Pins and Spider Webs

Pins and Spider Webs

A Story by VoodooWebs

An insane asylum and an insane doctor.


            Sunlight pours between the clouds scattered in the sky, radiating across the lush greenery, the rolling hills, the many deciduous trees. Summer has set in; many plants that have been dead through Winter are animate once more. They press against the quaint, three-story brick building.

            The insane hide behind these walls.

            Lewis resides on the second floor here. His room is stark white, with a small barred window overlooking the shrub-less backyard. One small bed bolted into the white tiled floor serves as furniture. Some days he perches on it, but more often he crouches beneath the window.      Three months have passed since Lewis’ admittance. His mind had slipped quite suddenly one morning and, as he flailed on the ground, his shrieks of pins and spider webs could be heard half a mile away. He had been such an independent man; not even his mama and papa could explain what had happened. They rushed him here to the asylum, but I have been his only visitor.

            Honestly, I do not believe his parents care that he may die soon.

On Lewis’ saner days, when it was just the two of us in his room, I would listen intently as he explained the pins and spider webs.

“They are always there, Janette, the webs spinning around my veins and heart, the pins stabbing my eyes and head. Even now they are here, inside of me. I fear I will never be rid of them!”

            For almost three months he refused to answer my demand to know why. Then, one day he said, “Though you may think I am insane, know that I would be better again without this ‘medicine’ pulsing through me.”

            “But Lewis,” I began. “You need the medicine. Dr Fiend…”

            Footsteps sounded outside the metal door. “Come close, Janette. Quickly.” Voice no more than a whisper, Lewis said, “There is no medicine-- only drugs. Every patient here is an experiment. The doctor…”

            “Are you ready for your sedative, Mr. Quint?” Dr. Fiend’s staccato voice boomed as he entered. His lab coat fluttered by his sides, offsetting his graying hair. Suddenly, his grin disconcerted me.

            Lewis shuddered much more fervently as I touched his cheek, exited into the hall with weights of dread. Tears collected in my eyes at Lewis’ screams, and I silently begged it to be over soon.

            Dr. Fiend escorted me to the front door, and I bid him a warm farewell despite a new revulsion toward him before departing. I was in much need of silence to arrange my thoughts and actions.


            It has been almost a week since that last day, and resignation has overtaken me. I stalk into the asylum and command the secretary to summon Dr. Fiend through my wildly raging heart.

            The doctor takes me to see Lewis, but I stay for only a few minutes to see his condition, which remains stable. Then, I stride back into the hall. I curtly tell him, “Doctor, I know you are keeping Lewis and others here as experiments.” To his blank look and sputter of an objection, I say, “I know certainly that you are testing illegal drugs on them; they are only insane from the drugs you have given them. When I leave, I am going straight to the authorities. I am only here to collect Lewis and leave.”

            Dr. Fiend’s eyes have lost their luster, his mouth a tight line. “Miss Tret. I had hoped it would not come to this, and I am very displeased to see it has. Yes, many of my patients are lab rats. It despairs me to say, though, that both you and Mr. Quint are unfit specimens. My condolences.”

            A small needle pricks into my arm, sending a blaze quickly to my heart. There is nothing I can say as I collapse.


            The slight man faces the setting sun, his hands casually behind his back. Minute caresses of shovels against the cemetery ground sound behind him; they cease, and he hears footsteps approach. Without turning, he asks, “Well?”

            “It is done, sir. There will be no traces that anything has gone on. The others will make sure of it.” The worker’s voice is quick and tentative; it wavers slightly, and rises at the end.

            “What is it, Spalden?” the man asks calmly.

            Without hesitation, the worker inquires, “Why did we load them with drugs and bury them. The man and the girl? The girl could have been as useful as her lover. They didn’t have to be buried…alive.”

            Dr. Fiend remains where he is, gazing upon the golden sun with a half-crazed smirk. “My dear Spalden. Wouldn’t you have thought it odd if both a man and his lover were certified as insane in roughly the same time period? It was better for them to die inconspicuously.

            “As for the drugs,” the doctor continued with a growing smile. “I wanted them to feel the spider webs and pins as vividly as I have.”

The End

© 2011 VoodooWebs

My Review

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As promised, a full indepth review: ^_^

A story which goes for the ole cliche of horror in the insane asylum. Nothing says horror to the human conception than that of a man that's broken and cannot compute reality right that's now stuck in a straight jacket ready to cut loose and give life a fright.
However the true horror of this story is the medication. Rather than go with the usual crazy intent, you highlight the points of which when medication goes wrong, a man who should be being cured is now being turned crazy, fueled by administered drugs, where he should be being help.
A further read into this is to say this is a failure in part of our Medical system in which the Doctors actually turn people insane and abuse their power in order to make money off them by keeping them there. To keep them insane as long as possible, why? Cause a hospital is just another marketing system... Although that may not be your original intent, but it is reading that makes this story more meaningful and horrifying to an extent.
Your storyprogession is probably a highlight of this. Successfully you take the reader from one scene to the other with wonderful imagery and add emotional presence.
Other than this review here, Esana Bridges and BlueBecca do alot of good pin pointing the great parts of this and associating good reads which you should and probably will take interest in.

