The screen filled with the message until it was consumed, and finally shut off. Abbey sat there in dark visibly shaken when the phone rang. On the three ring, he picked it up.
“It’s good to hear your voice, Abbey.”
“Who are you and what do want?”
“Heh, you really don’t remember, do you? No matter you’ll remember soon enough.”
“Who the hell are you!”
The voice laughed and cut off only to leave an answering machine tone.
“I’m sorry but calling hours for Riverside Asylum are currently closed, please call back at 8:00 a.m. Thank you and have a nice day.”
Abbey slammed the phone back into its cradle and stormed to his bedroom. When teeth clenched he grabbed a suitcase and started to pack, no one was going to screw with him like that. As God as his witness, he would find out who’s playing him, who ever they are he’ll make sure they’ll be punished.
The Riverside Asylum was a seven-hour drive from Garigill in the small town of Millstone, Abbey drove start there without stopping. He marveled how the small town became a thick lush forest within minutes after he went through the town.
He thought he got lost, when the forest became so thick he couldn’t see through it anymore, but that doubt vanished when a welcome sign appeared.
“Welcome to Riverside Asylum. Where the ill come to be healed”
Abbey snorted as he passes the sign, “More like a place to dump your embarrassments.”
The asylum came to view within minutes after the sign, it was massive with spires that seemed to kiss the sky. Abbey drove up and parked wondering to himself if this was a good idea. He sighed as he fixed the collar of his priest robes, and made his way to the entrance.
The lobby was open with marble floors and crystal chandlers. A smiling blonde young woman sat at the front desk her hands neatly folded on it.
“Hello my name Ollie, and who might you be? How can I help you, my young priest?”
“Hi, my name is Abbey. Would be possible to talk to the director?”
“Mr. Bali? Do you have an appointment?”
“No, but I’ve traveled a long way and I really need to speak with him.” he persisted.
“By chance, are you here to apply for the position?” she asked as she nodded towards the Help Wanted sign next to her.
It read “Priest Wanted” Abbey could not believe his luck, he was a priest without a chapel. Perhaps this was God’s intention.
“Yes, that’s actually why I’m here.” he lied, partly. “My chapel is no more, but I still want to spread the word of hope and peace. The people who reside here need it more than anyone else. For they are sick, and receiving help for their physical pains. But no one is aiding their spiritual needs.”
Ollie smile and pressed a button, “Can I get a guard to escort a priest to Mr. Bali office?”
Within minutes a guard came and lead Abbey out the lobby to the core of the asylum. They passed serval rooms that held different actives for the patients, glass panels allowed insight to what was going on. From arts and crafts to swimming. Abbey smiled as he saw a woman ease herself into one of the pools, and was cheered when the water got to her ankles.
“She has aquaphobia, that’s the deepest she’s gotten in months.” the guard explained. “We strive to better all who come through those doors in search of healing.”
The guard leads him to a waiting room and asked him to stay put while he went to go get the director. Abbey sighed as he watched the clock tick by minutes than an hour.
‘What’s taking him so long? Man, I really need to go the bathroom, I don’t think they’ll mind if I go find a restroom.’ he thought to himself as he left the waiting room.
The long hall was quiet and was the same on both sides. No signs marked the doors, which was starting to irritate Abbey.
Hallway after hallway, door after door he began to wonder if this was a maze. The silence started to become eerie as even floor dared not to make noise. The noise that did break the silence was moan and a soft cry, almost too quiet to pick up.
Abbey paused head tilting as he followed the sound, it was coming from one of the rooms. He debated if he should open it, but again he heard the cry. The knob was cold in his grasp as he turns it and opened the door.
The room was dark and stunk of urine and feces but it wasn’t till he turned on the light when the full horror was exposed. A woman was strapped naked to chair her eyes gored out with electrodes embedded into her skull. She lurched as electricity surged into her. Abbey screamed and fled room praying that he could find someone to help her.
His vision blurred as ran, he had to find someone, he just had to. As if an answer to his prayer he collided with someone who wrapped him in their arms. Abbey panted against the man’s chest when he finally looks up at the man. The man was the from the evening news, his dark eyes drilled into Abbey.
You must be… Mr. Bali… I’m Abbey Davidson and there is a woman back there who need help!”
“How peculiar, a young priest wandering these halls alone one might think you are up to something. A woman you say? You mean one of the patients we take good care of them, Mr. Davidson. Though there is a problem that needs to be dealt with now, it would seem one of my patients is having a terrible psychotic break. ”
Abbey gasped as Mr. Bali slammed a needled into his neck, the serum burned when it was injected. Abbey pushed away from Mr. Bali as the hall began to tilt, while his knees buckled and he collapsed unconscious.