Author's Note: This is a short story I did in the eighth grade. The theme was horror. I made a mistake by having the characters get paid for a volunteer job, but my teacher didn't notice. I got 87% on it, so please R&R!
The Night Goes On
St. Brenna was your average town. Set dead centre between Louisiana and Mississippi, St. Brenna was quiet, peaceful and crime free. That was until they built St. Brenna Mental Institution. But this wasn't a normal mental institution, it was specifically for murderers. Murderers that did things so hideous, the Devil had a special place for them in Hell. And the worst part was patients started escaping. They would rob stores, banks and even kill people. This mental institution was more like a torture factory. The patients were victims to shock therapy, starvation, months and months in solitary and being physically and emotionally beaten. This place was hell on earth.
It was the summer of 1963. Heath Gerow had just graduated from St. Brenna High school and was ready to get his life as an adult started. He was excited to spend the summer partying. His plans came to an abrupt end when his girlfriend, Jackie McCarthy, came slowly walking up the walkway to Heath's house. Heath was inside listening to his old Johnny Cash record and reading a Superman comic. He caught glimpse of her striding towards the door and quickly opened it.
"Oh, hey." Heath greeted her.
Jackie pushed her light auburn hair behind her ear. "Hello, Heath."
Heath looked over her shoulder. "What's up?"
Jackie giggled and hopped from foot to foot. "Guess what?"
"No, you have to guess!"
Heath sighed. Jackie always did this. She's have you guessing for hours.
"Jackie, I'm not in the mood."
Jackie stopped hopping. She stood still and frowned.
Heath sighed. "Sorry. I have a headache is all."
Jackie placed her hands on her hips. "But you can still listen to loud music, right?"
"Just tell me." Heath said, raising his voice a little.
"I got you, me, James and Melissa volunteer jobs," Jackie looked down and fiddled with her hair. "At St. Brenna Mental Institution."
Heath gasped. "Are you crazy?" Heath yelled. "We'll get killed! That place is for murderers! Murderers!"
"I am not crazy!" Jackie puffed. "They have nurses and help to keep up safe! And they're paying us $50 each!"
Heath thought for a moment or two. $50 was a lot of money and he was curious as to what happened behind the walls of the asylum.
"Fine." He answered.
Jackie jumped up and clapped her hands. She hugged Heath.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! This will be a-maz-ing!"
Jackie let go of Heath and flattened down her light brown skirt. She squeezed Heath's hands.
"We start tomorrow." She kissed him. "See you then."
Heath watched Jackie stalk down the walk way. When Jackie left, everything was quiet. The willow trees around his house swayed in the breeze. Birds chirped all around him. He felt as if he was in some sort of trance. He was unable to move. Everything around him had also frozen. He felt a cold sweat run down his face. I never lose a good game of hide and seek a disembodied voice said. Then Heath snapped back to reality. He looked at his hands just to make sure he was still himself. Heath stared at the bright, cloudless blue sky. He crossed his arms and inhaled some country fresh St. Brenna air.
"What a way to start the summer."
Heath arrived at the institution feeling anxious and depressed. He was hoping to spend the day reading comics and playing his six-string. He looked around for Jackie and the rest of his friends. He spotted Jackie jumping up and down, waving at Heath. He quickly walked over to his friends. Melissa was fiddling with her long black hair. Her chocolate brown eyes seemed distant. James
and his arm around her. His brown hair was sticking out in tuffs from underneath his red baseball cap.
"Hey! Excited or what?" James asked enthusiastically.
"C'mon!" Jackie said. "It'll be-" Jackie was cut off by the squeaky stop of a black van. Everyone stared at the eery van. Two men in hospital uniforms hopped out of the front of the van. The opened the back. Right when those back doors were opened, a laugh just as eery as the van itself, burst into the air. It rang though Heaths ears and was terrifyingly familiar. A shiver ran down his spine. The escorted the man down the walkway with his head hung low. He walked so smoothly, it was almost as if he was gliding through the air. When he glided past Heath, he lifted his head. Behind the black hair that had fallen in his face, blazing, evil blue eyes made direct eye contact with Heath's grey eyes. He grinned showing a mouthful of dark teeth. He chuckled and continued walking. Jackie placed a hand on Heath's arm, causing him to jump.
"Don't worry." She said softly.
There was plenty of reason to worry.
