Heading off into the hospital Emma began to feel a bit better. Her legs were still a bit wobbly but, as she dabbed her head, she found that there was little blood. She would have a lump, but she could live with that. Peering down at her map she was able to work out where she needed to go in this sprawling ancient building.
If her map reading skills were right, there should be a door to the outside at the back of the building. In fact there were two. One was on this floor, but over on the other wing, the kitchen entrance. The other was on the floor below her, but considerably closer, next to the cells. She would have to walk down this corridor to the end and then, at the bottom of the stairs, there looked to be a wide space before the cells. A nurse’s station, she presumed. The outside door was located here and it was this that she chose as her destination. Time was of the essence and she still had to get outside and walk around the building in order to meet and guide her clients.
She walked past several doors, whose purpose escaped her. However, after the journey that her imagination had just taken her on, she was reticent about further exploration. No doubt she would be having nightmares for weeks following the strange dream that she just had.
The corridor seemed to stretch out forever and Emma realised that she was slowing down. It felt warm and she felt clammy. She was not sure, but she felt that she might be coming down with something, or at least the blow to the back of her head was not the simple lump that she assumed. She needed to sit down and rest for a little while. She could still make it to the customers, but she needed to put her feet up quickly.
Unfortunately, nowhere looked good to just sit down. The corridor was dirty and dusty. It had that air of decay that only a building that had been left standing for a while could manage. Not damp exactly, but abandoned. Ahead, she saw a nurse’s station of some kind with benches in front of it. This would do. It was no cleaner than anywhere else, but at least it was off of the floor.
She staggered over to the wall, leaning her weight against it, before continuing to the bench. Her eyes were playing tricks on her and she kept seeing things out of the corner of her eye, shadows of things moving or ghost images that, when she turned to look at them, had disappeared. Finally, however, she made it and sat down heavily. She was thankful that she had not tripped in her heels. The last thing that she needed was another injury and she didn’t relish the idea of twisting her ankle. But she had made it.
The nurse’s station was of the same dark wood counter design that she had seen downstairs. To the left of the counter was another door, marked “Store Room.” The door at the end of the bench that she was sitting on was more interesting. This read “Dr Barkin.”
Emma relaxed as the weight was taken off of her feet and she could close her eyes for a second. Leaning back, she let her head touch the wall behind her as she listened to the occasional sounds carried to the building from outside as the wind picked up or the building settled. The occasional creak or scuttling sound, the latter being something whose source she did not want to think about.
“Dr Barkin will see you now.”
Emma’s eyes popped open at the pronouncement. Immediately she squinted at the unexpected brightness from the overhead lights. The corridor was clean and bright, as was the nurse’s station and the woman who sat behind the counter. She smiled at Emma.
“Mrs Thompson, Dr Barkin will see you now, if you would like to go through,” she chirped as she pointed to the door at the end of the bench.
Emma was stunned. What tricks were her dreams playing on her now? Looking down at herself she got some answers. She was no longer dressed in her business suite, but now wore the simple cotton dress that she remembered from earlier. She wore cotton socks and slippers. She also felt that she was no longer wearing the nappy from earlier. Instead, it felt as though she was wearing regular cotton briefs. However, she was not about to explore, especially with the nurse looking on.
“Mrs Thompson,” the woman prompted.
Emma looked to her left where she noted a very clean and freshly painted door bearing Dr Barkin’s name. This was obviously her subconscious playing tricks on her. Perhaps she had fallen asleep on the bench. In any case, being a dream, Emma felt that she should follow it through to its conclusion, curiosity and a certain inevitability forcing her actions. Emma therefore stood and made her way to the door, knocking before a voice from inside invited her inside.
The room was neat and efficiently laid out. Although this was obviously a doctor’s office, by the medical journals in the bookshelf and the medical certificates upon the wall, Emma felt that Dr Barkin had made the effort to make this place appear more homely. Plants decorated a small coffee table. Although the desk could have been used as a barrier, Dr Barking had turned it sideways on, so that he could give the appearance of openness with his patients. Jolly drawings, in bright colours, hung next to the certificates. Bright floral patterns decorated the rest of the walls, as cheerful explosions of coloured wallpaper vied for competition to be seen in this busy landscape. This was an obvious attempt to take the edge off of the clinical atmosphere that permeated the rest of the building.
