits there, watching and smiling at my struggles, malevolence lurking beneath the benign mask. I can’t speak to him. I’m unable. I’ve spoken not a word since they put me here. And won’t. I am full of secrets, a cauldron of conundrums, how fortunate that I chose to cut my own throat. That was last time. Before they stuck me here with the monster that sits across from me.
I did cut it. Do you see the scar? With a piece of glass I found on the floor in that room. That room. I don’t want to remember that. That place was Evil, the very maw of Hell, and I stupid and naive enough to think it an adventure. How could I have thought that it would be something to discuss at tea with my girlfriends, a show of bravado to the simpering, slobbering fools that I thought were friends. They can’t understand. They have no to tools to comprehend.
There, again, that flickering smile. Can he hear my thoughts? He nods. So its true. I’ve come undone, the laces of my mind finally loosened and showing the gaps that bear no description. I’m lost. I’m damned. It needs to end. I rattle at the restraints that hold my wrists to the rails, I could use my teeth, if they weren’t so short. Contortion is not my strong suit, but they left my feet free. I could bend myself like undoing a knot, drawing them back behind me. I could undo the heavy leather bracelets that have cut into my skin. Some relief. Relief.
Relief would be for me to be free, for them to understand I didn’t, no I did, but I was coaxed, drawn to it. The lightest touch of a lover with the heavy push of an executioner. How I wish…I wish it was real, the touch. I should have accepted his proposal, packed and left for a happier life. It’s too late now. Far too late. I want to die.
I stare at the wall, away from prying eyes. Tears overspill the high walls that I set up, the barrier. Big girls don’t cry. Wasn’t I told that enough? “Big girls don’t cry. They adjust their beads and feathers, take a deep breath and walk in the room like they are the Queen.” I never was the Queen. I couldn’t be. I wanted to be. The constant drilling of propriety by my family into my head drove only me further into the darkness.
He is at my side, his touch cold on my cheek as he wipes the wetness from it. I glance at him, a little afraid, watching as he lifts his moist fingers to his lips, tongue lashing out to slurp at the leavings of my despair. He is a vampire of sorts. A succubus. And he is never going to leave me, not while I waste away here.
They can’t see him. I thought maybe, somehow, someone would, could, but no, all they see is me, laying here in the thin, nearly see through hospital gown in the most sickening green imaginable. Hardly appropriate for a woman to be seen in. Nor is this situation, for one of my standing.
Hindsight is 20-20 they say, and they are right. I should have never should have opened that envelope. I should have never left my home. I should have run, straight to the arms of my suitor and killed that desire for adventure. Regrets come strong and harsh to my heart, full of things that can never be. I remember now…all of it.
Transcript: Confession of Jennie-May Anderson
Patient #: 15634
The doorbell was chiming, disturbing my concentration once again. I could hear Georges’ shoes tapping on the marble floors of my home. He always had them polished to a high shine, always the hard soled shoes of a man who has struggled and cannot give up the material things that life has finally afforded him. Dear Georges, who had been with us since I was a small child, who looked at me with concern in his masked eyes.
“Miss, the postman has left mail for you. Would you like it here or in your rooms,” he spoke from the doorway, startling me out of my reverie. I held out my hand, with a smile in his direction, my eyes followed the figure that walked behind him, shrouded in mist and barely formed. Georges recoiled slightly, finding something lacking in my smile perhaps, and this filled my heart with sorrow. I met his eyes, and found more of that concern made me drop them as I felt the paper in my palm.
“Thank you Georges. How are you today,” I asked gently, not wishing to cause the poor man more hardship in worry for me. He said that he is well, and took his leave of me, his steps a little quicker as he reached the doorway. I shook my head, trying to clear the nagging feeling of dread that had fallen on me as I awoke into the day. We rarely received mail, that I was aware of, and three letters addressed to me was an unexpected delight.
