Mangesh Shirke

Thriller Crime


Mangesh Shirke

Thriller Crime

Metal Is Bad For Health

Metal Is Bad For Health

9 mins 9.5K 9 mins 9.5K

She is climbing down the rusted metal steps of the basement. She looks down, and sees a group of doctors & nurses operating a patient. They are focused on their work. She climbs down to get a better view & suddenly misses a step. Feeling pain, she sensed bleeding on her right foot. She hears someone calling and looks up. All the doctors & nurses are staring straight at her. She then looks down at the operating table and shrieks. The person is her boyfriend, Louis.

She woke up with a start. The same terrible nightmare again. Trembling, she checked the clock. 4:00 AM. Her old age was making things difficult for her. I want to forget those bad things of the past, she thought. She took the water bottle. With shivering hands, she drank but spilled water on her bed sheet. Cursing, she got up. I need to eat something. But she remembered those metal objects in the kitchen. ‘METAL IS BAD FOR HEALTH’ she said to herself, as she took her pills.

The neighbour’s dog started barking. Knowing the reason, she peeped out & realised who it was.

The Stalking Guy was standing there, with his back at the window, giving out puffs of smoke.

Panicked & trembling, Lindsey fell back. Shivering badly, she closed the window curtains & covering herself with a bed sheet, she knelt on the bed. I am seeing him many times since some days, she thought as she slept.

"This guy again gave me a torn paper," Lindsey said, looking at the splitted ends of the paper, her usual routine that she followed every day after waking up. Her fingers trembling, she dropped the paper twice. "I need to complain to his boss." she said to herself and closed the main door. 

It was almost mid-day. The Bar-dancer girl, who has rented the above room, may have left by now. She likes to wear High Heels, I feel. I need to remind her to pay my rent, Lindsey thought. She wrote the reminder on a piece of paper, and dropped it in the wooden drop box, which she replaced with the earlier metal one. She even avoided meals as she feared metal objects.

As she got ready to go for purchasing groceries, the neighbour‘s dog started barking. Panicked by realising who it was, she hurriedly opened the main door & stepped out. With shaking hands, she took some pills & she tried locking the door but dropped the keys. As she bent down to pick them up, she looked in the lawn outside.

The Stalking Guy was standing there, with his back to her, giving out puffs of smoke.

Seeing him, she started shivering badly. Why is he stalking me? Without thinking, she ran out towards the main gate. Forgetting to lock the main door, she kept walking briskly till she reached the supermarket.

Once inside the store, with lots of people around, she felt safe. Strictly staying away from Metal objects, she picked up the plastic basket, and started putting her required things. ‘METAL IS BAD FOR HEALTH’, she murmured. As she came to the checkout counter, she placed the basket on the counter & looked around near the entry gate. 

The Stalking Guy was standing there, on the street, with his back to her, giving out puffs of smoke.

She almost dropped her shopping things. Notwithstanding the fear and panic, she pushed aside people and dashed out of the Supermarket. 

She was trembling with fear. Why is he stalking me? He sees me every time & everywhere. 

As she came home, she bolted the door from inside. She entered the kitchen & stopped in her tracks. The Knife. The Blades. The Fry pan. The Plates, all objects in metal. ‘METAL IS BAD FOR HEALTH’ she murmured. She decided to throw off all the metal things away. Panicked and shivering by the incident that happened at the supermarket, she hastily collected all the metal objects, including knives, blades, plates and other utensils, took them out and threw them in the trashcan on the street. Exhausted, she sat down on the pavement trying to hold herself. Relieved after sometime, she came home, locked all the doors, went to her room and knelt on the bed. The Bar Girl will be back by night, she thought.

She is climbing down the rusted metal steps of the basement. She looks down, and sees a group of doctors & nurses operating a patient. They are focused on their work. She climbs down to get a better view & suddenly misses a step. Feeling pain, she sensed bleeding on her right foot. She hears someone calling and looks up. All the doctors & nurses are staring straight at her. She then looks down at the operating table and shrieks. The person is her boyfriend, Louis.

Trembling, she woke up. Sweating profusely & breathing hard, she looked at the watch. 4:00 AM. The same nightmare, the same time. Still shivering, she realised she was hungry. She went to the kitchen & realised she hadn’t cooked anything. The fear of metal kept her from cooking. Feeling fatigued & shivering, she came & sat on the sofa. 

The doorbell ringing woke her up. Who can it be? She hardly had any visitors. It was daytime. She got up and opened the door. Outside were 2 people in uniform.

