Maddy's Floor, page 1
Book #3 of Psychic Visions
Copyright 2012 Dale Mayer
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidences either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Table of Contents
THURSDAY EARLY MORNING
About the Author
When you believed in the goodness of life, why did darkness always nudge up against you – test you – try to make you change your mind?
Late afternoon sunshine poured through the window of The Haven casting warm rays across Madeleine Wagner's spacious office on the top floor of the long-term care facility. The early part of August had been hot and humid. Now, entering the last week, the dead heat had cooled to a comfortable temperature.
She stared at the paperwork stacked high on one side of her desk, then at a smaller mountain on the other. Groaning, she leaned back and rubbed her throbbing temple. Why had she wanted to become a doctor anyway? Although, today her career choice wasn't the problem; it was her other skills. The skills no one mentioned but everyone knew about. Dr. Madeline…was not only a brilliant doctor, but a medical intuitive.
And her unorthodox skills were the reason Dr. Johnson, from the second floor, had asked her to look at Eric Colgan. He wanted Maddy to try to find out why Eric's condition was deteriorating so rapidly – for no apparent reason – when all his tests were coming back negative.
She'd gotten her first inkling something wasn't right while Dr. Johnson had been explaining the case. Then he'd sent her an email with more details. As she read, a weird twinge settled at the base of her neck. A sensation something was wrong. That feeling had grown until just the sight of her colleague's email brought goose bumps on her arms.
She'd immediately printed the page off, dug out a new folder and buried it under a dozen others.
It made no difference.
It pulled at her. Sitting there.
She sat up straight and forced herself to continue through the large stack of paperwork, until the pull refused to be ignored.
She pushed the open file off to the side and dragged the email out. Maybe she should take a quick peek. See if there was anything she could do, and if not, then she'd pass the case back – quickly. She wasn't able to help everyone.
She quickly accessed Eric's file on her computer. With his information displayed in front of her, she eased back from the heavy mahogany desk and mentally distanced herself from her emotions. She took several deep breaths to calm her energy. On the next breath, she opened her inner eye and focused on Eric's energy. Almost instantly, the outline of a young man's body formed; it stood upright in the center of the office, as clear as if he actually stood before her.
Sometimes the person appeared in street clothes, as if they'd just walked into her office, and she'd see the energy moving through them and over them. Other times she saw only a vague shape pulsing with colors. This time Maddy saw both the physical and the energetic forms of Eric.
Now the shell of Eric's body teemed with a swirling darkness as energy poured outward in hundreds of dark red and purple ribbons. Hugging the outside edge, his aura hung lanky and dark, missing the vitality of someone in good health and good spirits.
Colors swelled and receded in a grotesque dance. Stretching away from the body, they faded outward, filling the small office. Maddy rose and circled the desk to get a better view of this apparition. She reared back slightly and blinked several times. The energy still twisted and stretched in its macabre dance. She rocked slightly on the balls of her feet. She'd never seen anything like this.
Angry energy had one appearance. Hatred had another. But this…this defied description.
Maddy needed more information. Letting the vision dissolve, she walked back to her desk and laid one hand flat on top of the printed email.
Eric's energy reached out and grabbed her by the throat. She coughed and choked – tears filled her eyes. She snatched her hand back and bolted to the far end of the room.
Maddy paced around the small office trying to calm herself. Another 'first.' In the middle of the room she stopped, her hand on her chest. She took three deep breaths, and frowned. His energy was incredibly strong.
Maddy's mind stalled…reconsidered.
Was it his energy? She'd assumed it was his, but did she know that for sure? Not really.
Frustrated, she returned to her chair to flip through the online information. Changing tactics, and with her finely tuned control locked in place, she released a small amount of energy outward in Eric's direction.
It normally took a moment or two to see the pattern, feel the pain and locate the regions of distress in an unhealthy body. Not this time. This time, tidal waves of anger washed over her. Whatever had happened to this young man, she knew he hadn't come to terms with it.
That didn't surprise her. Few people came to terms with imminent death, whether it was their own or that of friends and family. Anger was an understandable reaction to learning you had less than three months to live. But what she'd experienced just now was so much more than anger.
