Johnathan Drewna sat in a white, padded room, awaiting his release. After finally being cleared by the institute’s head Psychologist, John could return to his Orderly Duties, but he declined. His Tragic tale shed light on all the long standing abuse of the Institute’s patients, if given the choice, John would have bowed out, in being a guinea pig for those Nurses and orderlies on Halloween night. But fate can be cruel to even the nicest people.
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Johnathan Drewna loved his job. Even though the sweeping and mopping got a little tedious, he was happy to work with the patients. He was a fresh faced orderly at the Saint Mary’s Mental Institution. John really wanted to be a Psychologist, but he does not have the funds for college tuition, nor colleges close enough to where he lived to attend that offered the degree he needed for it. Just out of High school, John signed up at the Institute figuring he would be doing something worth while. As an Orderly he basically mopped the floors, and kept an eye on the patients, even going as far as conversing with them. Each patient had there own padded isolation cell. With there name right above the door. It was a long corridor of them that filtered into ether the dining room, where there meals were prepared, or the recreational room, where they could talk, and play or, like some of the patients did, just stare out the window at the freedom denied to them. Normally John was stuck with the graveyard shift, so while he mopped the floor the dark foreboding hallways stretched on into the darkness where the screams and howls of patients having bad dreams echoed the halls. From time to time, the already dimmed florescent lights, a bid to save on the electrical bill, would flicker on and off, as screams erupted thru the halls, made John quite jumpy. However he wrote it off as it was getting close to Halloween.
Ever so often, John got the privilege to sit with the patients in the recreation room, talk to them, share stories of the outside world and even give them a gift, John brought one of his favorite books, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And he read it to them. Trying his best to mimic the voices of each character, the Patients seemed to like it. John got to meet a few of those patients, the first one he met was Daniel, an ex school teacher and recovering Crack addict, but the thing that landed him at Saint Mary’s was the one time he was high on crack, he drove his truck crash through the front doors of the school at which he taught at and got out bare naked and went to teach his class like that, it wasn’t until he woke up with his head in the toilet of the women’s faculty bathroom that he knew he needed to clean up his act. The local school board checked him in with a promise, that if he cleaned up and was in the right mind after a year they would give him back his license on a probationary period. The Next patient John met was mother Mary, so called cause she was a mother of two, and had a good and caring husband but the reason she was at Saint Mary’s was that from time to time she would get a masochistic streak in her and her husband would find her in the bathroom bleeding all over. After slitting her wrists twice but her husband getting her to the hospital in time, each time, he admitted her, telling her to get better. The husband called every month, and John would sneak Mary into the nurse’s station so she could talk to him, which was against the rules but seeing her face light up when she heard her family on the other line was well worth it. John however noticed that he was not the only rule breaker at Saint Mary’s, when he would talk to one patient, he would notice out of the corner of his eye, the other Orderlies and nurses ether hitting some patient while asking some redundant question or teasing them about the reason they were in admitted for. A clear violation of the institute’s rules of conduct, but as John had no proof but hearsay, he kept it to himself. John would even observe the head nurse and head Orderly taking a patient into the abandoned west wing, of which John was told to never enter. Saint Mary’s was opened in the late eighties, but the building was once used as an Asylum in the early 20’s, and the west Wing was the torture chamber side of it, complete with Electroshock chamber. But that part was supposed to be closed off and abandoned. So it struck him as odd that Orderlies, nurses and a patient would be going in that direction. Even facing down that corridor, leading to the west wing gave John the shivers. It was on those nights that the lights flickering and the screams started to make sense. But John shook his head at such ideas, trying hard to believe that even they were not that cruel. But each time it happened, it got harder to convince him otherwise.
Halloween at Saint Mary’s was exciting, the decorations, the celebration. Halloween was the only other time, other then New Years which the patients were allowed to stay up later in the recreational room and party. The Orderlies and nurses would dress up as scary monsters and try to scare already fragile minded patients with spooky get-ups. John never saw the need to mentally harm then further, so when it was finally Halloween. He came to work dressed as the favorite character from his favorite book. It was a big hit with the patients. He came dressed as the Mad Hatter. John as the Hatter would dance around with Mary or any other female patient and throwing impromptu Unbirthday parties. John even brought a pair of brown bunny ears and stuck them on Daniel, calling him the March Hare. So when the senior Orderly and nurses began to torment the patients, John went to put a stop to them. But the whole idea backfired when he gets hit from behind by a nurse, causing him to black-out and knocking off his hat. He soon came to, strapped to a metal table in a part of the Institute that was thought shut down, the Electroshock treatment room. John thought he was alone, until several shadows appeared from the darkness of the room that was illuminated by one bulb hanging over the table. John squints hard to make the moving shadows; they turned out to be the Senior Orderly and several nurses, the same ones that were tormenting the patients. John pulls up on the restraints as much as his muscles were able, but to no avail. John keeps trying to get free as the senior orderly speaks,
“I believe this one is delusional Nurse.”
