The storyteller of pain, p.18
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       The Storyteller of Pain, p.18

           Loren Molloy
 
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  John’s trained eyes could see no drag marks showing the possibility of the body being dragged away. He could see Lily’s heel prints and only one set of men’s shoe prints leading from the pool of blood. There was no way anyone or anything helped him or took his body. Somehow, he got up and walked away. With that much blood loss, it shouldn’t have been possible. The evil bastard should have been lying dead in that drying pool of blood. That realization terrified John. ’So not even the doctor can die?’ John thought, freaking out silently on the inside.

  “Okay, baby. Let’s get you away from here,” John said gently into her temple. In that moment, John didn’t care about the pain in his shoulder. He just scooped her up and carried her past the scene. He had her eyes nestled into his neck so she didn’t have to see it. They were able to get to her office and inside without any force stopping them. John was truly grateful because he was too exhausted, and in too much pain, to go any further without a break. He knew Lily was completely over her limit.

  Once inside, John closed and locked the door, walked to her chair, and sat down in it still holding onto Lily. He kissed her temple and forehead several times whispering, We ‘re away from there now. I got you. It took many moments but finally Lily sighed and sat up.

  After one last big sigh she smiled gently at him and said, “We have to fix your shoulder.” It only took a few minutes for Lily to clean the wound and bandage it.

  Just then there was a small quick rap at the door; then the sound of a key turning the tumbler; followed by her boss, who darted quickly inside before anyone had a chance of speaking. He closed the door behind him and locked it instantly.

  Leaning against it, he was huffing and puffing, completely winded. “I- I...just learned you were here,” Dr. Rushfeld said through winded gasps of air. “I came as fast as I could...terrible to see you here my dear girl.” He said beat red in the face with drops of sweat pouring down.

  “Dr. Rushfeld!?” Lilian had never seen her boss and college mentor ever look like this.

  “It’s the patients at the hospital, things have gone completely disastrous.”

  “What do you mean?” Lily asked needing to hear her boss say it, before she would admit to anything.

  “Both Wards A & J are completely out of control!”

  “WHAT!?” Lily blasted. She hadn’t expected that answer.

  “Oh my God!” John said hushed in fear.

  Both A ward and J ward at Danvers were where only the most violent patients were stored. Ward A was for females and Ward J was for the males.

  John had flash images of the demonic couple he ran into. Sickeningly he thought, I guess they must have made up.

  “Are they contained?” Lily asked terrified

  “For now.” Dr. Rushfeld said hauntedly

  “Are you okay?” John asked the man

  “Honestly, I’m surprised I’m still alive at all!” Dr. Rushfeld said quietly

  “Are you hurt?” Lily questioned, panicked that her mentor might be wounded and was hiding it.

  “No. I don’t know how and I don’t know why but I’m okay. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was the only staff member still alive. I’ve been hiding in my office... I thought I heard footsteps and peeked out. I’m so happy to see you two.”

  “I’m very happy to see you, too!” Lily said with the sweetest smile on her face. She walked over to Dr. Rushfeld. It looked as if she was going to give him a big hug, instead she splashed him with Holy water.

  Dr. Rushfeld gasped in shock from the contact of the water and asked, “Why would you splash me with water? I’m not dreaming! We both know and have seen what’s going on in this hospital. That wasn’t very kind.” He then wiped his face with his sleeve.

  “Sorry, just had to be sure,” Lily said and showed him the bottle

  “Oh, well under these circumstances. Smart choice,” Dr. Rushfeld said, squinting and seeing it was obviously holy water

  “Thanks.” Lily said feeling very relieved.

  “Obviously I passed,” Dr. Rushfeld said with one eyebrow raised, the underlying question clinging to the statement.

  “Yes. You would so know if you didn’t,” John said, knowing full well what that felt like.

  “It sizzles and burns,” Lily said quietly, looking at John in sympathy

  “That’s the understatement of a lifetime, Kitten.”

