The CastleMature

When I was not bound to the delirium of memory, I would gaze out at the other buildings on the sprawling campus. The Male Ward was part of the original complex and central administration buildings, but due to the rapid expansion and sudden rise of inpatients it was converted to house the male wards. Because it was one of the first buildings built on the property, it was constructed with Medina sandstone, which gave it it’s characteristically dark crimson color.

Hospital jargon labeled it as ’the Castle’ for it’s Gothic Romanesque towers and sharp peaks, which spiraled into two characteristic central towers. It was rumored that the most violent, volatile patients were housed on the top floors of these towers, as far away from the central administration on the ground floor as they possibly could be. The uppermost floor of the tower was the ninth floor, where the most bloodthirsty lunatics were said to lurk, restrained in solitary confinement and confined to their own madness. The edifice sat like a large jagged stain on the horizon, as if a part of the sky above was torn away to expose the blackness hidden underneath.

 Each building of the Institution had a sloped copper plated roof, giving it a rustic, sickly green color as the metal oxidized over time. With more patients being admitted every month, there was always construction as more buildings were hastily thrown together, rebar and concrete manifestations of the state’s dire need to house the ‘sick and or incorrigible‘. During the day and sometimes into the night, the howling of patients was accented with the staccato banging of hammers and the hum of machinery. It was a horrible melody, one I would never forget, as it echoed across the grounds and reverberated through the chipped and broken walls.

The End

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