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I've been a nurse for the past four years at the local hospital. Having being assigned to the Children's Ward, my experience thus far has been a relatively enjoyable one. I've always loved kids, I love spending time with them, I love seeing those cute little angelic faces light up whenever I bring them gifts. Sometimes I bring books, sometimes chocolates, and the little one to one sessions I had with them were always the highlight of my day.
I thought it was a joke at first when I saw the letter sitting on my desk a couple of days ago. TRANSFER, it had said, in big bold letters at the top of the page. Scanning through quickly, I realized that I had been transferred with immediate effect to another ward.
To say that I was devastated was a severe understatement. Tossing aside the bag of chocolates I had brought for my sessions today, I made my way to the head nurse's office and slammed the letter down onto her table.
'What is this?' I demanded. 'Who allowed this?!'
'Jason, Jason, please sit down.' The head nurse calmly regarded me and gestured to the chair. Leaning forward, she clasped her hands together and continued, 'Jason, are you aware of the complaints you've been getting from the parents?'
'What complaints?' I was very confused.
'Well, apparently there's been reports of the children feeling rather uncomfortable around you, and their parents have been requesting for you to be transferred out of the Children's Ward. Are you sure you've not heard about this?' She added, frowning slightly at my indignant expression.
'Are you kidding me? The kids like it around me! I bring them gifts, I make them happy! I don't know what sort of nonsense complaints you've been hearing- they're all untrue!' I replied, spluttering slightly in outrage.
'Well, true or not, the Board has reviewed the complaints and they think it's best for you to move on to another ward, just to prevent any sort of misunderstanding. It's tough, but I hope you underst- Jason sit back down. Jason, sit down. Jason!'
It was only after the head nurse had yelled out my name that I realized that I had risen out of my seat in anger, with my trembling fists clenched tightly at my sides. Leering down at her in disgust and disbelief, I snatched up the letter and returned back to my desk, all the while fighting back the urge to lash out.
It was only upon reaching the new ward that I realized I had been transferred to the Mentally Ill Ward. It was absolutely frightening for me- there were patients on wheelchairs, pushing themselves in random directions, their eyes staring blankly in the distance, and there were patients lying on their beds, some moaning in anguish and many others muttering unintelligibly under their breaths. The room reeked of death.
Their heads snapped towards my direction as I stepped into the room, their eyes narrowing in suspicion and hatred while their mouths gradually curled up into frowns. As I watched their frowns slowly morph into a snarl, I felt as if I had walked into room full of ravenous wolves who all wanted a piece of me for themselves.
Abandoning my initial idea to introduce myself publicly, I quickly backed out of the room and slammed the door shut behind my back.
This is insane, I thought. I don't belong here. I don't belong here at all. They've got no right to put me here.
The next day was no different than the first, only this time it was almost as if the patients had been anticipating my arrival. I could make out the snarls and low growls from even behind the door. Sensing my hesitation, the other nurse-on-duty, Bree, put her hand onto my shoulder and smiled reassuringly.
'Don't worry, I know it's a little bit different from the Children's Ward, but you've got no reason to be scared here.'
Entering the room after her, I took a quick glance around and tried to ignore the frosty, threatening glares of the patients. I couldn't understand how Bree could work under such a hostile environment. The way the patients glared at us- it was almost as if they wanted to murder us!
A low whisper from the old man on the wheelchair to my left caught my attention. As I turned, he reached out with his finger and beckoned me to lean in. Frightened, I instinctively stepped away.
He narrowed his eyes in response as his mouth grew into a maniacal grin.
Kill you, he mouthed. Kill you.
As I watched on in horror, I became aware of the other patients, who all had their gaze fixed onto me.
Kill you, they whispered. Kill you.
My fear and adrenaline rose with every whisper, which gradually became louder and louder.
Soon it was almost as if they were chanting.
Kill you kill you kill you kill you kill you kill you
'Jason? Are you okay?' Bree's worried voice rang out from my side.
Doesn't she see what's going on? Can't she hear them?
Nonetheless, I have to protect her. I have to protect both of us.
I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my pen-knife and slowly slid its blade out. And just in time too- the old man that had first spoken to me suddenly pounced out of his seat, his eyes wild and crazed with blood-lust.
'STAND BACK!' I hollered, shoving Bree aside before swinging the blade down before me. There was a sudden splash of red as the old man froze in his tracks, his mouth open in an ugly snarl. Wrapping my fingers around his neck, I pulled him in towards me and jabbed the blade deep into his stomach. As I prised the blade from his body, I could see, out of the corner of my eyes, the other patients making their way towards me, their growls growing louder as they approached.
I could hear Bree screaming wildly behind me as I swung around to face the patients.
Yelling loudly for Bree to go, I launched myself forward and swung, slashed and jabbed at every single patient I could reach. I had only successfully taken down about five other patients and was just about to bring my blade down onto another when I felt a sudden sharp prick at the back of my left shoulder. It was the oddest feeling- I felt myself grow calm immediately before I fell unconscious.
I had woken up just yesterday and had found myself sitting in the middle of a padded room, wearing a straitjacket.
I was so confused, and I still am.
I had gone insane, the doctors had said.
They seem to think that I had murdered those people back in the hospital, who apparently, weren't from the Mentally Ill Ward at all, but rather, belonged to the Terminally Ill Ward.
Apparently I had 'hallucinated' them to seem as though they were about to kill me.
Can't they see they've got it all wrong? I only killed to protect myself and Bree. I'm not a killer, they should be locking up those crazy people from the hospital instead!
They should be thanking me. I've stopped those crazy people from harming other people, like Bree! They should award me, not lock me up!
Can't they see?
They've got it all wrong.
I'm not a killer.
I'm a hero.