The Deal: Muirmill Asylum Part 3

Friday, 15 January 2016


One thing I was grateful for was the fact the daylight was able to shine inside and I could see pretty much everywhere I went. That was only a good thing considering there was possibly a Grimoyle stalking around looking for a hidden artefact.
   As I moved further inside I found it strange that even after years of being left derelict, there was still a strong and sometimes overpowering odour of bleach and disinfectant hanging in the air. It was as if even after use someone still wanted the building to be as sterile as it possibly could be.
   I stood there in the foyer unsure which direction to move in first and always listening for the sounds that would indicate something bigger than a rat was moving around the building. To my left was a small walled off area that had once been the reception desk.
   I knew there probably wouldn’t be much of anything of interest there but decided to go and take a look anyway. I had to start somewhere and if I could find something that would indicate where the records room was then it would be a good start.
   The door to the reception desk had been left hanging open, probably from the point the building was closed to the public. Inside was a long slab of wood bolted to the wall which acted as a desk. On it was a smashed up old phone and a few sheets of an admission slip strewn over it.
   On the floor more papers had been baked in to the fabric of the building. Dampness had made the fragile documents pretty much melt into the floor and even hunkering down to take a closer look yielded nothing that was legible to my mind.
   I wasn’t ready to give up though. The building had been closed down just over five years ago, which although was a long time, it still meant that at some point the state would have forced it to upgrade and follow the same health and safety rules as any normal hospital. That meant that there had to be a map somewhere, or at the very least a floor plan for visitors to navigate their way around the five floors of human hell.
   Turning my back on the reception desk I decided to take a left down the nearest hallway. I assumed that the remaining floors would be reserved for the patients so the doctor’s offices had to be on the ground floor, or at least the important ones would be.
  Sure enough I was a few feet down the hall when I came to a door with a bronze plaque neatly screwed to its deeply varnished exterior. The plaque told me I was about to enter the office of a Dr Mitchell Williams. I had no idea who he was or had been, but it was becoming obvious I was going to have to do a room by room search until I found something of use.
   I reached out and tried turning the knob. I had half expected it to be locked for some strange reason but there was a soft click and the door slowly swung open to reveal what was once the good doctors office.
   As I stepped inside, I noticed that it was quite a large room with plenty of daylight flooding in. A desk and high back leather chair took up most of the floor space with bookcases, once filled with medical literature no doubt, lining the walls like wooden sentinel’s watching over the doctors every move.
   The green, hard wearing carpet, was blotted with various stains of unknown origin and the smell of encroaching dampness was stronger in the confined space than anywhere else I would investigate in the building.
   One thing that caught me off guard was how neat the room still looked. The asylum had been laid bare to anyone wandering off the streets but it had not suffered the same levels of vandalism I saw in the elementary school.
   The bookcases where empty save one or two obscure medical volumes and if a computer had graced the fake pine desk it had been stolen long ago, but other than that nothing looked like it had been trashed out of spite or just for the hell of it.
   Just for the hell of it? The words resonated in my mind as I realised why the building was still in pretty good shape. The Grimoyle.
   I felt it was a safe bet that as soon as the human occupants moved out the winged demon had moved in. Or perhaps they were the ones who had emptied the place all those years ago when the city had decided it no longer had a use for the old nut house.
   What I found strange was that, if the story was true, it had been here all those years, still looking for that sacred artefact which would please their master, and they were never able to locate it.
   Surely these otherworldly monsters had some sort of magic bred into them which allow them to find holy and unholy items without too much of an issue. After all Satan liked to boast that he knew everything about everyone, yet he had no clue about the ancient objects left behind from the original ruler of hell.
   A lot of things just did not add up for me, but I had more than enough questions floating around in my head and I certainly did not want any more clouding my judgment. I had started the day with a mission to find out why my wife had been committed to Muirmill and that was all I was going to focus on until I got some sort of an answer.
   I could feel my gaze being drawn to the desk where Dr Williams would have sat and written his daily patient notes. The desk was almost identical to the one I had found in the kindergarten class room except it was maybe a little larger. Making my way round to where Williams would have been seated, I pulled the leather chair out of the way. Almost instantly my eyes fell on the congealed pool of blood on the seat of the chair.
   Making such a discovery at any other point in my life would have unnerved or possibly even made me feel a little afraid of what I was getting into to. But after seeing the things I had and already working under the assumption that the occupants of the asylum weren’t simply allowed to skip freely out the front doors, it actually came as no surprised.