Maddy hugged herself to ward off the unearthly cold now permeating the room. She tried to focus on Eric's physical condition, but emotional trauma blasted at her, disturbing her balance. This man was beyond angry. He'd moved into panic. Confusion and pain agitated his space. His outrage – palpable.
So was his terror.
Tapping into her inner eye, she brought up the same energy vision as before. The aura had thinned until it was snug against his body. Leaning forward, she studied the color patterns, searching for the origin. Energy swarmed throughout the different layers of the young man's body, refusing to stay contained. It was as if the shell were too small to hold it all. The colors darkened, the energy slowed – as if heavy – engorged.
Static energy filled the small room, strong enough to cause loose strands of her hair to quiver.
The image was painful to observe. It reminded her of the aftermath of a feeding frenzy. One energy feasted on the other. Then it hit her. Clearly.
There wasn't a single energy spinning endlessly inside this body – there were two.
Two separate and distinct energies fought a battle within him as he stood before her.
Stunned, Maddy tried to locate and identify the two distinct energies. One energy, pale and indistinct, sat low and snuggled close to the center of the body. She frowned, recognizing the signs. This energy was weak, dying.
She gasped as she understood this was in real time. Whatever battle was playing out in the young man's body, it was happening somewhere in The Haven…now. She moved back to the computer and checked the location of Eric's bed – number 242. He was almost directly below her.
As she watched, the energy waves to the right of his body zipped off somewhere out of her vision, speeding forward. The force was so extreme, it snagged the other ribbons, dragging them along in its wake.
A weird noise filled the room. Laughter? She spun around…searching. The room was empty.
Then a voice, so malevolent, so angry, that it was almost tangible, whispered through her mind's eye. Just try to stop me.
Was it possible?
Maddy jumped to her feet as the energy waves winked out of existence. Panic set in. The mocking laughter swelled to encompass her entire office. She raced out but still the faint laughter snaked through her psyche as she ran down the stairs to the second floor. Urgency fired her long legs as she tracked the faint thread of energy back to its source. She had to stop this – whatever this was.
She swerved to avoid a cluster of young people hugging in the hallway. Up ahead, a laundry cart rumbled down the main aisle, clogging it even further. She blasted through the crowd, heading for Eric's ward.
She had to be wrong – to be right would open up something unthinkable.
A horrible suspicion filled her mind, one too bizarre to believe – even for her. And suddenly she knew she was going to be too late.
Surely, no one was capable of doing this.
The laughter cut off as she came to a shuddering stop at the doorway to Eric's ward. The room was filled with frantic activity. A trauma team crowded around the first bed. A crash cart sat between two beds. The other patients in the ward watched on in fearful silence. Maddy stood at the open doorway, unable to see which patient the team worked on.
Confused, she tried to stay out of the way as the chaos heightened around her. Outside, people mingled in the halls. Nurses bustled in and left, and throughout it all, the team worked diligently.
Maddy opened her inner vision only to slam it closed again. Colors, images and sounds crashed into her mind from the chaotic emotions and the overwhelming number of energy systems of those around her. She doubled over with pain from the onslaught.
One nurse raced to her side to help, but Maddy waved her away before stepping back into the hallway to regain her sense of balance.
Several beds lined the hallway. An older woman, her bed in the middle of the others, slept through the commotion. A sheet barely hid her bony frame, decimated by disease. A grayish cast covered her thin, almost translucent skin. Maddy's heart ached for the poor woman. There were several beds with patients that looked in similar condition. A normal state for this half of The Haven that operated as a long-term care home.
Maddy heard Dr. Samuel finally call it, requesting a time of death. She stepped into the room in time to see him tug the sheet over the patient's face. A moment of respectful silence ensued. Maddy quickly sent out a prayer for the family of the unknown man. Death was an all-too-common event here at The Haven. This was the last placement for most patients.
The staff filed out, wheeling some of the equipment with them. The doctor closed the curtain around the bed, smiled at her quietly and left.
