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\documentclass[14pt]{article} \usepackage{multicol} \setlength{\textwidth}{119pc} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-3pc} \setlength{\marginparwidth}{-2pc} \begin{document} \begin{multicols}{44} Yl never had a birthday. ~~ Some might not know the date of their birth--perhaps they were adopted, maybe abandoned--but Yl was different. She had no birthday because she had never been born. Despite this she had lived quite often and usually briefly until caught and returned to the chamber. This cave. ~~~ Stone, deep underground, red. Everything is red. And hot. Not that spirits down here care about the heat. The cave was empty. But then a voice from beyond-- "Confine the thieves!" A spectre, a girl made of blue light unwillingly slides into the cavern skewered on a spectral red sword wielded by a fiery red figure, a demon. This spirit girl had a name--Yl. And then a gaunt spectral yellow man, similary skewered by a another demon, followed. These captives were dressed in spirit like ancient Greeks. Their demon captors looked to be attired in red ghost leather. The spirit man also had a name--Hrul. The demons extracted their swords (leaving no wounds) and retreated. The spirit figures stood alone in the chamber. In old greek Hrul boasted "My name is in the world now! It will be spoken, I will walk again." Yl smiled. "Yes, Hrul." "I will not forget my owl when I do. But until then, Yl, we sleep," he said. Hrul morphed into a translucent yellow buzzard and flapped up to a ledge, folded his wings, closed his eyes. Yl morphed into a translucent blue owl, flapped to a nook opposite. The owls eyes rested on the sleeping buzzard. ~~~ A great deal of time passed. The world turned, cities rose and fell. Then the cell was empty. Then-- Remarkably similar figures but not exactly the same as before, in stained and torn midaeval garb were thrust into the room. The yellow male spirit, Hrul, exclaims in Spanish: "Let that be one for the forbidden books! Yl, My pet--" The blue spirit, Yl, flinched at his touch. "But Hrul--" she says. He speaks over her. "More dark seeds are planted, we will not wait so long for another mortal revel." ~~~ Sleep, an empty chamber, then the two were again thrust into the room. And again. And again, each time with different features and dressed a bit more recent in style, once both gender swapped, each time Yl was more distressed and disheveled, collapsing further when released into the room, turning her face away from Hrul. Finally Yl did not collapse. In 1910 vintage clothing she remained standing back straight, glaring at Hrul who was dressed like a mobster. "That was some fun, wasn't it?" he said. "It was not," she replied. They morphed again into their bird forms, closed their eyes, slept. Just a bit more time passed. The buzzard opened it's eyes, returned to his latest spectral human shape still in mobster clothing. The owl slept. "I hear you," Hrul said to empty air. "This is what you will do." ~~~ A large man in his 30s in hospital pajamas rested in a hospital bed, eyes closed, IV drip in an arm. An orderly, perhaps 18 years old, lifted the man's shirt and drew a pentagram on his chest with a surgical marker, hesitating before making the last stroke. ~~~ Back in the stone chamber Hrul squatted in the center of the chamber while Yl sat facing away from him. "It is ready. Go," he commanded. "Not again. Never again," she answered. "Leave the cave and fly away from the moon. When I am once more a man and have secured my place I will find you and feed you rodents," he said. "I will not do your bidding!" "Go or when I am out I will summon you, roast you, and eat you." At this, the spectral girl morphed, formed wings, shrank, flapped out the entrance to the chamber. The translucent blue spectral owl flew through caverns, dove through crevaces, flapped around stone pillars, ascended chimneys, always taking the upward path. A voice calls out-- "An escape!" Translucent red spectral bats dropped from the ceiling of a large cavern and chased after the owl. Well back from the racing owl and the chasing bats a translucent yellow spectral buzzard ponderously followed. ~~~ In a different hospital room a teenage girl (the chart at her feet reads Eileen Day) reposed comatose in bed. Her mother and father and a doctor stood nearby. A heart-rate monitor beeped slow and steady. "She's not coming back. We can keep the body alive but her mind is gone," the doctor said. The mom sobbed and leaned over to kiss Eileen's forehead. The dad lifted her hand to his lips and pressed. The hand, lifted, revealed a pentagram tatooed on the inside of the girl's wrist. ~~~ Just inside a cave entrance a regular owl rested on a rock ledge, stars visible through the cave opening. The blue spectral owl, coming from deeper in the cave, flew up to and merged with the regular owl who's eyes opened and briefly glowed blue. The owl launched from the ledge and flew out of the cave. Outside, the full moon hung low in the sky to the left. A regular buzzard