“Hello Emma, please have a seat,” the slightly podgy, middle aged man in the tweed suit stated as he indicated to a comfortable looking armchair.
Dr Barkin obviously did not visit the gym often. However, as a Doctor in such an institution, he wielded great power and Emma was not going to do anything that might upset him. Not until she found out what was going on.
After the initial pleasantries, the Doctor began to probe a little deeper.
“I see from your booking in that you have given your date of birth as the 27th of September 80. I must say that, for a seventy five year old woman you are looking remarkably well,” the doctor probed.
“I am not seventy doctor, as you can see.”
“So you lied about your birthday?”
Emma did her best to evade this question and the doctor let her. She knew enough from her experience with clients to guess that he would come back to this later. She would have to be careful.
“iIn our earlier sessions you stated that you were an estate agent and that you had come to show some buyers around. As far as I know, this hospital is not for sale. Why would you think that?”
Emma was not happy. Earlier sessions? What earlier sessions? What had she said the last time that she was in this room or was this some ploy? She didn’t know and so she fielded his questions as best she could, avoiding anything that might get her in trouble. This might be a dream, but she had already had a very vivid dream and did not want this one to follow along in the same patter.
The session lasted for perhaps an hour. At the end of which, the doctor began to wind up the conversation.
“Well Emma, I think that we have made some progress today. But I get the feeling that you are still holding back. Some of the things that you have told me, I do not think that you actually believe. We have some way to go, but I am sure that with the right treatment we can help you to address these issues and make you well. You do want to get well don’t you Emma?”
This was a loaded question and she knew it. There was only one answer that she could give and so affirmed that she did want to get better.
“Good. If you will wait outside I will have my receptionist arrange for your treatment session. You might find it a bit uncomfortable, but I believe that a little discomfort can be used in a positive way.”
“Discomfort? What do you mean by discomfort Doctor?”
“Nothing that you should worry about. Now if you will just wait outside?”
She was being dismissed. She knew that he had decided upon a course of action and that she was in his hands. Reluctantly she stepped outside as the doctor reached over for his phone.
Emma sat nervously on the bench, while the receptionist talked to the doctor on the phone and then called somebody else. Emma did not catch the conversation and she got the feeling that this woman was deliberately lowering her voice, so as not to be heard. Whenever she looked up, the receptionist smiled sweetly before carrying on with her work. Emma tried her best not to fidget and sit calmly. After an eternity of waiting she heard footsteps approaching. At last two nurses, one of which she recognised from her earlier dream, came around the corner.
“Hello Emma. How are you today?” the first nurse enquired.
“Um, fine, errh, thank you,” she stammered nervously.
“Well, if you would come with us the doctor has ordered your next set of treatment.”
“Um, what treatment?” Emma asked in a worried voice.
“Oh its nothing bad, but we should make a move,” the nurse indicated.
Tentatively, Emma stood and allowed herself to be guided down the corridor to one of the doors that she had passed earlier. Upon entering, she found that she was in some sort of medical examination room. A gurney, complete with green paper sheets and ominously, straps, dominated her vision as she was guided to it.
“Now, if you could remove your knickers dear,” the nurse instructed.
“To get ready for your treatment, now hurry up,” the nurse insisted as her partner stood by the door, effectively blocking her escape route.
Emma weighed her options, remembering the last time that she had tried to resist and found herself strapped to a bed. Reluctantly she pulled up the skirt of her dress, hooked her thumbs under the unflattering cotton underwear and pulled them down, stepping out of them as they fell around her ankles.
“That’s a good girl. Now, if you could just hop onto the trolley,” the nurse said, patting the gurney with her hand.
Emma lifted herself onto the trolley, sitting with her legs over the side.
“That’s it. Now, if you could move onto your front, that’s it,” the nurse encourage. “Now, raise yourself onto all fours, so that your elbows are touching the trolley. That’s good,” the nurse soothed as Emma manoeuvred herself around.
Emma was in a precarious position, on her knees and elbows. What the hell were they going to do to her? Her question was answered in part as the other nurse came further into the room and both nurses set about attaching the various trolley straps.