The nurse looks down and John struggling to get free and says,
“What do we do with him then Mr. Regent?”
Mr. Regent, the senior orderly smiles and says,
“Give Him two doses of Mockasetalin, if that doesn’t work… Warm up the machine.”
Upon hearing what fate they had in store John was more frantic then ever of struggling against the straps that bound him to the table John shouts, “You will never get away with this you Lunatics!” The Nurse shoves the electroshock bit into his mouth, strapping it to his head so he will not spit it out. Other nurses come to hold John still on the table as the Nurse pulls out a syringe, pre-filled with some rather nasty inky black concoction. The Nurse looks at Mr. Regent and says,
“Are you sure about this? Double the amount could be dangerous.”
Mr. Regent Slams his fists on the table and says,
“No more dangerous then if he were to blab to our superiors about what we do on the graveyard Shift.”
The nurse reluctantly nods and has the other nurses steady his right arm as she is about to Inject him, she looks over at John’s face his eyes pleading for her to not do it. She looks at Mr. Regent and mutters,
“Sorry bout this”
The Nurse sticks the needle in his arm and injects the liquid into his veins. Everyone backs up uncertain as it what would happen next. John could not breathe, not because the medicine, but from his own fear of what the drug was going to do to him. John soon returned to normal breathing but as he looked at the Faces of those around him, the skin slowly began to melt away. John screams thru the bit and then jerks even harder on the restraints, finally snapping one out of sheer desperation. Bony hands hold him down as he screamed. The nurses using all there weight to hold down the loose arm, only to find it difficult to do. Mr. Regent points to the Electroshock Machine. The head Nurse Nods and goes over and dials up the voltage and plugs the machine in causing it to spark and the lights to flicker on and off. As the electrodes were placed on his temples, the bulb over the table explodes in a brilliant display of sparks as John jerks. The light goes out as a muffled scream echoes thru the corridors.
John’s unconscious form was dragged by several white nurses to an empty room. Placed inside, another nurse places a label over the door that says, “The Mad Hatter” They slam and lock the door.
The man wakes up holding his head, his oversized top hat falling to the ground. As he slowly gets to his feet, he grabs the brim of his hat. His gaze was on the ground. As he sweeps his hat up to his head, it produced a full body mirror. He looks at his reflection. Something was off about it. Despite the fact that he was looking at himself in a mirror that appeared out of nowhere, but reflection was moving on its own and the Hat was gone. The real guy approaches the Mirror, rolling the brim of the Hat in his fingers, “Who are you?”
“Who am I? You could say I am you but yet different.”
“I ask then, who are we?”
“We are The Mad Hatter “
“What happened to us?”
“We got screwed, plain and simple.”
“What can I do about it?”
“We give them to the Queen of hearts.”
“Listen carefully…” The two converse for what seems like hours.
The next morning, the nurses opened the door to Hatter’s room. He sat in the corner with a glazed over stare in his eyes. Two nurses dared to enter his garden. Lush green grass growing from the ground, the hatter sat under a tree as the two nurses approached him. Standing up straight he bows and sweeps his hat across his chest. As the hat moved though space it revealed the white walls of the padded room to the Hatter. Without so much as a word, they escorted him out of his room and to the Recreation area. The Hatter scanned the room and found himself in familiar company. After a brief talk with Daniel they ran to the other end of the room and began to throw a merry unbirthday party for Mother Mary. The Party got everyone riled up. Every one of the staff left there stations to quell the commotion. Hatter slips out and goes into the nurse’s station and grabs the phone and pulls out a paper with a number on it. He dials it and as soon as the person answered, He Yells, “Who can Say, Who belongs in a Nuthouse but a certified Nut, so say The Mad Hatter.” Hatter cackles and slams the phone down as he is dragged out and sedated that he falls asleep. Soon to be awakened by the police, after Hatter pointed out the Jack of hearts and his face cards, he was injected with a slow cure. Two days pass and John was given a clean bill of health.
John rolled the brim of the oversized top hat over and over in his fingers. New nurses came and unlocked the door. John was waiting for them. He exits and heads out. Once he was deemed in his “right” mind, he submitted a letter of resignation. John walked out of the Institute. When the former head nurse met him at the door, the two exchange glances and she opens her mouth to speak and he walks right past her without a second thought. As she watched him go he turns to her and bows, crossing the hat over his chest. A reality rippling in its wake as he then places the Hat upon his head, as he turns and begins to whistle the Unbirthday theme as he walked to his car in the distance.
if the pen is mighter then the sword then the word processer must be mighter then the missile