Astyages's Weblog

March 18, 2011


Filed under: Hell Hospital 12 — astyages @ 12:44 pm



Episode 12

By theseustoo

When John and Mary Swan had finally decided to phone the hospital to find out about their parents’ protracted absence they had been told, in order to ‘spare their feelings’ that their father had suffered a fatal accident at work and that the shock had been too much for their mother, who was being kept in the psychiatric ward for the time being and the baby was being looked after in the hospital nursery. A social worker was sent to help arrange social security benefits for the children and with this done they were promptly forgotten.

But the bills had begun to arrive and it quickly became clear that social security benefits were not going to be enough to pay them all. John knew that he and Mary would have to find work in order to support the rest of the Cricket Team. The duty of ‘babysitting’ their other siblings devolved on the third and fourth eldest, Algernon and Vivienne, who, as their elder siblings had done before them, immediately rose to the challenge and put away the toys they had been playing with to don a more ‘adult’ persona as they intuitively assumed the mantle of authority whilst John and Mary, children competing for work in an adult world, went out day after day to look for work; their lack of early success was disheartening, but like the troupers they were, they always maintained a brave and cheerful face in front of the other members of the Cricket Team. Eventually they found work stacking supermarket shelves in the evenings at Coals; the pay wasn’t great, but it would pay the rent and bills and leave them just about enough to feed the Cricket team, so, for the time-being, they were satisfied.

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

As for their poor deceased pater, Swannee, as the bible says is true of all the dead, was aware of nothing at all. His recently animated corpse was still a corpse; capable of movement and obedience to simple commands, perhaps, but a corpse nonetheless. Without a mind to give it volition or purpose of its own, it was still very much a dead thing; a zombie. Neither was the zombie’s mistress, Elaine, any more aware of what she was doing than was her zombie creation; her own mind having been supplanted by the will of the Dark One and forced to retreat into subconsciousness; all her actions were now directed by the Dark One, to fulfil purposes only he could understand.

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

Dave returned to the hospital and demanded to see the doctor who had handled his injured and now de-calcified foot so roughly that he had re-fractured the fourth meta-tarsal. The doctor had not been impressed with Dave’s display of temper when he loudly accused the doctor of having broken his foot again. But when Dave had threatened to ‘see how you like having your bones broken!’ whilst advancing menacingly towards him, the doctor instantly shouted for security. The two burly security men who instantly responded, upon seeing Dave yelling at the doctor, immediately assessed the situation, sidled round behind him and, each taking hold of one of his arms, held him securely, in spite of his loud demands that he be ‘unhanded forthwith!’

“He’s raving,” the doctor said, “I believe he’s having some kind of nervous or mental breakdown; I’m going to give him a sedative…” With that he filled a syringe from a small bottle and quickly swabbing the skin of Dave’s upper arm, which the security guard who was still firmly holding it had thoughtfully uncovered, injected the syringe’s contents into Dave’s arm as the latter swooned into unconsciousness.

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

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