|The Story||The Authors|
|The Vortex had never experienced a period of extraordinary popularity in its entire century of existence. As far as one could tell the smoke stained ceilings and walls had never even seen the likes of a soapsponge or water. Once vibrant murals, now barely discernable, lurked in ominous obscurity, only giving out the shadow of strange bearded faces along the wall adjacent to the john. Through a window of lesser grime, thinned by a once hung mirror, a pair of deer type animals with strange funnel shaped antlers faced off in what appeared to be a furious rut, straight out of a Theodore Geisel, sepia nightmare. Those patrons sitting up straight and semi cognizant of their surroundings were few, outnumbered instead by their catatonic counterparts who populated this alcoholic mausoleum. The occasional tourist or curious youngsters would stroll in, only to immediately blanche and turnabout at the odious stench of staleboozedeath, not even daring a phone or lou request. All this seemed to suit Dr. Smack just fine though, as he lifted his head from the tabletop where he had passed out some four hours earlier in a gin and morphine induced minor coma. Apart from wearing the better part of a puddle of saliva on his left cheek he shook his head vigorously and felt quite relaxed. “That was quite some act old Murphy put on before,” said Dagget, handing Smack a moist bar towel to wipe his face with. “But I don’t suppose it stirred you from your beauty rest, now did it?” “I’m quite sure I know nothing of which you speak,” Smack stated handing back the bar towel and preparing for a hasty exit. “Never knew the old guy had that much energy, usually just sits there still as a Tiki god...” Smack escaped into the bracing November air and let the door slam on Dagget’s attempt at conversation. The only reason he frequented the Vortex was for its complete lack of society, a black hole where annonimity and a nice long kip was still attainable and yet all of a sudden this Dagget character decided to get chatty. Normally Smack enjoyed savoring a dirty martini while trying to recollect the shreds of his comadreams, but that damn Dagget had forced him to flee with his blabbering about Murphy and Tiki gods. “Tiki gods,” wait a minute, Smack thought I remember now–something about a woman by the name of Tiki. He massaged his temples as he strode down the leaf strewn street. Yes, a woman with the most incredible appetite for human flesh which she consumed vaginally. “Aghh, I must cut back a few ccs on my morphine doses,” he remarked to himself as he shambled toward the hospital.|
The hospital he found was a completely different one than the one he had left earlier that evening. "Why don't they renovate the goddamned East Wing, for once?" he growled, as he entered Intake Unit 1, the neon sign for which had been replaced, in its position over the door, with one which read Circle of the Exploratory Malpracticioners. Now why did they always have to do that? Changing names for no particular reason...some do-nothing beaurocrat trying to justify his job. |
No nurses were on duty at the front desk; no one appeared to be waiting in the Waiting Area; but screams issued from from the six gaping hallways which spilled themselves like innuendos into the lobby. A thick coat of dust covered everything; he shuffled through it and it rose in clouds in his wake. Bats flapped among the sputtering flourescents.
|With a loud giggle two nubile young women in white uniforms careened into the lobby pursued by two equally young men also in white uniforms. "Ooops," laughed one of the women as the quartet bumped into each other and stopped abruptly in the centre of the lobby. "It’s our month before Halloween Party," exulted one of the young men. "We’re having it now so’s we don’t have it when all the firecracker victims are brought in," volunteered the other woman with a pronounced blush, "…isn’t the dust wonderful… it’s just oatmeal and talc…. almost real don’t ya think….. is there something we can do for you?"|