A Shadowlander's Tale: The Lingering Shadows Within
Written by Kathryn K Williams
Finally we arrived at a oak door with a brass plaque which read, "Dr. Jakes" in smooth curved lettering. The nurse stopped my wheelchair and reached around me to tap lightly upon the door, "Dr. Jakes, Miss Baker is here to see you." She called out through the thick door.
"Bring her in." He's muffled voice ordered. The door was opened by a burly man dressed all in a white short sleeved shirt, that showed off his tattooed arms, and white slacks. Fear rose up inside of me yet again. These orderlies were known to be brutal and cold. I'd watched them slam a small girl's face into the tile floor and knock out one of her teeth just because she refused to have her blood taken. I'd forgotten that Dr. Jakes usually had two of these brutes at his side whenever he was in Ward 6. I glanced around to find the second orderly standing to his right, just as I suspected, there always came in pairs. I could not blame the doctor for keeping his guards close at hand, after all I wished him dead as I sat there in my wheelchair and I'd been free of his grasp for years. What about all the others that pass through those doors? I don't think of one them had a kind feeling for the doctor, and nor did he in return.
"You can go now nurse." The doctor waved the woman out of the room while one of the orderlies wheeled me closer to his desk. I remember the desk being much larger, but then again I was much smaller at the time. It was still an impressive sized piece of furniture. At a glance I'd say it was nearly two metre's in length, for you non-metric people who come across this journal that would be six and a half feet... abouts, and made of the most beautiful polished red oak that I'd ever had the pleasure to glaze upon. I have to admit there was something about wooden furniture that always attracted my attention since I was little. This desk before me was a marvel that I wished I could run my fingers across. Along the fringe were carvings of Celtic origin if I remembered my carvings correctly. There were more intricate marking along the legs that stretched up to the desk's top. All in all it looked more like some kind of alter then a desk and I sometimes wondered where the man had come by such a unique piece of furniture.
"Did you enjoy your trip here?" Jakes inquired, I do not feel he was really interested in my trip or my well being, but I felt a need to answer him all the same.
"It was alright." I replied as I nervously moved about in my seat, "A lot better then that time your dogs tackled me in my room and dragged me here." I remarked in distaste as I glanced at one of the orderlies.
Jakes folded his hands in front of himself, "Are you still upset over things that happened nearly ten years ago?" He asked softly.
"Of course I am." I snarled, trying hard to keep my emotions under control. I could see the orderly at the doctors side twitch slightly as if he were ready to spring upon me, but I sat back in my chair and calmed myself.
Jakes glanced down at the folder before him. I noticed that there was a set of files stacked to his right and in front of him another file lay open. From my spot I could not see what this file contained, but part of me figured that it was probably something to do with me. He always had his current victims file open before him as he extracted his torture, "You have become one rather prestigious little girl since we last met. I've been keeping a close eye on you for the past ten years and you are something else indeed. It is amazing how you struggled to survive even after being raped. You really are impressive."
How did he know about that? It happened after I left here and I never reported it, "I've been making a better life for myself." I stated confidently, "You taught me that I needed to be a productive part of society and I've done just that."
He looked at me, I could almost swear that there was a flicker of hate in those eyes, "And yet you still are weak to female flesh." He probed, "One would think that after all the punishments life has sent your way you would have learned your lesson."
I ran my hand through my hair, not this again, "Are you still going on about that?" I chuckled, trying to cover my fright, "You still think I have a choice to be this way? Haven't you learned that this is how I am and there is no cure for it."
"It is a sickness and you know it." He remarked coldly, "You even told me so before leaving."
"Come on." I glared at the man, "Being gay is not an illness and that is not a reason to keep someone locked up. I am sane and you know it."
I saw a smirk cross the man's face, "Is that so?" He inquired skeptically, "Have you been seeing things since you left here?"
I was startled by this new line of questioning, then I remembered my reason for being there in the first place, "Wait, I should be the one asking questions." I insisted.
A smile crossed his face for the first time and it made my stomach sink. It was a menacing, like that of an animal that had finally cornered its pray. All the times I'd wished he would show some form of expression and now that I see it I want that cold face again, "That is correct. You wanted to know about Somnambulom." He stated as he took a key ring from his pocket, "Tell me, how did you learn about my drug?"
"One of my friends had it on her." I stated, keeping my eyes on his hands as he unlocked the top draw of his desk and opened the drawer, "Before she disappeared."
"Oh," His eyebrow rose ever so slightly, "What was the child's name perchance?"
"Beth." I said boldly, "Bethany Thomson and she was no child."
