|Series:||Hearts of Hallowan|
|Release date:||August 12, 2011|
|Previous chapter:||Getting Out|
Janie and Gabriel looked through the crowd of patients and people for their daughter; she should have been brought out by now, they thought, as the stream of patients being removed from the hospital had died down. The alarms in the building suddenly stopped, and soon a few uniformed police officers were in front of the crowd, beginning to direct paramedics in escorting patients back into the building.
“Donovan?” Gabriel said as he walked towards his colleague, “were all patients safely evacuated?”
“Umm…” Donovan paused for a moment, “Not quite. One patient has gone missing.”
“You’ll have to check with the chief, Ullman,” Donovan said as the pair walked towards the automatic doors into the hospital. “I don’t really know anything about it.” The sliding door closed in front of Gabriel, as his hand moved towards his radio.
“Officer 6-7 to Chief, over” Gabriel waited for a moment.
“Officer 6-7, this is Chief Mills, what’s your situation, over?” The voice of Chief Mills came over the radio. Gabriel immediately responded.
“Sir, I’m hearing reports of a patient missing. Do you know anything of it? Over.”
“Ullman, I’ve heard but I don’t know the name of the patient yet. When I know, we’ll institute a full search. Standby for instructions, over.”
“What did he say?” Janie had now moved next to Gabriel, appearing very worried. “Is it her?”
“I don’t know. He didn’t say,” Gabriel walked past his wife into the building, “But I’m not going to wait and find out. I’ll search every room in this hospital if I have to.”
“Do you know what lies across Lake Hallowan?” Blake had turned in the driver’s seat and was now facing Marci Ullman. Her long brown hair was soaking wet from the rain, and was dripping onto her seat and onto her clothes.
“Is this some kind of joke?” Marci asked. Blake didn’t respond, but his face became serious, almost puzzled. “What does Lake Hallowan have to do with what I’ve seen?”
“But what ‘’have’’ you seen?” Blake asked her as he moved the steering wheel and turned the car around a corner onto another road. “I know you saw something.”
“How do you know that I saw something? How did you know that I had seen something at all? How did you even know that I was there?”
“Marci-“ Blake paused, “I might not be the best person to explain this all to you. I’m taking you to meet with Korey at Lakeshore Park; he can make you understand this much better than I can. But I need to know what you saw, and I need to know now.”
“Why is it so important?” Marci was now frowning, no longer comfortable with being in Blake’s presence, even though her escape had been his doing and she hardly wanted to go back to the hospital. “How do you know I wasn’t just dreaming, or hallucinating?”
“Trust me, you weren’t dreaming. Now I need to know what you saw. And I need to know if you truly understand—if you truly can understand—what is going on here, or what you’re about to find out. I’m not sure you are ready.”
“Please, Mr. Morril,” Marci said, sternly, “Don’t insult my intelligence. I’m sure it will make perfect sense.”
“Marci… you have no idea.”
"Officer 6-7, come in," Chief Mills' voice squawked over the radio as Gabriel ran out of breath down the corridors of the hospital.
"Officer 6-7 reporting, sir." Gabriel said, catching his breath as he stopped running.
"Gabriel, you might want to sit down."
"It's Marci, isn't it?" Gabriel asked. The radio was silent for a moment.
"I'm putting Sargent Donovan in charge of the scene. Go and be with your family, and..."
"Sir," Gabriel interrupted, "I can handle this case. I demand to be on this case."
"Ullman, you're being taken off-duty due to personal distress. I should have done this already, given what you've already been through. I'll give you a call when I think you're ready to return to duty. Chief out." Gabriel knew that any further discussion would only worsen the situation, but he wasn't ready to give up yet. He would find his daughter no matter the cost.
Gabriel walked up to the nearest nurse's station. "I am Lieutenant Ullman, of the Hallowan Police Department. I need to speak to the Chief of Staff immediately regarding the missing patient. Please direct me to his office."
"Umm..." the nurse said, taken aback by the request, "His office is on the second floor, taking a left off the elevators. The secretary at that desk will help you."
Five minutes later, Gabriel entered the Chief of Staff's office, followed closely by the secretary.
"Sir," the secretary said from behind Gabriel, "I didn't let him through!"
"It's alright, Nancy," The chief, a graying male doctor in a dark gray suit, said as he looked up from his paperwork, "I always have time for the police." The chief stood up and walked towards Gabriel. "My name is Doctor Folger, sir."
