CHAPTER 20- FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Standing outside his office, a very liquored-up Dr. Gregory Graham was just about to lock his door when he spotted his comrade Dr. Lloyd Halverson rapidly approaching and out of breath.
“Lloyd, what’s up?” he asked groggily.
“Everything is set and ready to go,” Halverson informed him, clearly smelling the alcohol on his breath.
“Good,” Graham answered. “Very good. Do you want a drink?”
“Uhh, no thank you, I’ll pass,” Halverson declined as he noticed his mentor gesturing back toward his office. “I want to keep a clear head about everything.”
“Ohhh, come on, Lloyd, one drink isn’t going to hurt,” he insisted.
“One drink won’t hurt me, but it would probably hurt you, sir,” Lloyd stated matter-of-factly. “How much have you had to drink?”
“Not enough,” Graham responded with a smirk, putting his arm around Lloyd and whisking him off down the hall. “My boy, you have GOT to learn how to loosen up a bit.”
As the two doctors disappeared from view, the closet door nearby creaked open slowly, and out stepped the Man in Black, a determined look scrawled across his face as his black attire blended in with the dark, dimly-lit hallway.
Suspiciously glancing down each corridor, the man carefully stepped toward Dr. Graham’s office, and knowing Graham forgot to lock it, easily turned the doorknob and stepped inside, promptly pulling the door shut behind him.
It’s a good thing he did it when he did, because not even a moment later, orderlies Damian and Jonah turned the corner and walked right by the office, returning from dumping Maria (or what was left of her) in D-wing.
Pausing a few seconds to make sure the coast was clear, the man locked the door from the inside and proceeded behind Dr. Graham’s desk to his large black filing cabinet. Pulling out a small mag-lite flashlight from his pocket, the man flung open the cabinet with a flash, shining the small pen light onto the files. Listed alphabetically A through Z, the cabinet contained the case studies and personal files of every inmate ever treated at Westin Hills. Flipping through the files, a lot of the names he read meant nothing to him, but as he progressed, some of them started to hit home.
That last one made his gut wrench, instantly putting a lump in his throat. The man stared at the nametag long and hard a few moments before he finally reached down and pulled the file of Kristen Parker, the long ago nemesis of Fred Krueger.
Taking a deep breath, he set the manila folder down on Dr. Graham’s desk and began reading through the case notes, his eyes tensing up while he did. After leafing through what seemed like a mountain of paperwork, the man was totally caught off guard by a VHS video tape that fell out of the file onto his lap. Intrigued, he rubbed his hand across his face, gently edging his five o’clock shadow, then took the tape and popped it into Dr. Graham’s ancient VCR nearby, probably one of the last VCR’s around.
His face instantly lit up when he recognized the bright, shining face of Kristen Parker, beaming directly at the camera on a bright sunny day in the park...
“Hi Alice!” she beamed as some tall pine trees rustled in the wind behind her. “Wish you were here.”
At the same time, two other females entered the frame; one was a tall, fit girl with shoulder-length brown hair and a revealing black top; the other was a short, stocky girl with caramel skin, primped long hair, a red sweater, and nerdy black-rimmed glasses.
“Hi Alice!” they seemed to add in unison.
“Your horrible brother’s up to his old tricks again,” Kristen stated, tongue-in-cheek as her boyfriend entered the frame. The medium-build, spiked-haired jock, who had a wacky personality to match, smiled as he hugged her.
“You know, Rick, as long as I’ve known you, I’ve always wanted to ask you what the hell this shit is that you put in your hair,” the tall, fit girl questioned as a rustle of leaves blew around them. It had obviously been a crisp, clear autumn day that afternoon in Springwood.
It felt so realistic that the Man in Black could practically smell the pine of the trees.
Giggling, the tall girl knew she struck a chord and rapidly changed the subject. “So, Rick, tell us about your sex life!”
“What are you doing?”
“I want his body!!!” Kristen proclaimed, practically tackling her boyfriend Rick, intentionally messing up his hair.
“Oh, that’s bullshit!!! the taller girl complained. “What else do you want?”
But before she could get the entire question out, Rick interrupted her. “She wants my body!!!”
Hoping to change the tune a bit, the short girl added her two cents: “Kristen’s my only friend. She’s my only friend.”
Then, after some more giggling and rolling around on the ground, there was a jump cut in the tape, and now Rick was trying to teach his girlfriend how to play croquet.
“Come on, come on!!! Hit the ball and everything’ll be great!!!”
“I’m gonna hurt somebody!!!” Kristen insisted, swinging her mallet wildly.
At the same instant, Rick faked hurt and fell flat on his back.
“What are you doing??” Kristen asked, clearly concerned as she stooped down to help.
“Helllllllllooooooooo Bayyyyyyyy-bay!” Rick exclaimed, playing possum as he pulled her to the ground and kissed her.
“It’s Miss Kristen Parker!!!” he said joyously as the other two girls dove on top of them and all four mischievously rolled around on the ground. Behind them, a large fountain spewed water upward in the distance, rippling down to its basin.
“I love you two!” the short girl smiled as they all took part in a big group hug.
“Bye everyone!” Kristen waved, then the tape cut out...
Staring intently at the now fuzzy black and white screen, the Man in Black was in tears, the small drops trickling down the side of his face. Breathing deeply, he took a moment to collect himself, adjusting the black fedora atop his head. Then, just as he slid the case file back into the cabinet and shut it with care, he heard a rattling noise outside the door.
“Why the hell is this locked?” Dr. Graham complained, jerking on the doorknob as the Man in Black stared at the shadow in disbelief, noticing Graham’s name badge sitting atop the desk.
“I don’t know, sir,” Halverson replied, standing next to his senior mentor. “You sure you didn’t lock it?”
“Hell, I don’t know, Lloyd. The last thing I remember was downing that scotch on the rocks.”
“Shh! Wait a minute, I think someone’s in there.”
Pulling out his keys hesitantly, Dr. Graham fiddled through about five on his key ring before finding the correct one and inserting it into the lock. There was a click as the door unlatched and both Graham and Halverson entered.
Inside the dark office, everything appeared normal. The two doctors cautiously approached, inspecting every corner of the room looking for any little thing that might be out of place. Much to their relief, everything was fine. His filing cabinet remained locked. His chair was neatly tucked behind the desk, and perhaps most importantly, his prized liquor cabinet was unharmed.
Blowing off the suspicion, Dr. Graham reached down onto his desk and grabbed his badge.
“Must have been my nerves,” the doc said, clipping the badge back onto his vest. “Things have been kinda edgy around here lately. Thank god I found it. No telling what might have happened if this fell into the wrong hands.”
“You’re right, sir,” Halverson concurred. “Shall we go back now?”
“Good idea. Come on, we’re falling behind schedule anyway.”
Rushing out the door, Dr. Graham double-checked the lock this time to make sure it was indeed latched. Then, testing the doorknob one last time, they trekked back off down the hall, their footsteps fading in the distance.
Back in the room, a large ceiling panel slowly moved from its location and the Man in Black suddenly swooped down from above, landing as quietly as possible on the linoleum floor. Using his hands to break his fall, he maintained his position for a few moments to make sure no one was stirred, then carefully affixed the ceiling panel back where it was and headed toward the door.
He knew what he had to do.
Proceed To Chapter 21
Back To The Lair Of Horror