A letter from my dear friend, penned in his beautiful script had finally arrived, full of the news of our mutual acquaintances and their lives fills my eyes. I did miss them, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder; the desire to fill my ears with the happy sounds of their voices nearly overwhelming. It brought tears to my eyes as I read his professions of love, asking me to come back, where we should marry and be happy. He couldn’t understand that it was too soon, that I was not ready, and that I had other issues to deal with before I could accept his proposal.
The second envelope was a heavy vellum, heavy in my fingers, as though full of secrets it was dying to spill, it’s off white seeming to glow in the bright light of the library. I glanced into the hall beyond the door, expecting to see someone watching me, as they all seemed to do as of late. With my letter opener I sliced the seam, careful not to tear the paper, hearing its scratchy tear as the sharp edge forces it to give way. An odd smell emanated from the papers, not unpleasant but on the verge. Sweet soil from a freshly dug grave just on the cusp of spoiling Or a rotted apple, its skin still smooth and firm.
One sheet, thick and heavy as the envelope, precisely folded as though by ruler. I slid it from its place, the fragrance stronger now and stinging my eyes, gently unfolding the page, my fingers telling me that it is old, yet my eyes disagree. It felt brittle, the copperplate printing in the centre screaming age, no one wrote like that anymore.
Simply a name, address and tomorrow’s date is scribed there, it’s ink having feathered from the letters it engraved into the fabric of the paper. I couldn’t resist, I had to go, every fiber of my body was quivering with excitement. The third envelope slipped from my fingers, fluttering like a defunct petal to the carpet at my feet. Brookside…. Opening it I read the words of a friend who worked there. I really did have no choice but to go where I was bid. It seemed my family had decided I need “rest” and that placing me away from them in a hospital like a dirty secret is the way to go. Thankfully I had friends who felt it prudent to warn me.
Milladgeville Sanitarium. I knew this building. Here housed the wealthiest and sickest individuals belonging to the families of highest social standing. It was legend in my circles, whispered tales in dark corners spilled tiny nuggets of truth to whomever would listen. I sat in the car, staring out the window at the ill-kept home, its windows still intact and glittering like eyes in the deepening dark.
The taxi driver opens my door, offering his hand to help me from my seat. I took it gratefully, my knees were knocking together with unnoticed fear. I had a sense of foreboding, very cell in my body was screaming for me to run, but I never was one to run from an adventure. I could see the spirits of the place in the windows, their faces staring down at me with empty eyes. So many. There are so many.
I heard the taxi pull away, its tires grinding in the gravel driveway as it speeds away. The driver was unnerved as well, but he has an escape. I’m alone here now, but for the ghosts of this place. The door looks old and warped, having been exposed the elements with no care or maintenance. The door handle was still bright however, its brass worn by many hands having grasped it in the past, and called like a beacon in the dusk. I turned it, feeling it resist in my hand, it emitted a squeal as I forced it to revolve. The door popped open, easily, as though it had been waiting for me. Perhaps it was.
The interior is not at all what I expected from the outside, hardly dilapidated. It had a disused look, the air musty and thick with the smell of antiseptics and dust. An odd combination to be sure, given that it had been empty for years. A gurney sat in the hallway, its sheet impossibly green and clean-looking. There was no one there, except the spirits, and of those there were plenty. They flitted and floated here and there, busy at their duties, some solid enough to cause footfalls, sending them echoing in the emptiness of this place. I didn’t understand. Someone invited me there, I had the invitation in my pocket.
I placed my purse at my feet, and reached to grasp the thick vellum page that I had folded in my coat pocket. It wasn’t there. I checked the other, and found it empty. I reached for my purse, glancing over my shoulder at the still open door, and stared in disbelief as it closed of its own volition, hard. I could hear the locks rattling. I ran then, grasping the handle and turning, pulling as I did, for I wanted out of there immediately. It wouldn’t open, the handle freezing in my hand, refusing to turn any further. I tried the windows, all of them nearby, and they were stuck fast as well. I didn’t want to go further into this haunted place, for fear of what I might find further on the bright hallway.
