Feels like we’ve been driving forever, I don’t know how much more of Cory’s heavy breathing I can take. The guy has been on everything from anti-depressants to antipsychotics but nothing works for him.
The roads have turned from pavement into this powdered dirt, the lines have all disappeared. There are tall trees enclosing the road from both sides making it seem darker outside than it should be. Real creepy stuff, feels like I’m driving in a horror movie. If that’s the case I hope I’m the main character, Cory has no hope.
I can barely see ten feet in front of the car, even with my high beams on. The car bounces on every bump and hole. We are getting close enough you can almost see the gates to the asylum.
The trees are still bare from the winter towering over us with dead limbs pointing high in the sky. We pass by a sign stating we are approaching the Haddix Asylum. We pull up to the gates, they are chained shut to keep out intruders. The place has been shut down since the fire in 1900 that destroyed the place killing most of the patients.
“Look, there’s Marks’ car!” Cory yelled.
“See, he’s still here, no worries.” I say reassuring him.
“No, not no worries, we gotta go find him to make sure he’s okay.” He demanded.
I let out a sigh. Of course, that wasn’t enough for him, now he wants us to go in there and be murdered by crackheads.
“Fine, but if we don’t find him in ten minutes I am leaving with or without you.” I say
We hop out of the car and squeeze between the bars on the gate, not very secure for trying to keep people in or out. We head up the little dirt path past the gate, it’s littered with trash and broken bottles, no doubt left from some teenagers sneaking up here to have a party. There are old stone statues along the path depicting two babies with their arms drawn behind them as if they are being bound to the stone.
We go on a few hundred more feet and see an old broken down fountain with a stone dragon in the middle, it still leaked a green watery liquid from its mouth.
Finally, we reach the main building, there appear to be a few lights still on in the building, I wouldn’t have though there would still be any electricity out here.
“There, that room with the light on. That has got to be Mark, right.” Cory says pointing up at the lit room.
This place is creeping me out, it’s so quiet out I can hear my heart beating in my chest.
“Fine, but let’s make it quick, this place is trippy.” I say.
We walk up to the entrance door, Cory turns the knob.
“It’s locked, do you see another way in?” He asks.
I shrug. “I don’t know, hold on.”
I walk around the corner of the building, this place is a wreck, there are old broken water drain pipes hanging down everywhere. Most of the windows are busted out leaving glass shards everywhere waiting for someone to cut their feet on. Weeds are growing up the sides of the building into a few windows.
There are still bars on the windows that they used to keep the patients from jumping out to kill themselves. Scorch marks from the fire cover the old brick walls.
An old half busted fire escape hangs down from the roof. “There, we can go up that fire escape, that’s probably how Mark got in.” I say.
Cory runs around the corner to meet me by the broken fire escape. I cup my hands and help him up onto the stairs. I jump up and grab the bottom step and pull myself up cutting my leg on a broken piece of metal sticking out.
“Ah, shit!” I yell as a small trickle of blood runs down my leg.
“You good?” Cory asks
“Yeah, piece of crap old building is falling apart. Let’s go, I’m already over this place.”
We go up the escape stairs slowly, it’s creaking and shaking with our every move. Feels like the whole thing is going to fall off at any second. I try to look in through the windows but they are too dark to see anything in. We go up four floors before we reach the roof. Cory is looks like he’s about to drop dead from the climb, he never was much of an athlete but jeez it wasn’t that many stairs.
“Finally, we made it to the top. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it after the third floor.” Cory said with all the breath he could manage.
“Yeah, now let’s find Mark and go.” I said.
My leg is still bleeding leaving a trail like breadcrumbs behind us. There is chunks of ground missing on the roof, giant holes waiting to swallow you into the darkness. The roof access door has been completely removed from its hinges, thrown across the ground in pieces.
There is more trash and bottles up here as well as scorch marks and some kind of orange looking stain splattered around the roof. Looks like a murder scene.
“Well, on the plus side, this door isn’t locked eh.” I said.
“True.” Cory responded.
Cory reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He pressed a button and turned on a flashlight.
“There, now we won’t be going in here blind.” He said.
“Okay, lead the way then.” I said waving my hand toward the doorway.
“No wait, here, you take it.” Cory said handing me his phone.
I walked up to the doorway and shined the light into the darkness illuminating a small staircase.
“Come on.” I say.
We walk down the stairs into the top floor of the building. There is a strange smell in the air, like the smell of dead animals, probably from whatever rodents made this place their home. A small glint from old dangling lightbulbs gave a dim light to the hallway in front of us.
We walk down the hall slowly, unsure yet how strong the floors still are here. The paint on the walls are burnt and chipped away. The same orange looking stains are splattered along the walls.
“What has been going on here?” Cory asks touching the walls.
“I don’t know, but I’m not a fan of their decorating.” I smirk.
There are old bathtubs ripped from their homes, thrown out around smalls rooms to our left. A stray wheelchair sits in the middle of the hallway. The smells are getting stronger the further we go.
“God, I think I’m gonna be sick, what is that smell?” Cory said.
We go on down the hall, more bathrooms and shower areas are in the small rooms to our left.
