Astyages's Weblog

February 16, 2011

Hell Hospital 9

Filed under: Hell Hospital 9 — astyages @ 12:19 am


Episode 9

By theseustoo

(For some strange reason which I have yet to fathom, episode #9 of my serial, “Hell Hospital” appears to have disappeared, so I am re-posting it here; regular readers may expect episode 10 within the next few days with any luck!)

Though still entranced, Elaine performed the ritual flawlessly…

(My apologies for appearing to post this episode of Hell’s Hospital repeatedly; I’m doing so because it seems to keep disappearing from my blog. I can only imagine that someone with more computer skills than courage has taken it upon him or herself to high-handedly censor my work, without even deigning to leave me any notification as to why. As I intend, should this episode disappear again, to continue posting it again and again, if necessary, until the mystery censor either gives up or dies of old age (or at least informs me of their reason for such dictatorial actions and with what legal right and/or powers s/he does so).  I I hope my readers will therefore interpret each and every repetition of this episode as a protest claiming the right to freedom of speech, and that, along with me, you will celebrate each and every repetition as a ‘digitus impudicus’ defiantly raised in the face of gutless anonymous pratts!)

The evil presence once more exuded itself into Elaine’s consciousness; it had done so with increasing frequency lately, especially when, as now, her assistants were on their lunch break. This time it stayed long enough to allow itself to be noticed by Elaine’s conscious mind. Elaine felt a certain amount of fear, mingled with anticipation as the dark presence communicated directly with her mind.

When Swannee’s corpse arrived at the morgue Elaine immediately recognized that this was the trouble the cards had warned her about, but the presence in her mind had lulled her into such a feeling of warmth and security that she could only allow herself to lay back and drift in the feeling as if in a cocoon; a strange awareness gradually grew in her entranced consciousness and she realized that she knew now what she must do; the presence had dictated the ritual to her entranced mind and, still entranced, she performed it flawlessly, uttering the incantation in an unknown, alien and ancient tongue as if it were the one she had been speaking all her life…

***** ******* *****

When Catherine didn’t return home for several days, it did not surprise her eldest boy, John; he’d been through the routine several times before and knew she would probably be kept in hospital for a few days at least, to enable her to rest and recover a little before returning home. Good boy and dutiful son that he was, he took over looking after his younger siblings like a real trooper; fortunately his eldest sister, Vivienne; little more than a year his junior; was quite a capable cook and helped him to organize the cricket team into squads to do the housework and shopping, which they fitted in around their normal school schedule.

Not knowing how to tell Catherine’s children about what had happened to their parents at the hospital, no-one really tried; everyone excusing themselves by thinking, someone else is bound to, anyway: The police thought that, as the incident happened on hospital premises and involved a hospital worker, the hospital would of course notify the victim’s family; they thought too, that perhaps in this instance discretion allowed them to waive this onerous duty, although it was normally theirs; but the hospital would surely want to inform the family themselves and, the chief inspector told himself, charitably, they surely had that right. The hospital, of course, thought the police would notify the family of the perpetrator and victims a crime as they usually do and so quickly relieved themselves of the burdensome task in a similar manner. When weeks passed and neither parent came home, though worried, John and Vivienne nevertheless carried on as if nothing untoward had happened, not wanting to upset the other children, especially the ‘littlies’.

Catherine was taken immediately to the psychiatric wing’s secure ward, where she was put into a padded cell and sat alternately thumbing a rosary and praying for her deceased husband’s forgiveness and babbling incoherently about a cricket team while she awaited psychiatric evaluation. After some time under observation it was evident that she was hallucinating; it was evidently some kind of religious delusion and Catherine appeared to be receiving instruction from two sources; one whom she referred to simply as ‘the Dark One’, and another whom she called, St Helvi… The psychiatrist recognized the name of the hospital’s patron, of course, but it was far too early to understand the significance of this name to his obviously delusional and manifestly psychotic patient. The police had ordered her to be kept in a secure ward and under constant 24-hour surveillance, but although the manner in which she had killed her husband had been dramatic, the psychiatrist thought the police’s instructions a little unnecessary; women who kill their husbands in a fit of jealous rage rarely commit further murders, but of course, he did not care to question police instructions too closely and obligingly obeyed them.

***** ******* *****

Swannee’s corpse had been laid out on the slab when it arrived; the blood drained out from his wounds, leaving him white as a sheet. But instead of telephoning the coroner to come and perform the autopsy, Elaine placed seven black candles around the cadaver; one at his head; two at his shoulders; another two at his waist and a final pair at his feet, uttering a strange incantation as she did so. Finally she made a motion as if pulling something towards her on the end of a rope, as she sang the final words of her chant, “Though you are dead, yet shall you live; the blood of the sacrifice has not flowed in vain; you are my servant and will do my bidding; now come to me, for I am your Mistress!”

Somehow the word ‘mistress’ seemed a little odd; but she didn’t want to further confuse with a gender anomaly a corpse who was, she realized, bound to be confused anyway at finding itself reanimated. But when she ordered the cadaver to sit up and it did so, she realized her meaning had been understood clearly. “Follow me!” she ordered, and led the now undead Swannee out to her car.

***** ******* *****

The incident had happened on a Friday so Loreen fortunately had all weekend to lay low and hope people would forget about the blonde strumpet who had lured her unwitting prey to his death, albeit accidentally. She had clocked out over an hour before she had seduced the unfortunate Swannee, so as long as no-one remembered her or recognized her, she thought she would probably be safe. She spent the weekend wearing dark glasses and dying her hair several shades darker… When she arrived for work on Monday morning, Paula caught up with her as she queued up for lunch. Catching hold of her elbow, Paula said, “Hey, did you hear about what happened to that kitchen-hand we both fancied? I think it happened just after you went home…”

No…” Loreen said, as innocently as she could, “Do tell…”

After Paula had related the whole sordid tale, Loreen gave every impression of being flabbergasted, “Well I never!” she said, and then, “Poor Swannee… So who was this slut he was with anyway; did they ever find out?”

No…” said Paula, “I was speaking with one of the policemen who came and interviewed everyone who was there; he said no-one seemed to know who she was; at first I thought it might have been you, but I checked your clock-card and you’d already gone off-shift… Like the new hair-color by the way…”

***** ******* *****

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