It was impossible. Night had fallen and it was pitch outside, yet the interior shone like mid-day, the rays of the false sun shining on the polished floor. When I arrived it was dusty and disused, now it was clean and smelled like vinegar. My head hurt, my eyes pulsing in their sockets, my stomach was threatening to regurgitate what little I’d eaten that day. A cool hand rested on my forehead for a moment, before an arm threaded itself through mine and lead me forward towards the gurney and what lay beyond. I didn’t want to go and resisted, or tried to, the owner of the arm was insistent that I keep up. I was alone and yet there were many here, as real as I was and not.
I reluctantly looked to the side where my arm was still being held. There was a hand on my forearm, a woman’s hand, it’s nails short but well-kept, with slim and delicate fingers. My mind screamed impossible, and I staggered with the force of it. I raised my eyes to meet those of my keeper. They were white, all white, dead eyes, the face that surrounded them, as bleached as flour, with claw marks furrowed in its cheeks. Oh how I wanted to run, shriek, just get away, but I froze, my blood icy in my veins, and every hair standing on end. She smiled, and I might have fainted had I not been so horrified. A mouthful of sharp-pointed teeth, a double row of what seemed razor blades lined the inside of a blood-red maw. Blood red because it was blood, that rippled and shifted but never ran.
She whispered in her serrated voice that it was good I was afraid. I was right to be, and that it was time to meet The Doctor. She made it a proper title. The Doctor. I shook my head no, I didn’t need to meet The Doctor. I told her no, I’m fine, I didn’t need a doctor, I just wanted to leave and go home. Her laughter buzzed in my ears, like flies on a carcass, and it made my head swim. Her smile became a snarl and she yanked me forward, towards an ornately decorated door that had no place here. It had the look of another place, and spelled out danger to me.
Again, I hesitated, pulling my arm slightly to test her grip. There was no give. The door opened as she flung me inside, watching me fall to the floor as she nodded to whom I assumed was The Doctor before turning on her heel and fading away. The door closed, and the man turned to look at me. He was tall, well-built and bald, his scalp shining pinkly in the false sunrays from the window behind his desk. He was of another time, an older time, his suit formal, with a high collar, and an Ascot rather than a tie. On the table behind him lay an odd top hat, with gloves beneath it.
He smiled, genuinely, offering his hand to me to help me rise to my feet. I stared at him, untrusting of what I was seeing, then took it, before standing. His hand was solid enough, as it gently pulled me up to where I could properly meet his eyes. They were green, impossibly green, and I shook my head, trying to clear it. Green was important somehow, my intuition insisted this. He introduced himself as Dr. Milo Burton, psychiatrist and Chief of Staff at Milladgeville Sanitarium, and smiled slightly as he said that they called him The Doctor, as though it embarrassed him.
I could feel my nerves relaxing and this distressed me. He was not here, or human even, certainly not biologically challenged, for I felt his hand and smooth skin when I accepted his offer. He called me by name, and said that he had invited me here to offer me sanctuary and a place to rest my mind. The paper that the address had been written on, was stacked at the corner of his desk, the envelopes just above it, and a pot of ink with, of all things, a quill rather than a pen. I stared at him, flicking my eyes from his to the quill and ink and back again. He yet again smiled, and said that he preferred the older methods, that the quill was a family heirloom. It was well cared for, it’s feather still glossy and well coloured, its tip stained not black, but red. The copperplate on the page I had received was black. Not red, not this freshly spilled colour of claret.
I asked him, politely as I felt it was prudent, why he had invited me here, and why I needed sanctuary and rest. “Don’t you?” he asked, his voice low and pleasant enough, yet with a strange undertone that set my nerves jangling, “Don’t you need a place to think? Don’t you need sanctuary?” My tongue felt thick, my eyes threatening to close. I felt so tired, bodily exhausted, as I agreed, not wishing to fight anymore. He began explaining the rules, as I struggled to keep my eyes open, nodding my agreement but not really listening, I just wanted to sleep. “Never,” he said louder in my ear, as I snap my head up and widen my eyes. He was beside me, his arm around my shoulders and whispering “Never open this door without permission. Do you understand?” I nodded, anything if it would get me away from him and a place where I could sleep. His hand slipped down shoulder and slid along the side of my breast where it stopped at my side.
