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Rehabilitation (Unreviewed)

Hey everyone, this is the very first draft of a brand new story I've put together. It's a sequel to "That Awful Dripping Sound" and is meant to bring a couple of stories I've already written together into a bigger continuity. This story is experimental for me, I'm trying out a transcript style format rather than a traditional narrative. Tell me if it works or not. As always, critique and feedback is greatly appreciated. Also, I'm still getting used to the new format of the Workshop so bare with me if I screw something up.

This is a reupload to mark the story as "Unreviewed" because I couldn't figure out how to change the title of the last one, and I'm starting to doubt there even is such a mechanism. So, here's the re-upload.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

The Story

Patient Name: Howard Radley

Counselor's Name: Dr. Sheldon Winslow, MD.

Session 102 Transcript

Dr. Winslow's Preamble:

"Subject Howard Radley is still clearly traumatized, and seems to be growing even more frustrated during treatment. However, considering the circumstances, these emotions are not only understandable, they are extremely appropriate. As one of only two survivors of the Carlton Heights incident, Mr. Radley's mental anguish would already be sky-high. Between the trauma of survivor's guilt and the shock over his body's recent mutations, an extreme amount of anxiety, hopelessness and terror is only natural. Mr. Radley's anger is partially a good sign, as it signifies a sharp improvement in his cognitive abilities. It was strongly believed by medical professionals that Mr. Radley would be brain-dead once the control polyp was removed from his brain stem. Instead, he has shown remarkable growth and recovery. We hope that by the end of his treatment, Radley will be able to rejoin polite society, abiding by the strict non-disclosure agreements placed on him upon release."

It is believed that if Mr. Radley cooperates with the agency, he could be a valuable asset, giving his unique physiology and eye-witness experience with the paranormal.

Interview Transcript

(For the first fifteen minutes of the video, the patient stares blankly at the wall, occasionally moving around in his chair, coughing, or muttering himself.)

(By 00:16:31 in the footage, the doctor enters the room. Howard averts his gaze to the floor as walks towards the table and takes a seat across from him. Radley has his arms folded and his legs tightly clenched together.)

Dr. Winslow: Sorry for the wait, Howard. Something important came up.

Mr. Radley: (mumbling) It's fine.

(Dr. Winslow shuffles through the papers on his desk and clears his throat)

Dr. Winslow: How are you today, Howard?

(Mr. Radley remains silent, arms folded and head pointed toward the ground.)

Dr. Winslow: Howard?

Dr. Winslow: Howard, we've been over this before. If you just pout the whole session, we can't make any progress.

(Mr. Radley's shoulders perk up as he turns his head towards the doctor)

Mr. Radley: ... how the fuck do you think it's going?

Dr. Winslow: I don't know, Howard. That's why I asked.

Mr. Radley: Would you shut the fuck up? You know what today was like for me because every day is exactly the same for me. I wake up, I waddle to the chemical shower, I sit in the lobby with the other freak show patients and watch something like 'Kung Fu Panda' on your shitty Roku device for the umpteenth fucking time. Then I eat breakfast, I go back to my room and stare at the wall, I pick the dead boils off my skin and throw them in the trash, and then I repeat it all for the rest of the day. Once a week I get called into this stupid fucking room to answer questions you already know the answer to, and twice a month I get sedated and operated one so they can pick rotten chunks of meat off me and experiment on them. That's my life. That's been my fucking life for the past six fucking years.

Dr. Winslow: You're leaving a part of that out, Howard. How is sleep? Is it getting better?

(Mr. Radley thrashes in his seat as he waves his arms around)

Mr. Radley: [inaudible] (...) not getting fucking better! I shove twenty goddamn pills down my throat every day, and five of them are just so I can get to sleep. It isn't even sleep, it's getting knocked out. I sleep like I'm brain dead and wake up to do the same shit all over again.

Dr. Winslow: I'm asking about your dreams, Howard. You're not having the nightmares anymore?

Mr. Radley: ...No. I'm not.

Dr. Winslow: So that's an improvement, right? That's one way your life has improved?

