The Patient

A Short Story

Back in 1866, at the old Mulberry Psychiatric Hospital in London, there was a strange doctor who went by the name of Dr. Strum. He was known for being kind and caring for his patients, which was very unique and extremely rare at the time. For this reason, he was quite popular amongst the young patients. It is advised for doctors to not get too attached to their patients, he had broken that rule. Over time, Dr Strum had become tremendously fascinated, even obsessed, with treating a certain prepubescent, psychotic, female patient, who had been there for four-and-a-half years. She had elegant dark brown eyes, long flaxen hair and soft rosy cheeks and doll-like features. Dr Strum was so entranced by the young girl to the point he where he could no longer focus on anything else but her.

“You’re too attached to this patient, sir.... It’s ruining your health…. You’ve been so obsessed that you haven’t left this building in days!” declared the other faculty members to Dr Strum. They would also warn him: “You should be careful Dr Strum…. she is borderline insane……! No one would admit this but really we have no idea what’s wrong with her.” Their warning never reached Dr Sturm as he still visited the young patient.

She would normally come off as sad and dismal, and would spend most of her time staring out of the barred-up window, or playing and having conversations with her battered old doll that resembled Frankenstein remarkably well. She never talked to any of the other patients or to any of the other staff members. At other times, she could quickly turn into a whirlwind of energy and poor judgment. She also saw things that were not there. None of the other patients ever displayed traits like hers. Despite this, not only was the doctor convinced he could help her, but he also believed that he was making progress.

There was one question that Dr. Strum wanted to know. It bugged him day and night since he first met the patient the day she was first checked in.

“Why? Why did you kill them all?” Dr. Strum asked her one day during his daily rounds. The one question that was bugging day and night.

“Why not? It was fun. And I would do it again if I could,” she retorted while a slight smile crept across on her face, “I just like I killed that nurse that was just here earlier this morning. She was so sweet and naive. I bet she is new around here because I haven't her before.” She then burst into laughter. Dr. Strum turned around only to see a nurse covered in blood, with her eyes still wide open in shock and hanging on a coat hook behind the door. The girl stood up and slowly started to walk towards the doctor with her hands behind her back, holding one of the bars from the window. She had this dark demeanor that surrounded her. It could frighten anyone around her. Dr. Strum could hear his heart pounding in his chest as her soft footsteps echoed around the room. Dr. Strum back hit the wall.

“Did you really think you could ‘cure’ me?” She asked the Doctor as she swung a metal bar striking him on the back of the head. As he lay on the ground unconscious, she giggled, “You just lost the game of life.” The patient skipped down the hallway with a smile on her face.

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The Patient
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