I stared at him through heavy-lidded eyes, surprised that he would dare so much alone in his office with a woman so much younger. Did he not care for propriety? He helped me to stand, his hand remaining stuck to my ribcage where I was sure he could feel if not hear my heartbeat racing. He opens his door, with a stern look, telling me to remember what he said. I nodded as Nurse Jaws once again took my arm, less gently than before.
She nearly dragged me back toward the door, and hope surged in my chest again. Maybe I could get away from her, escape this place and never ever look back. I’d run to my friend, marry him and forget this ever happened. She laughed that horrid laugh again, and turned left to pull me up the stairs, as my eyes coveted the door that seemed to grow smaller each second. The stairs are warped and I stumbled, nearly falling back down them. She snarled again in my direction, muttering about how clumsy I am, and yanked me up the last few steps. There are few rooms, perhaps 5, maybe less, my vision is skewed, rippling as though I was walking through water. Nurse Jaws opened a door directly ahead of the stairs, and threw me into it. The bed broke my fall but not before my forehead met the edge of the bedside table, splitting the skin. I half sat up, my hand to my head, and felt the tears close now.
She was at my side in an instant, too close for comfort. That nearly spoiled fruit smell was thick in my nose, and I felt my gorge rising. She leaned in close, her tongue flicking out and tasting the blood that ran freely from the cut, eyes closed and nearly moaning under her breath. I was disgusted and recoiled violently, my whole body shifting backwards in despair and mortification, surprising her into action. Her hand, once delicate and ladylike was then a gnarled clawed terror, and it was gripping my hair as she pulls me forward. Her tongue now improbably long and covered in tiny scales ran roughly against my wound, irritating it into bleeding more. I wanted to scream, fight, something, anything but I was unable to do more than shiver and whimper like a scared puppy.
At last she moved away, her white eyes brighter than before, and her glammer back in place. Once again she appeared nearly normal, but for the teeth, and the eyes. She stalked to the door, slamming it and locking it behind her, leaving me to sit and wonder how I am going to survive this. I could take my life. Then I would truly be free, but my upbringing and my own morals murmur no, no, sleep. Sleep will change everything, and I laid down, closing my eyes and losing myself in happier dreams.
It was dark in there when I next opened my eyes, nearly pitch black, and smelled putrescent, the fragrance hung in the air, and stung my nose. That’s when I saw him. He stood in the corner, eyes glittering like malevolent jewels, with a hint of a smile that both relieved and unnerved me. “Who are you, ” I asked, my voice rasping from my throat. He just shook his head, and pointed to his temple. He can hear me if I think it, and he nodded, confirming my suspicions. Either I am insane, or this person is real and talented. Again, he nodded his head, leaving me confused.
He waved his hand at the door and it opened, creaking as it did, and I bolted for it, leaving this room and this person behind with no thoughts other than getting out, getting away. I ran headlong into Nurse Jaws, who grabbed me by the throat and shoved me backwards. My new, rotting friend had disappeared, leaving me alone with this horror show. Her nails dug hard into the sides of my windpipe, cutting my air intake to less than half. I felt as though I was suffocating, and unable to fight back. In the doorway, a dozen faces hovered, their bodies barely corporeal, all with the same sad, worried expressions.
Nurse Jaws tightened her grip slightly and my eyes were filled with the wings of black butterflies, all threatening to steal my consciousness. The room was full of spirits, so many that there seems to be no space left to breathe, all gathered around us, hands on my shoulders, my hair, touching me everywhere and making my skin crawl with the energy they afforded. She cringed, hissing as she glanced around, unable to see those that surrounded us and sensing them all the same. She let go of me, instead holding her hands up as though in defence as she backed towards the door the spirits surrounding her with their arms out. The Nefarious Nurse screeched and vanished from view as all went black around me.
