Dr Laing Adams
The Dartmouth Park Unit, Highgate Mental Health Centre, London, N19 5NX
Latitude: 51.566905
Longitude: -0.143284


Reporter: Dominic Lyne

The building used to be used to treat Personality Disorders but under the necessary reconstruction of the public health service it became a research unit into the Silent.  I’d worked there in the past, and being an expert in that field I was called upon to provide some insight into the condition.  Separate from the main Mental Health Centre, walking towards it always sent a shiver down my spine.  The various bricked up windows made you wonder what went on in the rooms behind.

As I walked through the door and into the unit, I was always greeted by the same concerned look upon the receptionist’s face, proving she hadn’t fully come to terms with her job placement.  It was the same look you saw on the faces of all staff members.  Like we were dealing with a lost cause, that we were just wasting our time and the NHS’ resources upon children that couldn’t be fixed.  Many of my colleagues considered the children broken beyond repair, and I have to admit that, with each passing day in their company, I began to feel the same.

It was always with apprehension that I would open the door to the group treatment room.  Always counting to ten before pulling the handle down and opening the door.  The first thing you always noticed was the uneasy silence when you entered.  The faces of eight children, aged between four and six years old, all looking at you; their eyes burrowing deep into to you, like they knew something you didn’t.  Like they all knew the answer to some deep and devastating secret that could tear a hole in the fabric of the reality we have all grown to accept as creed.

All we ever learnt from them was silence.  The treatment was a failure and whatever secret they held remained just that.  A secret.

Secret was originally published as a location specific Field Report for the interactive novel The Silent History by Eli Horowitz.

Copyright © Dominic Lyne, 2013

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