I was a nurse at Stockfield General Hospital for a couple of months. The pay was terrible, but it kept food on my plate and I felt valued, even though I'd only just joined. It seemed pretty normal to start with. You got the occasional patient who'd be absolutely raving, and they'd terrify me, but it wasn't as if I was going to quit my job over a couple of schizos. Then, in the middle of August, I came across an inconsistency.
A patient, "James Brookson" - in his early 20's and suffering from cancer, just disappeared. There was no record of him being signed out. He simply vanished. I'd spoken to him just the day before. I asked a couple of the other nurses, but they didn't remember him. The only reason I remembered this guy is because he'd asked me to contact his wife, whom he divorced some time ago, to apologise and to say that he still loved her.
I checked the digital records to see if he had just been moved to another ward. However, his file didn't appear. It was as if he had never existed. The computer couldn't have accidentally done that, there were too many safeguards. Someone deliberately deleted this guy from our system. So, I searched the backup of the records. I found him, and yet, there was barely any information about the guy. There was just a tag, "HF", and a record saying he had been moved to the Oxley ward. I had no idea what HF meant, the only time I ever heard it being used was when the caterers referred to the hospital food. And as for the Oxley ward, I had never heard of it. There was no record of it on the plans and the other staff had no clue as to what it was. That night, when I got home, I looked up the hospital's blueprints online. There it was! In the basement, just down from the catering area.
When I got in to work the next morning, I was in a much brighter mood. I had found him! Me, being the idiot that I was, had forgotten that he had been moved. After completing my normal rounds, I headed down to the lunch hall. I planned to use the rest of my lunch break to check on him in the Oxley ward when I was interrupted by the hospital's director. I'd never liked him. He always seemed to be searching for some reason to dislike me. Today, it was like he had deliberately crossed paths with me, although he acted surprised when he saw me. His voice sounded on edge as he spoke and his bushy moustache twitched in a peculiar fashion. "Ah, Scott! Good to see you! How's your day going?"
"Good thank-you sir," I replied. The way he spoke was odd, strained and slightly hurried, as if he wanted to skip over the small talk and get to a more pressing subject.
"I've been meaning to speak to you, it's a happy coincidence that we met," he said, eyes darting up and down my face as if he was trying to see if I suspected him of wrongdoing.
"Oh?" I responded, wondering whether it was a coincidence.
"You see, I've been hearing from the other staff that you have been inquiring about some, uh, 'Oxley' ward? Is that right, because I've never heard of it." Our meeting definitely wasn't a coincidence. His voice had taken a very controlled, practised tone.
"Um, yeah," I said, "I lost track of a patient and the records said he was moved there."
"If you want I could help, although I'm sure that we don't have a ward of that name." My brain went haywire. He had to be lying, but why? There was definitely an Oxley ward on the plans.
"I was just going to use my break to try and find it," I said ambiguously, not mentioning the basement.
"Oh, didn't you hear? Janice called in sick. You're going to have to sacrifice your break."
I walked back to the Curie ward, damning the manager to hell. I grudgingly continued with my rounds, not fully concentrating and thinking about the mystery of the Oxley ward. A woman caught me muttering to myself about it and asked me if I was OK. I got angry and told her to piss off, which I think shut her up quite well. Suddenly, my shift was over and I almost ran to the basement. I wasn't going to let some bastard director interrupt me this time. As I got down there, I was horrified by the stench. The dank smell of rotting meat burrowed in to my nose causing me to gag. My eyes started watering and I stumbled over to a large pair of double doors. "Oxley Ward" said the sign and I frantically threw open the doors. I wish I hadn't.
Bodies littered the floor, with arms, eyes and stomachs missing. A huge oven seemed to be cooking their severed limbs and organs. I threw up. Some were still conscious, groaning, calling to me to help them. Their jarring screams cut in to me like knives. I looked around. Deep crimson was all that filled my eyes. And then I realised what the HF meant - what I thought laughable when I first saw it. Hospital Food. This was where James was taken. He was taken here and cut up and cooked and fed to the other patients. Oh shit. I had eaten hospital food just that day, for lunch. Had I eaten my patient? Twisted catering staff stood there, meat cleavers in hand, staring at me.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" one asked me angrily.
I knew exactly what I was doing. Grabbing a grimy knife from one of the unclean surfaces, I began walking towards them, anger filling my body. I was going to do to them what they had done to so many patients before them. The knife flashed through the air, slicing their bodies to pieces as if they were rag dolls. I hadn't known if I would be able to take them, but they were caught off guard and clearly obese. For half an hour I was in there, blindly stabbing in to them. Then I ran, gagging from the blood that covered my clothes. People stared at me as I charged through the wards, aimlessly running for the exit. Gasping for air, I burst through the main doors, and embraced the light. Suddenly, I was knocked to the ground and my vision began to blur. Blackness clawed at the corners of my eyes and I gave up, letting the bliss of unconsciousness embrace me.
Case File 11372 - Scott Jameson:
Patient suffers from extreme paranoid schizophrenia and constructs intricate plots to explain his delusions. He justifies murdering a room full of catering staff by claiming they were using patients to make food. Patient still believes that he is living outside of this place, even though he has been moved to the DSPD ward. He has so far made six attempts to kill doctors, who he believes are government agents sent to stop him from spreading the truth.
We cannot allow the public to know the truth. Patient must be kept in this institution until he can be executed.
Written by Underscorre