  Dr. Rushfeld’s eyebrows when up at the use of the nickname ‘Kitten’ but was smart enough to leave it alone. It was obvious to him, they were a couple.

  “Well, seems... Dr. Wellington was right after all,” Dr. Rushfeld said with a sad sigh

  “My predecessor?” Lily questioned in confusion.

  “The one who died?” John asked.

  “Yes, the one and the same,” Dr. Rushfeld said stroking his Van Dyke.

  “He was sure something evil was going on at this hospital! In fact, he seemed obsessed with the topic... evil forces, demons, and the such. Towards the end, I would find him with his head buried in some ancient volume on the occult.”

  “Too bad we don’t have those books now,” Lily said frustrated.

  Dr. Rushfeld looked at her and said, “Actually... you might.”

  “What? What do you mean?”

  “You ever do anything about all that junk on the top shelf of your closet?”

  “No, of course not. It’s at least twice my height. I decided,’Why bother.’ I’d never be able to reach anything on it anyway,” Lily said

  John was already moving to the office closet. There were several boxes on that top shelf. John quickly got them all down. They had Dr. Wellington’s name written on them.

  Inside, there were books from all different types of faiths and religions. There were also many things that made no sense to them, like numerous jars of different substances. One looked like salt or sugar. Another had a red powder, the same color as the red bricks used in building houses. There were different types of stones in each box. There were mirrors of different shapes and sizes as well.

  “Wow! Look at all this stuff!” Lily exclaimed

  “I know. It was all packed up like that. I just put them on the top shelf,” Dr. Rushfeld said sadly.

  “Good thing. Otherwise it wouldn’t be here,” John said with a serious look on his face.

  “True,” Dr. Rushfeld said, looking at John with the same serious look.

  “Oh, here’s Dr. Wellington’s notes, I think. This might have some answers,” Lily said with excitement.

  Lilian saw the notebook inside one of the boxes. It had strange symbols on the front of it as well as several black stones on top of it. It looked creepy but Lilian brushed off the stones and took it out of the box anyway.

  “Oh my!” Dr. Rushfeld quietly exclaimed.

  “What?” John asked

  “I never noticed those symbols on that notebook... look just like the ones... on a necklace he gave me,” The doctor said subconsciously, clasping the necklace through his shirt.

  “Dr, Wellington gave you a necklace? Let me see it!” Lily’s excitement showing.

  Dr. Rushfeld took a long silver chain out from under his shirt. Attached to the chain was a polished large black stone. Etched into it with what appeared to be copper, were two of the same symbols. There was one symbol on each side of the smooth stone. It was about the size of the doctor’s palm.

  “That must be why you weren’t harmed. Well at least in part. It had to have made a difference,” Lily said with excitement.

  “You think?” Dr, Rushfeld said in wonder.

  “Yes. They must be some type of protection symbols because they’re not only on the cover of his notebook but on the underside of each lid of each box. They are on the inside of each wall of each box as well. I’d bet the bottom of the inside of each box will have it, too.”

  “I’m unfamiliar with these symbols. Have you ever seen them before?” the Doctor asked them both.

  “No,” Lily said.

  “Not those but ones like it,” J
ohn said.

  They both turned and looked at John in surprise.

  “In Louisiana... when I worked there; people only think of Voodoo when they hear New Orleans but it’s much more of a melting pot than people realize. Depending on the faith and type of symbol, it has different names.

  I’ve heard them called sigils, veves, staves, or even runes. I know some are good and some are bad. It’s dependent on the symbol. Each one has a very specific meaning, too. Lily’s right. These must be protective ones, otherwise Dr. Rushfeld, you wouldn’t be in one piece.”

  “No wonder Bob said, ‘Never show it to anyone and never to take it out from under my shirt in front of Charles.’ He was so serious about it. He made it seem like it was a life and death matter,” Dr. Rushfeld said quietly, looking at the necklace

  “Obviously it was,” Lily said

  “There’s one saving grace with this,” John said

  “What’s that?” Dr. Rushfeld asked.

