A sudden loud noise woke him up. Rahul looked at the general ward 2C which he on night duty. Ward 2C was a small room, congested with ten beds, five on each end and a narrow gap in the center for the doctors and nurses to walk through, the ward was located at the extreme end of the hallway and was isolated from the other wards. The doctors rarely visited this ward, and send their assistants to check on the patients, the postgraduates who are mostly busy with their main patients fake the report of this ward. But every month there is one postgraduate posted there, for duty. This one month he has to stay there, day and night. And this month it was Rahul’s turn and it was his first night duty.
He saw nothing wrong with the ward, all the ten patients in their beds, he saw at the right corner, last bed, it was a woman in her early twenties who had an above knee right leg amputation just this afternoon. She tried ending her life after facing years of continuous domestic violence from her husband but only partially succeeded. She was in pain and she couldn’t sleep. Maybe she made some noise while rolling over.
Off the ten patients, three of them were recovering from amputation surgeries, all of them diabetic and trauma. Three of them were chronic ulcer cases, one of the patient was suffering a huge burn ulcer on his thighs and abdomen for a year. This occurred when his house caught fire, as he escaped the house with his wife, her cloth caught fire. As an emergency precaution he threw her to the ground and rolled her, but the fire was still there and she was burning, in desperation to save his wife he threw himself on her body and tried to extinguish by rubbing his body on her. It worked but the damage had been caused and she died of the complications. Tilak had been in the ward ever since.
The rest were cases of varicose veins or tumours.
Rahul put his head down again and back to sleep. Last night also he was posted for duty, but he had escaped out with Isha. They had just starting going out since a month and last night was they had a lot of fun. Today unfortunately, he couldn’t escape as his seniors were posted in the same floor which was situated at the exit. He didn’t want to be caught and serve extra time in ward 2C. He just wanted to get this over with. But the ward had other plans for him.
He was again woken up by a loud sound. This time it was the sound of the door banging shut. Rahul was completely awake now. The ward had only one door. He checked the door, he couldn’t open it, he tried pushing it, kicked it a few times, but it was tight shut. Maybe it was stuck. The hospital being a government hospital was as expected to show little or no maintainance.
He tried calling the nurse who was also posted there, she was in the adjacent connecting room but there was no response.
As he walked back to his desk, he noticed something missing in the ward. He looked closely at the ward.
The last bed at the right corner was empty, the amputated woman was not there.
Rahul felt a cold chill slowly run along his spine. She had escaped and locked the door from outside, he had to face the consequences of this. And he knew how his profs were, they would literally murder him.
He again tried pushing the door, he tried harder and harder, he kicked it, banged the door multiple times, he was getting desperate now. He was sweating profusely, his shirt had become wet.
“Aahhhhhhh” suddenly he heard a scream coming from the nurse room.
Rahul stood there near the door, his back to the door. He didn’t run to the room. He knew something was wrong and dangerous.
He stood at the door, breathing loudly, hoping he didn’t a second scream.
“Aaaahhhhh……..aaahhhhhh………No noooo” her screams were louder and more painful.
Rahul slowly walked towards the room. It was close to his desk.
The door was open slightly. He was really scared now, sweat was flowing form his face.
He pushed the door, at the corner she found the nurse.
It was a horrific sight for him. The nurse had two long syringes pierced through her ears. A thick needle passing through her cheeks from right to left. A long syringe was loosely hanging from her neck, it wasn’t deep enough to injure her corotids but she was bleeding and it looked painful. There were syringes all over her body, all of them superficial as if she was poked to torture. Three of them on her breasts, and double of them around her abdomen. Her white duty dress was almost completely red with blood.
Rahul quickly ran to her. She was kneeling down on the floor, her hands were free but she couldn’t pull out the syringes herself. It would be very painful.
The nurse was terrified and crying, Rahul was expecting an answer as to who did this to her.
She slowly pointed to the direction of the wards.
Rahul turned back, he decided to go back again.
This time he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. All the ten beds were empty.
Rahul took a few steps back, he lost balance and fell on the ground.
He hurt his head but quickly recovered, he was feeling a little dizzy.
The lights started to flicker. He couldn’t do anything now. The lights went off and came back with a much lower voltage. The ward was dark and Rahul’s could see clearly now. He noticed a figure standing at the end of the ward. After his accommodation recovered, he saw her. She was standing on her both hands, he left leg was up and flexed at the knee, amputed leg wound was open, no bandage cover. Blood was dripping from it. Her face was completely extended to look forward. The neck was stretched back and inverted. It made a complete U turn. Her lips were dark black, her eyes had become brick red. Her hair was wet from the blood dripping from her left leg.
She moved her left hand forward, she was coming towards him. She was handwalking to him, even though she looked out of balance, she slowly made it closer. Rahul just stood to his spot. He had nowhere to hide. He didn’t want to lock himself in the nurse room. His heart was pounding, his breathing became louder and uneven.
“What do you want…….” he asked. Maybe he could talk to her and make himself a little more comfortable.
She didn’t reply, came closer and stood at the middle of the room, her hair which was touching the ground left a trail of blood across the room.
“You did this to me…….”she said and smiled. Her teeth were black and old for her age. She didn’t seem too serious about her state, she was more interested in torturing the young man. She just wanted a reason to do it.
“I didn’t do anything. I’m just doing my duty. I’m sorry” it was better to bow down and apologise.
She liked it. She like it when people were scared. Their fear was her pleasure.
Her smile became more wide.
“You have to suffer for what you did, just like my husband” her smile was continuous. She was enjoying herself.
“No……” Rahul kept going back.
“You have killed and given pain to a lot of people. Now it’s your turn”
He felt something behind him.
He slowly turned around.
The rest of the patient stood in front of him, all red eyed, the amputees on their hands, some supported by the others carried on their backs, some of them crawling. They were no more the weak and dying. They were powerful and terrifying now. But right in front was the nurse. The needles still pierced on her. All of them had a wide smile on their faces. Each of them had needles with them.
He heard the woman laughing in the background. It faded out eventually.