Astyages's Weblog

September 27, 2011

Hell Hospital, Episode 18

Filed under: Hell Hospital 18 — astyages @ 12:41 am
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HELL HOSPITAL

By Theseustoo

Episode 18

Loreen, there’s something evil in the hospital… it’s possessing Catherine right now and if its hold isn’t broken soon it’ll possess her permanently… You must get her away from there; she needs to be in familiar surroundings… Maybe her own things might somehow get through to her; at the very least it might give her the moral support she needs to fight her demon…” St Helvi was insistent; she’d had a word with the Boss and he’d spoken to the Fates who’d agreed to put Paula’s fate into a ‘holding pattern’ for the time-being; so now she must drop all her other duties and pay particular attention to Catherine…

But what about her baby” Loreen had asked… “Baby?” the saint inquired “Oh… that baby… Better keep your eyes on that baby too; it must be exorcised as soon as possible.”

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

We have no record of a baby…” the receptionist told Loreen innocently, “Are you sure you have the right name? Or the right hospital?” Loreen realised she would have to find the missing baby herself; the logical place to look first was Catherine’s home so, taking his home address from his ‘clock-card’, which was still in the ‘on duty’ rack, now all she had to do was break Catherine out of the psych ward and take her home. This turned out to be easier than she thought it would be; borrowing a white coat from the laundry, with her hair tied back in a severe bun, wearing her reading glasses and with her staff id pinned to her lapel, she now looked so much like a doctor that no-one gave her id more than a cursory glance from a distance. No-one looked closely enough to read the bit that said ‘cleaner’. Whenever anyone checked her id she just said, “I’m just escorting one of our patients to a medical appointment at another hospital; there’s a new treatment they want to try with this case… The receptionist looked up at her briefly, nodded disinterestedly and said, “Okay, but don’t forget to do the bookwork on her… otherwise you know who they’ll blame!” “No worries… paperwork’s all taken care of…” Loreen lied, quickly whisking Catherine out of the ward and into a waiting taxi as the receptionist returned to her telephone conversation; a taxi which had, in fact, been waiting for another patient entirely, but which, Loreen generously informed the driver, “…would do anyway…”

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

Big Merv had opened well for the nurses’ eleven, with half a century clearly in sight when he was sadly dismissed for 46 by a stunning ‘yorker’ from Algernon, which exploded his wicket. The next couple of nurses were quickly bowled and/or caught and at one stage there, the nurses eleven were nine for a hundred and thirty… Hung One on put up a magnificent show as tenth man, however, finally declaring at 150, while Paula put up a respectable show as ‘eleventh man’ with thirty runs, leaving a total of 310 runs for the Swan kids to beat. The nurses were quietly confident that they had left their opposition an impossible task.

When the two smallest little-uns opened the batting, Merv made the mistake of thinking them far too cute to be able to do much damage and so sent down a couple of easy overs… the little-‘uns smashed most of them easily for six, or occasionally for four; having only little legs, they disdained running, because they were quite disadvantaged in this respect; so they sought runs from a standing position, deliberately courting danger, but smashing balls through any and every gap in the field. Funston played a particularly strong opening bat, but not before a slight altercation with the referee, who had initially given him out for a duck, leg before wicket… but somehow was persuaded to change his verdict after Funston gave him the ‘fluence-eye’ and explained quietly, “Listen, this crowd have come here to see me bat; not to see him bowl…” The next thing the ref knew, he was listening to his own voice as if from the bottom of a well, saying, “Not out!”

John liked to make sure all the little-uns had a go at the bat, and they were all fierce risk-takers, but they could usually manage to do enough damage to the opposition to leave relatively little to do for the bowling partnerships of Algernon and Vivienne and John and Mary. When Algernon went to bat with only twenty runs to make, John and Mary knew they wouldn’t get a bat this game and started to prepare the sandwiches, looking forward to an early tea; a few minutes later Algae was borne in triumphantly on the shoulders of the rest of the team, until they suddenly and unceremoniously dropped him in favour of Mary and Vivienne’s sandwiches.

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

The novelty of having her own zombie-slave to do her bidding wore off faster than Elaine thought it would… corpses rarely make good conversation and even as servants they are less than enthusiastic; besides which, after a couple of days Swannee began to smell so she kept him in a chest-freezer until she began to worry about the health implications for the food that was stored alongside Swannee’s undead remains. Eventually she moved him back to the morgue, thinking it the only proper place for a corpse… outside the grave anyway. Here at least she would be able to keep him on ice and minimise the smell without risking her own health; and providing she timed it right, here would be the most convenient place for the next ritual…

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

The tiny part of her mind that was still Catherine had been warned by the gentler of the two voices in her head to be ready for the opportunity to escape, and though she still lacked any volition of her own, she put up no resistance as Loreen walked her out to the taxi and sat with her in the back of the cab while the driver took them to Catherine’s home address. Loreen had expected the house to be full of kids, but when they arrived they discovered the place was empty. However, Loreen found a window open round the back of the house and climbed in through it to let in her zombie-like friend. Where was everyone, Loreen wondered; it was Saturday afternnon; the kids should at least be at home… but the house seemed deserted.

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

 

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