Firstly, her wrists and ankles were secured with padded leather cuffs. Her elbows and knees were next. She was now secured tightly, but she felt a hand pushing down on her shoulder and, as she lowered her face onto the trolley, another thick strap was passed over her back and secured. She was now pinned, with her head on the paper covering and her ass sticking up into the air. It was no surprise then that she felt her skirt being raised, exposing her bare ass to the two women.
“What’s happening? What are you doing?”
“Shhh. Don’t worry dear, it’s nothing bad. Just relax OK?”
Emma was starting to panic a little as she heard the sound of a trolley being wheeled over. She had only glimpsed it when she came in, but could not guess what was on it, as a green paper towel covered the top. She heard a tap running and, looking over to the door, she saw the other nurse standing at a deep, porcelain sink. The nurse finished what she was doing and made her way over to Emma, carrying what looked like a hot water bottle.
“Now you might find this a little uncomfortable, but you should not worry.”
What, Emma wondered, was she not supposed to worry about? Then she felt it. Cold metal, not very thick, but it was poking against her anus. Not just metal. It was coated with something cold and slimy.
“Wait. No,” Emma tried as something was forced into her ass.
It seemed to go on forever. The other nurse was fiddling with something behind her. Then she felt it. Warm liquid was filling her ass. She was being given an enema of some sort. Emma squirmed uncomfortably as she felt her bowels fill up.
While this was happening, the first nurse began stroking her head and cooing comforting words to her. However, all of the comforting words could not shake the feeling as her bowels began to fill up and Emma imagined that her stomach was distending as more liquid invaded her. At last she was full up and the nurses removed the metal probe. Just as well as pain started to shoot though her as her stomach cramped.
“There is a bucket behind you. We want you to hold on for a few moments and then let go. Don’t worry about spilling anything. Just let go and the bucket will catch it,” the nurse instructed.
Emma tried to hold on a while longer, but they were not going to let her up from the table until she voided her bowels in front of them. Besides which, she was not sure that she could make it to a bathroom, even if they did un-strap her. With little choice she let go, crying out in relief as the pressure was released and the foul contents were expelled from her body.
Emma’s eyes shot open as she felt warm liquid erupt from her ass and, instead of hearing the sound of it hitting a bucket, felt it meet her underwear instead, exploding in all directions.
She was lying on the bench and her clothes were soaked with foul water. Her blouse, skirt, stockings and underwear were a sodden mess. Sitting up, the smell hit her.
“Ewe. Yuck,” Emma protested as she stood up and felt the foul shit escaping from her knickers and sliding down her leg as water pooled in her left shoe.
What was she supposed to do now? She couldn’t meet the clients like this. She couldn’t even sit in her car like this. The thought of waddling out to the car, smelling of crap made her want to be sick. Looking up, she saw that the storeroom door was slightly open. There might still be something that she could use in there. She knew that the owners had not cleaned everything out after the closure. Hoping against hope, she waddled, with her hands held out away from her, she went over to explore, leaving a dripping trail of foul smelling water and other things behind her.
She was in luck. Towels, what looked like clothes and some other boxes sat on the shelves. Grabbing a towel, she stepped out into the waiting area and started to undress. It was worse than she thought. Even her bra was wet. Stepping out of her skirt and shoes, she tried not to wretch as she undid the suspender clips and eased the stockings off. After unbuttoning her blouse and letting it fall to the ground, she undid her bra and suspender belt, before getting to the part that she had dreaded. Her knickers and the cargo that now caused them to hang lower than normal were a task that she didn’t want to think about. Tentatively, she eased them down her legs, trying not to let them touch the sides of her legs. At last, she stepped out of the knickers.
Grabbing a towel, she started to clean herself up. Returning to her handbag, she rummaged around until she found the pack of wipes that she carried for spillages. This was definitely a spillage and Emma used them to clean herself as thoroughly as possible before drying herself off with another towel.
The clothes, she found, were patient’s dresses. She selected one from the top of the pile and slipped it over her head. It fit. She also found socks, which she put on. She couldn’t find any other underwear, so she opened one of the boxes. Pulling back the plastic she found that they were nappies. Not the type that she had worn before. These were contemporary with when the hospital had closed and resembled a paper, disposable pull up nappy. But these were obviously designed for adult use.
