The whole affair started on January 3rd.
I was off duty that day, but my therapist, Dr. Sandra Helena, had asked me to accompany her on an errand of mercy. Dr. Helena informed me that the Hawthorn Lunatic Asylum had been ordered by the state government to close by December 31st, having released all of the inmates into community care. I was informed that all the inmates of the facility had in fact been relocated, except for one. A young woman who was kept by herself in the isolation wing. This young woman was a mystery, Dr. Helena informed me that no one knew exactly why she had been placed there. So far as she could tell this mystery woman had no criminal record nor a diagnosis. Yet the director of the asylum, Dr. Silverman, was continuing to keep her there even after all the other staff had left and the facility was officially closed down.
Dr. Helena was worried that Dr. Silverman was somehow abusing this woman, however, she had no proof of this. Rather than file a formal complaint against the venerable Dr. Silverman she thought she should confront him herself. However, she asked me to come along, in my police uniform, even though I was off duty. She said it was partly for moral support, but partly to intimidate Dr. Silverman into releasing this young woman whom Dr. Helena was certain was being held illegally.
Continue reading “The Bacillus – Chapter One (Keane)”
Today was my birthday. I turned ten and everyone in the family was with me in the family room to celebrate it. Everyone except Dad; he went downstairs to get grandpa out of the cellar. This is the best part about my birthday; it’s the one day of the year that I get to see my grandpa. He lives there underneath the house for the rest of the year. No one ever goes down there except my dad, and sometimes my aunty, too. We live in a big house; it has fourteen bedrooms, two kitchens, a study, a reading room, a classroom, a rumpus room, a family room, and a dining hall. My house is on a big property surrounded by gardens and trees. I live here with my parents, my five brothers and sisters, my aunt and uncle, and my four cousins. My grandpa also lives here of course, locked away in the cellar unseen by all except my dad, but for one day every year dad opens the cellar door and lets grandpa come up to see me on my birthday.
Grandpa didn’t come up right away, he needed time to wake up, eat some breakfast, and for Doctor Allenson to run some tests on him. Dad also said he needs to explain to Grandpa what’s been happening since he last saw me and the rest of the family. Then when it’s lunch time, up comes grandpa. He looks exactly like I remember him being the last time I saw him. He smiles warmly and always gives me the first hug, then he hugs all my siblings and cousins. We have lunch together in the big dining hall. As the birthday boy, I sat at the head of the table, my grandpa sat in the middle, and asks everyone in turn what they have been doing since my last birthday.
We spend the afternoon out in the garden, some of my friends come over and we go off and play by the creek. My dad usually comes with us, but he spends all his time with Grandpa today. I thought that funny because he checks in on Grandpa every other day of the year, yet he talked to grandpa today like he’s not seem him all year! I think it’s unfair that Dad gets to see Grandpa so often, but I only get to see him for one day. I remember when I used to see Grandpa every day. After my friends leave, we have a family dinner together and Grandpa falls asleep. I really miss Grandpa. I kissed him goodnight and, as I went up to bed, I knew during the night my father will take grandpa back down to the basement and I wouldn’t see him again until next year.
Continue reading “My Grandpa is Locked in the Cellar”
All my life I knew that I was different to everyone else. People would ask me how I knew they were near me and all I could express was that I just knew it. I could even let people know when doors opened or closed, when others were home or not, or if someone was walking or running behind a wall, and all without seeing them. The adults speculated that I had the second sight, while the children preferred to spread rumours that I had the devil’s touch. The adults informed us that this was nonsense and that no one had had the devil’s touch in generations, however, I could see in the faces of some adults the echo of genuine concern from generations passed. The children believed that I had the devil’s touch because I could also make the lights turn on or off without touching the wall panels. No one could see how I did this, and at the time I didn’t understand either. No one could point out to me what I was doing. I was a source of wonder and fear for everyone around me, yet I was still a small boy and my unusual abilities hadn’t gotten me into trouble yet.
My life was still relatively normal until when I was fourteen I woke up with the realisation that someone was breaking into my bedroom. I made the lights come on without touching the wall panels in my usual way and there standing in my room was a woman in a thick black jacket, she’d obviously smashed in my window to get into my room for the glass was so freshly broken it hadn’t started to melt into the floor as it typically did when broken. She signalled to me that she knew that I was the boy with the devil’s touch. Feeling that I had to reply to her, as she was an adult, I signalled back that she was correct. She unbuttoned her coat and it slid from her naked body. She was the picture of mature womanhood in full bloom. However, I was only fourteen and found her terrifying. She saw the fear in my eyes but signalled for me to keep still because she just wanted to lie in bed with me. Continue reading “The Devil’s Touch”
The evening sun was waning over the abandoned city, and the cats were on the prowl. Leo Socks was walking down what he believed was an empty alley way just minding his cat business when from out of a bin sprang a red fox. Leo regarded the newcomer with consternation. He’d seen foxes before, but few as bold as this one. He was after all deep in cat land.
“Say, what brings you here Mr. Fox?”
The red fox skulked as he crept sideways yet was careful to maintain eye contact with Leo.
“Who are you?” Croaked the fox.
“Socks, Leo Socks,” said the cat coolly.
A broad toothy grin slipped across the fox’s face. Leo instantly recognised the meaning of this grin and bounded forward just as the fox did the same. They connected in mid air except Leo landed on the fox’s back and sprang back off again driving the fox’s nose down into the ground in an dramatically uncontrolled landing. The baffled fox snarled uncomprehendingly at what Leo had just done; cats generally run away from foxes not attack them head on.
