“Calvin, I want him kept under strict observation for the next 24-48 hours,” Dr. Graham instructed, emerging from the door to D-wing into the main control room. The staff had had quite a time settling down Ty, who rightly denied any connection to Manny’s death. For whatever reason, no one in charge would believe him, and he ended up sedated and tied down to a gurney in D-wing.

“Either Dr. Halverson or myself will be by to check on him periodically, but in the meantime, keep one or two of your guys down here at all times.”

“What for? You know nobody bothers with D-wing anymore,” Calvin inquired.

“Just in case,” Dr. Graham answered timidly.

“In case of what?”

“Any disruptions,” Graham said, clearly annoyed. “That boy needs some good, unadulterated sleep, and he’ll be fine until the authorities figure out what to do with him next.”

“Sir, I think you’re way off on this,” Calvin piped back. “There’s no way Ty would do that to Manny. Him and Manny were tight. They were like brothers. I’ve seen it firsthand every day.”

“Don’t be serious, Calvin,” Graham replied. “Ty is dangerous. To himself and to the others. Has been since we first brought him here. You know what he did to his father, come on. If he didn’t do it, then who did?”

“I don’t know,” was Calvin’s hesitant response, knowing Graham was about to make his point.

“Precisely,” Graham answered almost on cue. “That’s why I get paid to make these decisions, and you get paid, to, uh, well, follow orders. And I suggest you continue to do so if you want to remain employed here. Got it?”

Calvin nodded in agreement, but that wasn’t good enough for Dr. Graham, who pushed the issue further.

“Calvin? Look at me.”

Noticeably angry, Calvin took a deep breath and made brief eye contact with his boss.

“You got it?!”

“Yeah, I got it,” Calvin responded through gritty teeth, holding back his anger.

“Alright then, I’m glad we had this talk,” was all Dr. Graham told him before practically shoving him out of the way and heading back toward the main hallway. “Remember, Calvin, keep the peace and do what I tell you, and everything will be fine.”

Perplexed and defeated, Calvin just stood there helplessly and watched him go as two other orderlies joined him in the control room.

“Calvin,” the short, huskier orderly informed him. “One of the patients wants to see you.”

“To see me?”

“Yeah, she said it was urgent.”

“Which one?”

“Miss Peterson. Gwen, I think her name is.”

Hearing that, a look of surprise became etched across Calvin’s face, as he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. None of the residents had ever requested his presence before, and they sure as hell never said anything was urgent. Something was going on, and he had to find out what.

“Where is she?”

“In the TV room.”

“Okay,” Calvin told them. “You two stay here and guard the door. I’ll go see what’s up. In the meantime, no one goes in and no one comes out. Understand?”

The orderlies just nodded in agreement and mock-saluted him as he disappeared from view.


Perched in the TV room, Gwen sat very impatiently on the top of the burnt orange couch and channel-surfed, hoping to find something even remotely good to grab her attention until Calvin arrived.

Nervous and flighty at the same time, Gwen was as anxious as anybody to find out what was going on, and she was just trying to get everything straight in her head so Cal wouldn’t think she was crazy. Clearing her head, she puffed on a Newport cigarette, blowing smoke around the room as she leaned back and tried to loosen up. Vehemently attempting to remember everything Lexi had told her, she closed her eyes and summed it up in her head: We need a group session, and we need it without Dr. Graham. Our survival depends on it. That’s the part that scared her the most. What did Lexi mean ‘their survival depended on it’. Could the maniac who sliced up Manny come after them next? If so, they had no defense against whatever it was.

Closing her eyes, she tilted her head back and finally felt a little bit of comfort…when all of a sudden, the TV cut out, going straight to black-and-white fuzz like someone had pulled the plug on the cable. Gwen immediately snapped right up and stared at the screen, but when she looked at it, a face suddenly appeared inside the fuzz. An ugly, scarred face, staring a hole right through her. An evil, yet strangely familiar visage that seemed to be stretching its way out of the screen and right toward her like a bad three-dimensional movie from the 80s.

Screaming, Gwen tried to get up off of the couch, but found herself stuck to it like flypaper. Frantically pulling with everything she had, Gwen got her arms free, but when she looked up again, she was staring directly into the eyes of the fuzzed-out version of Fred Krueger, stretched halfway across the room but still right in her face, laughing hysterically...

Just then, the door flung open, and the tall, gangly Calvin stepped in, shutting the door behind him as he entered.

“This better be good,” he stated, bypassing all the pleasantries.

“Cal!” she exclaimed bewildered, but happy that her surroundings were back to normal. “We need your help.”

“Yeah, I got that part,” Calvin responded. “What is it you need?”

Sighing, Gwen pondered everything before she opened her mouth. “Calvin, Ty didn’t kill Manny.”

“How do you know? Were you there?” Cal interrogated, partly because he wanted to know the answer as well.

“As a matter of fact, we were,” Gwen responded. “We all were.”


“We’ll explain later, but right now, we need you to do us a huge favor.”

“What’s that?”

“We need you to set up a special group session,” Gwen said, asking and demanding at the same time.

“No problem--” Calvin started to answer, before Gwen interrupted him.

“WITHOUT Dr. Graham.”

“Nuh-uh. No way.”

“Come on, Cal. It’s really important.”

“I would if I could, Gwen, but my hands are tied,” Calvin informed her. “Dr. Graham has been riding me ever since we took Ty down to D-wing. And he made it very clear that he will fire my black ass if I disobey him again.”

“Please, Calvin. I’m begging you. We all are. It’s a matter of life or death here. If we don’t have this meeting, any one of us could be next.”


“Yeah, you heard me.”

Putting his hands on his head, Calvin just took a deep breath and exhaled, not sure what to do or who to believe. Would their lives really be in jeopardy?

“You realize I’m putting my ass on the line for you guys,” Calvin finally relented, agreeing to help them.

“Oh, thank you Cal, thank you!!!” Gwen cheerfully beamed, hugging him tightly. “You have no idea what this means to us.”

“I can tell you what it will mean to me if I lose my job, so you better not let me down,” Cal added with a sarcastic smile.

“We won’t.”

Proceed To Chapter 12
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