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Under The City (standard:horror, 8773 words)
Author: DreadlocksmileAdded: Jan 12 2006Views/Reads: 2830/1796Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Written in January 2006 by myself, the short story "Under The City" is based within H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos and Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborean cycle. If you are not already familiar with the work, it is not a huge loss when reading th

Under The City 

By Chris Hall 

"And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you".
- Friedrich Nietsche 

"But I survived, and I know it was only a dream". - H.P. Lovecraft 

- i - 

Well, I guess the story begins here, with me reaching the end of my
first week of employment at Worthington's Home for the Mentally 
Disturbed.  At the hearty age of twenty-six years, I had already worked 
in many wards, caring for the aged, sick, retarded and mentally ill.  
Over the last few years I had heard stories from so many walks of life. 
 Everyone sees the world from behind their own eyes, whether they are 
troubled eyes, confused eyes, or eyes that have simply seen so much in 
one lifetime.  But the stories that really held me captivated, the 
stories that have stuck firmly with me for these past few years, are 
those spoken from another who deals with a deep level of psychosis.  
That's why I transferred to Worthington's; so I could try to 
understand, deal with and hopefully help those who suffer such a 
traumatic affliction as that of an unsound mind.  So this is where the 
whole story begins.  Not that it's really in any way my story, but to 
you, I am the teller of this heinous tale.  Whether you can glimpse 
even a remote glimmer of truth in what will probably be seen as the 
disturbed ranting of a madman, is obviously your decision and your 
decision alone. For a logical and 'sound' mind should and hopefully 
will see the entire story as a delusional fabrication on a rather 
twisted reality.  But sitting there, looking deep into this mans 
intense eyes as the story unfolded, there was something profoundly 
uneasy in the way he spoke, that echoed a deep reality to my very soul. 
 Since that night, at the end of an otherwise encouraging and perhaps 
even enjoyable first week, I have never stepped foot in that place of 
employment again.  And I never wish to as long as the years of my 
lifetime pass on. 

It was late on Friday evening when Sister Anne Franklin approached me
with my final duties for the day.  Clutched in her bony, gaunt hands 
she proffered me a white plastic tray that housed a collection of seven 
colourful drug-capsules and a thin plastic beaker of water.  These I 
was told, were to be taken by our long-time resident Samuel Zeireths, 
to help the poor soul stay calm at night.  I was informed that the 
patient did not suffer from trouble with sleeping as such, but rather, 
he had a dire fear of the dark.  The drugs were to calm him, allowing 
his gradual and natural sleep to come.  The patient's name rang a bell 
with me, as one I had heard spoken of by others within the past week of 
service for the hospital.  This is by no means unusual as many a 
cigarette break is spent gossiping over patients daily behaviours.  But 
I could not recall in what context this particular patient had been 
previously mentioned.  I was given strict instructions to make sure the 
capsules were all taken orally with the water, and that none were spat 
out or stored away in the mouth to be later removed by the untrusting 
patient.  This was an often repeated speech, but one I was informed at 
the beginning of my employment, was a very necessary practice for many 
patients.  Often there is little trust from the mentally ill towards 
their carers, especially ones which are new to them.  I took this 
advice on hand and was then supplied with the needed directions to Mr. 
Zeireths' room. 

The room that housed the unfortunate patient could hardly be described
as anything but a small desolate cell.  Four white walls towered around 
an aged iron framed bed, a small wooden chair, a sink unit and a 
metallic toilet that appeared to be rusting from its base upwards.  
From my position, peering through the rectangular viewing slot within 
the white painted sturdy wooden door, I tried to locate the whereabouts 
of the aforementioned patient.  Not amongst the threadbare layers of 
blankets heaped atop of the bed's mattress was he to be seen.  Nor 
could I locate him anywhere standing or seated around the small cramped 
confines of the room.  A moment of panic hit me as I quickly fumbled 
with the keys to the hefty mortise lock that could allow me entrance to 
the still and silent room.  With a thick sounding thud the lock opened 
and I heaved the door open, apprehensively awaiting any movement from 
the occupier.  As I stepped into the room, I issued a request for the 

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