Emma looked outside at the pile of clothes. She was obviously ill and if her bowels could explode once, wearing a nappy might be a prudent idea and so she opened the garment and stepped into it, pulling it up so that it fit snugly. Looking on the side of the box she noted that this was a female cut. Just as well, she thought. She grabbed a couple of these as well as a small hand towel and headed outside, placing them in her bag, just in case she needed them later.
Emma considered putting her shoes back on, but seeing the slight gloss sheen on the left shoe, changed her mind. The socks were thick enough to keep her feet warm and stop her feet from getting dirty. Picking up her bag, the stunned woman continued her journey along the corridor to the stare case. She didn’t care about the clients now. She would phone and cancel the appointment. Reaching into her bag Emma tried to get a signal. Whatever the building was made from, she was not going to be making a phone call until she got outside.
Sighing, Emma replaced the phone. She would explain to them later. At the moment, she just wanted to get out of here. It was only when she reached for her handbag and the torch, which she had left on the bench did she notice that the garment had a name badge. Stepping further into the beam of light, a cold chill ran down Emma’s spine as she read the name on the label.
* * * *
The images, Emma decided, were still there. Just a movement out of the corner of her eye, as though someone had just walked past her and she had been busy looking elsewhere, so hadn’t noticed their approach.
When she looked at the image though, she found nothing there. There was no reason that could explain this movement. There were no gusts of wind that might blow paper or other items around. She was alone. Alone in the heart of an abandoned hospital with no drafts, or flickering lights, that might explain this.
Despite this, however, Emma felt a little better than she had only a few moments ago. Although her stomach still felt queasy, it was noticeably better. Her head also felt a little clearer. But she was still unsettled and so, when she reached the end of the corridor and started down the stairs, she gripped the rail tightly, just in case she had another episode.
Episode. That was a good word for what had happened to her. She had been knocked unconscious and had the most disturbing dreams of her life. She had soiled her clothing after the last incident and was now wondering about in hospital clothing, wearing a set of pull up nappies and woolly socks. But that was not the most disturbing thing. The most disturbing thing was printed on the front of the hospital dress that she now wore. Her name and the number that she remembered from the first dream were stitched into a label above her left breast.
Emma believed that coincidences sometimes happened. But this was too much. Her name and a garment and number that she had dreamt about were very hard to explain, even for a woman who believed in occasional chance.
But she could not think about that now. All that she needed to do was get down to the bottom of the stairs and find the door indicated on the map that would get her outside and away from this awful place.
At last she was at the landing for the sub basement. Turning over the floor plan, she saw that there was another level below this, but that contained the boiler room and a maintenance workshop.
Opening the door she found she was in another reception room. This one had the same dark wood nurses station that she had seen upstairs. A large steel door dominated the area to the left of the station. But the door that she wanted was behind the nurse’s station on the right.
She strode across the room and tried the door. Not surprisingly, it was locked and so she got out her keys and tried the first one in the ring. Ten minutes later and Emma felt like screaming. She had tried every key that she possessed twice and none of them fit. She obviously had not been given the key to this door. She felt like stomping her foot in temper, but managed to check herself.
Reaching into her bag she pulled out the floor plan. If she went out of the third door, between the stairs and the cells, she could follow this corridor to the end and come up near the kitchens. This would lead her to another exit. It was frustrating, but she did not have any choice and so set off in, what she hoped, was the right direction.
The door led to another dark corridor. The musty smell of decay filled this claustrophobic space. Emma shone the torch around, but could only make out another seemingly endless series of doors. As she walked the ghost images played tricks on her and she found herself literally jumping at shadows.
If this was not bad enough she started to feel light headed again. As she travelled further down the corridor she began to find the smell of damp overpowering, suffocating. The sense of claustrophobia intensified and the sense of movement around her increased as her head span and nausea threatened to rise like bile. She staggered and began to pitch forward, dropping the torch and sending her world into darkness.
Strong hands caught her and the overhead lights momentarily blinded her.
“Don’t stop now dear, we are nearly there,” cooed the now familiar voice of nurse Jackson.