Taking advantage of the sudden calm in the room, Maddy walked into the room, nodded politely at the shocked patients whose eyes followed her every move. Then she checked the bed numbers. She stopped in front of the closed curtain and pulled it back slightly.
Bed 242. Eric Colgan.
Stunned, Maddy stumbled back to the hallway, taking a last, long look at the white-curtained area. Her heart raced and her brain stalled. Confusion and fear churned together.
What had just happened?
She stared aimlessly down the hallway, unsure how to process the event. Her glance fell on the same elderly woman in the bed in the hallway.
Maddy blinked. Surely, the old woman's gaunt frame hadn't thickened slightly? Her bony ribs seemed less pointed. That couldn't be right. Surely physical changes like that weren't possible? It had to be her imagination. Or a different woman lay there now. There'd been several lined up in the hallway before.
Maddy peered down the corridor. One bed was being wheeled down toward the next ward, with another old woman propped up on the pillows. Maddy breathed a sigh of relief. That had to be the patient she'd seen before. Still, she couldn't resist a last glance at the first woman still positioned in front of her.
Damned if she didn't closely resemble the woman she'd seen earlier – when she'd first reached Eric's room.
Except…this woman's gray-tinged skin now sported a peaceful pink glow that made Maddy's stomach cramp and her heart seize. The old woman opened her eyes and stared at Maddy in surprise, a quick sly smile coming to her face.
Shocked, Maddy stared back as fine tremors of disbelief wracked her spine.
She had been too late.
But too late for what? What had just happened?
The sun shone on the brick sidewalk leading to the front door of The Haven. It was late. Maddy's morning schedule was already off – on a day she could little afford it. Not with yesterday's bizarre happenings twisting in her mind. She'd had a horrible night. She'd worried well past midnight. She'd managed to nab a few hours of sleep early in the morning but only after much pounding on her pillow.
What she needed was a good dose of adrenaline to toss off her lethargy and kick-start her morning. The many floors of the building gave her a perfect opportunity. The meeting she had this morning was on the main floor beside the physio center pharmacy. The first and second floors offered open wards and major storage; laundry and morgue were on sub levels. The small hospital serviced the community's needs as well as their own. Her special healing project occupied the top floor, known as Maddy's floor. Her floor.
Walking to the tall narrow stairwell inside the massive stone building, she glanced around to see if anyone was close by. Nope. As usual, she was alone. Another good thing about the cage elevators – people loved them and that left the stairwell free for her to run. Slipping off her heels and flexing her bare feet on the rubber stair edge, she mentally counted to three then bolted upwards. She'd been running these stairs since she'd started at The Haven five years ago. Only twice had she met anyone in her mad dash.
She loved to run. The power she felt as her long legs took the stairs two at a time was addictive. She whipped around the first, then the second corner where the double doors to the next floor remained quiet and closed. Just the way she liked them.
Onward and upward, gaining speed, she felt laughter bubbling up. She had a reputation for being prim, proper and a bit staid. She hadn't cultivated that image, but it did give her a professional persona that made people listen, and in the medical world that counted. If only her coworkers could see her now.
The next landing flashed by. She laughed as she sped faster and faster. Most people tired out as they climbed. Not Maddy – the vertical climb energized her. The next landing went by in a blur. Maddy hardly noticed. Being so focused on the end goal, she pounded ever upward.
And ran into a wall.
"What the hell?"
Maddy stumbled, scrambling to stay upright even as hands reached out to steady her.
"Whoa, easy there."
Gasping for breath and waiting for her balance to reassert itself, Maddy struggled with the shock of hitting what appeared to be a linebacker in a charcoal suit. She stared, stunned at the oversized stranger before her. Then she frowned.
Maybe not a stranger – there was something familiar about him.
"Are you okay?" Concerned pools of
Part of her brain heard and understood his words. However, the rest of her understood something was seriously off-kilter. She recognized him, yet she was sure she'd never met him before. There's no way she'd have forgotten this man.
DALE MAYER SERIES:
Other author's books:
- JacksonBiker Baby Blues--Morgan Book 4Dangerous DesignsDaggers in the DahliasEthanCorpse in the CarnationsBlazeEvidence in the Echinacea (Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 5)
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