“What was that?” Cory asks.
“Shh.” I say.
We listen quietly, a small muttered sound is coming from the room on the far right of the hallway. We slowly move to peek into the room. The smell is right on top of us now, choking you, it’s so strong. The sound is getting closer as we approach the room.
“Don’t look at him.” The voice says. “Don’t look.”
“Don’t look at who?” Cory asks me.
We peek around the corner of the doorway. There is a person standing in the corner of the room, facing the wall.
“Shine the light in there, I can’t see anything.” Cory said.
I lift the light up to see into the room.
“Holy shit, it’s Mark, that’s my hoodie he stole.” Cory declared.
“Hold up, are you sure?” I ask.
“Dude, I would know that jacket anywhere, look at the hole in elbow. I did that last week messing around in my room.” He said.
“I don’t know man, why is he just standing there like that.”
Cory shrugs his shoulders and walks into the room.
“Mark, what the hell are you doing?” Cory questioned.
The man turned slowly around to face him.
“Oh, what the fuck!” Cory yelled stepping backwards.
Cory slowly walked backwards away from the figure, the man started towards him. I took a step forward so my light would reach them.
The man then leaps forward at Cory tackling him to the ground screaming.
“Don’t look at him, don’t look!” The man screamed.
“Get the fuck off me psycho!” Cory yelled back.
I ran up and pushed the man off Cory, I pull him to his feet and back up a few feet. I shine the light at the man.
“Oh, my God.” I said.
The light revealed the man, he stood there still, his clothes in shreds with blood covering them. I froze staring at him, my heart now pounding through my chest. I feel as if I’m paralyzed. The mans’ face is covered in cuts, and his eyes have been removed, there is dried blood running down his face like tears. He keeps muttering the same phrase over and over.
“Don’t look at him, don’t look.” The man repeats.
I grab Cory by the arm and pull him away.
“We have got to find Mark and fast, I don’t know what the hell is going on around here and I don’t want to find out.” I declare.
“I second that.” He responds.
We run down to the end of the hallway, there is a staircase down to the next level. We quickly make our way down the stairs, Cory nearly tripping over himself, he’s in panic mode again, for good reason this time. I’m right there with him at this point, I can’t even think straight. I know I don’t want to run into whoever or whatever did that to that man.
“There.” Cory says pointing.
We see the lit-up room we’ve been looking for. We run past a few empty rooms with the windows broken out of on our right, then a couple on our left that appear to be some kind of medical areas.
“I think we’re in the infirmary.” I say.
We continue down the hall till we reach the bright lit room. There is an old operating table under a giant surgical light. The table is covered in blood, it’s still dripping off the sides onto the floor, creating a pool. There are strange homemade tools on the counters covered in blood and chunks of skin. A saw blade is laying on the floor with what looks like hair stuck in it.
“Jesus, you don’t think…?” I start.
“No, no it can’t be.” He said.
Cory’s face was pale with complete fear, shaking, he begins to pace the room.
“Hey, is this...?” Cory asks.
I walk over to see he’s holding Marks’ camera.
“That’s Marks’, he never goes anywhere without it. You don’t think that blood is from him, do you?” I ask.
“I hope not, I mean there’s no body here, he could have just seen this mess and rushed out of here.”
“Yeah, maybe.” I said quietly.
I don’t know none of this makes sense, I thought this was just some missing persons tip, not a full-blown murder scene. How does no one know what goes on here?
“Hey, let me see that camera really quick.” I say putting my hand out.
I wonder if he managed to take any pictures that could tell us where he is. I turn the camera on, his battery light is blinking. I shuffle through a few pictures he took this morning by my place. Just houses and random people around town. He took a few of the gates here, there are a few snap shots of the main building from the outside.
Wait, who is that, there is a picture of a man wearing a surgical mask pointing at something, another of some kind of nurse, I think. But, they look odd, as if they went through a time machine, their clothes are really outdated and covered in that orange stain. The nurse has that old red cross symbol like medics wore in like world war two or something on her hat, surreal.
The last picture he took was this room, he took a picture of the bloody table, and the saw blade. On the plus side, I guess that shouldn’t be his blood, but who were those people, and where did he go. I have way too many questions and no answers.
“Hmm, these don’t really tell us much, but there are some strange people Mark ran into at some point in here.” I say.
“Let’s keep looking for him.” Cory said.
We turn to leave the room and head back out into the hall, this floor seems to have power, most of the lights that remain on this floor are all turned on. There are small drops of blood along the floor leading to several rooms. We glance in a few as we go down the halls, hoping to find some trace of Mark.
The same smell as the floor above is in the air as we go down the hall. It gets stronger as we go, it seems to be coming from the room just ahead of us. We move slowly, hoping we don’t run into anything like the man upstairs. We peek into the room the smell is coming from.
Jesus, is this real? There is a small mountain of dismantled small animals, cats, dogs, some sort of rodents, all cut into pieces. Cory turns white at the sight of it. He begins choking on the fumes and dry heaving. My heart is pounding, speechless. The smell is so strong it’s all I can do not to throw up. There are jars along the counter filled with different types of eyes suspended in liquids.