"I'm... James Thomas," Gabriel said, quickly making up a name for himself while hiding the name prominently displayed on his badge. "I need to take a look at your surveillance footage from around the time the fire alarm was pulled."
During the drive from the hospital to the park, the rain had suddenly stopped and the park and surrounding landscape were now bathed in golden mid-afternoon sunlight. Blake parked along the curb of a small street next to a wooded park on the shore of Lake Hallowan. In the center of the park was a small pavilion, painted white, behind which sat a patio built out over the side of the lake. The park was located a good distance above the water below, and the patio was surrounded by a heavy iron railing on the sides, below which the waters of Lake Hallowan splashed upon the rocks. Korey was leaning back on the railing, but Jeremiah was nowhere to be found. "Where is he?" Blake shouted across the park at Korey as he stepped out of his car. Marci too stepped out of the car, and she immediately looked to her brother. She ran towards him.
"Korey, I should never have doubted you!" She yelled as she came up to him and hugged him tightly. The moment, however, was short-lived as Blake came up behind Marci.
"Now it's time for you to tell us the story." Blake said, while looking firmly at Korey, who knew this meant to let go of his sister.
"I don't think you really understand," Marci said, "it was just my imagination."
"I'm sure it wasn't" Korey said to her, placing his hand on her shoulder as he stood behind her.
"Before I say anything... I want you to explain this all to me. Why all the secrecy? Why all the fuss over one little dream?"
"Well, Marci... Let's see," Korey began, but Blake cut him off.
"No. You're not hearing another word until you tell us what you saw." Blake spoke firmly as he stepped towards her and forced Korey's hand off her shoulder. "Talk or you learn nothing, and I'll let you continue to live in complete ignorance. Spill it or you'll never understand. I am your only hope here."
Marci turned and looked at her brother, who seemed resigned to what Blake was saying, as he simply closed his eyes and nodded slowly. "Fine... but it wasn't about me. It was about Jeremiah Kemne... It was like, strange. It was almost like I was seeing things through his eyes, like I was seeing his memories."
"What?" Blake looked confused. "How can that..."
Marci shook her head, "I told you, it was just a hallucination."
"No." Blake said firmly. "It cannot be your imagination. Go ahead, tell us what you saw."
Marci took a deep breath, and began...
"Alright, this is camera 17." Dr. Folger said to Gabriel as he fast-forwarded through the recorded footage of Camera 17, a camera which looked at a back parking lot of the hospital. "I don't mean to question your methods, officer, but looking at the parking lot won't really show you who took her out of the room."
"That's not what I want to see," Gabriel said to the doctor. "I want to know how she left."
"Like I said, Officer Thomas, I didn't want to..."
"Doctor Folger to your Office immediately!" The voice of Nancy the secretary came over the hospital intercom, and Dr. Folger moved towards the door of the surveillance room.
"I'll be in my office, I'll try to be back here when I can." Dr. Folger moved out of the room quickly while Gabriel continued to look at the footage, choosing to switch to the next camera after a moment, a camera which pointed towards a set of emergency exit doors on the opposite side of the hospital. He moved quickly through the footage, watching groups of people moving out as the alarms were sounding. After the last of the visitors moved out, he thought he clearly saw his daughter's long hair being escorted out by....
"Officer Ullman," Dr. Folger said as he came into the surveillance room. "Is it all coming along alright?"
"How can... How can it be?" Gabriel, somewhat in shock by what he had just seen, stood up from the chair in front of the monitors. "Oh, yes Doctor? Umm... yes, it's all-- what did you call me?"
"I called you Officer Gabriel Ullman." Dr. Folger had a stern expression on his face. "That's your name, after all, I found out. And you insisted on viewing this footage after you were apparently explicitly told not to get involved."
"Umm... how did..."
"A Sargent Donovan informed me of all this, and put me in contact with your chief of police. You're going to be in a lot of trouble fo..."
"I don't have time for this, I've just seen all I need to see." Gabriel moved towards the door.
"Where do you think you're going? You're going to be apprehe-" Dr. Folger started, but Gabriel forced him out of the doorway as he exited into a back hallway of the second floor.
"Blake Morril!?" Gabriel said to himself as he ran towards the nearest stairwell. "Blake Morril kidnapped my daughter!?"