THE FESTIVAL OF SAMHAIN
CHAPTER 10- A DESPERATE APPEAL
Early that evening, at the Smith's Grove Warren County Sanitarium, all was quiet.
The hallways were so polished and serene, you could hear a pin drop. All the patients were safely nestled into their rooms. All the doctors were either off site or in their offices, and the two remaining nurses were going over paperwork at their station on the first floor. Only Max, the rotund security guard, was visible at the far end of the hall, and even he was half-asleep.
All of a sudden, like a cricket breaking the silence of the night, a door opened and out stepped Carl, the orderly, who was rubbing hand sanitizing lotion on his hands with a clipboard nestled snuggly under his arm.
The middle-aged and twig-like Carl Harris, yawning from the exhaustion of yet another double shift, made his way down the hall, the rubber soles of his sneakers squeaking off of the floor. After walking down the hall in a steady pace, he reached Max, who sat up straight and tried to look lively when he noticed him.
"Carl, you're still here?" the guard said in his gravelly voice.
"Yeah, man, I have to escort Dr. Starks to see a patient, then I'm outta here," Carl informed him. "The strip club awaits. Here's the paperwork. It's cell 3A. John Loomis."
"John Loomis?" Max inquired.
"Are you sure?"
"Did I stutter?"
"You do know what today is, don't you?"
Carl groaned and rolled his eyes, becoming increasingly annoyed with the guard. "Come on, man, that party ain't gonna wait all night. Get off yo ass and help me do this so I can bounce. Avery will be here soon to take over."
"Alright, alright, hold your horses," Max replied, laboring to get to his feet.
As Max escorted Carl back down the hall toward room 3A, his key ring repeatedly clanged against his belt buckle, aggravating Carl even further.
He sighed but soon realized they were outside of room 3A as they stared at the black name plate with white letters:
At the same time, joining them from the opposite hallway was Dr. David Starks, who exchanged a nod with Carl to open the door.
And very slowly and deliberately, Carl yanked on the heavy, large metal door, and it opened with a loud creak, echoing in the otherwise quiet corridor of the sanitarium.
Inside his cell, lying across his bed, was Dr. John Loomis, thoroughly engrossed in a copy of Anthony Burgess' classic novel 'A Clockwork Orange'.
Dr. Starks entered first, followed by Max and then Carl, who closed the door behind them. Max and Carl stayed behind at the doorway, while Starks slowly walked toward his patient and pulled up a chair, carrying the clipboard that Carl had procured for him.
"What was it you used to say? He looks like a man, but he’s not human. He thinks like a man, yet no man thinks like him?" Dr. Starks stated, hoping he could get his former colleague to speak.
Loomis didn't say a word. He just set his book down on its spine and sat up on the bed, holding his arms out for the guard to incapacitate him. Max then stepped forward and wasted no time slapping the handcuffs over Loomis with a click, then a clack as he locked them in place tightly before retreating back to his perch at the door with Carl.
"He, quote, bleeds like a man, but he doesn’t die like a man dies, unquote. Right?" Starks continued.
The grizzled Loomis was unfazed, however. He just looked up at him with blank, empty eyes and remained motionless.
"You were talking about Michael Myers," Starks continued, badgering him to break his silence. "The successfully rehabilitated Michael Myers, might I add. Am I right? Nod damn you!"
Loomis, rapidly filling with rage inside, slowly moved his head up and down in agreement. Though Starks couldn't tell, his adversary was in deep thought, trying to get a read on just where this little meeting was going.
"You're not fooling me, you know that?" Dr. Starks called out. "Things have been quiet all over the state since you've been here. You may have the others tricked with your well-acted position of indifference, but not me. Nuh-uh. Not me. You said Michael Myers was the most dangerous patient you've ever observed? Well, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on that diagnosis. YOU, John, are the most dangerous patient I have ever observed. Not Michael Myers."
The normally stoic Loomis began to stir on his bed, struggling to contain his emotions.
Starks, meanwhile, knew he'd struck a nerve and smiled out of the corner of his mouth as he continued with the crux of his meeting. "I'm sure you've heard by now, the governor has cut our funding to almost nothing. And with our declining patient population, the state simply couldn't afford to support this institution any longer. So, John, they're shutting us down. The few of you who remain will be transferred to either the rehabilitative facility in Santa Mira, or the maximum security ward in Ridgemont, per my recommendation. You, John, will be among the latter."
Knowing what that meant for his future, Loomis, unable to contain himself, sprang up from his bed and lunged at Starks, but was quickly reprimanded by Max, who bolted forward and clubbed him twice in the back with his baton.
"HE killed that young girl!" Loomis shrieked, referring to Madison Mauberry. "You know it. I know it. THEY know it. Michael Myers is still out there, David. And many more innocents are going to be slaughtered unless we stop him!!!"
"Easy there, soldier," Max interjected, forcing him back onto his mattress with Carl's help.
"Ah, there he is," Starks laughed in triumph. "That's the John Loomis I remember. You two just witnessed what he is capable of. And why he needs to be under lock and key 24/7. He's a danger to us. A danger to society. And, most importantly, a danger to himself. No telling what he'd do if he was placed back into the real world."
"YOU'RE A FUCKING IDIOT, YOU KNOW THAT?!" Loomis blurted out, to the surprise of all three in the room. "Can't you see that he's lying to cover his own ass?"
Carl and Max, ever diligent, stood there in disbelief and did not respond, but Loomis sure continued.
"What's your problem, Dave? What's the grudge you've been holding against me all these years? Is it because my scores were higher in medical school? Because I served my country faithfully during Vietnam, while you high-tailed it up north to Canada? Tell me, what did I ever do to you?"
Starks didn't reply. He just glared back at Loomis with a classic poker face, as if he and his patient were in a game of chess.
"Or was it because I was right and you were wrong about Michael Myers ten years ago? And my uncle, before me...he was right, too? Is it really worth all those innocent lives...just to prove a point? Well, David, you've proven it. Let me out of here and let's go save that little town before it's too late!"
This time, it was Loomis who had struck a nerve. Starks reached out and slapped Loomis hard across the face, but the aging doctor shook it off with relative ease and continued to stare his rival directly in the eyes.
"You guys just saw what HE is capable of," Loomis mumbled, finally calming down in retreat. "And I'M the crazy one?"
"Loomis, I brought you in here as a professional courtesy to let you know ahead of time before they transport your ass to Ridgemont," Starks informed him. "And this is how you repay me? Carl, I want him sedated with a double shot of thorazine. He needs to be nice and docile so there are no issues with his transfer."
"Yes, sir," Carl responded dutifully. "I'll leave it for Margery."
"Very good Carl," Starks replied, making a note on Loomis' paperwork. "Just one more thing."
"What's that?" Max inquired, noticing Dr. Starks pulling out a hypodermic needle.
"Just so he doesn't decide to pull any Halloween shit tonight."
"He'll barely be able to stand up," Max realized.
"That's the idea," Starks calmly responded, smiling as he pulled the cap off of the syringe. "Hold him."
Loomis, fighting with all the strength he had left, managed to push Carl back against the wall and tackle Max to the ground, but it wasn't nearly enough. It wasn't long before the numbers game caught up to Loomis, and the three men managed to gain the upper hand and subdue him enough for Starks to get the needle into his arm.
"There, that ought to do it," Starks stated, clearly satisfied with himself as Loomis went limp. "Let's get out of here."
"Oh, and...Happy Halloween..."
Carl and Max each grabbed an arm and tossed the motionless patient down onto his bed face-first with a thud and exited, locking the door behind them as they left.
Proceed To Chapter 11
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