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The Foxes and the Hound

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Author's note: Alrighty then... my third pasta is up! I know there are some grammatical errors in the writing and I will try and go back and fix them up later. The endings are both a little shaky, and I apologize for that, but overall I really like the way this pasta turned out. It’s longer than both of my others and I feel like the creepiness level is rather high. As always, I’m open to criticism. I love to take feedback and use it to improve my writing, so use that comment section! You can check out my Wikia page here. Thanks for reading! Oh, and a quick question, I have two endings for this story. One ending is serious and the other is slightly funny. Should I post the funny one on the Spinpasta wiki and link to it here?

The Foxes and the Hound

Coma.

The word echoed inside my skull. I was in a coma. Lying almost lifeless in a hospital somewhere. I could hear everything going on around me, I was completely aware. It was a scenario straight out of some NY Times Bestseller.

When I first realized that I wasn't able to open my eyes or move any part of my body I was scared. Terrified, I lay on the bed in fear. My thoughts ran wild. Was I dead? Where was I? Those sorts of things. It wasn't until I overheard a conversation between a nurse and my family that I realized what happened.

"Yes, we're not sure when she'll come out of the coma, it's hard to say when these types of things will end. But we'll take really good care of her while she's here, don't worry," said a bubbly-sounding voice, which I assume was a nurse.

I heard a voice I identified as my father's thank the nurse as she left the room, shutting the door behind her. It was then I heard my mother's frail voice choke out a question, "What did you give her?"

I didn't know who she was talking to, I was only aware of my father's presence, and it wasn't his voice that responded.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

Was that... Jake? I listened as my boyfriend of three weeks denied her question haughtily. "Liar!" my mother screeched. "They found date rape in her blood stream, what was it laced with?" her voice was filled with rage as she spat the accusation at him.

"Anne, calm down," I heard my father attempt to soothe her.

"Why aren't you as angry about this as I am?" she seethed, "Your only child is sitting here in front of you as a vegetable and you don't want to find out what this bastard did to her?"

"Look, I don't have to take this. I didn't do shit to Emma. But hell, if she ever wakes up tell her we're over. I don't need you biting my head off," Jake said gruffly. I heard the door open and then slam shut.

It was as if I was transported back to the past. I'm not sure how many days ago, for I had no concept of time considering I had just woken, but Jake invited me to a party at his friend's fraternity. Parties aren't really my thing, especially when there are lots of drunk strangers in attendance, but I wanted to seem cool in front of Jake so I eagerly accepted his request. We arrived at the party and Jake immediately went to get us drinks. I remember he came back with a beer for himself and some red liquid in a Solo cup for me.

"What's this?" I smiled, trying to play it cool.

"Ah, try it, you'll love it," he said giving me a sly grin.

I laughed and chugged the drink. It was pretty good, I had to give him that. Sort of reminiscent of Gatorade, but I knew there was alcohol in it, though I was afraid to ask how much.

The party went on and Jake and I danced, talked to people, and finally ended the night with him offering me a ride back to my dorm.

"It's okay, I can walk from here." I sleepily shrugged him off.

I was exhausted and a tad bit drunk, not the best combination for decision making. No matter how much I denied him, he insisted on taking me back himself.

"Emma! You're coming with me. It's not safe for you to walk home by yourself, it's too late. Who knows what kind of creeps are out there?" he smiled, extending his hand out to me.

Reluctantly I grabbed it, allowing him to help me into his 2008 Ram truck.

Everything after that is a blur. If I remember correctly, he took me to his place, not mine, and I passed out. I think I can guess what happened after that.

Jolting myself from my memory, I tried to listen for my parents. The room was quiet, but I heard something muffled a little ways away from me. I tried to hone in on the sound. It was my mother crying.

I could tell my father wasn't in the room, or else he would've been trying to calm her down half-ass. The lump was probably trying to shake Doritos free from the vending machine down the hall.

Laying in the bed, still unable to move, I was forced to listen to my mother's crying for what seemed like hours (but there's no telling how long it actually was).

Finally my father came back to put an end to the torture.

"Anne," he said between bites of something crunchy, "we need to go. It's late and we've both got work tomorrow. She'll be okay, okay? C'mon now."

I heard my mother rise from her seat, the metal legs of the chair screeching as they were pushed across the tile.

From what I heard, her only reply was the slammed door as they walked out of the room. It was silent after that, no nurses, doctors, or any other visitors.

Just my mind and I.

And that; that was a scary thing.

They say you can scare yourself more than anything else can scare you. Only you know what scares you the most, what your deepest fears are, and where the roots of those fears stem. Your mind knows what makes your skin crawl, what makes you want to hold onto your mother's leg like you're five again, and most of all what makes you question your will to live.