  “Bob gave us a huge head start on researching answers as well as giving us proof those symbols work, considering nothing was ruined from the boxes or missing. You were never harmed or tainted by the evil infesting this place, otherwise that Holy Water would have felt like you were being burned alive. Trust me. I found out the hard way on that one!

  Dr. Wellington knew we might not have had someone from the Catholic Church to help save us so he went and found ways of protection from all other forms of faith. He had known there had to be other ways than solely priests and exorcisms to protect us from the evils being unleashed.”

  “You’re right,” Lily said skimming through the notebook. “He has lists of crystals and stones that supposedly ward against different negative and evil forces. He’s got a list of different powders and herbs for the same purpose. This seems like a mixture of information from Wiccan, Pagan, Shamanism, Hoodoo & Voodoo sources.”

  “Very smart! So many people don’t follow Catholicism. So what would they do if they were attacked by demons...” John said.

  “Certainly not get a priest to perform a cleansing or exorcism. People from other faiths or those who have none, would be completely lost. I certainly never hear about other types of faiths who remove demons as does Catholicism.

  I never even knew that there were things such as crystals, stones, and symbols that have protective powers. It sounds a bit bizarre but this isn’t a human being we are fighting. It’s a supernatural evil force. Obviously the weapons for spiritual warfare are different than those for a physical firefight,”

  Dr. Rushfeld said while stroking his Van Dyke.

  “I like that Doc. Different weapons for a spiritual warfare than a firefight. That sounds exactly right,” John said, staring at all the bags, stones, and jars with a new found appreciation.

  “It says here the stones are black tourmaline and black obsidian which protects from evil.” Lily said reading from the notebook.

  She then took out one of each stone and handed them to John. Then she handed Dr. Rushfeld a black obsidian stone before taking one of each for herself. John held onto them thinking of them like a new suit of armor. Lily put the stones in her bra one on each side like she would do with her ID and keys.

  John, seeing what Lily did, chuckled.

  “What?” Lily asked

  “Lucky stones,” he said with a seductive smile and chuckled again.

  Dr. Rushfeld cleared his throat making sure John remembered he was still in the room.

  Lilian blushed from John’s comment but return to her reading. “Dr. Wellington wrote that the jar with the white granules in it, is white salt which is used for protection and that jar with the red powder is actually red brick dust, also used in protection from evil.”

  “The red brick dust. I’ve seen that used in Louisiana with Rootworkers. The salt is also well known with its connection to magick and many religions and faiths,” John said staring at the jars.

  “Rootworkers?” Dr. Rushfeld asked.

  “Ooh umm... it’s a term for someone who performs Hoodoo or similar religious practices. They put a line of red brick dust in front of their doors and window ledges to block evil from getting in,” John said.

  “I love the things you know!” Lily said with admiration and love.

  It made John beam and blush.

  “Just glad to help, ma’am,” John said with a wink.

  “Does it say anything about the squiggly symbols on my necklace and the boxes?” Dr. Rushfeld asked.

  “Yes. John was right. He has a picture of each one and next to it, is what it does and its origins. They are for protection. One is an Icelandic Stave, a Magickal symbol to banish evil. The other is called an Enochian sigil which is also to protect from evil.”

  “Enochian?” John asked

  “Yes. It’s the language of the angel,” Dr. Rushfeld said, staring at the symbols.

  Lily looked at him in surprise.

  “Huh, language of the angels, who knew,” John said.

  “Yes. Who knew a theology lesson from my college days would actually come in handy,” Dr. Rushfeld said with a laugh.

  “By the way, I must mention... you two look like a bloody nightmare. Might I suggest showers and change of clothes before you both start to smell like rotting corpses?” Dr. Rushfeld said with a grimace.

  Lily and John looked at each other, then down at themselves, before they gave an embarrassed chuckle. With everything going on, they had somehow been ignoring the blatant fact of their own appearance.

  “Yeah, good idea. I just don’t like the idea of having to put these clothes back on after getting clean,” Lily said.

  “Yeah. I know what you mean.”

