The Descent Into Madness

A short horror story I wrote about Robert Stone, a patient at applegate asylum.

I find myself awake, the room is dull,
cold and silent. The room is square and small, dank stone walls and floors, a
small barred window beside my bed. I glance outside and see a pleasant morning
sky, the people below hurrying to their destinations, stopping to chat with a
friend, not even glancing up. A bird flies past and out of sight. I sigh and
take out the small photo of my mother from underneath my pillow. Her face is
warm, kind, like summer. She stands outside her home, smiling cheerfully as she
holds onto the arm of nothing. The photo is torn in half, where my father
should have been, was nothing, he wasn't there for me then, why should he be
there now? I kiss my mother's face before hiding it again. I slip off my bed
and begin to scratch another line into the wall, another day. I lost count of
the days long ago and I wouldn't care to start over. My sleep was filled with
more nightmares. Always I'm running from the darkness as it snaps at my heels
and Just before I wake, I fall into the endless pit of woe. The darkness is
always near me, it threatens me, frightens me. Dr. Carter and the others have
no idea of the danger they are in, the veil here is very thin, the darkness
slowly creeps inside. There is a knock at the old door and the voice of
Charlie, the assistant doctor, sounds. "Robert? It's time to go" The
lock's click and the door swings open.

Charlie isn't very tall and he isn't the
thinnest thing out there. He smiles at me as he takes me by the arm out into
the long hallway. We proceed silently through the dark hall and we pass through
another door. A strange feeling takes hold of me and soon I feel as though I'm
slipping away. Charlie and I walk down a quiet village lane, It's not even
dawn. We pass by the quaint little cottages and he soon leads me up a narrow
alley. We arrive at the door of a small building, Charlie knocks three times
before entering. He brings me behind him and sits me at a chair in front of the
warden's desk. The office is small and covered with books and other files. The
warden is an elderly man, his skin grayed with age. He smiles at me, his teeth
are yellow and rotten. "Ah, Mr. Stone, I've been expecting you" He
opens the lid of a jar and takes out a miniature baby, the size of a thimble.
The child screams as the warden eats it, he offers me one. I refuse kindly and
the warden places the jar in his desk. "How have you been? did you rest
well?" There is a flicker of movement to my right, a shadow? I cough
slightly. "I've been well enough, the dreams are still there" The
warden takes notes in his ledger and nods to me. "I see" The shadow
flickers again, this time closer to the warden. I shift in my seat, the warden
notices. " Something wrong, Robert?" I bite my lip and point in the
direction in which I saw the shadow. "T-there's something there" the
warden looks and shakes his head. "I don't see anything" The shadow
flashes behind him and he inhales it. I start to sweat and become more nervous.
"T-the d-darkness" The last word is barely a whisper. The warden
looks at me, his eyes dark and hollow. He says something but I do not
understand it's meaning. There is a sharp ringing in my ears that grows louder
and louder. I fall off of my chair and crawl into the corner. The warden stands
up and approaches me, cracking his knuckles. I can only make out two words.
" Kill you". I scream and close my eyes for fear of what I might see.
The ringing grows louder until it makes my ears bleed, I continue to scream and
thrash about until there is only silence. I open my eyes to see Dr. Carter
helping me stand up. He sits me in my chair and offers me another piece of
chocolate. After calming down he hands me a tiny cup filled with a clear
liquid. I drink the liquid quickly and Dr. carter smiles at me as he asks
Charlie to assist me back to my room. On the way out I catch a glimpse of a
sullen woman being led into Dr. carter's office, she drops a slip of paper and
I pretend to stumble as I pick up the note. Once in my chamber I lie on my bed
and stare at the ceiling. I unfold the piece of paper in my hands and begin to
read quietly to myself. "
here! "

 I gasp and throw the note into a dark
corner. The note begins to smoke and soon a figure forms in the smoke and
smiles to me. The figure's eyes are hollow and cold. " Robert" It
wails to me. "You knew I was coming for you, are you ready?" I cry
and turn away, I cover my ears and close my eyes, trying to pretend the figure
isn't there. I feel the figure's hand upon my shoulder, it whispers to me.
"Come now, Robert" I shake my head and edge away from the hand,
falling out of my bed and onto the cold floor. I scramble underneath and
whimper to myself. The figure finds me and whispers again. "Come now, the
descent is easy" The figure draws ever closer to me, so near that I feel
it's cold breath on my skin. It wraps me in a cool embrace as I try to fight it
off, the figure smiles at me and opens its mouth revealing a gaping black hole.
I am swallowed up by the darkness and soon I see nothing, hear nothing.