He glanced at me, his hand pausing inside the draw, "Awww... Bethany. As I recall she was having troubles sleeping after her little sister committed suicide, right down the hall in fact." He almost seemed happy with this fact and it made me feel even more ill at easy.
"Beth's sister was here?" I had a mix of curiousness and worry fill me, "Why was she here?"
He pulled out a leather pouch from the drawer and set it in front of himself, "If I recall she was suffering from dreadful night terrors."
"Did you give her your wonder drug?"
"Why yes, I did." He admitted without a sign of shame or regret, "She reacted fine at first and then one night went into a rage and slashed her wrists." He flipped through a couple of files and pulled on out and opened it, "Here her file if you are curious." He handed the orderly the file, who in turn handed it to me.
I took the file and opened it. A photo fell from the file and I picked it up to gaze upon it's surface. Before me was a picture of the same lonely room with the large wooden bed in the middle, however this time there was someone laying upon the bed. A young girl no more then twelve year of age. Her hands and feet had been bound and her back was arched as if she were in great agony. I could see pools of blood had already begun to form under her wrist. I glared at the doctor, "What the hell is this? Is this some kind of sick joke?" I inquired turning the photo around and showing it to him, disgusted by what I was seeing, "Do you do this to all your patients?"
"Why?" He asked there was a look of intrigued upon his face and I was not sure if I followed, "It is only the girl's school photo. What did you see?" He questioned, there was something in the way he looked at me that made my stomach do a back flip.
I stared at the photo to see it shift before my eyes to an image of a sweet little girl smiling out at me. Hastily I opened my journal to the page with my nieces photo and picked it up. No longer did I see the image of her sitting in a chair with wires coming out of her head, instead I was faced with an picture from her sixth grade picture day. A picture that I had hanging on my office wall, as a reminder of the innocent lives that needed my help. I became confused. How could the photos change before my very eyes? I was not imagining things, was I?
"But... But..." I stammered as I looked from one photo to the other, "You did have my niece here, didn't you?"
He tilted his head slightly, "Your niece?" He seemed confused for a moment then smiled, "Oh, yes. Your sister thought she had the same illness as you. Sleepwalking, night terrors and feelings for her best friend so she brought her here." He explained simply, as if this kind of thing happened every passing day, "I gave her a sample of Somnambulom in its new pill form. Another failed experiment it would seem."
"Experiment? Wha?" Where they really experimenting on children? "How long have you been doing this experiment."
The doctor grinned, "Why you were our first test subject." The doctor stated as he untied the pouch before himself and pulled out a needle with a strange cloudy fluid floating about inside. I suddenly recalled that needle. I recalled being tackled to my bed and strapped down then Dr. Jakes inserting the needle into my arm, "You have done better then I ever expected Brenda." He remarked proudly, "I knew that you were perfect for this experiment. I just never thought you would return to us willingly." He tapped the needle and pushed the plunger slightly, sending a spirt of fluid through the air.
"You can't be serious." I exclaimed, "You tested that crap on me?"
"Yes and you are the first and only one to survive its effects." He stated with a sinister grin, "I believe you will show us some amazing things. Gentlemen," He nodded to me and without another word the two orderlies were upon me. They pulled out leather restraints from behind their backs and quickly fastened my arms to the chair.
"What do you think you are doing to me?!?" I screamed out, kicking at one of the men with my good leg, "You can't do this to me! I have a life to return too!!"
The doctor shook he head as he moved around his desk, "Your life has always belonged to me." He stated as approached me, "I wanted to see what would happen if we released you back into the real world. This has all be orchestrated from the very moment you walked through those doors. Even your rape after you were released and your acceptance into that detective school."
"Liar!!!" I cried out as I struggled with my restraints, "I got free on my own. It had nothing to do with you. I did it on my own." I could feel hot tears roll down my cheek as I watched the needle move in closer. One of the orderlies held me down while the doctor rolled up my sleeve.
"Now just calm down." He stated calmly, " I just need you to open the door. Just do that for me and I will let set you free."
"What door?" I did not understand what he was going on about. Before I could protest any longer he stabbed the needle into the meat of my arm and pressed the plunger.
"You will know what I mean soon enough." He explained as he took a step away from me, "I just hope that you will not be a failure like the others."
To be continued
Note: The world of the shadowlands, Its stories, Characters and ideas are a copyright of Kathryn K Williams.
This story is based upon my manga of the same name. If you wish visit my site and see some of the art based on this series at http://www.KatAndNekoManga.ca
Also if you spot any typos or other errors please contact me at Kathryn@KatAndNekoManga.ca