The inside of the hospital was just like something out of a horror movie. The walls were a light brown. You could tell they were once a pearly white, but after years of neglect, they had taken on a disgusting brown. The floor was cracked and had the every so often blood stain placed randomly around. The lights flickered every now and then and the windows were all covered in thick wire. Screams of torture rang through the halls. The patients all had the same distant, yet blazing eyes. Every patients hair was greasy and ratty. Their nails were sharp and outgrown and they all had a mouth full of rotting teeth. As Heath entered the main building, every single patient stared at him. It was almost like they were cutting through his body and looking deep into his soul.
Melissa shuddered. "This place is... weird."
James laughed. "No duh! It's a mental hospital! Where all the whack-jobs and loonies go!"
"No." Melissa said whilst shaking her head. "Somethings different."
James laughed again. "You're overreacting-"
"No. She's right." A voice argued.
The friends turned around to see a man, maybe 30, lounging on a sofa. He had shaggy brown hair and scars all over his face. He had a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth. He put his hands on his knees and slowly stood up. Standing straight he had to be at least 6'3.
"This place is different. Ain't your typical loony bin. That's how I got these scars." He said whilst pointing to his face. "The name's Mack McKenzie. I'll tell you all you need to know about this fine establishment." He had added a hint of sarcasm to the word fine.
There was a long moment of silence. Heath broke the silence by asking "What does happen here?"
Mack visibly swelled at that. "Well, you see that room?" He pointed to a room down the hall. The door was metal and had numerous locks.
Heath nodded. Up, down, back to centre.
"They got an electric chair in there. Sometimes they strap folks in it and leave em there, sometimes they shock 'em 'till they're at the brink of death, they kill 'em."
Melissa got closer to James.
"They starve us too." Mack added. "Yessir! This is paradise!" He strode passed the four teenagers, chuckling to himself the whole time.
Heath stared at the dirty floor. Then, with no previous warning, a rebel like yell filled the asylum. At first, Heath didn't incorporate it with anything human. He thought an animal had some how gotten in and a grumpy nurse had given it a kick or two, but when a nurse called "code white" in a frantic voice, he realized this was serious.
Heath looked around for a place to hide. He spotted a janitors closet and gestured for everyone to get in. When the four teenagers were secured in the closet, Heath shifted his gaze to Jackie.
"Great way to start the summer, eh, Jackie?"
Jackie pressed up against the wall. It was almost as if she could melt in the wall if she wanted to.
"Look, I thought these people were a little more... sane."
Heath stepped forward. "Sane? Sane? They're murderers for heaven's sake!"
"Next time, think!" Heath stepped back and sighed.
James pressed his ear up against the door. "Sounds pretty... quiet."
"Let's go." Melissa said.
What lied beyond that door was the most gruesome thing Heath had ever seen. All the patients that had once played cards or been reading old magazines were now dead. And the blood. It was everywhere. On the floor, the walls, even the ceiling.
"Well, well, well," A disembodied voice said. "Nice to see you all again."
Heath stepped forward. "Who's there?" He yelled.
"What a pity. You don't remember me? Perhaps you've heard of me. Alex Armstrong is the name."
Heath thought for a moment. Then he remembered reading about Alexander Armstrong in the newspaper. The paper had said that he had killed 11 people in a prison riot, 9 of them guards, but his voice was familiar.
"I guess I'll just show you my face."
Jackie shuffled next to Heath. "I want to leave."
"You're not leaving anytime soon." Said a voice from behind Jackie. Heath jumped in front of Jackie. There, grinning an awful grin was the man Heath had seen earlier. Black hair, blue eyes and terrible teeth, this man was Alexander Armstrong.
He tilted his head to the side. "What a pleasure to see all your faces again." He stared at Melissa and widened his grin. "Well aren't you lovely. Too bad this is the end for you and your friends." He reached into his pocket and brought out a short knife. Although it was short, it was sharp. He jabbed the sharp weapon into Melissa's slim neck. As Melissa fell to the floor James jumped forward.
"Melissa!" He felt her wrist. "She's... dead." He said. Tears poured from his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. Heath couldn't help thinking of how glad he was it wasn't Jackie laying there on the floor in a puddle of her own blood. Alexander laughed.
"That was too easy. I'll give you 25 minuets to find a good hiding spot, but I should let you know, I never lose a good game of hide and seek."