In that hospital room, in that total silence, my mind had free reign.

Endless questions and "what ifs” flooded my brain till I felt that I would implode. Would I ever have control of my body again?

I would surely go mad if I had to stay like this forever.

Is there some way, any way to communicate to the outside world?

I need to let them know I'm in here, to let them know not to give up on me.

I could've continued like that forever, but I heard the door creak and two sets of feet briskly enter the room. The squeaking of rubber shoes alerted me that they must work at the hospital, so I was sure to pay attention.

"This one's a goodie," I heard a nurse with a thick cockney accent snicker.

I felt a warm, but not comforting, hand grasp mine.

"I know! When was the last time we had a coma patient?" I instantly recognized the bubbly nurse from earlier.

"Hmm... I can't recall, it's been so long, it ‘as."

"We'll have to wait a while till we can begin operation. You know, give the family some grieving time, blah, blah, blah... But I'll begin the doses this weekend, so it'll be four months at most."

"Ah, it'll be a grand time, it will. That last little girl we ‘ad was one of the best subjects I ever tried, but this one looks even better than ‘er!" the nurse said excitedly. I heard a long beep followed by a groan from one of the nurses.

"I'm needed in room 304, and you probably shouldn't linger much longer either," bubbly nurse said as she headed towards the door.

"Hold it, I'm right behind ya."

The warmth faded from my hand as she let it go and followed her co-worker out of my room. As if I didn't have enough questions before!

Operation? Subject? Doses?

It all felt wrong to me. Definitely nothing the hospital was affiliated with, and obviously something my family was unaware of.

I wanted to ask someone for help, explain what had happened and get protection from those pernicious nurses, but I couldn't. All I was able to do was sit and wait for my fate, whether it be waking up from this coma or facing whatever those nurses had planned in four months.

The months passed, but I couldn't tell. I attempted to keep track of the days, but it proved too tiring and slightly impossible.

My parents stopped visiting after a while, so my only constant visitors were the two nurses, whose names I had learned were Erika (bubbly) and Molly (cockney), and they weren't the best of company.

The more they came to check on me, the more information I gathered about their plans. They had done at least five operations, whatever that meant, in a span of seven years. The first dated back to 2007, a young boy whose name neither could recall. They said he was a “fine specimen”, their favorite thus far. I also knew that each one of us subjects was administered a dose of some liquid via a shot every three days or so.

It burned going in, but I had no way to scream. Sometimes Erika and Molly would laugh or comment on what my face seemed to be doing.

"Aw, poor girlie! Don't like it, huh?" Molly would chuckle as she gripped my arm.

"She's kind of cute with her face all twitchy like that!" Erika followed as she brushed a strand of hair from my contorted face.

I wanted to shove them off of me. I wanted to push them to the ground and grind their skulls into the tile. Make them feel the tortuous pain they caused me mentally and physically. But as with most things in my story, I could do nothing but lay still and seethe.

My seemingly eternal visit in the hospital seemed to be coming to a close when my parents came to visit me one day.

"I'm sorry to tell you, but she seems to be getting worse each day," Erika explained with a sympathetic tone in her voice.

"She looks horrible!" my mother exclaimed in horror. "This doesn't even look like Emma anymore," her voice trembled.

"Just needs some food and sun, looks like to me," my father responded with uninterest.

"Mr. Jones, I'm afraid pale skin and extreme thinness is just one of the many signs that your daughter is close to death. It may be a good idea to put her in an assisted living center for people with conditions like hers. I happen to know of a very good one run by the state, I could give you the paperwork if you-"

Erika was cut off by my mother's objection, "If she's going to die, she's going to spend her remaining time with her family! Thank you for your offer, but we'll be taking her home."

"Yes!" I wanted to scream. "Take me home, take me away from these insane women!"

"Anne, you know we can't do that," my father said, sending my world crashing down. "We can't afford a caregiver and neither one of us can quit work, you know that. I'm sure this state place is great, we can go check it out if you want, but she'll be fine."

"Shall I get the paperwork?" Erika said in her cheery tone.

My mother couldn't argue with my father's logic. They both worked full-time at crappy jobs, they were barely able to keep a roof over our heads while I was growing up.

"Please," my father responded as he and my mother followed Erika out of the room. My fate was sealed.

The next thing I remember after that was being jolted in some sort of vehicle. From what I could gather, I was in the back seat with the seat belts around my legs and torso. Erika and Molly were in the front seat talking excitedly.

