Just a quick story that I threw together this morning.
| My name is Walter Harrod, I was born on the 15th of August in 1989.
At the time of writing this I find myself confined within the suffocating walls of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Though name might fool one into believing that it is a hospital for sickness and broken bones, the true nature of this sanatorium would, if the resident were not already or was on the brink, drive them insane.
The nights are perhaps the worst. The psychiatrists and the social workers have all dissipated leaving only the unlucky few to watch over the wards in case of breakouts, the skeleton crew of workers refuse to venture deep within the cracked, dirty, white tiled walls of the constricting labyrinth. This brings to mind an old tale of a patient that had broken free from their cage and stalked the night killing fellow patients and social workers alike.
Though I hear the laughter echoing through the halls and the gut wrenching screams dance within my ear canals, I cannot help but to feel forgotten. The only indication of life outside my cushioned white walled world that I receive would be the food that is slid under the great tomb-like metal door that bars me from escaping into the world beyond.
So here I sit. Doing all I can to stave off the madness that constantly attempts to claw its way to the forefront of my mind. Though the doctors may find my story the pitiful ramblings of a mad man, I hope that in writing about what I have been through, what I have seen, then you, dear reader, will be able to judge for yourself if I am indeed insane.
I had been transferred to the London branch of this business in the hopes that I could be of better use. Unlike the rest of the office, I did not have anywhere to stay. This meant I would be forced to stay at some hotel which would inevitably be on the other side of the city, forcing me to either push myself through the torture of a brisk early morning and possibly collapse at my desk or to accept my fate and turn up late to work until I can find a place to live. Looking back now, it seems that being alone was a common theme on the run up to my current circumstances. The day I arrived in London; I took a scouting mission to my new workplace, upon my arrival I noted how new the building seemed. The walls were so fresh with paint that they were almost dripping, the structures either side of this towering monolith were caked in both dust and graffiti which were complimented by the suffocating hand of time. The tower between them, however, was untouched by both time and people.
As I moved towards the crystal-clear glass door before me, I felt a sudden twang of fear. As if I were being watched. My first thought was to simply shrug it off, I was in the city of London at some point or another everyone watches everyone. Making sure I did not smudge the glass, I carefully pushed aside the door as I wandered in. The first sign that something was off was the fact that from the outside the windows had florescent lights and outlines of people shining through, even the transparent panes of the door allowed for clear sight of a brightly lit ground floor with a vibrant red carpet spanning from the entrance to the edges, the walls were a heaven-like white with generic photos of trees, the waiting area was bustling with business men and women, potted plants were dotted around, and in the centre of it all was a singular wooden desk with a monitor placed upon the centre. The woman seated just to the left of the monitor was clearly having a chat with someone over the phone. Yet why had it all been cast in darkness? They knew I was arriving that day so perhaps they planned a surprise welcoming party? Had they truly managed to get even those at the waiting area in on the plan?
It was not until I called out asking for everyone to come out of hiding that I noticed. The carpet beneath me had been torn to shreds, in place of the fabric there were now deep scratches etched into the concrete, the potted plants had all been smashed with shards of dirt covered clay found piercing the floors, walls, and furniture. The walls, though masked in darkness, seemed to have a strange glint to them that was only made noticeable through the shrapnel of light that crept in from the outside. Even the desk hadn't been spared, the monitor had been catapulted across the room finding a new home in the waiting area while the desk itself had been cleaved in two. It then became clear to me that something terrible had happened, possibly an attack from a gang? A police raid? How could any of this have changed from the time it took me to enter the reception area?
I took a deep breath and quickly spun around to head for the exit, hoping that maybe I hadn't been seen entering a potential crime scene and that, if I'm fast enough, I should be able to notify the police before any evidence becomes unusable. My plan was thwarted almost instantly, however. I knew for a fact that I had only walked in a straight line. There was no way I could have lost my way even in a dimly lit room such as this. So why couldn't I find the door from where I came? There was clearly an archway for where the door should be, yet it wasn't there.