Mr. Radley: Barely.

(Mr. Radley slumps back in his seat and groans loudly, burying his face in his hands.)

Mr. Radley: God fucking dammit. I don't wanna keep yelling. I never yelled before. My whole life I was quiet. Now I'm so fucking miserable I scream every single day. I can't stop fucking screaming. My goddamn throat hurts so much every single day.

Dr. Winslow: Howard, you don't have to apologize for being angry. You're in a very tough situation right now. You're the only survivor of --

Mr. Radley: -- I didn't fucking survive! I'm not alive anymore!

Dr. Winslow: Howard --

Mr. Radley: Fucking look at me! Look at me! I'm a fucking zombie! I'm dead! My body is fucking dead but my brain is still working. My skin is gray, its covered in holes, I've got big green boils and blotches everywhere -- there's a fucking eye growing out of the back of my shoulder! This isn't 'being alive'! I'm supposed to be fucking dead! I should be dead.

Dr. Winslow: Please, listen! You're doing so much better than you were before. Once we found that polyp attached to your brainstem we thought you'd never survive. But once we cut it off, the mold on your body started falling away --

Mr. Radley: And it killed everything underneath it! I don't grow hair anymore, I heal at a snail's pace, my piss is green. My fucking piss is green --

Dr. Winslow: Yes, yes. It's all in the medical report, Howard. But it's better than being one of those horrible things, isn't it?

Mr. Radley: No, actually. It isn't. I'm not a Moldman anymore, but I'm a fucking zombie. I'm a goddamn Ghoul! I went from one Halloween monster to another! I saw myself in the mirror the other day, my fucking eyes are red. Not "bloodshot" I mean they're completely red! No pupils, no irises! Just red!

Mr. Radley: Why am I still alive?! Why didn't you kill me? Why didn't you put me out of my misery?!

Dr. Winslow: Howard, stop! We've been over this. You still have a reason to live.

Mr. Radley: I never had a 'reason to live' in the first place. I lived in a shitty apartment covered in giant walls of trash for a decade. I drank shit-colored water and made ramen noodles with it, and I never got any fucking sleep because of the goddamn constant dripping. I needed a raincoat in my own bed. And somehow... somehow I get choked up thinking about it because I actually miss it.

Dr. Winslow: It's understandable. In your mind, those were better times.

Mr. Radley: Obviously. I lived like shit, but everything was still better. My mind, my routine, my health...

Dr. Winslow: But you have a healing factor now. You lost an entire arm and it grow back!

Mr. Radley: Yeah, but if I get a paper cut it doesn't close up for a month. And I don't bleed anymore. I hate myself. I hate what I become, I hate how I live, I don't even know where I am. What the fuck is this place? You still haven't told me what this place is.

Dr. Winslow: You know I can't tell you that. I'm not allowed. All I can tell you is this is an underground research facility.

Mr. Radley: Are we even still in Nekropolis? Are we even in the same state anymore? Can you tell me anything at all?

Dr. Winslow: I'm afraid I can't. But you won't have to worry about that soon.

Mr. Radley: Are you finally gonna kill me, like I've been begging you since I could comprehend what was happening?

Dr. Winslow: We're going to release you soon.

Mr. Radley: Bullshit.

Dr. Winslow: It's true. It still needs to be finalized, but by the end of the next quarter you'll be out there in the world again. Your own house, everything. It'll be like witness protection, but a little different.

Mr. Radley: Bullshit! You're gonna give my Frankenstein-looking ass witness protection? Then what, you're gonna have agents following me the rest of my life? Picking up the pieces of my gross body that fall off?!

Dr. Winslow: It's for a great cause. Your... condition, along with the things you've witnessed, make you a highly valuable asset in the study and control of the paranormal. Having you out in the world, living a normal life like any other human, will give us even more useful data.

Mr. Radley: I don't believe you. I don't believe anything any here tells me. I don't believe anything at all anymore. The shit I've seen. Those... monsters. The horrible, horrible shit I know is out there. I might hate it here, but I don't want to be out in a world where my worst fucking nightmares only scratch the surface. Where shit like what happened in my apartment is happening all over. I can't do it. I can't live like this, in a world like this. I couldn't fit in before I got fucked up. It'd be even worse now. Even that fucking Fly Lady from the other side of my old complex would fit in better than me.