Emma tried to understand how she knew the nurses name. She could not remember having heard it in her previous episodes, but it definitely felt like the right name. Images flashed into her memory of conversations and occasions that she had no memory of until now. Had this really happened to her? Was she really an estate agent or was this a fabrication? Emma didn’t know. What she did know was that nurse Jackson and one of her colleagues had taken an elbow each and were guiding her down the corridor.
“What’s happening? Where are we going?” Emma asked, concern etching a higher pitch into her voice as she remembered her previous dealings with multiple nurses who grabbed her elbows.
“Don’t you remember dear? Your last meeting with Dr Barkin didn’t go so well. He felt that you needed more drastic measures. You agreed to the treatment.”
“More drastic measures?” Emma all but shrieked.
“Well it’s too late now dear. Anyway, it would be best if you don’t distress yourself. You know what happened the last time.”
She didn’t, but she could imagine. It probably involved some torture or bondage of some kind. Perhaps some medication that had her gibbering in a corner drooling onto her slippers? Maybe that was why she felt so strange and could not remember things. Were the drugs they gave her really safe? She didn’t know the answers and she could have cried for all of the things she wished she did know.
What she did notice was that her heart missed a beat when they eventually stopped at the door to a room about two-thirds along the length of the corridor. The door opened and another cubicle, similar to the one upstairs presented itself. Another gurney. More straps. The same white walls and a strange machine in the corner of the room.
“Lets have you up on the trolley then,” nurse Jackson chimed.
Emma new that it was useless to argue and whatever they were going to do, she had little say in the matter. Sitting on the gurney she allowed the nurses to ease her down onto her back. They efficiently attached padded leather straps to her ankles and wrists, which kept her arms at her sides. Other straps were passed over her knees, stomach and chest.
“Open wide dear, we need to put this in your mouth.”
Emma didn’t want whatever it was in her mouth and so tried to clamp her mouth shut. This gesture of defiance was wasted on the two nurses, who had seen it all before. Once pinched her nose and the other grabbed her jaw, forcing it open through sheer force. The thing was then forced between her teeth. It wasn’t a gag exactly. It was more like a bar, wrapped in several layers of bandage or cloth. It was hollow and more bandages had been threaded through the middle of the tube.
Nurse Jackson pulled Emma’s head up while her colleague pulled both ends of the bandage behind her head and back, crossing over itself, towards the front, where it was pulled tight. The nurse tied a bow into the material. She now had this strange bit in her mouth and could not spit it out.
“Et ee oe. Ees I ont ant iss. Eees ont urt eee. Eees,” Emma pleaded, but her cries fell on death ears.
Forcing her head back, the other nurse pulled another strap across her forehead, ensuring that she would not be going anywhere quickly. Emma noticed something else as well. She was wearing the strange material nappy again. This was like wearing a large pair of grandma knickers, but with several layers of cotton stuffed down the front and back. Not bulky, but not flattering either. Emma fretted as she considered the implications of this and of the machine that nurse Jackson was now fiddling with.
“It’s not working,” nurse Jackson announced.
“Are you sure?” the other nurse enquired.
“Yes, there doesn’t appear to be any power.”
“Is it plugged in?”
A flash of irritation spread momentarily across the nurse’s face before she regained control and affirmed that she had already checked that. After a few moments the two women decided that they could use the machine across the corridor.
Nurse Jackson opened the door, while the other nurse stood at the head of the gurney and wheeled Emma out of the room and into the corridor.
“Park it hear while we check if the machine is working,” nurse Jackson suggested.
“OK. Will she be alright here?”
“Of course, the only patients down here would be escorted. Anyway, we will only be a few moments.”
With that, both women walked down the corridor to another room, leaving Emma alone and strapped to a trolley, parked in a hospital corridor. Emma was starting to let her imagination paint lots of possible scenarios about the machine. None of them were very good.
After an eternity Emma became aware of another presence. Craning her head as best she could, she saw another woman standing staring at her. She was dressed in a white cotton dressing gown and staring with a look of shock on her face. She was, Emma guessed, in her mid to late twenties, with long brown hair that looked straggly, as though she had just gotten out of bed.
“What are you doing out of your room?” nurse Jackson demanded.
The woman just stared.
“Come on, lets get you back to your bed shall we. You know that you are not allowed here,” the nurse continued.