“When we get there, you unload her and I’ll go get the stuff ready inside!” Erika said with pep in her voice.

“You got it. The lil’ miss weighs hardly anything after having all of those treatments,” I could imagine the sick grin on Molly’s face as she spewed the evil from her lips.

They went on with things like that, and my panic rose to its highest level. I kept thinking, “This is it. This is it for me if I don’t act now.”

I tried my hardest to open my eyes. It felt as if I was attempting to lift an elephant with one hand. I was so incredibly weak and I hadn’t even attempted to open my eyes for weeks. The more I heard the nurses speak of their plans, the harder I tried.

“Here!” Erika squealed like a giddy teenage girl.

Their car doors opened and slammed behind them. Molly came around to the backseat and I felt her meaty arms unbuckle me and then lift me out. I was slung on her back like a corpse and she paraded up a set of creaky stairs. She slung a door open and we entered a musty room.

I willed my eyes to open, but they refused. The end was near, and I could feel it.

Molly threw me down onto a cushy surface that I assume was a couch. There was banging nearby that sounded like the clatter of pots and pans.

Erika called from somewhere close, “Molly, could you come help me with the soup?”

“You know that’s my favorite part!” Molly said before she stomped off.

Soup? I felt a cold sweat break out on my forehead. Whatever they were going to do to me... surely it had nothing to do with cooking, right? Right?

My mind started racing and recalling everything that had happened so far. I organized it in my mind as a list to help myself comprehend.

They gave me shots that made me weak and thin.

Whenever they would talk about the other five subjects, they would always say weird things like, “Good size fellow. Went down easy,” and, “Skin was a bit overdone. We’ll change that this time!”

Pots and pans. Soup. God help me.

They’re cannibals.

But if they’re going to eat me, why would they want me thin? That makes no sense, right? My mind was trying to find some sort of reasoning to put my fears at ease, but by this time I would’ve been blind to ignore the truth.

After clanging around in the kitchen for what seemed like hours, but was probably only minutes, the pair came out and began setting the table.

“Now, Molly, the blade of the knife faces inward and then the spoon goes to the right of it,” Erika scolded.

Molly spat, “We don’t need bloody table settings in the first place, you’re just a control freak when it comes to that stuff.”

Erika, never breaking her bright spirit, decided to move on to the next order of business, “I’ll set the table. You get the girl.”

Molly heaved me over her shoulder again and put me down on a hard, cold surface. A kitchen counter.

I felt one of her meaty hands grip my left arm and I tried to not think of what was to come. She held my arm up off the counter and with a sudden force, she brought down a large cleaver onto my arm near my shoulder. It seemed that she knew just where to cut, severing my arm from my feeble body within the minute. I could feel the tears escape from my eyes and the blood from my open veins.

The next sound I heard was the chopping of a knife. It sounded like it was across the kitchen. I couldn’t tell you what it was, maybe the fear, maybe the pain, maybe sheer willpower, but my eyes flicked open and I was momentarily blinded by the bright lights of the kitchen.

Even though my eyes were open, my body was still weak. I glanced over to where Molly was chopping my flesh and tried not to gag.

Erika called from the dining room, “Have you started yet?”

“Got her arm. It’s fun to see them struggle first, they’re so helpless!” Molly laughed before beginning to hum some upbeat tune.

My eyes scanned the room for anything I could use to escape. There was a row of knives hung on the backsplash behind me. I quietly grabbed the biggest one and sat up slowly. Molly was still happily humming away. My arm, well, where my arm used to be, was still bleeding and excruciatingly painful. I managed to block the pain out of my mind with only one thought replacing it, survival.

I swung my legs off of the counter and stabbed Molly in the back where her heart was. She let out a piercing scream and tried to shake me off of her, but only for a few seconds before collapsing. I quickly pulled the knife out as Erika entered the kitchen to see what happened.

Aiming for the middle of her stomach, I kicked with all my strength, sending her flying into the small dining table. I stabbed her in the stomach, ripping the knife through like I had dreamed of doing countless times in the hospital.

The nurses were down. The only thing I had to do was run. I began my sprint to the front door. Heavily breathing and my heart racing, I put my hand on the knob and opened it out into the daylight.

A muscular hand then grabbed me from the front of my waist and pulled me back into the house. I screamed as my new torturer dragged me down into the basement. He knocked me out and after that... well, after that, I can’t remember anything.

SERIOUS ENDING

Four years later, police trailed the nurses up to the secluded house in the woods. A month earlier, the hospital had installed hidden cameras in the long-term stay rooms. Only the security staff was notified of the change. The security team picked up on the nurses’ suspicious behavior and informed the police.