“You’re very brave for a cat!” Hissed the red fox. Continue reading “The Tuxedo Terror”
Zoe was not like other girls and it wasn’t because of her sparkling crystalline eyes, nor was it because of her mischievous grin and cunning glance, in fact is wasn’t even the red polka dot ribbons she used to tie up her chestnut coloured bangs. Zoe was the quiet girl in school who did her work silently and interrogated anyone who wanted to be her friend. She was a mysterious girl, a girl with secrets, a girl with a passion. An obsession some might even say.
Paranormal events, psychic readings, the occult, tarot cards, the illuminati, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and ghost stories: She read all about them. Typically she did this at night hidden away in her wardrobe with a torch. She had turned her wardrobe into a secret hideout where she stored her bookcase full of ancient and forbidden knowledge. Her room was filled with arcane objects and photographs of ghosts and fairies. She was a believer in the paranormal.
One day she was tinkering with a walkie talkie and learning Morse code so she could send messages into the aether to contact the dead. She hoped she could also manage to tune the receiver into the wavelengths used by ghosts to communicate.
So it was hardly surprising that one hot summer’s evening, as she was tinkering with parts of a radio transceiver, she heard a message: Three long, three short, three long. SOS. Continue reading “Zoe and the Fly”
Jodie nervously drove the car through the back streets to the hospital, while Suvarin reclined peacefully in the passenger seat. Jodie had pleaded again with Suvarin not to go into work today, but Suvarin insisted on the grounds that it would raise too many questions. Jodie eventually proposed she would wait in the car near the hospital and Suvarin would let her know if she got sent straight home so Jodie could just pick her up and take her back again.
Suvarin agreed and fifteen minutes later she was hobbling into the hospital on her crutches and reporting to her nurses’ station on the sixth floor. The other nurses immediately mobbed her and asked what had happened.
While she was relating her prepared line of falling down a muddy ditch in the dark on her way home she noticed the unmistakable visage of Peterson walking through the ward towards the nurse’s station. What was peculiar about Peterson was that he was dressed as a policeman, right down to the badge. Unbeknownst to her he had just minutes before left Oriana’s house. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 32”
Oriana rapped on Kelly’s door, flanked by Paul. Kelly opened it up it up almost immediately, but instead of her usual boisterous greeting she placed a finger over her lips and motioned for her friends to come in quietly. Moments later the trio were sitting in the back room overlooking the backyard.
“Well?” Started Oriana, “what happened? Where’s Kent and Suvarin?”
“Kent helped to drop Suvarin off this morning and then left right away. He figured that you guys would want to come over and he didn’t want to put all five of us in the one location to tempt the Tyranni into killing us all. He said he had work this morning too, and besides, I think it would have made my mother more suspicious.”
“What does your mother think of Suvarin being here?” Asked Paul.
“The story I have told her is that I was at a party with Suvarin and she got so drunk that she fell down a slope into the mud and almost drowned.”
“How is Suvarin?” Asked Oriana.
“She went back to sleep, she’s in my room completely out of it.”
“So what happened last night?” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 27”
The tunnel was old, in fact is was so old that the bricks felt like sponge underneath Kelly’s touch. Decades of exposure to moisture had seeped through the bricks and rotted them through. The water lapped at their knees and if it the tunnels hadn’t been so narrow the current would have easily washed them away. Their progress was slow but morale picked up when Kent announced that he could get a clear signal from Suvarin’s phone.
“Just up this way, Kelly!” exclaimed Kent.
Kelly’s legs were going numb as the water sucked the warmth out of them. The air was stale, thick with enough moisture that it was becoming difficult to breathe. Kelly started to wonder if maybe there wasn’t enough oxygen this far underground and if she might faint? Kelly had started out this adventure believing it to be fun, but the rising waters were filling her heart with fear now. At last the tunnel opened up into a large rectangle concrete tunnel with a trough running down the middle.
“According to the tracker, she’s located just down this tunnel.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 25”
The man’s face betrayed no emotion, “I see. Well, then I suppose you did the right thing in bringing them here where they would be safe. However, we will have to make special arrangements for their passage out of here. Do you know who the Tyranni are?”
“Nix and Peterson,” Kent answered. Oriana thought she noticed a particular stress on Peterson’s name.
“Ahh, I see. They must have travelled from interstate to be here in this city then.”
“That’s true,” cut in Paul, “I have a photo of their number plate. They came from interstate.”
“I am sorry, my name is Laneg. How do you do, young man?”
“Well, I’m Paul and my knee is badly hurt.”
Instantly Laneg’s expression changed from neutrality to deep concern. “Oh dear, did the Tyranni injure you?”
Paul nodded affirmatively.
“Well then,” Laneg turned to the young women next to him, “Suvarin, could you please take a look at Paul’s leg? See if he is well enough to walk on it.” Continue reading “The Monk – Part 12”
Then the black thread of poison morphed into a trail of crimson blood. Kylie’s body jolted back into life and all her limbs flayed about spasmodically in the water. She gasped hungrily for breath and with the rapid violent movements she brought the warmth back to her body. Elwin helped her out of the water and she shivered uncontrollably. Without knowing why he wrapped his arm about her and cradled her close to his chest as she sobbed.
Elwin was holding onto Kylie protectively for several minutes when they heard the sound of approaching boot steps. Erian was running towards them from the pillar he had been hiding behind. Kylie seemed jolted into wakefulness. She hastily put her clothes on. Erian stopped a short distance off and watched her putting her clothes back on hurriedly, while Elwin was looking away from her.
“What is it Erian?” asked Elwin.
“Groods! At least two dozen of them, they’re marching through the canal.”
The trio quickly moved up the edge of the canal and concealed themselves in the brush. Elwin pointed out the wet marks Kylie had left behind while climbing up the slope. Erian dismissed his concern stating that the Groods were too stupid to notice details like that. Kylie was unusually silent she hadn’t yet spoken a word since waking up. Continue reading “Thorns – Part 12”