When James Mortis and his odd little girls built Mortis Manor, no one knew from whence they came. It was rumored the girls’ mother had died in childbirth, but the truth was far stranger.
Alice married James Mortis after courting for only two weeks. He was handsome and charming, even to her overbearing father. Alice was overjoyed to leave her parents’ home for an idyllic life with her new husband. Soon, she gave birth to twin girls, Rosa and Lily. It was after the girls’ birth that James began acting strangely.
Alice would wake in the night to find James’s side of the bed cold. She would discover him in the nursery, prodding their sleeping children in an unsettling manner, examining them. Sometimes, he would simply be gone from the house. In the morning, he’d ignore her inquiries. Still, Alice stayed busy with her children, on whom she doted.
As Lily and Rosa grew, James took little interest in the children during the day. But one night when Alice again found James in the children’s room, she spied a dark brown bottle in his hand, his long fingers just refastening the dropper lid.
By the time Lily and Rosa were, three, the man Alice had married seemed a stranger. As he repeatedly deflected her questions about his nocturnal habits, she became agitated and demanded to know what he was doing to their children. That was when The Doctor arrived.
When Alice descended the stairs one evening after putting Lily and Rosa to bed, she recognized the man sitting in her living room. He was the boy, now grown, who lived at Hillside Sanatorium. He had come to the sanatorium as a patient — a disturbed and abused child. As he had no family, he had remained at the facility into adulthood. He became an assistant to the resident doctor, then an intern, and, when the old doc died suddenly while on duty at Hillside, the young man naturally took over his role.
Now, frozen on the stairs of her own home, Alice stared at The Doctor, panic blossoming in her chest. There could only be one reason for his visit. She tried to escape upstairs, but orderlies wrestled her outside and into a waiting carriage, subduing her with ether.
When she awoke in a dark, damp space, chained to a bed, at Hillside Sanatorium, she heard moaning. She turned her aching head to the side and could just make out a figure slumped in the corner. She knew him. It was Mr. Cowan from the penny candy store, his once plump and merry face now gaunt. He sat on the floor with useless legs splayed in front of him. But as her eyes adjusted to the dimness and with dawning horror, Alice realized they weren’t his legs. They were the hindquarters of a horse, grotesquely stitched to his waist. He raised his head, and through his lank, stringy hair, his still-human eyes saw her. In those eyes, she saw soul-crushing sadness and…madness. The man who had always been so kind to her as a child had been made into a monster. Alice began to scream.
She never saw her children again, but Alice had visits from The Doctor quite often. The experiments he performed on her and the other people of Hillside Sanatorium are too horrible to mention. They were enough to drive any sane person mad. And they did.
Come visit Hillside Sanatorium. Maybe you’ll see Alice; perhaps you can help her. Or maybe The Doctor will see, and help, you.