Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 14)

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My hysterical laughter filled the air, but there was no amusement behind it. “Don’t worry? I’ve been taken to an unfamiliar location against my will, and I’ve just realized that my dead girlfriend may have used me!” I snarled.

“Perhaps we should wait until the doctor arrives. Maybe it’ll give him time to calm down. Back away, Genevieve. There’s no need to cause him further injury. I have no doubt he’ll put up a struggle,” Not-Exactly-Lila said through a scowl.

So, younger Ms. Cold-Smile has a name.

Genevieve directed her pout at me as she said, “No fun.” We stared at each other as that pout turned into a mischievous grin. “I promise to be good. I’ll wear gloves during the inspection.” She approached me with more caution, extending her arms like she expected a hug. With each step she took forward, I took one backward. It felt like a dance that siblings would perform while opposed in a tickle war. “It’s just a quick examination of your crevices. When you bend over, it’ll only take a minute. I won’t hurt you, Caleb,” she purred.

“There will be no need for that!”

I followed the source of the voice to see an older man, possibly in his sixties, stepping out of a dark blue van. As he got closer, I saw that his face was plagued with scars. The most prominent being the ring-shaped seemingly burnt flesh near the corner of his left eye. When he reached me, he held out a hand. I mustered the strength to give him a firm shake. As he stepped back, he looked over my body. Pointing to my legs, he said, “That’ll have to come off, son. You can’t wear that during the x-ray.” I nodded in agreement. At that, the doctor motioned for me to follow him.

I took in the sight of where we were heading. I hadn’t noticed this building before. It looked like a large, tan block, void of any windows from what I could see.

He kept the door open for me. I thanked him as I entered. The sound of the door shutting echoed through the room. “Ah, I’m getting old,” the doctor chuckled. “I rarely remember to turn on the lights before letting go of that bloody door.” A few clicks later, the place was lit. It looked like an emptied warehouse. “This way. We must keep moving…” I brought my attention back to him. His mouth was open, an unspoken word hanging from his tongue was awaiting my help in its discovery.

Then, it dawned on me. “Caleb. My name’s Caleb.”

He shot me a friendly smile, eyes crinkling at the corners, emphasizing his scar. “Right. Well, right this way.”

He led me to a small room near the back. At the center was something resembling the patient’s bed in a family physician’s office. At least, I think that’s what they’re called. Above it was some sort of machinery. Was this supposed to be the x-ray?

My apprehension must’ve been slathered across my face, because the doctor said, “It may not be one of those state-of-the-art machines you’re used to seeing, but it works. Now, your jeans, son.”

The words crawled out of my mouth before I could stop them. “You don’t look like a doctor.”

He froze mid-stride, and turned around to look me in the eyes. “I’ll have you know, I am a certified doctor. Looks can be deceiving, boy. You already know that, don’t you? That woman out there may look just like your Lila. However, she isn’t. She is, in fact, far deadlier than you can imagine. You get in her way, and she won’t give you the chance of a last dying breath. Now, pants off.” As he continued his way to the control panel, I witnessed him injecting a clear, colorless liquid into his arm.

I swallowed. Once again, my throat felt as if an invisible force was rubbing sandpaper on its walls. Lila, what the hell did you get into? The sense of betrayal began to creep its way up again, but I pushed it away. I couldn’t keep allowing my emotions to control my actions.

I obeyed his orders and laid down.

PART 15

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