Splatterhouse: Patient #6504
He wished the screaming would stop.
He could hear it everywhere, haunting him. While he was awake, he could hear some of the more deranged patients screaming their heads off. He could hear them distantly, as they were located more toward the center of the asylum, supposedly far out of earshot - but he could still hear them. While he slept, all he could hear was Jennifer's screams... she was terrified more than she ever had been in her life. She pleaded for him to save her. Always he tried, but he never could. Her body would vanish, fading away as he grabbed at her. Every time he hoped that somehow, this time, things would be different.
But no matter what he did, she vanished.
* * *
They had found him the night of the incident, wandering down the road away from the mansion. The rain had stopped a few hours earlier, but lightning was still flashing... a bolt of lightning had struck the mansion earlier, and the fire from the strike had spread rapidly. Someone had placed a call to 911 about the fire that was engulfing the building, burning it to its very foundations, burning the remnants of the monsters that had inhabited it. The flames licked at the night sky even as he stumbled away from the mansion, toward the street. His clothes were torn, covered with blood and other bodily fluids. His shoes were gone, his sweat-soaked hair plastered to his forehead. His eyes were vacant and glassy... it was the look of a man that had just stared into the very bowels of hell itself, and had seen the horrors beyond that which anyone had ever comprehended. He couldn't speak, and he heard nothing, even as the fire trucks raced by him, sirens blazing, toward the mansion. He didn't see or hear the approaching police cruiser as it pulled up near him and flashed its lights at him. He just kept walking straight ahead, with that same glazed stare.
"Hey!" one of the police officers, Leary, shouted as he stepped out of the cruiser. He didn't notice him... he just kept walking.
"I'm talking to you!" Leary continued. His partner, Michaels, had also gotten out of the cruiser and drawn his gun, just in case he gave them any trouble. As their presence sank into his consciousness, the man slowly stopped walking and turned his head toward them. Leary's eyes grew wide as he took in the sight of the man's torn and bloodstained clothes. Quickly he drew his gun and aimed it squarely at the man's chest.
"Don't move!" he shouted. Michaels quickly followed suit, whipping his gun up and aiming it at the man as he slowly inched around behind him. "Get down on the ground - slowly!" Leary continued to shout.
The man didn't move... he just stood there.
Michaels suddenly tackled the man from behind, knocking him to the ground. He had put up no resistance at all. Quickly Leary moved close and handcuffed him.... and still the man showed no sign of resistance. Leary began to read the man his rights, while Michaels removed the man's wallet. He pulled out the man's driver's license and turned on his flashlight to read it as Leary finished reading the man his rights. Leary shoved the man into the backseat of the cruiser, then turned toward his partner.
"He didn't respond once while I was reading his rights," Leary said. "I don't think there's anyone at home up there. What have you got?" he asked. Michaels shook his head.
"Says here his name is Rick Taylor. There's a college I.D. in here as well, and it's current."
Leary shrugged and moved back towards the cruiser. He touched the radio on his shoulder, and immediately a voice came back.
"Did we get an I.D. on the owner of the car we found parked outside the mansion?" he asked.
"Yeah. The car belongs to a Rick Taylor. Any sign of him there?"
"We just found him. He looks like he's high on something, and his clothes... well, it looks like he's spent the last few hours in a slaughterhouse. We just cuffed him... we're about to bring him in."
"We'll run a background check on our Mr. Taylor and see what we turn up."
"You might want to check and see if there's any people recently reported missing. We might be dealing with a serial killer here... he certainly looks the part."
Leary signed off and turned back to Michaels, who was watching Rick intently.
"He's just sitting there, staring off into space. I wonder if he even realizes where he is."
Leary shrugged. "Who knows? Let's just bring him in."
The two officers got back in the cruiser. As the doors shut, they pulled away, leaving the firefighters behind to continue fighting the blaze that had engulfed the once stately mansion.
One month after the incident... June, 1988
Dr. James Turner sat back in his chair with a sigh. The current case he was working on was certainly baffling. He lit a cigarette and puffed away for a minute or two, lost in thought, then opened up the file folder on patient #6504, Rick Taylor.
