Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 99

 This story is for Miranda Kate's weekly flash challenge. This is from Miranda's post:  

This week's photo prompt - as best as I can ascertain, I believe was created by someone under the name of Georgie69 back in 2008, as it appears on a blog with many other pictures designed around the same picture, but the blog seems not to be in use after 2009. 

Here's a link to the prompt photo.   

This time I present a really short horror tale in a traditional style.   

Please note that anyone can join in with a story up to 750 words. Mine has 340 words for those who are counting (not including the title).

Just A Job

    by K. R. Smith

It's dark now. They're all asleep—or what passes for sleep by the ones inside. They never close their eyes. 

I know people will wonder why I did this. Why wouldn't they? It's such a beautiful place. The elegant buildings, the graceful bell tower that marks the hours with a peaceful chime—yet whose bright, clean walls serve only to hide those hideous beasts inside from prying eyes. 

It was only a job, I reasoned, a way to put a few dollars in my pocket. Taking care of the patients was all that was required. Clean them up, feed them, that sort of thing. And keep quiet about it when in town. We have to protect their privacy I was told. It seemed innocent enough though I was warned there might be situations I would find disturbing. I had no idea.

Patients? Ha! What a ridiculous distortion of the word. They're not sick. Whatever they are, they're thriving. A captive existence to be certain with each one chained to the floor, but thriving nonetheless. They grow stronger each day. It's their keepers who are the sick ones. 

Feeding time was the worst of all. Some of what I saw in their food bowls looked uncomfortably familiar. I assured myself I was wrong. I had to be. People don't do that sort of thing.

Last night, I heard the doctors talking. It was nearly time they said. For what purpose, I refuse to imagine. I had no choice but to act. Any sane person would agree.

The gas lines in the cellar have been loosened just enough for the fuel to escape. It will take a while to fill the rooms beneath the facility. Eventually, the vapors will find an open flame. I've made sure of that. The main door has been locked to keep anyone from escaping until that happens. I suspect some innocent people will die, too. There must be a few left there. 

Am I mad? Possibly. That doesn't mean I'm wrong now, does it? 

Well? Answer me! 


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