“What’s going on here? Who are you people?” the strange woman enquired.
“Don’t you remember dear? Not to worry. Lets get you back to your room and we will see if we can get the doctor to talk to you.”
The two nurses had moved in unison to flank the strange woman and Emma could only strain her neck so far before she lost sight of them.
“OK, I will just go back into my room.”
“That’s not your room dear. That’s a treatment room. Lets get you back down the corridor to the patient rooms.”
“What. No. I can see my room just there. Let go of me. No. Get off of me you bitch. Who the hell are you?”
The voices receded along with the sounds of scuffling. Whoever she was, she was obviously putting up a fight. Emma lay quietly as the corridor returned to quiet. After a while she heard the sound of the nurses return.
Her trolley was grabbed and she heard the sound of the parking brake being kicked off. She watched the overhead lights fly past as she was wheeled to the next room, the one with the working machine.
Emma began to panic, her breathing becoming faster and more staccato, as the two women began preparing her. A strange metal thing was placed over her head, like a set of headphones. However, rather than covering the ears, these covered her temples. She began breathing faster and faster as the purpose of these headphones began to reveal themselves from the glimpses of the nurses preparing the machine and the occasional snatches of words that she could hear.
“Now just relax dear,” nurse Jackson soothed as she stroked Emma’s hair. “It will soon be over and then you can have a nice rest back in your room.”
Emma tried not to imagine what exactly was soon going to be over, but she had a good idea and, as both nurses moved over to the machine, Emma’s worst fears were confirmed.
A shooting pain burned itself into her brain as the lights dimmed and her body arched against the electricity that ran though her body, arching her back as much as the straps would allow. She spasmed for an eternity before her body flopped back onto the gurney. Before she could recover from this her body was rocked again by another wave of electricity that caused her to bight down onto the strange gag with all of her might.
Emma didn’t know how much of this she withstood before she passed out. But she awoke some time later, back in her cell, strapped tightly to the bed. She had wet her nappy, but she didn’t care. The thought struck her that she would go crazy now and she did. She started to laugh. She laughed and laughed until a nurse came in and stuck a needle in her arm and the world swirled and disappeared as her mind floated on a sea of drugs.
Tracey Palmer had been in her new flat for several weeks now. She had got it at a reasonable price and it was ideally situated to allow her to commute. This added an extra forty minutes to her journey, but meant that she could afford a reasonably large flat that would have cost a fortune in the city. She also had access to an extensive communal garden. There was also a gym in the basement.
One of the reasons for the reasonable price was the ghost stories. People had claimed to have seen ghosts walking the corridors and even heard screams in the night. Her neighbour even claimed that one part of her apartment was colder than everywhere else. She claimed that it was like walking into a cold draft.
At first, Tracey had dismissed these stories as nonsense. However, after only a few weeks she started to see ghosts herself. At first she had seen images out of the corner of her eye. Movement that, when she looked at them, had disappeared. Later she saw a woman in a strange cotton dress wandering around the corridors. Tracey had tried to talk to her, but she had just vanished. No sound, no reaction, she just disappeared in front of Tracey’s eyes.
This was disconcerting, to say the least. On another occasion, she had been walking down the corridor from the front entrance, when she had seen a nurse in 1950s style clothing hurrying down the corridor. This time she had known it was a ghost because she could see right through her. Tracey was not prone to screaming or running away. After all, ghosts were a perfectly legitimate accessory to modern homes. Usually, only people with lots of money could afford houses with ghosts. It was quite a conversation piece at work. Even so, it was hard not to find this a little unsettling.
The ghost that she was looking at now was no phantom however. She had opened her door to get her milk when she had stopped dead in her tracks. The ghost was in the corridor opposite her. At this time of the morning you do not just open the door and find a spectre staring at you.
She was so shocked that she forgot about her milk and stepped out into the corridor. Although she had a key in her dressing gown pocket, she left her door open to go and see this very real ghost.
She was a woman in her late twenties or early thirties. She had long brown hair and was wearing a hospital dress. She was also strapped down onto a medical trolley of some sort. She was gagged as well. However, the most disturbing thing was that she was straining her neck to look at her. The ghost was looking directly at her. Tracey fidgeted with her hair. She had only just gotten out of bed and she hadn’t brushed it yet. The woman’s intense stare was unsettling her.