I spent the next hour or so panicking, trying as best I could to call for help. My lungs being refilled with air just so I could expend it all by crying out for someone to free me from the strange site that I had found myself in. With all my might I attempted to smash the windows with naught but my fists, resulting in nothing more than a sprained hand and a few drops of blood.
It was then that I realised that my commotion might not have gone unheard. As I began to tire, I slumped against the doorless doorframe while I did my best to regain my breath. Not long after calming myself, I heard the distinctive sound of feet slapping against the concrete. At first, I thought that it might be someone else, perhaps they too had been trapped in the building and hid away until someone came to help them. With this in mind, I scrambled to my feet before calling out into the darkness hoping for a response. Instead the flesh against the concrete became more rapid, as if the person were now in a full sprint. The thud became increasingly louder until it felt as if the sound was in the same room as me, I felt myself, now pressed flat against the wall, start to panic soon after I began blubbering, pleading with the darkness to let me live, to set me free from this hell, to show me the way out of this prison but it was all for nothing. Before I could react, something wet and oily had struck the side of my head causing me to fall unconscious.
When I finally awoke from my forced slumber, I let out a petrified shriek, my clammy palms pressed firmly against my head. Still blubbering, I found my way to my feet only to see that my surroundings had changed.
In place of a torn red carpet there was now a similarly torn deep blue carpet, the walls, though still hidden under the mask of darkness, had the same sickly shimmer to them, along base of the walls were stacks of desks and broken chairs, the centre of the room had been completely cleared of both furniture and carpet, in their place was a sunken concrete flooring with what seemed to be runes hastily scratched along the brim of the shallow pit. Despite the immense fear that I felt coupled with the terror that my assailant may still be around; I slowly made my way towards the pit. The centre seemed to be scorched with strange claw marks jutting outwards me. Looking even closer, I noticed something which sent a chill along my spin, there was a name tag which had been almost fully absorbed by the hellish concrete, upon the name tag was Walter Harrod. What the hell happened there? Even now, while I write this, I cannot fathom why someone would do whatever it is they did.
I then made my way towards the windows, unlike those in the reception area, these were jutting open. This was it. The moment I could finally call for help. I thought the nightmare had almost come to an end. Until I caught a glimpse of the outside world. The city had been engulfed in pure darkness, not a single light breached the all-consuming void that had claimed the city. Despite the complete lack of illumination, the windows seemed unaware as they continued to let in rays of sunlight
I couldn't believe it, all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and pray for it all to end, for me to awaken on the train into London yet the curiosity within me pushed me forward, to try and understand what had happened here. I didn't even make it four steps before I tripped. Had I maybe been more careful and checked the room out properly, I might've noticed the strangely shaped debris that had been strewn around, or the puddles of crimson, or even the object that had tripped me up. Upon closer inspection, the object became clearer. One end had stained red cotton which continued down the forearm to the wrist, from there on it was exposed skin and nails, slender fingers had curled up in the same fashion that a dead spider may twist, the nails had chunks of flesh trapped within them. The most frightening of all was the fact that this arm seemingly belonged to no one as shown by the clean cut just above the forearm.
It was enough to cause the curiosity to subside, giving way to unparalleled fear as I began to scream, I became more and more frantic as I attempted to escape the room only to discover that the small office had become my prison.
I don't remember much past this point. At some point or another I must have somehow gotten free or been rescued because the next thing I remember is being hoisted over a medic's shoulders on the path before the glass doors. The building itself had changed drastically. The spotless facade it had been presenting had vanished. In it's place was a boarded up building with graffiti painted across the walls.
When I retold the events upon my arrival at the hospital, I only ever received pity as the doctors tried to explain how the building hadn't been in use for years. Since then, numerous doctors and physicians have tried to make me understand that my story is nothing but a tale. A story that I made up. And as time goes by, I find myself more inclined to believe them.
But last night I heard something. Something that made me positive that my experience was real. In the middle of the night, when the patients are at their most active, everything went dead silent. In place of the laughter and the screaming was the sound of feet slapping against concrete.
I've been wondering how I survived my encounter. Why It didn't simply kill me then and there like I assume it did with the others. It'll find me soon. I think I'll ask it in person.