Police busted into the cabin to find the newest victim tied to a chair and Molly slicing meat from her legs. Erika Johnson and Molly Abbott were taken into custody and eventually sentenced to the death penalty, lethal injection to be specific.

Police searched the house and found several odd items. A set of little recipe cards with different types of soups was found in one of the kitchen drawers, but instead of beef, human meat was used. In a jewelry box in the bedroom, a pair of earrings made of human ear bones was found. The oddest and most revealing part of the house was the basement.

There were seven different boxes lined up against the wall, each containing a different set of human remains. The remains matched up with missing persons reports of people that were once patients at the local hospital. In a corner of the room, there was an armchair and a small table with a worn and dog-eared copy of Sherlock Holmes sitting on it.

Inside the cover of the novel there was a name, or pseudonym, printed. “HOUND” was written in large, childlike lettering. Perhaps it was meant as a reference to the children’s movie, The Fox and The Hound. Hound was the hunter and the victims were the foxes. It could have simply been an old nickname acquired in college, but regardless of where the name came from, Hound is still out there.

Police scoured the rest of the house, searching for more clues. They questioned the nurses heavily, asking if they had any accomplices or any other hideouts. They told the police that they were completely alone in the operation. Their replies didn’t sit well with most of the cops but the nurses passed the lie detector tests, which left the police no choice but to go along with their answers.

Today marks the 10th year after the nurses’ secret was discovered. Since then, hospital security has increased nationwide and background checks on all staff were done. Although this is a good improvement, the calculated killer who dragged Emma Harrow to her death still remains free.

SEMI-COMEDIC ENDING

Four years later, police trailed the nurses up to the secluded house in the woods. A month earlier, the hospital had installed hidden cameras in the long-term stay rooms. Only the security staff was notified of the change. The security team picked up on the nurses’ suspicious behavior and informed the police.

Police busted into the cabin to find the newest victim tied to a chair and Molly slicing meat from her legs. Erika Johnson and Molly Abbott were taken into custody and eventually sentenced to the death penalty (duh), lethal injection to be specific. Police searched the cabin to find more than a few intriguing items.

There were two bedrooms in the house, one with two queen beds and one with a king. In the room with the two queen beds, there was an old dresser. The top drawers contained normal items such as clothing and books. The bottom drawer, however, contained jewelry that seemed to be made out of human remains. Three pairs of earrings made from small bones, a necklace made of larger ones, and a ring with a human tooth on it were found and put into the evidence locker. The other bedroom contained nothing odd, just atrocious decor. Come on man, we’re in the late 2010's, get rid of the shag carpet wall coverings. In the kitchen, police found a homemade cookbook with recipes about the many different ways to cook human. “Fried Eyeballs” and “Toe Meat Salad” were among the disturbing entries.

That doesn’t even sound good. Meat in salad? I guess some people do that with chicken. I wonder if toe meat is a good chicken substitute. Sorry to get off on a tangent.

The oddest and most revealing part of the house by far was the basement. There were seven different boxes lined up against the wall, each containing a different set of human remains. The remains matched up with missing persons reports of people that were once patients at the local hospital. In a corner of the room, there was an armchair and a small table with a worn and dog-eared copy of New Moon from the Twilight series sitting on it.

Police scoured the rest of the house, searching for more clues. They questioned the nurses heavily, asking if they had any accomplices or any other hideouts. They told the police that they were completely alone in the operation. Their replies didn’t sit well with most of the cops but the nurses passed the lie detector tests, which left the police no choice but to go along with their answers.

Now, you and I both know that there was another. Another person, I mean. That beefy arm that pulled Emma Harrow back to her tragic death? Yeah, that guy. He’s out there somewhere. Maybe he’s read the rest of the Twilight series by now, who knows? Point is, try not to end up in the hospital, or you may be dealing with our missing master cannibal.

Ah, but I did leave out a detail! Inside the cover of that teen romance novel there was a name, well, a pseudonym, printed. “HOUND” was written in large, childlike lettering. Perhaps it was meant as a reference to the beloved children’s movie, The Fox and The Hound. Mr. Hound was our hunter and those poor little patients were the foxes. Or maybe it was just a college frat nickname. We may never know.

As you can see, we’ve had quite a wild ride. Jerk boyfriends, neglectful parents, creepy cannibal nurses, and vampire-loving killers all played a crucial role. And who am I? Well, I mean, I don’t really think that’s important. What’s important is that you’ve heard this tale of warning and you’re on the lookout for that Hound guy, perhaps the brains of the whole operation. Stay safe reader, see you next time!

And there will be a next time.

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