Press "Enter" to skip to content

Asylum Tour

The lad had thought over what Miss Bookworm had told him, and now was the time to put the plan he had thought up into operation. She had specifically told him he could only go into the Asylum if invited, and he was sure Miss Rouse would show him round, just like she had at all the other buildings she had built. Anyhow, even if he didn’t find Beryl, Miss Rouse made the most wonderful buildings, so it should be fun. He quickly scrounged a scrap of paper, and wrote a note to the mouse, saying he would love to come and see round.

So it was, the next Friday afternoon, Tepic was waiting outside the Asylum gates when Miss Rouse came out and asked him to come in. She showed him the offices and rooms on the ground floor before ushering him into a lift that she assure him was almost safe, and they went up to the top floor. There were cells and various therapy areas, and Tepic noticed some of the residents he had encountered on visits to the Asylum’s previous locations were still there. After showing him all the wonderful innovations she had installed, Miss Rouse took them down to the basement, where Lisa and the other domestic staff lived. Tepic was quite interested in seeing where his friend slept, though it was nowhere as good as his own camp.

Apart from the living space, and a large furnace with a huge hot water boiler, in one corner was a round, metal door, similar to the ones in the underwater dwellings in the Verinan Sea. The lad tapped on it and mentioned his thought. The mouse told him that it was the entrance to the Boss Man’s secret areas, and she was not to tell anyone about them, though she was very proud of the construction and the doors. It was at this point that Tepic decided he would have to trick her into showing him, as it was the only way to search the place and make sure Beryl was not trapped in some terrible prison. He looked up at Miss Rouse and said “oh, that’s no problem, yer gonna be showin me round, not telling me about em, so that’s alright!”

The mouse waved her hands nervously in front of her and did a little skip step before suddenly brightening up and nodding in agreement. She opened the door, and lead the way in. The room was very spartan, with just a bed and a wardrobe in one corner, the stone floor and walls unadorned. Tepic was rather disappointed, having expected the opulence he had discovered in Dr. O’s wonderful lair. The only unusual thing was what looked to be a large column of blue fire rising from a tub in the corner by the door. They were looking at it when a dreadful cry came echoing from behind a door in the far wall, making all the fur on the fox’s tail stand up, and to his amazement, the fire turned red, before wavering back to blue as the cry faded out. Miss Rouse told him that the Boss Man must be carrying out one of his experiments, and that when the Deep ones had been attacking Mr Footman’s tower next door, the fire had turned green. It was then they heard the tap of a cane from behind the far door – Cagnark was coming!

Tepic nipped back out the way they had come, dragging the mouse behind him, explaining that the Boss Man didn’t like him and it was best to hide. Miss Rouse immediately suggested hiding behind a stack of crates, seeing nothing odd in hiding from her own employer. The crouched down until they heard the tapping of the cane change as the owner entered the lift, and then Tepic breathed again as it carried Cagnark up into the building.

They re-entered the flame room, and the mouse rushed the boy through the far door, exclaiming about the wonders beyond, in the Boss Man’s workroom. The lad did feel a little unsure, when his decidedly loopy friend described some of the things as weird. That she thought them strange was rather worrying…..

She showed him a side room, with a submarine dock in it, where the Boss Man could bring things in without people getting worried. Tepic was more surprised at the small submarine floating there, as apart from the intricate carvings on it’s wooden surface, it looked identical to his old one, that he had lost in an adventure to one of the previous Asylums. When he mentioned this, his companion assured him it was his old machine, and she had recovered it and renovated it, though her employer had a larger one for his use. Looking wistfully over his shoulder, Miss Rouse waved him into the next room, bursting to show him the wonders there.

In a sealed glass tank by the door was a waving bunch of tentacles, very much like the ones they had helped fight off at Mr. Footman’s Observatory, and on a nearby table a hand moving in a jar of liquid, and what looked like a raven in another. Between the two jars was a brain resting in a dish. Both the friends were enthralled, this was what a scientist’s laboratory should be like, full of amazing and slightly dreadful things. Tepic slowly became aware of a steady beating, part sound, part… something else… from the middle of the room. He asked what it was, and Miss Rouse showed him a complex and peculiar looking machine. By the controls for it was a box containing several gears and what looked like a large, beating heart, which appeared to be turning the cogs. She asked if she should turn it on, and without waiting for a response, flipped a switch.

Instantly large flashes of lightning illuminated the massive glass tube central to the device, and a dreadful cry came from the heart, waves of palpable pain washing over the two of them. Tepic clamped his hands to his ears to try to cut off the appalling feeling, and yelled at his friend to turn the device off. She flipped the switch back down, the fur over her body standing up in fright, but seeming unaffected despite the obvious discomfort she was experiencing.

Shaken, the boy turned away from the machine, a deep worry beginning to form in his mind as to what it might be, then he came to a sudden start. Before him, suspended in a large tube of fluid, was the body of Beryl, his cat friend. He cried out in horror and pulled the mouse lady round, finger pointing at the floating figure. It was only a moment’s work to ask her to release him, and he stood back waiting nervously as she drained the liquid and started to undo the hasps holding the door closed. As she worked, the cat slowly opened it’s eyes, and they could see that instead of their friend’s blue and yellow orbs, they were now a glowing orange. The boy wondered what the strange little man had done to his friend, and as an alarm began to sound urged the mouse to work faster so they could escape before anyone came.

The door to the tube sprang open, and instead of greeting his rescuers as they expected, the cat hissed and leapt out claws extended and attacked Miss Rouse, biting the arm that had just released him as he tried to tear it off. Tepic jumped forward and tried to push him off, but was swept back as a paw with razor sharp claws just missed the tip of his nose. Thinking his friend was dazed and confused, he tried to reassure him in the language of the cats, but it was no use. The furious feline just spat back some curse about “growlers” and continued to bite and scratch his bleeding victim as the bone in her arm snapped.

At that moment a powerful voice cut through the room, demanding to know what was going on. Cagnark had returned.

Spread the love

One Comment

  1. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon March 2, 2014

    Angry kitty!!! *hides*

    Poor little squirrel…

Leave a Reply