“Dr. Lindsay Baker? I am Inspector Mark & my colleague Thomas.” They both flashed their ID’s. Thomas lifted the torn newspaper & observing it, he asked “Could we come in please? We need to speak to you about Santa Mayfield Mental Health Institute.” Hearing the name, Lindsey felt a gut in her stomach. “We know that you had left it a long time back. But we need clarity on certain things that were going on inside the mental asylum.” Thomas said to her.

Lindsey wanted to keep away from everything associated with the asylum. But with the police standing in front, she had no option. As she led them in, they saw she was delusional. She was weak, with black circles under her eyes. She appeared to had no food since the last many days, & was looking too old for her age.

As he sat on the sofa, Lindsey answered him, “What do you th..think can happen i...i... inside, inspector?” trembling, she questioned back. “There were pa…patients with mental illness. We healed them. All the patients were treated & were then allowed to go…” clenching her fists and swallowing hard everytime, she answered.

“Could we know why did you dispose off all the metal objects from your home..?” The inspector asked, looking at her. Avoiding eye contact, she kept looking away, blinking her eyes rapidly.

“We know a Girl has rented your upper level. Can we have a look at the room?” Thomas asked her, looking around. She took them upstairs to her room. They examined every furniture in detail. Finally, Mark signalled her to come down.

“Do you know this Guy? His name is Jacob Cullum, a musician.” Thomas produced a photo to her. It showed a tattooed bald guy, giving out puffs of smoke, with a white T-Shirt labelled ‘METAL IS BAD FOR HEALTH’. A pet dog, probably a Mastiff, was seated next to him. She frozed looking at that. “Never heard of him.” She somehow replied back. They both looked at each other.

“I hope you know this Girl? Her name is Eva James, a Bar dancer. Her brother was a newspaper agent.” Mark produced another photo, showing a Girl in minimum clothes with High Heels. Lindsey shuddered & again refused.

“We know they both were in your asylum, doctor. Our records are showing us that. Could you tell us what happened to them?” Mark observing her very closely, asked her.

“I….I...don...donno...” Lindsey stammered back, “I never knew what happened to them.”

“Bullshit, Doctor..! I KNOW YOU KILLED THEM…!” Thomas screamed loudly. Lindsey shuddered hearing the sudden sound. “We got their Post-mortem reports from the facility.” He produced the reports in front of her. “Your name is displayed on the reports of both of them & same time for both, 4:00 AM. You were a good doctor there. Everyone liked you, specially these two. Both of these had a very simple psychological problem. They were not that dangerous to anyone..! You killed them…!! You did it just for some piece of money..! Is this what your profession taught you, doctor..?” Thomas kept screaming at Lindsey. 

She started weeping. Unable to take anymore, she finally answered back.

“I did not kill them…! I was forced to do so…!!” She started crying. “They both were under my treatment. There were some illegal activities going on inside the asylum. The head of the facility, Dr. Louis, would declare some patients as insane and their organs would be removed and sold out. We both were in love with each other.” She swallowed hard while speaking. “I never participated in any of these activities. But these two, Jacob & Eva, came to know of the illegal activities. They started opposing everything, threatening us to be exposed to public. Dr. Louis ordered me to conduct a neurosurgery on both and kill them.” Shivering, she held herself. “I loved him. But after he did this to them, I..I decided to leave the facility. I stopped having feelings for him. This happened almost 8-10 years ago. After that, I started living here. I had almost forgotten everything. But recently….” She stopped & again swallowed. “I saw in the local newspaper about Louis & all the doctors of the facility getting arrested. That’s when things changed. That’s when I again started remembering all the events of the past…..” she couldn’t speak any further.

“That’s when your mental problems arised, doctor. Your guilt kept eating your mind.” Mark replied back. “You are on pills for mental disorders. THERE IS NO GUY WHO STALKS YOU..!! Your mind created a guy similar to Jacob’s. There is no neighbour with any dog around..!! THERE IS NO BARGIRL WHO HAS RENTED YOUR UPPER LEVEL…!!All the furniture has piles of dust on it, which clearly indicates no one has inhabited the upper rooms..!!All the reminder notes that you dropped in her address box are still inside..!! The newspaper guy never exits…!! You were seeing the same paper many times.!! Your mind created everything, doctor..!!” Mark produced a metal scissor in front. “All the surgical instruments are made of Metal. Since you killed both of them, this created fear of Metal Objects inside you, ’coz you thought metal may hurt you. Your mind couldn’t digest the guilt & it started playing with you, doctor…!!” As mark explained everything, Lindsey started weeping. 

After many complaints, the Police started investigating the mental asylum & found out the illegal activities inside. All the doctors, including Dr Louis, were arrested. Lindsey was arrested for indulging in the murder of two people, along with others. Considering her mental conditions, after legal prosecutions, she was sent to a mental institute for further treatment.

As she was taken away from the court, she again saw the Stalking Guy, probably for the last time.


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