When they'd brought Rick to the Belmont Home for the Emotionally Troubled a month ago, he had been completely mute. Nothing that anyone could say to him would get him to say anything - even when the report had come in that he was the prime suspect in a missing persons case. The person missing was a college student named Jennifer Willis. According to what the police knew, the two had been dating - but according to their family and friends, they had had nothing but a very loving and caring relationship. Very rarely had anyone seen them display any kind of anger or hostility toward each other. The last time anyone had heard from Jennifer, though, was the night she disappeared. She had told her roommate that she and Rick were doing a joint term paper on Dr. Herbert West, an expert in the field of parapsychology - which she and Rick were both majoring in. According to her roommate, they were going out to West Mansion (which had been West's residence until he disappeared) that night to do some research. The last time anyone had seen Jennifer was when Rick had come to pick her up.
She and Rick were both reported missing two days later. Rick, of course, had been immediately located in the custody of the police. There was no sign of Jennifer, though. The police forensics team had swept the ruins of the mansion and found no human remains, but Rick remained the prime suspect in her disappearance. All attempts to question him had been in vain, as he still would not say anything. He kept staring straight ahead, with that dead, glassy look in his eyes. The police interrogators could get nothing out of him, despite their best efforts. Finally, he'd been brought here, and Dr. Turner had been assigned to work on the case.
Turner dropped Rick's file on the desk and picked up another file, much older than the one on Rick. He'd heard a lot about Dr. West over the years, and when he'd found that West Mansion was where Rick had been, he dug out the old files on West. Strange stuff indeed... West had been highly respected in his field, but not given much respect anywhere else. Some of his theories were considered to be highly questionable at best, and had more than once made him the laughingstock of the scientific community. Until his disappearance in 1963, though, he was just considered a harmless crackpot.
The search for West had gone on for a week, but nothing had been found. His mansion had been searched from top to bottom, but no trace of him had turned up. All of his personal belongings were in place, his car was in the garage... it was like he'd just vanished into thin air. After months of investigation, the case was officially labeled unsolved, and had been closed.
It was shortly after that that the rumors had started.
Several of West's colleagues claimed that he said he'd been onto something big shortly before he'd disappeared. They were talking about things like other dimensions, experiments in black magic, and research into arcane and forgotten cults. One of the cults which West was said to have been fascinated with was the Brotherhood of Hecate, a group that had, according to some, been responsible for the Great Fire of London in 1834. It was rumored that they had experimented with bringing the dead back to life and creating monsters. West had done a lot of research on them, even journeying to England at one point to see what else he could find out about them.
West had also been fascinated with the darker side of Mexico's history. Shortly before his disappearance, he had taken a trip to Mexico and participated in an archeological dig. According to one of his closest friends, one Dr. Edward Mueller, on West's return he had been absolutely ecstatic about a discovery he'd made while he was there. He refused to elaborate as to exactly what this discovery was, but he did say that after doing research on it, he would publish a paper describing his discovery in detail. It was right after that that he'd vanished.
Turner sighed and threw the folder on West onto his desk. All that was ancient history, of course. He turned his attention back to the file on Rick. Everything looked completely normal. Stable family life, fairly normal childhood, there was nothing traumatic in his files at all. He had no previous police record, either. There was very little on him. Still, Turner had heard of seemingly normal people snapping for some reason or another. He didn't think that was the case with Rick, though. Just call it a hunch, he thought to himself. But one thing was obvious - something had caused him to go completely mute. Either his feelings of guilt were so powerful that they'd caused his mind to snap, or something else completely horrible had happened to him - and until he started talking again, there was no way to tell for sure.
Turner got up from behind his desk and snuffed out his cigarette, then walked out into the hallway. It was time for his daily session with Rick. So far, these sessions had been completely uninformative, but he continued with them, hoping that something would break through the shell that had closed over Rick's mind.
Halfway down the hallway, he stopped. There were two police lieutenants headed toward him, both of which that Turner recognized. They had both been working on this case for quite some time, and the only reason that they were here now, Turner realized, was so that they could try to get him to get information out of Rick. They stopped about three feet in front of him.
"Dr. Turner," the taller one of the two said.
"Lieutentant Manthey, Lieutenant Loker," Turner said in return. "What brings you both here today, as if I didn't know?"