  “I have a solution,” Dr. Rushfeld said.

  “The linen closet is right down the hall. They have staff uniforms in there. I’ll go and get two sets of them and then you both will have something clean to wear,” Dr. Rushfeld said with a smile.

  “Oh yes. Perfect!” Lily said with joy.

  She was still trying to pretend she didn’t have chaplain or Charles bits on her.

  “Only you shouldn’t go by yourself. I’ll go with you. Just in case,” John said, holding onto the black stones through his pockets.

  “I’ll keep reading while I wait,” Lily said.

  “Be right back,” John said to her before kissing her passionately.

  “I’ll be right here,” Lily said with a wink.

  John chuckled before turning back towards Dr. Rushfeld and the door.

  “Let’s go Dr. Rushfeld,” John said

  John took a quick peek outside before allowing either of them out the door. It was quiet. No one seemed to be on the hall. Dr. Rushfeld closed the door behind them after a quick wave to Lily.

  “Vincent.”

  “What?” John asked Dr. Rushfeld confused.

  “My first name is Vincent. I don’t feel it’s right to have you calling me by my professional name. We’re not working. We are trying to survive. That deserves a first name basis besides the fact you’re dating and in love with Lily. I’ve been a sort of surrogate father figure since I met that child. So, in my mind, the man who is going to marry ’my daughter’ should call me by my first name,” Dr Rushfeld said pointedly at John.

  “Thanks... Vincent. Marrying her was part of the plan before the demonic flood forced us to be trapped in this evil place. When we get out of here, one of the first things I’m doing, once we’re safe, is marry that woman. I do love her... Vincent.”

  “I can tell. I’m happy for you both. I’ll be happier when I can say that to you away from this nightmare.”

  “Me too! Speaking of nightmares...where the hell is it?” John exclaimed in horror

  “Where’s what, my good man?” Dr. Rushfeld said in alarm.

  The hallway was clean and pristine. The bloody mess that John and Lily had to walk by on the way to her office, was now gone. Not cleaned up. Just completely gone! Pristine wasn’t strong enough a word for the lack of blood and gore John saw before them no
w.

  “There was a huge, and I mean huge, pool of blood over here against this part of the wall and floor. Even the ceiling! The ceiling-” John’s voice cut off in shock. “The blood is gone, even from the ceiling. Not even stain marks!”

  “I walked past here on my way to you two and there wasn’t any blood,” Vincent said mystified.

  John just looked very hard at him.

  “I believe you John but it just wasn’t there when I went by, nor is it now. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t there when you saw it! By the way, who’s blood was it? Do you know?” Vincent asked

  “Page’s!” John said hostilely

  “Page’s? You’re saying it was Charles Page’s blood you saw?”

  “Yeah, but no actual body.”

  “Then how do you know?”

  “He tried to force himself on Lily. She kicked the shit out of him, trying to stop him. She stopped him alright. There was more blood than a human being could survive losing, but when I carried Lily past here, there was no body, only a single pair of men’s shoe prints moving away from the blood. Now not even the blood remains. That means he can’t die I guess, and evidence can what... just disappear? I don’t know how it’s possible but he’s somewhere in this hospital, still alive.”

  “Let’s get the uniforms and hurry back as quickly as possible!” Vincent exclaimed. His eyes were huge with fear.

  “Yeah, great idea,” John said and they both sped up.

  Lily sat on the floor, book in hand, trying to read and retain. A rap at the door startled her from her reading.

  “It’s John.” John whispered.

  The door opened and John hurried quickly inside with two uniforms and shut the door fast behind him.

  “Figured I’d give you a heads up before just opening the door.”

  “Thanks, handsome,” Lily said lovingly.

  She looked behind him. No Dr. Rushfeld.

  “He said he’d give us some time,” John said with a wink, noticing her questioning glance.

  “Oh,” Lily blushed. “That was nice of him,” She said looking up at him.

  “So hot stuff, you find anything useful?” John asked as he moved next to her looking into the box in front of them.

 
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