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Rantings and ravings with Damon Torsten

I know the CRCMH pretty well. I've spent many an hour - nay, day wandering about the place. There's part of me that is always in there. I have no idea why. I can make no sense of it, but sometimes at night I find myself standing facing the hospital. The sky is moving fast in purple swirls. Yet there's no wind. Everything else is perfectly still. And the decaying white building stands there grinning at me like a skeleton protruding from the eternal darkness. If I'm lucky, this is the point where I wake up. Then I might wander into the kitchen and make myself some mashed potato just to keep my mind off it all. But that doesn't really help either.

They still haunt me, these close encounters of the hospital kind - and I'm not specifically talking about the Flincher. That doesn't scare me. It did when it happened. Beyond words. But not while I'm sufficiently far enough away from its territory. What I mean is that the whole actual place still haunts me. It seems as though once you go there some little bit of you is forever trapped inside its walls. And it follows you around wherever you go. Is it just me that feels like this? Maybe I'm talking crap. I don't know. But it has had a profound influence on me, that's for sure. I don't live and breathe the hospital - far from it. But somehow it's always there - lingering around quietly in the background. Ready to jump from the shadows of my past when I least expect it.

And that brings me to the creation this site. I just had to do it. Aside from the fact that everyone always asks me for more about The Flincher or its home, I just had to get it out of my system I suppose. And it has been very comforting to know that I'm far from being alone. The response I've had from others who feel some kind of strange affinity with the place has been simply astounding. With the sheer amount of you that have been there over the years, it's quite miraculous that certain paths have never crossed before. Until now, when the end is upon us. So I'd like to formally welcome you to the site if I didn't already - and I trust you'll enjoy revisiting whatever it is you're here to revisit.

Anyway, whilst putting this stuff together, I've come across a couple of bits of my old writing. Terrible stuff really - one handwritten, one typed (on an old machine I once had with half the keys missing, or so it seems) - both incomplete. They're about the CRCMH. One seems more a literal tale of how I came to know about the place and some of a description of going there. Indeed, it seems that I lifted and re-edited much of its content for the background part of the Flincher essay. The other thing appears to be a work of pure fiction. A silly horror story based in the hospital which just stops dead in its tracks for no apparent reason - perhaps because I realised that it was awful. I never could write good horror fiction.

Nevertheless, I figured that, because I'm trying to get it all out of my system, I might as well include the latter piece of writing here (there's no point in putting the other one up because every important part of it has been re-written more coherently as part of the Flincher essay). So, even though it's bad (and I'm not just saying that out of modesty - it truly is bad - the Flincher essay is better because I was trying to get it all out of me in one go over a single lengthy soul-searching overnight session), perhaps you fellow CRCMH explorers might appreciate reading anything that contains references to that dark yet soothingly tranquil place that has captured some of your soul for all eternity. I know that I'd be chuffed if someone else posted anything similar detailing the place. Perhaps. So here it is. Just a bit of fun. For posterity and beyond. Reminisce. Or don't. The choice is yours.

Damon Torsten,
January 2002

part of a terrible a horror story



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