I come to standing on my feet, in front of The Doctor’s door. My hospital gown is shredded, hanging off my shoulder on one side, feet bare. I have no memories of how I came to be in this state, and really do not care. His words ring in my ears, “Never open this door without permission. Do you understand?” and a feeling of wrongdoing electrifies every nerve in my body.
All was quiet in this house of the dead, in that stale and malignant place. Not a sound echoed around me. I could leave, maybe. The all encompassing desire to escape has ebbed, leaving behind only a dry hope where once it raged. I drifted down the hallway, listening hard for any sort of obstacle that might stand in my way. The front door loomed larger and larger in my eyes, my heart pounding, each step awakening that need to breathe the fresh air. My hand rested on the knob, hesitating. I am afraid to try. My hand turned slowly, feeling the metal cool in my palm, its insides clicked slightly as the tumblers released. It was working, I might have a chance, I might actually be free.
A hand fell on my shoulder, and my hope failed, dying as it strove for its peak. I glanced back over my shoulder, meeting the eyes of my rotting friend, who smiles, his lips splitting and spilling some thick black goo that hung in strings like malignant honey. A sob tore from my throat, tears over spilling their barrier. I just want to go home. I’ve been here forever, an eternity it seemed. There is a softness in his eyes, and he shakes his head again, and gently pulled me from the only portal to my freedom and directing me to a door that was hidden under the stairs.
I was sure it hadn’t been there before, I would have remembered it. I was sure now that this door would take me deeper into the bowels of this malignant place, and I resisted strenuously, stopping dead with it still some feet away. You must sounds in my mind, as though a hand had found the centre that controlled my will and squeezed it. I move with no power to stop, my hand hard on the scar ridden handle and pulling it open. A cold breeze rushed past my face, blowing my hair slightly with the force of it, demons’ breath. It smelled frozen and rank, bodies halted in mid-decomposition, like dreams tortured and left to die. You must my rotten friend speaks more aggressively in my head, the mental shove again in my brain.
Hell is not hot, it is not lakes of fire, a constant inferno. No. Hell is cold, and dead, a river of ice and bitter cold, a place of deep unease and horror. It’s inhabitants are dead, all faces are ugly and eyes are lost in whatever personal hell they found themselves in. This is the Mouth of Hell, and the demons are human. Each one a fleshsack, appearing a living breathing man or woman, a lot of women, but the eyes…those eyes are not human and never could be thought of as.
I back away, climbing the stairs slowly, as to not draw attention, wanting out of this place NOW…NOW my mind screams, through the door, a window, anything just OUT! I’ve been seen. One of the Devil’s Imps has seen me and stands before me, pretty as a picture, but for the eyes. I sat hard on the step above, all the strength having run out of my legs, breath gasping in my chest. I didn’t want to die like that. I didn’t belong in Hell. Her touch on my cheek is a flash freezing, painful experience and I screamed as I recoiled, desperate to get away and having no will to do so. Oh…the lights, millions of lights, all extinguished at once, the end of the world I think, as she pulled the flesh from my face, and the blackness enveloped me.
There was a man there. He stood before The Doctor’s door, hand outstretched to knock. He was real. And I knew him. My suitor was there, why was he there? How did he get there? I felt confused and horror-struck. Slowly his head turned, and he saw me, his hand dropping as does his jaw. I was in disarray, covered in my own blood that oozes from many injuries. My hands bled most, their palms looked more like ground meat than human flesh. I don’t remember how that happened only that I must get him in that room, and that he must die.
It occurred to me that I should feel sick at this thought, as I walked towards him, staring at him through the strings of my hair that nearly obscure my vision. He speaks my name, his voice low and shocked, reaching out for me as I come closer. What he sees makes him drop his arms and retreat a few steps. He must die, my rotting friend’s words echo in my head, and I knew he was right, he must die and he will. The door plaque reads The Doctor, and it rings truer than if it read Dr. Milo Burton, Chief of Staff. I gesture to my suitor to open the door, showing him my raw and massacred hands. He flinched, recoiled with an expression of distaste and disgust rolling over his face and settling in his eyes. I understand fully now. He sees me as the others do, a lunatic, unsuitable for someone of his standing, less than desirable, unstable. He was right on one account.
