2 The Seven Year Aftermath

A kind man in a white coat led the deranged but silent woman up the steps. "Right this way, miss. You'll be just fine."

Dr. James looked at his colleague, confused. "Ted, what are you doing?"

Dr. Jones kept his hand around the woman's wrist and gently led her up the rest of the stairs of the asylum. The woman didn't seem to see anything, and she said nothing. "I found her wandering around the street," said Dr. Jones. "I didn't have the heart to leave her out there on her own. Just look at her!"

Dr. James shrugged. "Do you know her name?"

Dr. Jones shook his head. "No. She won't talk."

"Let's take her into my office. Maybe we can find some ID." Dr. James grabbed a nurse who was walking past. "Hey, sweetheart, wanna help us out?"

The nurse looked dazed by Dr. James's dazzling smile. "Yeah, sure."

The four of them went into the office, and the nurse searched the woman in the bathroom. When they came out, the nurse dumped all she had found on the table. "Her name is Mindy Mconnell. She lives on 623 Sage Street, in apartment 2B, drives a four wheel-drive jeep, age thirty-five, and was or is married judging by the ring on her finger. She has a scar on the side of her head, possibly from a bullet. She's horribly thin, and she said one thing."

"Really?" exclaimed the doctors. "What?"

"'Mork'," said the nurse. "Whatever that means. She said it when I helped her put her jacket back on." The nurse looked slightly disappointed that this was all Dr. James had wanted her for. "I'll go now."

Interested in this new challenge, Dr. James picked up the driver's liscence the nurse had found on Mindy Mconnell, noting that it had expired years ago. "God, she was a knockout, wasn't she?" he said to his friend, showing him the picture.

Dr. Jones ignored the license and put on a confused expression. "Mork? What's a mork?"

"Mork?" Mindy said, looking around wildly.

"Well, she responds to the word," said Dr. James. "And wearing her jacket."

"Perhaps we should look and see if she has any family," suggested Jones. "They can help us."

James frowned. "I'm curious if she'll respond to anything else," he wondered. "We'll walk her around a bit, and then we'll find her family."

Jones shrugged and took Mindy by the wrist. "Right this way, Ms. Mconnell. Let's introduce you to everyone."

Mindy followed him without complaint, paying no attention to her surroundings. Her hand either lay limp at her side or ran a tentative finger around the area the nurse had said a scar was.

"Dr. James!" called a man, stumbling towards them. "Dr. James, look! Look what I drew!" The patient shoved a paper in James's face and waited expectantly.

"Marvelous!" James congratulated. "Sam, you've done a wonderful little rainbow."

Mindy suddenly snatched it out of his hands. Her eyes were hungry as she stared at the childish picture. Jones could swear he saw the crayon colors of the rainbow reflected in her eyes. "Mork," she said.

"Hey!" whined Sam. "That's my picture! Give it back!"

"Sam," Jones said, his eyes not leaving Mindy, "how about you go and make another picture? Mindy here just likes this one so much, I think it would be nice if you let her keep it."

Sam looked ready to protest, but his face broke into a smile. "Okay! I'll make a picture so pretty that everyone will like it!" He skipped away.

"Rainbows, jacket, and a mork," Jones muttered. This girl was either incredibly screwed up in the head, or she was trying to piece something together. And she needed their help.

James scratched the top of his head. "What a mystery this one is, eh?"

***

The three of them stood in the line to get lunch. Today, it was salad, ham sandwiches, and hard boiled eggs.

"Think she'll eat?" asked Jones.

"No," replied James. "But I will." The lady behind the counter handed him his tray, and the other two to Jones. They didn't trust Mindy to carry her own.

The three of them sat down at an empty table and placed Mindy's tray in front of her.

"Ah, I love eggs," James said. He picked his up and prepared to crack the shell when Mindy moved.

At the word "eggs", Mindy had glanced down at her tray. Upon seeing the egg, she scooped it up and held it close.

James stared at her, puzzled, his egg still in his hand. Mindy saw his egg and snatched it, looked over and Jones's tray and took his egg, too. "Mork," she said, staring down at the eggs lovingly.

James and Jones exchanged glances, eyebrows raised. "Eggs?" they said together. They retreated into thought, attempting to piece together this puzzle, when a huge clap of thunder broke their concentration.

Mindy laid the eggs down gently and looked out the window. "Orson," she said.

"Hey, we got another word out of her!" Jones exclaimed, feeling proud.

One of the nurses walked up to James and handed him a paper. "Here's a list of family members for Mindy Mconnell," she said, batting her eyes in hope of getting a compliment.

"Oh yes, thank you," James said, waving her away. The nurse put on a pouty, dejected look and shuffled away.

Jones watched Mindy stare outside. The rain beat down on the windows, making it impossible to see outside, save for the few flashes of lightning. Her mind seemed to be processing, connecting one thing with another.

Abruptly, she gathered up the eggs and sprinted out of the cafeteria, her skinny legs carrying her away at a crazed speed. Jones had never seen someone so sickly run so fast.

