DREAM WALKER – Chapter 5: Visions!
Lauren didn’t know how to react to what Anna just said. She was feeling very sorry for the woman, but, she just couldn’t bring herself to believe that the rumours about the vampire were indeed true. “You sure that she saw a vampire? With large fangs and a pale complexion? She could be making this up to cope with the stress”, Lauren said, unable to believe the story. Her doctor’s identity was totally against it. Just then, Dr. Arthur Wilson arrived at the reception desk. “Someone’s early this morning, eh?” He said, his voice unusually void of any emotion. Lauren was about to wish him good morning when he spoke again. “I guess we have a lot of things to take care of Miss Nelson, don’t we? Please tend to them if your chit-chat session is over”, he said boring his eyes into Anna’s, and walked away. “What’s the matter with him?” Lauren asked, a little irritated by his reaction. “Can’t say. Maybe Sally really was telling the truth”, Anna said and broke into her inaudible laughter. Lauren couldn’t laugh at it though. “I better get to work before he pokes at me again. You may ask Sally about everything. She’s been following the story very keenly”, Anna said and gave Lauren a printout of her schedule. Lauren bid goodbye to Anna and walked away.
Sally was sitting silently and was watching the news on her phone when Lauren entered the laboratory where they were running the tests on the medicines. Sally had her spectacles on, and just nodded at Lauren, without uttering a single word, which was very unlikely of her. Instead of objecting to Sally using her phone in the laboratory, Lauren simply ignored it this time. She was still pissed because of Dr. Arthur Wilson. “You can’t believe it either, can you, Dr. Sharper?” Lauren asked Sally, putting her bag into a cupboard. “My circuits have been fried ever since I came to know about the incident. I was dead sure that its some poison, but, this woman has some completely different tale to tell”, Sally said, taking her spectacles off and taking a sip of her tea. “What is she saying anyway? I didn’t see her interview”, Lauren said as she took a seat beside Sally. “There’s no interview of her. She is a victim of a brutal assault, remember. The police didn’t allow even a single media person to interrogate her. What is available though is the interview of the officer who interrogated her”, Sally said as she played the video on her phone.
“So far we haven’t found anything which may seem like a fabricated narrative. We haven’t used the poly-graphic test on the victim as of yet, considering the trauma she is in, but, from my experience of twenty years in the force, I have become a lie detector myself. She’s telling the truth”, the officer said as the journalists at the press conference murmured amongst themselves. “Did she give any description of the vampire, Officer Colt?” A dark and curly haired woman asked the officer, biting the butt end of her pen and ticking her long fingernails on the notebook she had on her lap. “She has given quite a vivid description of the thing she saw as well as the whole ordeal”, Officer Colt said as she paused for a while to drink some water, “she said that she was kidnapped at around 2100 hours last night and was badly beaten up by her captor, who was the employee of a cafe she often visited. She was drugged, which had made it easy for the assailant to take her away. She isn’t sure when the killer of the assailant had arrived because of it, but she believes that it was well past midnight”, Officer Colt said. “You didn’t speak anything about the vampire, Officer”, the curly haired woman butted in again. “Coming to the subject of the vampire”, Officer Colt said, furrowing her brows when she spoke the word ‘vampire’, “she said that the killer seemed to be in a certain sort of armour, his face was covered with some protective headgear and he used his nails, which gave a blue glow, to pierce the heart of her assailant”, Officer Colt said as the crowd of journalists boomed into a chatter and everyone was busy speaking and jotting down stuff at the same time. “Like I said, we haven’t run any poly-graphic tests on the witness, because she is a victim before a witness and we will give her ample time to recover before we probe her further into the matter”, Officer Colt said, the journalists asking more questions to her simultaneously. She got up and walked away in response without saying a word as the policemen ushered the journalists to maintain silence.
“What do you make of it?” Sally asked Lauren, without looking at her and reading the comments posted on the video. “Anything to say, Dr. Hart?” Sally asked again, this time glancing at Lauren, who was sitting beside her, stupefied. Sally shook Lauren by her shoulder. “Earth to Lauren, are you sleeping with your eyes open now?” Sally joked. “That narrative…”, Lauren began, “Completely absurd, right? The cops do say that she was drugged. Maybe she killed the man with some stray object herself and conjured a story in her head to cope with the trauma. You know, like, Life of Pi “, Sally intervened in between. “No. Not that…”, Lauren began, but was intercepted by Sally again, “Yeah, yeah, I know. Even I believe what Pi said…”, Lauren placed a hand on Sally’s arm and said, “May I?”, fixing her eyes onto Sally’s. “Yeah, yeah, go on…”, Sally said, taking a big gulp of her tea and unintentionally burning her tongue. “I don’t know how, but, I felt a vision unfold before my eyes where everything happened exactly the way the kidnapped woman described”, Lauren said. “Ahan, dreams, deja-vu and now visions, huh? Your plate never gets full does it?” Sally said, wanting to and not wanting to take another sip of her tea. “I’m serious, Sally. I saw everything, as if it was my own memory”, Lauren said, her voice a little louder than her own liking. Sally dropped the sarcastic jibes she had at the ready to fire at Lauren. “Okay… Did you see the face of the vampire then?” Sally asked, finally getting serious. Lauren paused for a while, recalling exactly what her head showed her, “No, I didn’t. I was the vampire myself.”