"The usual," the taller one, Loker, replied. "Have you made any progress with Taylor?"
"Step into my office," Turner said, indicating the room he'd just left. Without another word, the three of them stepped back into the office. Turner sat down and lit another cigarette. He took a few puffs, then spoke.
"There have been no changes at all in the patient," he said. "He remains exactly the way he was when you brought him in."
"Something needs to give soon," Manthey snapped. "The DA's office wants a confession from him... hell, at this point, they want anything from him. This constant silence from him is not sitting well with Ms. Willis' family... and I don't think I need to remind you exactly who her father is."
Turner stood up and began pacing. "What exactly are you asking me to do?" he asked.
"Get something out of this guy," Loker said. "Do whatever it takes."
Turner whirled around and marched straight up to Loker.
"I will not endanger my patient's mental health any more than it already has been. I have a responsibility to him and his well being, and I will not try to force him out of his shell before he's ready to come out - for you, Senator Willis, or even God himself," he spat, staring directly at Loker. "Something's scarred him very badly, and he needs time to work through it. I can't rush him."
"Regardless," Manthey said, "you need to get him to talk, and soon - or they're going to put someone a little less understanding than you on this case." Turner glared at him.
"You are overstepping your authority here, Lieutenant. I will inform you when any progress has been made - no sooner," Turner said, his eyes focused on Manthey. "In fact, I'm late for my daily session with him. If you'll excuse me, gentlemen."
Loker and Manthey looked at each other, then Loker nodded. Turner opened the door, and the three of them walked out into the hallway. He turned and headed toward Rick's room, while the two lietenants headed for the exit.
* * *
"Rick," Turner said softly. He was seated in a chair in Rick's room. Rick was staring at the wall, just like he had been ever since he had been brought in. He would accept food when it was brought to him, he would sleep at night, but that was it. The rest of the time, he stared at the wall, focused on some other place entirely.
"Rick," Turner said again. "I have to ask you some more questions about Jennifer. Can you hear me, Rick?"
Rick still said nothing, although for some reason Turner thought he saw Rick's head move slightly. Turner took a close look at him, and was about to start asking another question when Rick's lips moved slightly.
"Jen..." he said, the word almost inaudible. Turner practically bolted out of his chair, but stopped at the last second, not wanting to startle Rick.
"What did you say, Rick?" he asked gently, almost not believing his ears.
Rick slowly turned his head toward Turner, his mouth forming the same word again. "Jen," he repeated just as quietly.
"What about her, Rick? What about Jen?" Turner asked quietly.
Rick shook his head slowly. The glassy look in his eyes seemed to have dissipated slightly.
"Make it stop," he whispered. "Send it away."
Turner was completely puzzled. "What, Rick? Send what away?"
Rick said nothing for several minutes, as if going over something in his mind, debating about whether or not to say what he was thinking. Finally he spoke.
"It talks to me," Rick continued, just as quietly as before. "It taunts me... tempts me..."
His voice was rising as he spoke. Turner listened intently.
"It's inside my head... it wants me back... GOD, MAKE IT STOP!!!" Rick suddenly screamed. He stood straight up, turned towards Turner - and in a flash he was on top of him, clawing at his shirt collar. He was making no sense to Turner, who had slammed the button for help as soon as Rick had screamed. Almost instantly two orderlies charged in and grabbed Rick, trying their best to restrain him. His head swiveled wildly from side to side, his eyes alive with terror. He continued to have a death grip on Turner's collar, though.
"It wants me back... make it leave me alone!" he pleaded, despite the efforts of the orderlies to restrain him. The look in his eyes changed suddenly... it was no longer a look of abject terror, but rather the look of a man that had just lost his very soul. "Jennifer... oh god, Jennifer!" he cried, suddenly releasing Turner's shirt. He crumpled to the ground, sobbing. One of the orderlies pinned him down, while the other pulled out a syringe full of a sedative and proceeded to inject Rick with it. Almost instantly he lapsed into unconsciousness.
Turner straightened out his shirt as the orderlies stood up. "Get a straightjacket," Turner said. One of the orderlies rushed out to get one while the other stood there, ready for action in case somehow Rick shook off the effects of the sedative.
I think he's almost ready to come out of his shell, Turner thought.