He and James raced after her, down the halls of the asylum and out into the downpour. James dialed one of the numbers on the list the nurse had given him. "Hello, Mr. Mconnell? Do you know someone named Mindy?"

Mindy flew through the storm, her feet splashing in the puddles of filthy water. Jones had to push himself to keep up with her, and he could hardly see through the rain. James went slower so he wouldn't drop his cell phone.

Jones watched the girl run with her arms clutched to her chest so she wouldn't drop any of her precious eggs. She charged across the street, completely oblivious to the speeding traffic, and into the cemetery.

The cemetery had always frightened Jones. It was perched on the edge of a cliff, with ancient headstones and a horror movie look to it. Mindy Mconnell rushed down the worn path, passing all the headstones and seeing none of them.

"Her father's coming!" Jones heard James shout.

Mindy continued her wild run, until, suddenly, she stopped.

Jones caught up with her now, panting and bent over to catch his breath. He saw that Mindy was staring at a grave, almost fearfully. Her knees gave out, and she fell on them in the wet grass. Her skeletal hand traced the name on the headstone, and Jones read with a start:

MORK MCONNELL
BELOVED HUSBAND, FATHER, AND FRIEND
DIED: APRIL 19, 1981

There was no date of birth.

Mindy's hand finished outlining the words, and then outlined them again. "Mork," she gasped, shuddering. "Mork."

James appeared beside Jones, with two other men following him. One was bald, and the other looked like a man in his late thirties. "So Mork was a person," James muttered.

"Mindy," said the bald one, approaching the girl. "Please, sweetheart, we know you miss him! We all do! But you need to come back to us now. Mearth and I, we need you."

The other man came and knelt beside her. "Mom?" he said tentatively. "It's me, Mearth. Dad's gone, Mom. But we're still here. Please come home."

Mindy whipped her head around, her emotionless face now one of rage. "He would do anything to be with me," she hissed. "Why shouldn't I do the same?" Her hand flew from the headstone to her scalp, feeling for the scar.

"No," said the bald one whom Jones took to be her father. "Not this again! Mindy, don't! Mork wouldn't want you to kill yourself. He'd want you to go on living, if only for Mearth."

"I remember everything now," she said quietly. "He… had rainbow suspenders-," she pulled Sam's picture out of her pocket, "and we went to Ork in an egg-," she held out the eggs, "and every morning, he would help me into my jacket, and kiss me goodbye."

Her father stepped closer, reaching out for her. "Mindy, Mindy, you should never have shot yourself like that! Mork didn't want to be forgotten, he wanted to be remembered and-."

"I wasn't trying to forget him!" she screamed, leaping to her feet and trembling with fury. "I wanted to see him again! I just didn't try hard enough!"

Jones gaped. Mindy had tried to commit suicide to see her husband again, and wound up losing all the memories of him, except his name. It was awful and petrifying, and it made his heart lurch. This woman was so devastated, and she had literally gone crazy without her love.

That, or he was the other half of her crazy, balancing her out. Jones had never, in all his years in the asylum, heard someone talk about going somewhere in an egg, let alone a place called Ork.

"Mindy," her father continued, "it wasn't meant to be! Humans should never marry outside their own species."

"Species?" James interjected. "You married a… an animal?" He paused to process the thought. "A chicken, right?"

"NO!" she yelled. "Mork was from another planet, an Orkan! And he loved me. And I loved him." Her eyes darted around the cemetery. "And now, I'm going to see him again." She began to back up, slowly.

Jones realized what she was doing. "No, stop!"

Mindy smiled the demented smile of someone so torn up inside that nothing inside could stitch them back up. Her feet kept taking her back, and back.

"Mommy, no!" cried Mearth.

Her father attempted to run after her. "Mindy, don't do this!" he commanded. As he neared her, her pace quickened. Painfully, he forced himself to stop chasing her. Tears began to fall down his cheeks.

"I know you didn't like him much," Mindy whispered, yet it sounded so very loud. "But I'll let him know you said sorry, Daddy." She turned to her son. "I love you, Mearth."

Mearth began to wail, a horrible sound that was just as pitiful coming from a grown man as it would have been a child. "Don't go, Mommy! I'll miss you!"

Mindy turned away from him, unable to face her child. "Goodbye, everyone. Nanu nanu."

She turned with only feet from the edge cliff, looked her death straight in the eye, and took a running leap into oblivion. Mindy Mconnell didn't scream. She blissfully embraced her end.

The last anyone ever saw of her was swallowed by the fog below the cliff. As she vanished, there was a mighty clap of thunder, and on the moor above, the daughter-less father and mother-less son hung on each other's shoulders and yelled their misery to the world.

~Wow. Wasn't that epic? I feel like I just unleashed a bunch of emotional stress in writing this. And it didn't even take me very long! I typed nine pages of this in just a few hours. *bows* Thank you for taking your time to read this. This is for that sole anonymous review I got. And I'll be writing another Mork and Mindy tear-jerker soon.

Proud as allowed! Sammy~