Then I see it, there is a small piece of paper beside the mountain of corpses. I hold my breath, trying not to take in any more of the smell as I approach the note. There are fly’s and maggots everywhere, enjoying their new homes. I quickly grab the paper and back away.
The note looks like a page out of Mark’s notepad, it reads.
I arrive at the gates to the Haddix Asylum, I am here researching a lead on the missing people of Bedford, Iowa. It is currently daytime, though the light doesn’t seem to reach here. I have been sent to find clues regarding the missing people for the Bedford Times, the police have been receiving phone calls stating that those people have been sighted in the area. So far, I have not spotted any of them, I am going in for a closer look.
I arrive at the main building, the windows are all barred, and the doors are all locked from the inside. I find a fire escape and make my way to the top floor. I come across a few old syringes on the roof, unlikely related to the missing persons. I have noted an orange stain on multiple surfaces as I go. The floors are dark, but quiet. No sign of the missing people.
I have continued my search, finding nothing but old bathrooms and medical waste. I have noted a pile of dead animals, most likely from some deranged drug addict previously in the area. I have not yet encountered anyone to question further on the matters at hand.
As I continue searching for any evidence, I came across some old clothing that appears to match a description of 10-year-old Anna Ducrane, a young girl that went missing last October. It looks like it was forced from her, but there is no sign of blood on it.
I have reached the second floor of the building; no sign of life is yet to be seen. This floor is set up in a different fashion, it has gates on all the doorways, I believe this is where the patients rooms were located. The rooms are empty beyond small tables in the corners and small beds. Most of the tables are broken and the beds are overturned or burned by the fire.
I encountered a strange man dressed up in surgical gear calling himself Dr. Vincent, he had a woman dressed as a nurse alongside him. They told me they were here to cleanse the filth from me, the man grabbed at me trying to hold me down, I kicked him and tried to run. They cornered me in the second-floor stairwell and the nurse injected me with something. I managed to fight them off and sprinted up to the next floor and hid under a small table in one of the rooms.
I can hear them looking for me. They are going through the rooms throwing things around. I don’t know what to do, I’m fucking scared. I think they are going to kill me.
I can hear a new voice muttering words down the hall, the so-called doctor grabbed him as he screamed.
I can hear them sawing into the man they grabbed, the sounds are unbearable. The poor man is being tortured in there, but I can’t help, I just can’t, if I move I’m dead too.
I heard the doctor leave the area, so I muster up all the courage I can and go into the room the sounds were coming from. There is a table covered in so much blood, my stomach turns. There are chunks of skin and hair covering the tools they used on him. I know the man suffered. I snapped a picture of the scene. I gotta get out of here.
I think they are coming back, I have to….
“Oh, my God, we gotta leave man, like right now.” I declared.
My whole body is trembling, I can’t begin to believe what Mark had written. I don’t know if he made it out or not, but something happened to him. I feel cold as ice with fear. The hairs on my neck are frozen in a panic.
I look up to meet Cory’s eyes, but he stands there frozen, not blinking, staring behind me. He lifts his hand slowly to point at something. I turn my head slowly, feeling the presence of whatever is behind me. Then before I can even see it, it speaks.
“Little cows come out for slaughter, did they.” The voice says in a deep growl.
The words cut straight through me like a knife. Then I feel it through all the panicked adrenaline, it wasn’t the words. I look down and see it, a gush of blood shot from my side as a knife cuts straight through my hip. I try to scream in pain, but the words won’t come out.
“No!” Cory screams.
I fall to my knees and try to crawl away, blood splashing below me. Cory picks up a brick off the ground, that had fallen off the broken walls. He throws it at the man with the knife, smacking him in the head. The man isn’t fazed by the hit, but it gave me enough time to get back to my feet and run over by Cory.
We stand there in pure terror as the man approaches us. We go around the side of the mountain of carcasses, as he circled around towards us. We have but a small second to run to attempt escape. There is no way to fight him off. The man is a giant, he is at least six feet tall, and broad with muscles big enough to crush us with one hand. He raises his blade and slashes it at us as we sprint as fast as we can by him.
My breathing is pounding out of my chest as I run, I can’t even feel the hole in my side, I’m so scared all I can think of is I have to get away.
“In there!” Cory yells directing me into a room to our left.
He drags me into the room and pushes me under a desk that is sitting overturned in the room, as he climbs into a small locker. My heart is pounding so hard I fear it’s going to give away my location.
The man is going through the hallway kicking open doors, searching for us. I can hear him screaming.
“You little calves can’t hide from me! I will find you!”
He goes up and down the hall yelling and breaking things. I hear him growling out small laughs as he hunts for us.
Then the sounds slowly get farther away, I can still hear him giggling as he walks away. Then he yells one last thing to us.
“Don’t worry little piggy’s, the doctor will be with you shortly.”
The words sent a sharp chill into my veins as I remembered the notes from Mark we found. Then he is gone, for now. I try to calm my breathing so that he won’t hear me and come back to finish the job.
“Fuck!” I whisper.