Hollow Moon Part 22
- Hollow Moon Part 1
- Hollow Moon Part 2
- Hollow Moon Part 3
- Hollow Moon Part 4
- Hollow Moon Part 5
- Hollow Moon Part 6
- Hollow Moon Part 7
- Hollow Moon Part 8
- Hollow Moon Part 9
- Hollow Moon Part 10
- Hollow Moon Part 11
- Hollow Moon Part 12
- Hollow Moon Part 13
- Hollow Moon Part 14
- Hollow Moon Part 15
- Hollow Moon Part 16
- Hollow Moon Part 17
- Hollow Moon Part 18
- Hollow Moon Part 19
- Hollow Moon Part 20
- Hollow Moon Part 21
- Hollow Moon Part 22
- Hollow Moon Part 23
- Hollow Moon Part 24
- Hollow Moon Part 25
- Hollow Moon Part 26
- Hollow Moon Part 27
- Hollow Moon Part 28
- Hollow Moon Part 29
- Hollow Moon Part 30
- Hollow Moon Part 31
- Hollow Moon Part 32
- Hollow Moon Part 33
- Hollow Moon Part 34
- Hollow Moon Part 35
Esk was beside himself. Lod, again, posing as another “doctor”. That seems to be Lod’s preferred form. How do I get out of here without Lod killing me?! Esk could no longer keep his emotions under control. It felt as if his right thumb was going to explode. He jumped behind the bed and attempted to hide from the nurse, refusing to come out and speak with the hospital psychiatrist. No amount of coaxing or coercing was going to get Esk out from between the wall and the bolted-down steel bed frame.
“He will have to come and get me!” Esk shouted with his head down, protected.
The nurse did not understand this behavior at all but recognized it for what it was—terror. She reported to the doctor that Esk was, indeed, afraid of doctors and that he would have to go into Esk’s room and talk to him there instead of Esk talking to him in his office.
“Whatever works,” replied the concerned physician.
The guards stepped aside for the psychiatrist as he entered Esk’s room. He stood far away in the corner as not to spook the patient any further.
“Esk? I’m Dr.—”
“I know who you are! Do not try to poison me with any more of your needles. I will not tolerate it!” Esk spat.
“No one is going to give you any more injections, Esk. I’m here to help you get out of here. I just need to ask you a few questions first. Would that be okay?”
“Stay away from me! Remain where you are and we can talk, but come no closer,” the huddled mass wedged against the wall said.
“Okay. I understand how you’d feel threatened by doctors after all you’ve been through. I’ll stay over here, and we’ll talk. Deal? Okay. I looked at your blood work report and I think I know what’s wrong with you, Esk.”
Esk poked his head up from between the bed frame and the wall. The doctor saw his wide eyes and jaw gaping open in an expression of horror. He knew he had very little time before the patient retreated even farther away, if that was possible.
“You have a parasite, Esk—a tapeworm. Your eosinophils are through the roof, and I’ve seen this pattern before. A little medicine and you’ll be fine. Not injected medicine, either. Just pills that you can take outside the hospital, okay? Will you come out now? I’ll have the nurses get you ready to leave while I write the prescription and sign the discharge papers. Good luck, Esk.”
Eosin? Lod knew about Eosin? I will set Eosin free upon leaving this place, but I will not poison him. He has been a good pet—a good companion—and I will not harm him. Why did Lod not attempt to finish me off just now? He has changed his strategy. Ah, yes. A shift in strategy to throw me off…and what about the Reverend? What will happen to the Reverend?
The charge nurse waved off the guards and brought Esk out onto the open psychiatric unit, where there were many other avenues of approach for an attack. Esk remained glued to the desk that the nurses sat behind and his discharge was progressing quickly except… the man had no clothing—just scrubs.
“Is there someone you can call to bring you some clothes, Esk?” the nurse wanted to know.
“Yes, you may call Sam. Sam will have clothing for me to wear.”
