Part Six: Leaving the hospital.

The girl flopped down and started screaming and yelling. She was flailing her arms around and wide-eyed and as I sat up in the hospital bed I was in for some reason, the nurse tried to make sense of it all and turned to the girl who was scrabbling into a corner and waving her arms around.

“Leave me alone don’t cut me it hurts it hurts oh god oh god” she was saying, over and over, and the nurse was trying to calm her down. I looked around and saw the door open and heard other voices responding to the nurse calling for help and I stood up. A couple of other nurses or someone came in and a large guy and a girl about my age dressed in regular type of clothes and they all crowded around as the nurse tried to get them to help her with the screaming girl and explain what was going on without sounding nuts.

I sat there, watching them, and then realized that they were going to want to talk to me and I got up and edged out as they gently but very firmly grabbed the girl. I was into the hall and looked to my left as more people came running, and to my right, where nobody was coming running so I turned and began walking right and was almost to the end of the hall when I looked back and I saw Brigitte and Doc, standing outside of the hospital room.

Brigitte! I was going to yell to her, but I didn’t want to attract attention – more and more people were trying to help the screaming girl and crowding into the room and they were starting to look around. I waved my arm and tried to attract her attention. Then I had an idea.

“Doc,” I said, very softly. Doc had told me that he monitored all kinds of audio frequencies through his skin.

Two of his tentacles went rigid and he poked Brigitte’s ear, hovered near her, and she turned to her right. She saw me and came running down.

“Oh, god I missed you,” I said and she grabbed me and hugged me and began kissing me and our lips pressed together, I felt her lips brushing against mine soft and then fiercely, pressing into me, and then her mouth was open and she sucked my tongue right out of my mouth, began wrestling it with her tongue and her arms held me tight against her.

We should go, said Doc, and I looked back. The girl was quieter now, still whimpering and repeating over and over not to cut her and the crowd was backing out of the room. I agreed and said “Which way, Doc?”

“We should get Samson,” said Brigitte.

“Who?” I asked. Doc hovered there, tentacles drifting.

“Mr Damned Soul,” Brigitte said. “I’ve been calling him Samson.”


“It’s his name,” she said.

“Let’s just go. I don’t like him.”

Go left, said Doc, and down the stairs. I will go get Samson and we will meet you on the street.

I decided that if Doc was okay with him I’d be okay with him but I didn’t like the idea of getting separated from Doc at all. Still, I listened. These were the only two people I trusted in this whole world and one of them wasn’t a person but he’d known me the longest.

We went. We didn’t run, just walked with a hurried pace because we weren’t attracting any attention now and didn’t want to. We just wanted to be out of the building and off on our own by the time anyone noticed I was gone.

“Am I a prisoner?” I asked Brigitte, who was walking ahead of me. I kept sneaking peeks down her shirt at her cleavage; she was a few steps below me and I couldn’t help myself. I had missed her so much, and been so worried.

“Not exactly,” said Brigitte. We were in the lobby now. I was wearing only a hospital gown. That wasn’t that alarming, apparently, to the people around there. We walked across the lobby, slowly, and Brigitte took my arm. “They’ll think I’m just taking you outside for some fresh air,” she said. And nobody bothered us.

We went out the glass doors of the lobby and into the parking lot. I was, I saw, still in a city. I guessed it was Chicago and Brigitte said I was right.

“How’d you find me?” I asked.

“There were reports all over the place about some kind of weird event in Chicago that was either a domestic dispute or terrorism or inexplicable, depending on who you listened to. Most people agreed that there was an explosion and that a big part of Chicago had been leveled. But some reports claimed it wasn’t leveled but that it disappeared. Other reports said there had been a couple arguing before the explosion. Doc thought we might find you here, and Samson agreed.” She looked at me.

“He’s pretty good at finding you,” she said.

We walked over to a picnic table to wait for Doc. “Do you think it’s okay to sit here?”

“For now, I guess,” Brigitte said. “I hope they hurry.”

“What did you mean I’m not really a prisoner?”

“They found only your body at the spot where most of that museum disappeared, and you were out of it. You’ve been unconscious for, like, four days. They want to question you and find out what happened ,and if you were the cause of it.”

I sighed.

“You were the cause of it, weren’t you?” Brigitte asked.

“Yeah. Kind of. Reverend Tommy attacked me.”

“Were you in Hell again?”


“Was … that other woman there?”

“Ivanka?” Brigitte bit her lip and I felt bad. I should have, I guess, pretended to not remember her name but I’m not very good at relationships. That might have been worse, maybe, because then I’d be lying and unfaithful. “No. She wasn’t there. Not this time. She’s not usually there,” I said.

Brigitte turned to me. “Why would you do that?” she asked. I didn’t have to ask what it was that she didn’t want me to do. I knew.

“I don’t, I don’t know.” I said. I thought about what I could tell her and then just told her the truth. “I just… I just did. I didn’t think about it. It’s different, you know? You don’t know. When I’m there, when I’m in Hell, it felt different, like I don’t know, like I’m a different person or maybe because it’s a different world and I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to at first and then I just gave in.”

We sat quietly.

Brigitte was sniffling.

“I thought you loved me,” she said.

“I do.” Long pause. More sniffling. “I really do.”

“Why would you do that?”

I didn’t say it was the same question. I’m bad at relationships, but not that bad. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Still nothing.

“I’m trying to be a good person,” I said. “I’m just not sure how to do that.”

She sniffled more. I looked at her hand, sitting there on the bench next to me. We were sitting side by side and I wanted nothing more than to start hugging her and grab her and kiss her and then just hold her and hold her and kiss her and never let go.

I started crying now, too. “Can you forgive me? I don’t know what’s going on with me or anything and I’m so mixed up and nothing makes any sense. I’ve only been alive for a week but in that week I’ve spent months and years in Hell and there’s demons and people try to kill me and revenants and that dog and Bob is dead and I don’t ever know what to do or what to feel or even how I know my own name.

“But I know that the only thing I keep thinking about is you and since I met you I just want to kiss you, just want to hug you, just want to feel your body pressed up against mine and rub you and hold your head against my chest and run my hands down your legs and most of all I want to lie next to you and watch you sleep and never sleep myself because then I wouldn’t be with you.”

“Oh, Rachel,” Brigitte sniffed and she turned to me and then there was a loud crash of broken glass and a scream and the girl I’d pulled out of Hell came hurtling out of a window about 7 stories above us, yelling all the way to the ground, which she hit with a thud right in front of us.

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