I am looking outside the large window
of the visitor area, the weather is gloomy and raining. Mother is visiting
today, she always visits me on my birthday. Dr. Carter stands beside me and
leads me into the room where I see my mother sitting at a table. She smiles
when she sees me and I hug her tightly. "Mother!" I whisper softly
into her ear, the smell of her hair is like apples. She wipes tears from her
eyes and sits down again. "I've missed you Robert, I brought you
something" She pulls out her handbag and proceeds to take out a boat made
of newspaper. "You loved these as a child, we made them together" I
smile as I hold the boat in my hands. Tears spring from my eyes and I don't try
to wipe them. I place the boat on the table and kiss my mother's cheek. She
tells me how much she loves me, how she wishes I could come home.  Soon, Dr. carter asks to speak with her and
they step outside. I can see them through the window but I cannot hear their
voices. Dr. Carter is explaining something to my mother, my mother gasps and
shakes her head. Dr. Carter begins to talk more and my mother begins to cry.
Dr. carter places a hand on her shoulder and tries to calm her. She looks at me
and I wave. "Please don't cry" I say. My mother looks to Dr. Carter
again and sighs, nodding. She waves to me and blows me a kiss then she walks
away. Dr. Carter walks in, smiling. "Robert, Today we'd like to try
something different" I look at him calmly. "What do you mean?" I
ask him Dr. Carter sighs and furrows his brows. "Well, we'd like to give
you something called...shock therapy" 
I close my eyes and imagine little lightning bolts. "What's that
going to do?" Dr. Carter begins to pace. "Well, we give you brain a
small shock and it should help stop your dreams, for a little while
anyways" I almost jumped from my chair. " Stop my dreams?
Really?" Dr. carter nods. "Yes, it might help, we could try it
now" I nod my head and Dr. Carter proceeds to take me down to the
operating rooms.

 The room is large and cold, there is a table in the center
with surgical tools nearby. I lie down on the table as the Dr. prepares the
treatment. He counts down slowly from A quick bolt of
energy races through my mind and soon my vision blurs, Once again, I see

 I awake in a room that is cold, the walls are
dank and scratched. Where am I? I do not know this place. I peer out the barred
window and recoil in fear. Outside is a man hanging from a silver cord, his
body mutilated monstrously. I regain my composure and approach the old door. I
push it open with ease and proceed down the hallway. I hear the occasional
scream and feel a cold breeze. I walk towards Dr. Carter's office and find the
door ajar. I enter the room and shudder. It has been destroyed as though a
tornado and come through it. Books were all over the place and there was
something scrawled over the wall. Something in a warm, red liquid. "WE WAIT" I remove myself from the office and run down
the hallway, a chorus of "we wait!" singing in my ears. I stop to
catch my breath and peer into another patient's room. The walls are smeared
with the same red liquid and a corpse is lying on the bed as though she were
sleeping. I continue down the hallway and entered the visitors area. I hear my
mother's laughter and turn to see her in the window of the room we once sat in.
She smiles at me, her teeth are black and sickening. She holds a paper boat
that is soaked in blood. She laughs again and fades into darkness. Words are
scrawled in the window. "WE
WATCH" I flee from the area and race down the
stairs towards the operating room, my mother's laughter echoing loudly. The
room is foggy and eerie. On the operating table lies a man, his face is twisted
in horror. A knife had been plunged into his chest. I recognize the man as my
father and the knife as a present he'd given me as a boy. Words were scrawled
along the wall, much more fresh. "WE KNOW"

cry out as I scramble towards the exit. I burst through the doors and find
myself in the courtyard of the asylum. In the center of the place is a large
willow tree. Hanging from the tree is Dr. Carter, his face smiling. Carved into
the tree are the words. "
ARE YOU HAPPY?" I fly through the
night out onto the road and run towards an old house, my house. Once inside I hear
an eerie melody from upstairs. Entranced, I followed the music upstairs and
into my old bedroom. A figure in a harlequin mask greets me and asks me to sit.
I do as it asks and it smiles to me. "Who are you?" I demand. The
figure shakes his head and points to three cards on the table. He wants me to
chose a card. I choose the middle card and I lift it up. It's a Joker with a
bleeding head. The card turns to smoke in my hand and the figure looks at me
carefully. He removes his mask and I see my own face smiling back at me. The
house falls apart and crumbles away into dust, I find myself at the gallows, a
crowd jeering at me. I close my eyes as the lever is pulled and I fall through
the door, and I see nothing.

I awake in my cold room, the familiar
dank walls are scratched and comforting. I scratch in another day. Satisfied, I
step back and look at my work. Years of scratching away at this wall and I've
finally finished. I slide down to sit on the floor and look up at my
masterpiece. I pick up a small piece of paper and read it. "There is
nothing to fear" It says. I chuckle and toss it aside. I smile to myself
as the darkness fills my room, swallowing me. I catch one last glimpse at my
wall. the words repeating themselves over and over. "THE DESCENT IS EASY, THE DESCENT IS

The End

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