Esk had the ability to appear to have clothing at any time, but thought it unwise to make the transformation in front of such skittish humans. These people—mental health workers and nurses—seemed especially high-strung when it came to anything out of the ordinary. The nurse called Sam, who brought some clothing from his truck to the reception desk. Sam had, fortunately, anticipated that Esk would need clothes. The charge nurse brought the jeans, t-shirt, underwear, socks, and boots up immediately for Esk to change into. Esk shed the light blue scrubs that he had been issued at the hospital and put them in the “Linens” hamper as he was instructed. Sam’s clothing felt good against Esk’s membranes and he grinned.
“Here’s the prescription that the doctor wrote for you to get rid of that tapeworm, and here are your discharge papers, Esk. I wish you well,” said the nurse as she opened the final door to the lobby of the hospital.
Esk was free! There stood Sam, also, who had made his way over to the psychiatric center lobby from the emergency department waiting room to greet his friend.
“Esk! Buddy! Yer okay!”
“Yes, Sam, I am fine. Excuse me for a moment. I must go to the bathroom.”
Esk went into the bathroom and retracted his armor to free Eosin. He told Eosin that the Reverend needed a companion and that he should seek him out. Esk thought that tapeworms made great deterrents from danger. Eosin happily agreed to find the Reverend and Esk reinstated his armor, putting Sam’s clothing back on. He flushed the toilet to make everything sound as if it was going smoothly and then rejoined Sam.
“Let’s get outta here,” Sam laughed. “This is no place for angels.”
“I agree. I would like to leave this place and never come back. I do not like ‘doctors’.”
“I don’t either, Esk. I don’t either.”
Speaking of doctors, Dr. Severius paced in his office, sweating despite the air conditioning. He was in a bind. Esk would surely seek him out, possibly with a police entourage. Assault. That would be the charge. Yes, what Dr. Severius did to Esk was assault, and the methods and medications he used to do it with were both long-term and easily detectable. What a fool he had been!
“How could I be so stupid? So obvious? Why did I do it to begin with? We are studying psychopaths, and I’m acting like one. I wanted to know about this Esk fellow, though. What is he hiding? He is hiding something—I know it. I feel it in my gut. My gut. What imbecile doctor would use the exact cocktail of drugs on a free man as he would an out-of-control convicted felon? Me. That’s who. Me. I’ll lose my license, my job, my house. I’ll lose everything!” lamented the doctor. “Even if I had felt threatened, I can’t prove that by my actions. I’m done for!”
A knock at the door snapped Dr. Severius out of his low state temporarily. He saw the outline of a large, dark figure standing outside, waiting to be invited in. Severius cracked open the door. It was the warden.
“Where’s your sidekick, Severius?” asked the warden.
“Um, he’s been ill the last few days. Yes, ill. He’ll be back, I’m sure,” Dr. Severius stuttered.
“Well, good. He’s a better shrink than you are. That prisoner that’s been in solitary confinement fer 10 months is well enough ta’ go back to general population, thanks ta’ yer man, Esk.”
“Who determined that? I haven’t evaluated that inmate again yet.”
“He’s plenty well. Model prisoner now, if ya’ ask me. I been doin’ this fer 27 years. I think I know when somebody’s ready for Gen Pop. Anyway, you tell that Esk feller ta’ keep workin’ with the inmates here. He’s good. Real good.”
The warden left, slamming the door behind him out of disdain for Severius. He never used Severius’ title. He always called him “the shrink” or just “Severius”—never “Dr. Severius”. That ate at the physician, precisely because he was a physician. He was a psychiatrist, granted, but he was as much a medical doctor as anyone practicing in any other field. The thought had run through his mind to take the issue to the Board, but he thought better of it. The Board did not have to work under the warden day in and day out…
Dr. Severius heard the footsteps walking away from his office stop. The warden was talking to someone. Who, though? The warden never spoke to anyone that he bumped into unless he was overly fond of them. Most of the time, that meant there was a woman present, but the other voice, though muffled, was a man’s voice. It was Esk. The warden could not praise him enough in the hallway. Meanwhile, Severius scrambled for a way out. Bars covered his office windows. There were no closets to hide in, no curtains to conceal him. The only thing he could hide under was his desk. That is exactly what he did.
Esk walked through the door after receiving a meaty handshake from the warden and a solid thump on the back. Dr. Severius, cowering beneath the desk, could not stop his whimpering. Esk knew where he was and casually walked over to Severius’ leather chair, sitting down to observe the good doctor.