Charlie was sitting in his wheelchair in the garden of the Clementine Hospital. He had chosen a shady spot under a large oak tree and was watching the other patients at the hospital walk around. He saw Lauren talking to a patient some yards away. She was accompanied by Sally who was a little too occupied with her phone. Charlie called out to her and she waved at him. “Go on, he’s your date after all”, Sally pinched Lauren with her words, her eyes momentarily leaving her smartphone. “Didn’t know you fancied Charlie, Lauren”, the patient she was talking to said. “Oh, its nothing like that, Mrs. Wood”, Lauren said, literally pinching Sally on her arm. “Ouch! Be careful, lady, I don’t wanna get a tetanus shot!” Sally yelped in pain, almost dropping her phone.
“Someone seems to be enjoying the view”, Lauren said when she reached Charlie. “Well, the view just got better”, Charlie said, looking at Lauren, making her blush against her will. “How was your adventure last night?” Charlie asked when Lauren didn’t speak for a few seconds. “I wouldn’t call it an adventure, to be honest”, Lauren said, her eyes dropping with disappointment. “Why, what happened?” Charlie asked, “also, do you mind taking me somewhere else? I’ve been sitting here for more than an hour now”, he said. Lauren gladly pushed the wheelchair and they started moving towards a different area. “Well, nothing happened. There were a few new happenings, but nothing of much significance to be honest”, Lauren said as they crossed some elderly people playing with their grandchildren. “Ahan, tell me about it”, Charlie pushed her a bit, “Well, I followed the fireflies, and they led me into some woods and then disappeared. I couldn’t find them, and eventually got bored and fell asleep in my own dream”, Lauren said with a forced chuckle. “Now that really is boring”, Charlie said, forcing a chuckle of his own.
“Is that all?” Charlie asked again. “Well, that is not all. Something else happened as well”, Lauren said, desperately missing her unbraided hair so she could fiddle with them. “Ahan, shoot”, Charlie said, listening carefully. “Um, I don’t know why it happened, but, I listened to your voice in my head”, Lauren said, happy that she managed to say it without fumbling. “Just my voice? What was I saying?” Charlie asked, his eyes lighting up. “Well… You asked me to follow the fireflies and scout the area when I reached the woods, but you went silent after that”, Lauren said. “And you started feeling sleepy after you entered the forest?” Charlie asked. There was a seriousness in his voice, which Lauren was not familiar with. She couldn’t see his face since she was behind him. “Yeah, it was a long walk and I was surrounded by large trees. The whole environment urged me to sleep”, Lauren said. “Did I call you by your name?” Charlie asked out of the blue. “Um, I don’t remember, but, I don’t recall you doing so”, Lauren said, a little uneasy by his change in behaviour. “But you called me by my name?” Charlie shot another question at Lauren, who still couldn’t see his face. “Yes I did”, Lauren said softly, completely unsure of what was happening. “Why do you ask?” Lauren questioned him back. “Ahh, never mind. Scout the area further and try not to fall asleep”, Charlie said, dismissing her question. Lauren’s eyes tried searching Charlie, but it was a futile effort since his face was looking elsewhere in the distance. Her eyes fell on his nails. “Charlie! How come do you have blood in your fingernails?” Lauren asked, alarmed at what she saw. “Oh, I had dug my nails into the wound on my chest in my sleep. I’m surprised it didn’t come off”, Charlie said, taking out a handkerchief to try to clean the inside of his fingernails. “You’ll need a good cleansing agent for that. Let me take you inside”, Lauren said as she turned Charlie’s wheelchair towards the hospital.
It was very late and almost all of Feli-City was dozing off peacefully in their beds, but Mike Hammer was too afraid to close his bloodshot eyes. He lied weakly on his couch, his silk night suit smeared in his blood. “Why are you doing this to me? You can take all the money I have. Just let me go”, he pleaded before his attacker who had green eyes and blonde hair. “Now, now, now. Your newspapers call me a vampire. Do you really think a ‘vampire’ cares for money?” He laughed at his victim. “But, why are you doing this? You would’ve…” Mike was cut in between as a sharp hand pierced through his gut. “Well, I have to keep my numbers up before I cash in my reward, you see”, the blonde said as his blood-red lips broke into a wide grin.
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