Friday, November 18, 2011

The Institute

My Friday Flash for the Vamplit Blog, Horrific Visions theme,  featuring the art work of Shane Ryan.
The Institute
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

“The Institute, as it was known, was run by a Doctor Troll. His name wasn’t much of a misnomer, considering his short stature and hideous face, which he often hid behind a mask when appearing I public. In the Institute though, he left his face bare. Since this was an insane asylum, no one really much cared what the doctor that treated the criminally insane looked like, so long as he kept the patients out of society’s way. As for his mental status, he was a doctor, so he must be sane.

This couldn’t have been further from the truth. After the Institute burned and all trapped inside died, it came out about the doctor and his creepy experiments. But that wasn’t the end of it. The doctor, his deranged staff and the patients all still reside within the charred walls of the Institute. Anyone that tries to spend the night inside has either come out insane or died inside.”

“Oh come on Johnny, you’re making that up.” Hannah hung onto her boyfriend’s arm, while giving his best friend the best stink eye she could muster. She couldn’t believe these two jerks thought they could scare her and Kimmy with some stupid ghost story.

“Honest to God, it’s the truth,” Johnny protested. Next to him, Kimmy giggled nervously. Hannah rolled her eyes.

“Derrik, tell Kimmy that Johnny is just making it up.”

“I wish I could honey, but it’s true. There was a big write up in the paper when it happened. They even have it on file at the museum, along with some of the medical equipment Dr. Troll used to experiment on his patients.”

“I don’t believe it.” Hannah folded her arms over her chest and scowled angrily at Darrik. “You two should be ashamed of yourselves. Come on Kimmy, we are going home.” Hannah reached for her younger sister’s arm, but Kimmy hung back, looking at Johnny uncertainly.

“Is it true Johnny? Are you just making it up?”

“No, I’m not making it up, but if you want to leave, I can understand. I should have known you’d be afraid.”

“I’m not scared. Hannah, you’re not afraid either, are you? Come on, let’s go in.” Then she leaned towards her sister and whispered conspiratorially, “It’s just a stupid legend. There’s no such things as ghosts.”

“Alright,” Hannah relented, “let’s go in.”

The Institute’s doors were locked; chained shut to keep vandals out, but there was a window in the back that was broken. It had been boarded up, but the boards had long since been pulled away. The caretaker was lazy and most of the time he was too drunk to even take notice of new damage to the place.

“I’ll go in first,” Johnny said. Getting on his knees, he climbed in backwards. The opening led to the basement and there was a slight drop before his feet hit the ground.

Kimmy came next. She was wearing a short skirt and Johnny grinned as he helped her through the window. She was wearing pink panties that barely covered her ass. He couldn’t wait to get her alone in one of the rooms.

Next came Hannah. She was wearing jeans, so he didn’t get to see her panties, but he figured as prudish as she was, she probably wore grannies. That didn’t stop him from copping a feel of her tits as he lowered her to the ground.

“Stop it, you creep,” Hannah said, swatting at him.

“It was an accident,” Johnny lied. Turning back to the window, Johnny yelled for Derrik to come through next.

“Wow, this place is creepy,” Derrik said, looking around once he had joined them.

“So what kind of experiments did Dr. Troll do,” Kimmy asked, as they headed for the stairs that would take them to the first floor of the hospital.

“Kimmy, don’t give him the opportunity to spin more of his bullshit.” Hannah was getting annoyed. This place was giving her a bad feeling and she didn’t need to listen to Johnny go on about what had happened here; if it was even true.

Ignoring Hannah, Johnny took Kimmy’s hand and said, “When the doctor was born, he was disfigured. His body was all out of proportion, his legs were just stumps, but his arms were longer than normal. When he began to grow, so did they. His fingers nearly touched the ground. But that wasn’t the worst of it. His spine was twisted and he walked hunched over. His face was mangled. His nose was on the side of his face and his mouth was always turned up into a sneer. It was his face he hated the most. There are patients that died on the operating table so that he could try and take their faces off and sew them onto his.”

“No way!” Kimmy’s voice practically squealed with excitement. Hannah groaned. When did her sister become such a horror junkie?

“Yes way,” Johnny said. “If you want, we can try and find that room. I’m sure it has a bed in there.”

Kimmy giggled at the suggestion and leaned in closer to Johnny, pressing her breasts into his side.

“You two disgust me,” Hannah said, opening the basement door, ready to escape her sister’s foreplay. Turning she strode into the foyer outside and stopped. The other three nearly fell over her.

“Hannah, what the hell,” Johnny said, then he too stopped and stared.

The downstairs was filled with ghostly apparitions that resembled medical personnel. There were nurses and orderlies and even patients sitting on gurneys, or walking down the hall in pajamas. Suddenly the figures all stopped and turned to stare at the four kids. Then a door opened and a man came through, his fingers nearly touching the floor. His lips, which were turned up into a grimace of sorts, turned up even more, revealing decaying teeth. Looking at Johnny he said, “Oh, you do have a nice face. Nurse, get the operating room ready!”


The artwork belongs to Shane Ryan and is titled Infestation. To purchase it, you can click here.

Shane Ryan is a self taught artist specializing in intricately detailed realist horror art, his works range from imaginative creature portraiture, dark twisted surrealism and scenes of macabre horror.

His works have been featured and published by the likes of Fangoria, Goremaster, Horrornews, Fatally Yours, Midnight Echo and Scream Horror Magazine.

Ryan’s preferred mediums are pencil and ink, but he has also recently been dabbling in photography and digital art, of late he has contributed his skills to film story boarding, concept art, as well as working on his own personal collections and is always keen to hear from people about any new projects they may have for him.

His fine art collection, plus merchandise, as well as info about his illustrative services can all be found at his personal website.


The Institute is Copyright© 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollar. Infestation is copyrighted© by Shane Ryan and is used with permission of Shane Ryan and Vamplit for purpose of Friday Flash Horrific Visions theme.


  1. So glad you chose one of Shane's amazing drawings. Putting it on now. Can't wait to read later.

  2. It is a great drawing! I liked the other one too. May ask him permission to use it for a vampire hillbilly story I have been thinking on....

  3. I'm keeping my face away from that place, Lisa. Great story! Nice touch you had about giving all the info for the art as well. Good girl!