Constructive Response:
I read this and I reckon it's meant for the Halloween holiday, and being that, it most likely is meant to incorporate Horror/Suspense into the narrative. What I find to be missing is technique... Not in general, but in just the mastering of one. And no worries, none of us ever master Technique, it's just something we work at and reach for. One way to improve is study your genres. Horror writing uses indepth detail to implement repulsive emotional response from the audience, while Suspense is coordination of the story progression to arrange a sort of surprise for the audience. Ways to increase Suspense is the Technique such as Dead Dropping a sentence or Random Insertion, these aren't official ways to write but rather experimental proceedings I'm recommending.
Dead Dropping a sentence implies stopping mid-sentence and changing a subject. Usually from a calm tranquil period to a sudden action sequence. Random Insertion implies simply what it's titled as, to randomly put an action sequence within the plot progression that normally wouldn't seem plausible to the reader (when they're not expecting it).
Another Technique, of writing in general rather than genre-based, is the use of more exotic adjectives, words which normally doesn't seem needed for natural sentence structure. You used one here which is the word "deciduous" as an adjective for the subject of Trees. Adverbs don't usually come off as exotic so I don't recommend trying so hard to implement as you would like adjectives which are in massive supply.
Also, one last issue is that a writer never writes out the obvious, instead he lets the reader decide/infer for themselves. Though you actually did do the technique right of describing and detailing the imagery before you outright tell the audience where the setting takes place in. However, a level up, way to improve yourself (challenge) is to never outright tell the reader the setting, but rather describe it so vividly that after the audience reads it, they know exactly where they are.

Overall, an appropriate rating would be an 85, but I'll give a 90 in good measure. The +5 for the request personally to review this. Shows integrity and good morals to ask for help when you find it is needed or wanted. A writer who requests ways to improve from outside perspective is a writer who becomes wealthy in both knowledge and writing itself.

Also, a good music video I'd like to associate this with is:

I find it fits the story well, other than the obsessive overtones which deal with creating a freak of nature in the video...

And actually probably the thing that BEST fits this storyline is the movie The Jacket with Adrien Brody playing the lead role of Jack Starks.... awesome movie, should check it out if you've never seen it. The theme and story is roughly the same.

Posted 11 Years Ago

I read many things between the lines in this story that may not have been your intention, but is simply objects of my own interpretation.
Being sick (especially mentally) can sometimes be a sickness in itself. It becomes so consuming and overriding, that it becomes everything you are in the end, and when (if ever) the sickness is gone, you become lost. I understand the sentiment of being a lab rat, because you're not really living, just waiting for the medicine to do it for you. With that in mind, Dr. Fiend's (excellent name!, by the way) last comment felt almost lonely and desperate, like he was trying to find comrades by letting the sickness spread. And mental sickness does spread.

It has a nice pace - not too fast but not too slow and lengthy either. Aside from the short account of prior events at the beginning, there's a relative lack of information that actually works really well, because it maintains the mythical touch throughout the story. Very nice write, you've done a great job.

Posted 11 Years Ago

this is great :D

This reminds me of Kelley Armstrong's 'Darkest Powers trilogy' and 'Stolen' from her other series, which relates to yours a lot with the characters in her books also knowing they have nothing wrong with them. The doctors name is a great metaphor for what he is doing in the asylum. :D
I like how you describe what Lewis does in the room, and not just describing the room and saying that hes in it (if that makes sense XD) :)
The only part I didn't get straight away was that they were lovers. I think their relationship could have been mentioned or described so we know how much Lewis means to Janette.
I love the short sentence that followed the first paragraph, "The insane hide behind these walls", which seems so sad when there is so much beauty outside.
I really like it :D very interesting.

Posted 11 Years Ago

You have truly executed this story well! Such a clever story!- Your writing is superb!! --given a "Tales of the twilight" feel to it...- very eerie... :)

Posted 11 Years Ago

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great story..sinister subject which you handled with superb aplomb. The narrative was solid and flowed well..and with all good stories it needs a good start, middle and end..and your ending especially was very good.

Posted 11 Years Ago

What an awesome story with Halloween right around the corner.

Okay, so, the way you wrote it kind of reminded me of one of the American classics, like Wuthering Heights, and I think, for the topic, that's pretty appropriate (although it's not one of my favorite styles). The idea is interesting, but there are a few times when your phrasing becomes a bit awkward. I also think that you could have used a bit more development on Lewis and Janette.

I really like the doctor's last line though and how you italicized 'vividly'. I thought that brought out the insanity rather well.

Overall, I feel like I'm so connected with Halloween right now that I'll connect everything with Halloween (so pardon me if you didn't intend that). So interesting, keep writing!

Posted 11 Years Ago

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6 Reviews
Added on October 30, 2011
Last Updated on October 30, 2011
Tags: Insane asylum, doctor, drugs, spiderwebs, pins



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