(Mr. Radley beings breathing heavily before bowing his head down on the table. He mumbles inaudibly between sobs.)

Mr. Radley: Just kill me.

Dr. Winslow: You're too important.

Mr. Radley: Just fucking kill me, please. You can do whatever you want to my body after, just let me fucking die. Just give me peace.

Dr. Winslow: We have enough bodies, and you don't have a right to do that to Linda.

(Mr. Radley quickly sits up and stares directly at Dr. Winslow.)

Mr. Radley: What the fuck did you just say?

Dr. Winslow: Linda. Your sister. She's been looking for you. She --

Mr. Radley: You stay the fuck away from her! Don't you send your fucking spooks after her. Don't put a fucking hand on her! She doesn't deserve to be involved in any of this fucked up Men in Black bullshit!

Dr. Winslow: We're not going to do anything to her. She's been calling around, asking about you. We've told her you've been in a medical facility for the past few years. She was so worried about you after the Carlton Heights incident made the news. All she knows is there was an epidemic there and the building was condemned, but she started asking around for you as soon as she saw it. We couldn't tell her anything at first except you were in quarantine and unresponsive. But she's been checking in with us everything single week for the past three years. We told here you'll be able to speak to her soon.

Mr. Radley: You didn't tell me? You didn't let me talk to her? I haven't seen her since we had that fight. Why the hell didn't you --

Dr. Winslow: We couldn't. The agency didn't know what to do with you. There were definitely people here who wanted to never let you leave this place. You're an extremely lucky person.

(Mr. Radley groans and places his face in his hand)

Mr. Radley: Yeah. I'm really fucking lucky, aren't I?

(Dr. Winslow stares up at the clock and stands up.)

Dr. Winslow: Well, we're out of time today. Don't worry, Howard. It's not gonna be like this forever.

(As Dr. Winslow walks towards the exact, he pats Mr. Radley on the shoulder.)

Dr. Winslow: Linda's really excited to talk to you again. Please, don't disappoint her.

(Mr. Radley sighs)

(Dr. Winslow exits through the doorway, poking his head out one final time)

Dr. Winslow: By the way, be sure you're awake at 8:00am tomorrow, you have a disciplinary meeting to attend.

Mr. Radley: What? What are you talking about?

Dr. Winslow: It's about Patty, the Fly Girl.

Mr. Radley: Okay, hold on --

Dr. Winslow: Just so you know, I don't have a problem with it, I know you're both adults and very lonely, but that kind of thing is frowned upon. You should remember that the cameras in patients' rooms are also running.

(Mr. Radley buries his face back in his hands)

Mr. Radley: Jesus fucking Christ...

Dr. Winslow: Strangely, we actually got a lot of interesting data from the incident. The implications of it are -- ...sorry, I'll leave you alone.

(Dr. Winslow leaves the room, shutting the door behind him. Mr. Radley continues to sulk in his chair, staring blankly at the wall before exiting the room twenty minutes later.)

Epilogue

Parting thoughts from Dr. Winslow:

"Today marked several significant milestones for Mr. Radley. He is now aware that he still has a support system outside the facility and a life waiting for him. Though the trauma of past events still greatly troubles him, it seems most of Radley's frustrations and anxieties concern his current living conditions. It is my hope that Radley will soon become more hopeful, make plans for the future and look forward to reconnecting with his remaining family. Though his is horribly disfigured, the agency is currently working on creating an intricate cover story for him. We're also currently exploring the idea of allowing Radley to obscure his mutations with bandages or some other coverings. His extremely unique first-hand knowledge of eldritch phenomenon will make him an extremely valuable asset in our continued research into how to study, counter and possibly even control the bizarre and horrific lifeforms that exist behind the veil."

"On a different note, for a patient who was once considered a compulsive hoarder, Radley's room is kept remarkably clean."





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