As Carlisle and Alice got off their flight, Alice got the glazed look in her eyes, and said
"Carlisle. We are too late. Bella will have no idea who we are. We are just too late. I can't
believe I didn't see this in time. Ironically I think I was focusing on Edward's future too
Who am I? Where is this place? Izzy, Alex and Liz came over and hovered over me.
Are you OK? they asked in unison.
"Bella, Bella what's wrong? What did they do to you? Izzy was besides herself.
"Do I know you people? My name is Bella? Where am I? What did you do to me? Why don't
I know anyone? Why don't I know who I am?
I was growing more and more agitated as a few more people joined the group and gawked
"Leave me alone!" I screeched, "Leave me the hell alone!"
The orderlies helped me up. I pulled weakly against their restraining hold. The head psychiatrist
bounded in to the room when she heard the noise. She summed up the situation and shouted for
me to be sedated. She was an angry looking woman with a pinched face and black hair tied
back severely. One of the nurses ran behind the desk where the medications were kept, and
bent down to get something. I was straining to see what was happening, but the orderlies
held me too tightly to get a good look. I started to panic and scream, and someone
shouted to the patients to go back to their rooms. Some patients looked blankly at me,
some patients looked scared and anxious. I caught a quick look at myself. I looked like a crazy
beast. I was deadly frail, my hair was sticking in every direction, and my skin looked
translucent. Suddenly everything grew quiet and I stopped fighting. Didn't seem any point. The
nurse emerged from behind the desk holding a huge needle. I began helplessly straining again as
one of the orderlies plunged the needle into my behind. I screamed in pain and felt an almost
I felt myself being lifted onto a gurney. I quickly fell unconscious but somehow felt the
hours tick away. I slowly returned to a semi-conscious state and noted that the sun
was rising. My instincts told me to stay still and pretend to be asleep. This
paid off. There were several people in the room and they were talking about me.
"How could this have happened to her?" said the nasty female psychiatrist.
"Listen, I have no idea" (I think the second voice was that of the oderly, Max). "I just know it
was not my fault" His voiced quivered a bit and I could tell he was really panicked.
"I brought her to the ECT room, and I was about to leave, but the technician-what's his name?-
Lance? He seemed off today. He's been like that lately, and.."...
The psychiatrist interrupted "OK, OK, I get the point. Was there anything unusual when
you returned to pick her up from ECT?" she sounded so impersonal.
"Yeah, it was weird. Lance was not in the room like he always is. This patient was still
hooked up to the electrodes. I took the liberty of turning off the machine (I could tell he
was scared about losing his job) This one, (I assume he was pointing to me) had this creepy
blank stare. Is Lance in trouble?"
It sounded to me that Max hoped the answer was yes, so that he would escape any blame.
"We can't find Lance on the premises, but that isn't your business, so go back to your job" The
Doctor was getting very impatient by this point. A second doctor, male, entered the room. "You
won't believe this, Walter, said the woman, "we have a another vegetable here-two in one
month" I guess she meant me. "You have got to be shitting me Anya. Were the circumstances
the same-missing technician, with the patient still jacked in?"
She must have nodded yes, because the room became silent.
"This is even worse. The last patient was homeless, and we could easily cover her adverse
reaction to treatment, and her ultimate death. This one here has a family, and although they
certainly not a well-educated or wealthy family, they can cause us tremendous troubles,
as you know-loss of funding as well as our licenses.
"I don't know, Anya, I don't know if I can take this anymore. This is wrong. Look at this girl. I
hear she was doing much better, and now her future is shot. We'll have to run some tests on
higher brain function, but I think she's mentally fried. We will have to find some explanation for
this, but after that, I'm out of here. I'll set up a small practice on my own. First do no harm is my
mantra." Walter sounded frantic and I pretty sure I was not getting out of this alive.
"Walter, this was out of our hands-purely an accident. I hope you aren't planning on relieving
your guilt by letting the world know about this. Let's clean this matter up for now. Deal
with your conscience later. I am going to fully re-haul our safety precautions. This will
never happen again" She sounded so dispassionate, just going about business and getting
rid of collateral damage.
By now I was totally freaked out. I was obviously part of a huge medical cover up, and I
didn't doubt that they were capable of getting rid of the evidence (me). The good news
was that I knew that I was not in a vegetative state. No memory, but I was able to think
coherently. Now I needed a plan.
"OK Walter, get someone to get her to a scan. Depending on how fried her brain is;
we'll work out the plan based on that" It was like listening to the Devil.
"Anya, if you are suggesting a staged suicide like the last patient, I really need
out. I won't blow the whistle for the reasons you brought up, but I'll have to figure
out an early retirement, new job, something that doesn't suspicious."
