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The puppet hospital

By L . Annette All Rights Reserved ©



The hospital...that's all it was, Iris thought. Her little hand gripped tightly to her tatty teddy bear, beary. Deeply, she breathed through her nose as she scanned the moving doors. The clear teeth smashed together , like a jaw chewing food; with hunger and desire of death. Iris gulped, her hands trembled. Quickly, she shot a glance to her mother. The cold woman's face remained dead as she impatiently waited for her daughter to get over her stupid fear, her hand wound around Iris's wrist , like a cuff. Iris whimpered. Her mother didn't flicker as she peered through the glass of the door's, her eyes alight. Iris had never got on with her mother. From the day she was born, she was viewed as disease; horrid and sickly. It was said her mother didn't even look at her before she named her 'Iris' because 'it was the only thing good about her' as she had snapped to the trembling nurse who had held a baby Iris out to her. Iris whimpered again. This time, her mother peered out of the corner of her eye, her lips pulled down in a grimace.

"What's wrong?" She sneered. Tightening her little hand around the bear, Iris quivered. Her mother snorted before yanking her inside. Iris stumbled over her little feet as she struggled to keep up with her mother's determined footsteps. Her cries of terror were ignored by her mother as beary scraped against the white floor. Suddenly, they stopped. Iris flew into a cold, hard base of a wooden desk. Her nose thudded in pain. Above her, her mother cleared her throat. "Excuse me, I have an appointment for Iris Gerling at the infirmary. " She said sweetly, Iris tilted her head to see her mother's forced smile. Typing came from the surface of the desk. Unable to resist, the girl stretched onto her tiptoes to peer over the desk. She caught a glimpse of a pretty, blonde haired woman before her mother yanked her down. After a few words of exchange, her mother smiled before thanking the lady and dragging her daughter off. Stumbling after her mother, Iris stared in amazement at the sight of the room. Everything was white, like snow as Iris thought . Thousands of adults lined  the walls, Iris noticed some had water coming out of their eyes.

"Mommy? Why are those people upset?" She asked. Her mother just smiled, her teeth finally on show for the first time in years.

"Because they are free.” She sang to her daughter, her fingers running through Iris’s short hair, “Because they are free…” She murmured dreamily to themselves.  Iris stared curiously at her mother. What was wrong with her? She had never seen her smile before or even laugh; laughing wasn’t allowed in the house. Yet at this moment, her mother’s lips opened wide as she released a laughter as loud as thunder. “They are free!” She squealed as they turned the corner. After a maze of corridors, they stopped. Her mother motioned for her to sit down, her eyes alight with joy.  Iris frowned. Something wasn’t right. Her eyes shot to Beary, who sat by her side. Staring around the room, she noticed that no-one was there. Only a few chairs. Iris had heard hospitals were meant to be full of people and weird dressed men that people called Doctors. But there were no weirdly dressed men or people. Just her mother and herself …and Beary of course.

“Mommy…” Iris puckered her lips,” What are we doing here?” Once again, her mother grinned evilly, a silent chuckle filled the air. Iris quivered. Yanking on her mother’s sleeve, she repeated the question, “What are we doing here?” Her mother looked at her, her lips pursued in thought. Slowly, she opened her lips and spoke.

“Iris Gerling.” She boomed in a low voice that was clearly not her own. Suddenly, her mother jumped to her feet, an exhilarated smile on her face. Glancing over her shoulder, Iris took in the voice. Wearing a weird white suit, a brown haired man approached them, a small smile on his lips. Iris stared in horror. Her eyes never lifting from the man as he shook her mother’s hand and whispered something in her ear. Her mother nodded eagerly. Slowly, the man turned to face her. His robust face grinned down at her, his hand reached out towards her fragile right arm. He was supposed to introduce himself like the weird men, who had come to her school did but instead he tilted his head. His cold fingers pressed against her skin as he hissed the words.

“You’ll be perfect.” Stabbing her in the arm, he oozed a liquid into her. Iris cried, her stomach shrivelled in pain. Her eyelids became heavy, her vision became blurred. In the fuzzy light, the little girl could just make out her mother’s victorious smile.

Lights whirled past Iris’s head, the screeching of a moving bed echoed off her ears. Wires stuck out of her, like branches on a tree. Muffled voices shouted to one another. Blinking, Iris took in the faces above her as her vision cleared. They all had the same eyes and creepy grins.She could not remember how she got here. Where was her Mother? The last time she remembered seeing her was outside the hospital…. The muffled voices got louder and cleared as the lights became a white blaze.

“IV…Check.” A man shouted from the left of her. She rotated her eyes to try and see the voice’s face.

“Time…3:40!” A woman shouted, “We have two hours to get her ready!” The woman screeched. The lights continued to whizz past as the people fussed over her, their fingers grazing her skin. Iris groaned, her vision becoming blurry once more as a needle pierced her arm; it’s sharp edges rough against her skin. The softness of the bed caused her eyes to feel droopy, silently, she searched for Beary. Before she could realise her friend was no longer by her side, her eyes shut close.

The child screamed, her eyes red and teary, her little hands frantically yanked at her restraints. The nurses soothed her, their hands grazing her warm skin with pricks of sharp needles. Feathery fingers pinned her down to the cold slab. Black eyes searched for the clock.

“One more hour!” A voice cried. Inside, Iris prayed for it to stop. A knife slit into her wrist. The smell of bleach ran up her nose. Mommy, the little girl sobbed inside her head. She wanted her Mommy. The cuffs tightened as her struggles increased. She shuddered at the feeling of thread being sewed through her bones and out again. She shuddered at the feeling of it being tied in  a knot. After hours of screaming, fatigue finally won. Her eyes shut.

“Luke. Tell me what it is!” A brown haired woman squealed as her husband lead her down the room. He chuckled and shook his head before muttering she have to wait and see. The woman giggled in excitement, her sides tingling. After walking a few steps, Luke turned to look at his wife. Her eyes scrunched close in anticaption, he rubbed his hands together.

“Open your eyes.” Gasps of joy escaped the woman as she stared at the gift before her. Wrapped in a red bow, porcelain doll lips smiled at her as they sat on a round face. Ringlets grazed the soft cheeks with love and life. Strings shot out of its hands and onto a crossed stick. Staring at them with living yet dead eyes and a beating heart was Iris Gerling.  

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