Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 45

This weeks prompt photo was taken by Dennis Gerbeckx and was taken in Beelitz Heilst├Ątten, an abandoned sanatorium South West of Berlin, in Germany. Dennis has captured many pictures of this place and has them in a gallery on Flicker. 

I thought it was time for something darker. And, for me, the trick of the darkness is leaving the details to the readers imagination.

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

Self Persecution

It didn’t look any different to me. There might be mould on the floor, the material on the surgical bed might have gone slimy, the entire room might be in the final throws of decay, but it felt the same. I could feel the anger and fear rise as I stood there, the only sensation I associated with this room and that bed.

I walked round, feeling the remains of the room crunch underfoot, and looked at the overhead light. The bulbs were gone, but not the memory of how it would shine into my eyes as I lay there strapped up, unable to move, my head locked in. Some days even my eyelids were propped open, the glare never leaving me, for days the imprint across my vision making it hard to see anything – not that there was much to see in the hole they left me in, between times.

I stumbled forward, tripping over ceiling tiles as I fought to keep a hold of my emotions, but my stomach was churning. If I had eaten anything it might have decided to return, but I hadn’t been foolish enough to do that. I knew that coming here would be hard, especially on my sensitive digestive system, damaged after years of abuse; the experimental drugs they would try out on me, the biopsies of tissues for their studies, and the lack of nutrition through the years I had been kept here.

My mind screamed at me, ‘What are you doing here?!’ but I refused to flee, not this time. Not anymore. Although this time if I chose to flee I wouldn’t be hunted down and recaptured and punished further. I would be free to run and run and run. I could feel the adrenaline ramping up in my body, my legs itching to take me. But I stayed where I was. I had to do this; I had to kill the ghost that haunted me.

Twenty years on I was still lucky if I managed to have a full night’s sleep without the dreams, the nightmares, the terrors that would have me wake up screaming and running out of the house. It was only once I hit the stream at the bottom of the garden that I would wake to find that it wasn’t my reality anymore, that it was over.

I had been told the place had been shut down, that they had closed it up and it had been left to rot. A part of me just wouldn’t believe it, I had to see it for myself. I had to walk the halls again (what was left of them), and know in my bones that it was over, that it was finished, that the torture of the children that had been here was over.

I had attended all the court hearings the year before. Faced my tormentors, looked them in the eye and let them know they hadn’t broken me like they had broken so many others. And knowing they would never see the light of day again had served to quell some of my fears: I knew that they would never be able to do to another what they did to me. I knew that no one would resurrect the so called ‘research’ they claimed to be doing. The case had been so notorious the public had turned up when they had cleared the contents of the offices; they had burned everything, creating a massive bonfire on the lawn. All the newspapers had covered it. Twenty years on you could still see the scold mark on the ground.

But being here, in the rooms that were my torture chambers, I was able to see in person that they were empty and decaying, never to be used again. The demolition notices were plastered all over the front. Soon it would only be rubble. This was my last chance to try and find some peace, some kind of reconciliation in my mind about the horrors of my youth here. Standing here I realised that it couldn’t be found in a rotting old surgical bed, that it could only be found in my soul. I had to release it and attempt to forgive myself for letting it happen in the first place, & continuing the persecution in my mind.


  1. Ye gods! That was one of the most nerve-jangling things I've read in years.

    1. Thank you! ;-) It was time for something darker! LOL

  2. I just wanted to let you know I haven't disappeared, and I still check you mid-week challenges when I can (you've had some great pictures), but finding time to write anything longer than this comment has been impossible for the last 3-4 week. My work schedule has been unbelievable... But keep posting the challenges. I'll be back. Someday...

    1. I look forward to it Kev. And I will keep you in the loop.

  3. Time I got mine done! Be right back xxxxx

  4. Sorry I'm a day late. Story was painful to write. Ties in with that story. The one I may never share with the world...

    The Ruins