"OK, fine Walter, if you can't deal with the mess, I have the balls to do so myself"
Anya spat through her teeth. "While we are on this unpleasant topic,
everyone knows here knows that she's a mess. It's convenient that her roommate
just killed herself, and we can make up a story that she blamed herself for not being able
to save her. On a purely selfish note, now that you know my plans, you will certainly
be considered an accessory if somehow this leaks out."
"Oh God Anya, you are evil. I'll pray for you."
"Save it, Walter! I'll take my chances. Pray for yourself, you are not exactly innocent" I didn't
feel bad for Walter, but he at least had a shred of feeling. Anya was truly evil. If I made it
through this, I was going to bring these two down.
Very randomly the name "Victoria" popped into my head. I was so frustrated because I knew
no one by that name, but there must be some connection between them.
"OK, Anya, I am out of here, I don't want to see any of this. We'll discuss my departure once
it's finished" "It" was me. I was to be finished. Right out of some movie. I would disappear
and it "would be like I was never here". That phrase brought on a flood of sadness. Also
a flood of desperation, quite separate from the feeling that I was about to die. Something
about that feeling was what brought me here, I was convinced.
I heard the door slam, and my slimmest chance for help (Walter) was gone. Someone
else slid into the room. It was Max. He spoke in hushed tones to Anya.
"You won't believe this. Someone found one of Lance's sneakers in the hall outside of
the ECT room, and it was covered with blood!" He put an emphasis on the word blood and
this time his voice was positively shaking.
You could almost hear the gears turning in Anya's head. Damage control was necessary.
"That's odd Max, upsetting really, but I can assure you that he was running away from his
the scene of his mistake so quickly that he dropped a shoe. I doubt that we'll ever see Lance
again. He'll be better off if we don't. "Now Max, I feel terrible about this, but I've just heard
from management that you will need to find another job. They simply don't believe that
you weren't part of this tragic accident. I tried my best to get them to change their minds,
really I did, but I am in a pinch myself. I promise I will help you find an even better job in
the area. The only stipulation is that you will have to sign a confidentiality agreement with
the hospital. They can't risk getting this wonderful facility shut down. We will have a full
investigation of this incident of course, but unfortunately we have to let anyone go who has
had any involvement of what happened here. All you have to do is promise not to speak of this
again, and I promise I'll find you a better job with higher pay" Anya's voice became cloyingly
sweet as she spoke with him. It sure worked. I could tell that Max was relieved not to be
punished, and a bit proud of himself for somehow deserving a better job.
Max left the room and now I was left alone with the devil herself. I was trying my best to
slow my breathing and not let her notice that I was awake. Yet another person quietly
entered the room.
"Victoria" Anya said in a slightly annoyed, but oddly worshipping tone. "I have a huge mess
here- but at least I have the girl you want, Isabella Swan. There has been a lot of chaos
created by fulfilling your request; but I'm pretty sure that we can pull this off without
too much effort"
"There, there Anya, cooed Victoria. "I've already taken care of that weak sniveling colleague
of yours-Walter was it (?) At this point the women's voices were far enough from me and I
dared to crack open my eyes and peer from under my disheveled hair. I couldn't believe my
eyes. In sharp contrast to the homely doctor; Victoria was stunningly beautiful. She had
flawless porcelain skin, piercing blue eyes and a mane of wild, curly fiery red hair.
My intuition was that this creature (why did that word pop up) was a stone cold killer.
I was pretty sure that "taking care of Walter" was a metaphor for killing him.
Even from a distance, it was clear that Anya was completely doe-eyed in love with Victoria.
Victoria leaned in close to Anya and gave her a deep kiss, a well, passionate kiss. This was
just getting stranger. Victoria pulled out of the kiss first and held Anya at arms length.
"Now Anya, what's this about "we can pull off this mess"? I am thankful that you've
delivered my prey, although I am annoyed about the little confusion on your part about which
patient I was interested in. Not that I care, but it caused collateral damage and slowed me in my
quest. You have done everything I've asked of you"
"Great, I thought, now there were 2 women hell-bent on getting rid of me. No way out of this.
I would have at least been comforted by knowing who I was, and why everyone wanted me
Anya looked nervously at Victoria, like a child approaching an angry parent. "I know it's
not my business, but.. why do you want this woman dead so badly?"
Victoria's features grew more malignant "Well, you are correct that this is none of your business,
but if you must know, she took something-someone away from me once. Someone important"
"Your patient mix-up was an annoyance, but what has me really pissed off is that you hacks
managed to fry her brain, and she'll never fully understand the score that I am settling."
Then Victoria did something quite unexpected. She took Anya by the neck and lifted her off the
floor, higher and higher with one arm. This has to be a dream, I thought, this is physically
impossible. Anya's eyes grew very large and a tear escaped down her cheek. "Thanks Anya.