   As I shoved the leather bound chair further out of the way until it bumped against the nearest bookcase, I imagined that the Grimoyle probably gave the good doctor a surprise lobotomy while he was typing up one last patient report.
   There was two drawers on the side of the desk, the smaller one at the top had been wrenched open and left that way to show scavengers such as myself that there was nothing in it. The bigger drawer at the bottom was still closed though, and for some reason that got my pulse going with anticipation.
   Was I going to find a nasty little surprise, like a severed head or something awful along those lines? Or could it simply be that the drawer had been closed after it was raided and all I was going to see was nothing but five years’ worth of accumulated dust?
   My palms grew slick with sweat as I reached out and grabbed the drawer handle. I only had to tug at it before it was quietly being drawn along its metal runners. I breathed a sigh of a relief as I looked down and saw there was nothing horrific to scar my mind. However the drawer wasn’t empty. A single folded sheet of white paper lay at its bottom.
   A bead of sweat rolled down my furrowed brow and dangled from the tip of my nose as I bent forward and plucked the piece of paper between fore finger and thumb. On closer inspection there did not seem to be anything out of the ordinary about the paper. It had turned a light kind of mustardy yellow from the years of being stored in the drawer and as I unfolded it I could see only a sequence of numbers neatly hand written in black in half way down the page.
   Five. Eight. Two. Zero. A simple four digit sequence which could have been used for anything ranging from the doctors credit card pin number to his computer password. Although I doubted a man of his intelligence would have been dumb enough to write such sensitive details down on a sheet of paper for anyone to find.
   What I was certain of was the fact that they did have a use. They were written down for a specific reason and as I slid the aged piece of paper into my jacket pocket, a voice in my head told me that they could be very useful at some point in time. When that time would be was another story probably, but they had meaning and a use and I was keeping them until I found out exactly what for.
   As I had been studying the four digit sequence my ears had been trained to listen out for anything suspicious. Even as I puzzled over the numbers, I could hear birds who had made their way inside to nest flapping their wings and the sound of scuttling feet belong most likely to the rats who had made the asylum their new home.
   The sound I heard above all that did not register straight away. I was still perplexed by the numbers on the paper that my mind did not give it enough to time to fully process at that moment. As I slipped the paper into my pocket I could hear the sound again.
   It was coming from the floor above. A sound like something hard scraping against the concrete walls. As I listened more intently I could hear soft thuds which sounded like large feet pacing back and forth along the hallway.
   Immediately my mind conjured up an image of an extremely pissed off Grimoyle. Pacing back and forth, unsure where to search next for his masters’ treasure, and looking for something, anything to take its frustration out on.
   I gave the office one last going over, still looking for a map that was nowhere to be found. If there was one it certainly wasn’t in the doctor’s office.
   Feeling a little frustrated I turned to head back the way I had come in and bumped against the leather chair. I held my breath as I watched it roll across the room, tilt, and then crash to the floor. The noise seemed deafening and I could feel my jaw clamp shut hard enough to make my temples throb under the pressure.
   I stood there motionless, teeth gritted, listening for the sounds of a winged demon from hell coming to get me and vent its anger and frustration on my pitiful human body. Images of being torn limb from limb flooded my mind, but after a minute of standing there my jaw began to relax and breathed more easily once I felt certain my presence had gone undetected.
   At least that was what I thought.
   I was about to take a step towards the door when out in the hallway I could hear a snort. It was the kind of sound you would expect a wolf to make as it sniffed the air, trying to pick up the scent of its prey.
   Shit! Shit! Shit!  How the winged harbinger of death had managed to move so quickly and silently was unbelievable. There had been no rush of footsteps or bellows of anger. It had moved quickly and silently like any good predator would when it was looking for something to sink its teeth into.
   I remained frozen on the spot. Listening and hoping that it would not be able to detect my presence. My hope was shattered when a large claw suddenly tore the door completely off the frame and discarded it like a used tissue. I could hear the clatter as it landed somewhere further down the hallway.
   My heart was now working at full throttle as the winged beast, flames roaring in its eyes, poked its head into the room and immediately spotted me doing my best statue impression.
   ‘Found you!’ It spoke with a deep, broken growl which told both man and beast that it wasn’t to be fucked with.
   Even though the Grimoyle’s looked big and cumbersome they were incredibly fast as the one staring at me with the venom of a thousand snakes in it eyes had just proven. Unfortunately, us humans aren’t exactly quick off the mark, especially when it comes to thinking our way out of tight situations.




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