Heath, Jackie and James ran down the hall. They ducked into the mysterious metal door room.
"Ready or not, here I come."
I never lose a good game of hide and seek, I never lose a good game of hide and seek. This kept playing over and over in Heath's head. It sounded hauntingly familiar. Then he remembered. When Jackie had left his place, he had heard the exact same voice say those exact same words. Who- no, what was Alexander Armstrong.
The inside of the mysterious room was terrifying. Set square in the middle of the room was the electric chair Mack had told them about. Heath saw a window. Maybe if he waved enough someone could see him and call the police. He ran up to the window and started banging on it. "Help! Someone please help us..." Heath trailed off as he directed his eyes to the sky. There frozen in time, was bird. He looked at the street. Everything was still.
"So you've figured out my little ability, have you?" Alex's voice said over the P.A.
"You can... stop time?" Jackie asked.
"Outside of the hospital which means the police can't save your doomed souls."
James stepped forward. "Stop being such a coward and come and get us!"
Heath gasped. "James! What are you doing?"
James winked. "You'll see." He whispered. "Come and get us! Unless, of course, you're too much of a coward."
"Coward am I? Well let's see if you still believe that to be true when you're watching your friends die." Alexander broke out into laughing fit.
"What ever happened to that Mack guy?" Jackie asked.
"Yeah." James said. "He was pretty cool."
Heath looked at the door. "Maybe he's alive. Maybe he's not."
"I'm pretty sure I'm alive." Mack said from behind them.
"Where did you come from?" James asked. He was smiling. You could tell just hearing Mack's voice made him happy.
"Well when Mr. Armstrong went a little crazy over in admin, I ran in here. Probably the safest place saying as the door has all those locks. But man, that boy is just cra-zy! I think we're the only ones left in here."
Heath swallowed. "And somehow, he has the ability to stop time outside of the asylum." Heath turned to Jackie. "I think he may have stopped time when you came over to tell me about... this." Heath said.
"Weird." Mack said.
The door flew open. "Well, I'm here." Alexander said. He laughed. "I'm ready."
James smiled. "So are we."
Alexander shifted his gaze to Mack. "Are you on my side or theirs, ."
Mack snorted. "Theirs of course!"
Alexander took out his knife and lunged forward.
"Heath! Trip him!" James yelled.
Heath stuck his foot out and Alexander tripped over the foot and fell directly into the electric chair. Jackie and James ran to the chair and strapped him in.
Alexander laughed. "I guess you win. But remember these words. I never lose a good game of hide and seek."
"Heath! Turn it all the way up!" James said. Heath did so. Alexander jerked forward in the chair. His eyes were bulging. He was screaming on pain. After a minuet or so, he stopped screaming and moving. Heath turned the chair off. Mack stepped forward and felt his pulse. He laughed. "The little buggers dead!" Heath looked out the window. Birds were flying, people were talking and cars were driving.
"I...I think we did it. We're saved!" Heath said. He kissed Jackie and hugged James. The three friends all turned towards Mack.
"Well, what are you going to do now?" James asked.
Mack shrugged. "Depends. Maybe I'll flee to Canada. Maybe I'll find me a wife and have kids- to hell with that! I'm terrible with commitment! Maybe I'll go to the casino. Yeah, I'll go to Vegas and win me some money."
James laughed. "We couldn't have done this without you, Mack."
Mack patted James on the back. "You kids are brave. You beat that low-life by yourselves."
Heath frowned. "But... we lost Melissa."
James gave a weak smile. "She's somewhere better now."
Jackie hugged James.
Heath, James, Jackie and Mack walked out of St. Brenna Mental Institution that day, with nothing more than scratches. Mack shook hands with all the friends. "Think I'll go to Vegas. Send you a postcard, maybe meet a fine young lady, if you know what I mean." Mack said, then he burst out laughing. "Well, this is goodbye." Mack walked away in his hospital clothes. People on the streets veered away from him. He even acted crazy when a mother and child walked past him.
Jackie sighed. "I somehow feel as if this is my fault."
Heath wrapped his arm around her. "It's no one's fault."
"It was Alexander's fault." James interrupted.
Heath smiled. "Let's go home."
That night Heath was sound asleep in his bed when suddenly he felt warm air on his neck. He woke up, but he lay still. Then he realized someone was there. He realized that they were breathing down his neck. The person stopped breathing.
"I never lose a good game of hide and seek."