Don't worry, I'll make this relatively painless. It will look like you've had a stroke, which will
make sense given all the chaos around here." Anya looked like a doll. I could tell that Victoria
was not strangling her, but almost scaring her too death? Anya twitched a bit and went limp.
Victoria let her drop like a bag of potatoes. I would never forget the looked of sheer horror in
Anya's fixed and glassy eyes.
Victoria approached my bed with cat-like grace, and I closed my eyes as tightly as I could
and stifled my scream.
"Alice, this can't end like this.."
"Carlisle, there is no time to wax on, Alice said with some irritation, "My visions
have gotten clearer; she now in mortal danger, and it is from one of our own"
"Victoria?-I asked miserably. I was a bit surprised at the intensity of the wrenching
feeling in the area where my beating heart used to be. I snapped back to attention.
"Where is she?" We had entered the grounds of the hospital. I could tell that Alice was
completely tense, not only because of Bella, but also in no small measure because she spent most
of her human life in a mental institution.
"Well, I don't have GPS, but that looks like the main building" I totally ignored her snippy
remarks. We dashed into the building so quickly that we went unseen to the
group of three patients who had been allowed outside for a smoke. Upon entering the cold
marble building we were greeted with a harsh antiseptic smell. "Guess we are in luck-
smells like illness here. Plan?" Alice ventured.
"Let's find a supply closet. You may need to play patient." I felt bad doing that to Alice.
Luck-the first door opened was a supply closet. Jackpot. I found a pile a stack of scrubs, and
undressed quickly. Any sense of modesty had been thrown out centuries ago. A very dusty
wheelchair was nearly obscured in the corner of the closet. "OK Alice, take a seat,
take your coat off and throw this blanket over you"
"What next Doctor?" she said impishly. Well, at least she still had a sense of humor.
"Alice, you know that far off, spooky gaze you get when you are having a vision? Do that."
She immediately took on the look of a very ill patient not in touch with reality.
"Whatever you do, please don't talk"
I wheeled her out into the main room and pulled up next to an elevator. Luckily the facility
floors were well marked; administration, geriatrics, and yes-3rd floor-young adult psychiatry.
"Got it" I unceremoniously tilted Alice out of the chair, and we pretty much flew up to the
third floor, at which point she jumped back on, and we entered the ward. Now to pass security
without seriously compromising our identity. "Sir, where do you think you are going?" came
the predictable question. The heavy set, middle aged receptionist behind the desk
softened her tone mid-sentence as I turned around to face her. Even from feet away I could hear
the increase in her pulse and the flush blossoming on her face. I could almost feel her
mentally undressing me. Although this typical reaction usually mildly annoyed me,
in this case it would work to our benefit.
"My name is Dr. Cullen and I am the Chief of Medicine at Forks Hospital. I was here visiting a
former patient of mine, but right in front of this building, I found this catatonic patient
unsupervised." I specifically chose a low menacing tone which would both frighten and
send her in a frenzy to try and solve the situation.
"Please find the attending physician at once." I could tell she was torn between wanting to
help me, and the repercussions of leaving her post.
"But, I.." she stammered. I lightened my tone now. "Oh, don't worry, I'll handle things here
while you find the Doctor."
As soon as the receptionist was gone, I wheeled Alice down another corridor, past many patients,
and I realized how big the floor was. I had taken a mental picture of the floor plan and realized
that there could be as many as 150 patients. I was so frantic, an emotion nearly unknown to me,
that I forgot the convention of breathing.
"I can sense the vampire-take a left down this hall" Alice blurted. We weaved in and out of halls
until Alice pinpointed the room.
Inside the room Victoria was startled by the nearby presence of other vampires.
She moved back from Bella's bed and cursed sharply to herself.
I rammed the door down with the wheelchair and Alice jumped into fighting stance.
Victoria let out a growl of pure frustration, shrieked "YOU!" and did a graceful backflip through
the window to the grounds below and disappeared. I quickly noted that a female, likely Bella's
Doctor was splayed out on the floor with a look of frozen terror on her face. My attention
immediately turned to the hospital gurney.
"Bella!" Alice cried. "Carlisle, is she…?"
I thought I knew the answer, but to be sure, I quickly kneeled next to her and felt her warm,
sweet breath.(Why was her breath so pleasing to me?) I took her pulse, and although it was low,
it was not life threatening. I scooped her up. I thought it impossible, but she weighed somewhere
in the vicinity of 80 pounds. For someone 5 1/2 feet tall this was very serious. As I gazed down
on her delicate features, I noted that she was still hauntingly lovely, but she looked like a
shell of her former self. I felt a wave of anger run through me, again, extraordinarily
unusual for me. What was more disturbing is that the fury was not directed towards Victoria..