“What are you doing out of your room?” a voice demanded.
Tracey just stared. Having a ghost stare at you was one thing, but now finding one talking to you. That was just weird. The ghost was not alone. There were two 1950s or 60s style uniformed nurses standing before her. It was then that Tracey noticed that the corridor had changed. It was no longer carpeted and painted in tasteful beige. There were no friendly potted plants distributed along the corridor. It was now a harsh white, complete with white tiles that only covered half of the walls height, as though the builders had run out of money. There were also more doors. Tracey knew that knocking down the adjoining walls from several other rooms had made her apartment, but she could now see where those other rooms were.
“Come on, let’s get you back to your bed shall we. You know that you are not allowed here,” the ghost nurse continued.
“What’s going on here? Who are you people?” the Tracey enquired. If this was some sort of prank she was not happy.
“Don’t you remember dear? Not to worry. Lets get you back to your room and we will see if we can get the doctor to talk to you.”
The two nurses had moved in unison to flank either side of her and Tracey began to feel uncomfortable. The other ghost just stared at her from the trolley.
“OK, I will just go back into my room,” Tracey found herself saying as she backed up and tried to back peddle into her room.
“That’s not your room dear. That’s a treatment room. Lets get you back down the corridor to the patient rooms.”
The two nurses moved as one and before she knew it Tracey found that the nurses had grabbed her by her arms and were trying to move her down the corridor towards the staircase.
“What. No. I can see my room just there. Let go of me. No. Get off of me you bitch. Who the hell are you?” Tracey screamed as she struggled to free herself from the grasp of these two mad women.
It was surreal. The corridor was like as scene out of some TV hospital soap, but she could see her own apartment, just as she had left it, framed in the open doorway.
Tracey began to struggle in earnest and managed to break free of one of the nurses. She managed to land a good right hook on the other one before trying to break free of the other nurse. But she soon found herself face down on the ground while one of the nurses pinned her arm behind her back. The other one ran over to a red button on the side of the corridor wall, just outside one of the rooms and hit it.
Tracey did not hear any alarms, but in moment another two nurses joined her and the last thing that Tracey saw as she craned her neck behind her, was a needle descending in a steady arc towards her pinioned arm.
Tracey awoke in a brightly lit room. Her jaw ached and her vision was blurred for a moment and she had trouble getting her bearings, but one thing was for certain. She was not in her apartment. She tried to get up but did not find it easy. Something had pinned her arms across her chest.
Tracey found her vision clearing as she at last sat up. Realisation seemed to flood her senses in mere seconds as she took in her surroundings and situation. She was in a square room with padded material on the walls. Looking down she saw the same material underneath her. As she looked around she could just make out the padded outline of a door. She knew were she was. It was a padded cell. Looking down, the reason for her immobility was made clear.
She was wearing some sort of strange jacket. It was made of canvas and had long sleeves that ran across her chest and disappeared behind her. A single strap ran vertically across the front of the jacket, trapping her arms so that she could not raise or lower them.
Further straps ran from the bottom of the front of the jacket, under her crotch and attached to the back of the jacket. She had only seen these occasionally, on TV shows, but she never, in her wildest dreams, thought that she would end up trussed up in a straight jacket.
Looking further she saw that her ankles were secured together by a thick leather strap that wrapped around two padded leather cuffs. She was also wearing thick, woolly socks. Her underwear was also quite hot and felt quite padded. She wandered what that was about, but she would probably find out later.
She tried to call out, which is when she discovered why her jaw ached. A large rubber ball had been stuffed into her mouth and seemed to be attached by straps that ran behind her head.
“Ett eee oah. Ehho. An oo ear eee. Ett ee oah,” Tracey demanded.
Nobody responded. She struggled and tried to kick and squirm her way out of her bonds, but eventually she lay back and looked at the ceiling, exhausted and defeated.
What, she wandered, had happened to her? What was she doing here? She started to sob and eventually, defeated and exhausted, she fell asleep. She prayed, before she eventually relaxed and slumbered, that this was some weird dream and that she would wake up in her own bed, in her nice cosy apartment in the former mental asylum.