He opened the door. The Doctor’s words still linger; “Never open this door without permission,” had lost its power over me, a whisper nearly forgotten in the din of screams that sound from The Doctor’s office. My suitor had moved in front of me, blocking access and all vision to what lies in wait beyond the doorway. I used my forearms to shove him inside, my stature belaying my strength, for he is a big man, strong and I smaller and envisioned weaker. He will find out that I am stronger than he could ever be, infused with the molten fury of my companions in my new home. There are monsters here. Hell Beasts. He screamed and tried to run, push past me and escape, and I laughed. I remember that. I laughed and held him back, feeling the door close behind me with a breath of a breeze.
My rotting friend is back, whispering and giggling in my ear, his one arm tight around my waist, the other on my breast, encouraging me to finish him. I want to, as much as I relished the tightening of my nipple under his cadaverous palm, and the fragrance of his sweet yet spoiled flesh. My suitor could see my new Love, and held his hand to his mouth, noisily trying not to vomit. Sweat had risen to his temples and shone on his upper lip, his hand shaking as he spit his disgust at me.
This room is empty now of all things, only a howling wind that blows dust and the few papers that had been left behind by the previous tenants, and the glowing egress into the bitter cold of Hell. My Lover had gone from me, his memory fading as though he were never there, and I was bereft, and angry, listening to this creature that I thought had once loved me loose vile and hurtful remarks at me. Never good enough. Never loved me. A joke. Unwanted. Unworthy.
I smiled then, into his face, as he came closer to me, close enough to touch, and I wrapped my arm around his neck, pulling him down so that he could stare into my eyes, smiled, as the demons cavorted behind my eyes, smiled as my hand was filled with a final gift. I glance over my shoulder to find Nurse Jaws indulgently lounging against the door, maggots squirming in her eyes, nodding her approval. I let him go, lifting my hand and bashed the meat tenderizer into his skull and heard the delightful crack as it split.
He stared at me, astonished as his blood ran in a river from the wound on his forehead, mouth hanging open. I hit him again and again, feeling nothing, only blessedly numb. I was covered in blood, absolutely grue-sopped and my suitor was dead. They wouldn’t be able to identify him visually. His face was gone, teeth shattered, tiny bone shards in the raw goop, his tongue still quivering as it tried to live on. Finally, it ceased and I dropped the tenderizer on his body, backing away to slide down the nearest wall. Nurse Jaws was gone, the memories of this place fading with each second that passed, and only the memories of Hell and what I had just done remained loud and screaming in my mind.
Noises from the hallway, men’s voices, disruptive in the quiet. The door flew open and a handful of uniformed, and armed men entered, shouting their findings, and at least one losing his meal in the corner. They hadn’t seen me yet, hadn’t seen the glass fragment I held in my hand, or the fear that I might not die. I had killed the one I love, my salvation and I don’t know why. I don’t understand where the tenderizer came from, or where this glass came from either.
They’d spotted me, sitting with my legs underneath me, covered in blood and brain, and injuries that I couldn’t explain, not that they gave me the chance to try. All guns drawn and all yelling so loud it hurt my ears, I could nearly smell the testosterone in the air. I smiled at them, and nodded my greetings then dug the point of the glass fragment deep into my throat, at the largest artery and dragged it across my own neck, opening the skin and feeling the warmth flood my flesh. I could feel the life leaving me and I was grateful. I deserved it. As my vision faded, I could hear birds, a multitude of birds chirping and singing, perhaps harbingers coming to carry me to Hell. Birds….
This is my confession as I remember it. I killed my suitor. In cold-blood. I have no reason or excuse. The spirits are real in that place. They are real. And they can kill.
The Sequel to the iconic slasher film The Orphan Killer. A Matt Farnsworth Film
Stars Diane Foster, Shayna Baszler, Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke, Nick Principe, and Matt Farnsworth
Music in the trailer by HIRAX
TWO KILLERS. TWICE THE CARNAGE