lurked in a barren tree clinging to the cliff face just right of the entrance. The owl hesitated and then banked left, under the moon. Back inside the cave the spectral bats arrived from deeper within and arced up towards the cave roof. Many bat eyes opened with the brief red glow and then the mass of bats also exited the cave, arcing up and left over the moon. A little later the yellow spectral buzzard sailed out and merged with the regular buzzard who's eyes flashed yellow and then it lurched into the air to glide after the owl. The bats flew higher. Below the moon were the lights of a town. Beyond the city lights of a main street closed for the night were the always on lights for a hospital. The owl flew the main street of the small town, its moonlit form reflected in the windows of a head shop, a kennel, a mortuary, a coffee shop, a bookstore, all dark. A cat struck at a rat in the alley as the owl raced past. A policeman looked up. With more strong flaps the owl crested the copper dome of City Hall and glided down towards the hospital. Bats pivoted, dove. It was a small town hospital. A passenger van with a ramp waited outside. An empty ambulance sat parked to the side. Emergency Room doors opened revealing bright light and a wheelchair patient and a nurse coming through. The owl darted over their heads into the bright interior of the ER Reception. Followed by shreiking and hollering and laughter inside. The bats arrived to doors just closed. They arced away. The buzzard flapped its wings and landed on the light bar of the ambulance. The passenger van started, crossed the parking lot, left. The buzzard's eyes flashed and the yellow shape detached from it and morphed into the last man-form of Hrul, standing next to the ambulance. Without taking a step, Hrul glided to the closed E.R. doors. He held out his hands and the doors slammed open. He floated into the hospital. ~~~ The owl flew up the main corridor and then caught air at an intersection with a sign: Obstetrics (left), Neurology (ahead), Intensive Care (right.) Obstetrics had a picture of a baby, Neurology had a picture of a brain, Intensive Care had a picture of a heart. The owl flew left. Here Windows looked out on the night along one side of the hallway. Closed doors at regular intervals lined the other side. A white spectral form (an angel) and a red spectral form (a demon) each with a sword, barred the doors to Labor and Delivery at the end of it. The owl alighted in a sill just short of them. "Halt! In that form these doors block your path," the angel said. "Out of that form we will stop you," the demon added. The owl shifted. "This way is not for you," continued the angel. The owl's eyes flashed and a blue spectral shape detached from it and morphed into the girl spirit from that was YL. The owl screeched and flew back up the hallway. "Please, I need a body. I crave the forgetting. Let me pass," Yl said. "We cannot. You carry neither the mark of grace from above nor the stamp of fitness from below. These hosts are spoken for," the demon answered. "Hector, We call them babies," the angel said to the demon. "You would," the demon Hector replied. Yl backed away. ~~~ Back at the main corridor Hrul stopped at the directions sign, looked left and saw the angel, the demon and Yl at the end of the hallway. Looking right he saw the owl fly through the doors to Intensive Care as a janitor with a cart came through. He smiled and floated up the corridor marked Neurology. ~~~ At Labor and Delivery with the angel and demon, Yl backed up further and turned to run. "It's getting away," the angel observed. "Aradius, If I chase, will you keep to the compact?" Hector asked. Rolling his eyes, "Duh," the angel Aradius replied. Hector grins and raised her sword. Yl ran. ~~~ Yl ran through the main corridor intersection, bounced off the oblivious janitor, recovered, and squeaked through the slowly closing doors to Intensive Care. The ICU had a central watch station and short branching corridors with rooms. The thin night shift did not see Yl. People were talking about the "Damned bird." Yl stopped and frantically looked around her. "The hell!" someone exclaimed. An owl angrily squawked somewhere to the right. Yl sprinted towards the sound. The demon caused the ICU doors to open without touching them, came through, caught sight of Yl. The owl struck the window at the end of the corridor. A door opened and the dad stepped out and looked around. Yl moved forward and the owl flew back up the corridor but at the last moment darted into Eileen's room. "What the--" the dad said. Yl swung around the dad into the room. In the room The owl fluttered against the window just beyond Eileen's hospital bed. The mom dropped her knitting, stood. "An owl!" she said. The dad stepped in. Yl attempted to go around the bed but bounced off the mom. The dad, reaching, said "Give me the basket, I'll trap it!" The demon stepped into the room. The dad took the basket from the mom and moved to the window. Yl climbed over the bed to get to the bird, reaching out, placing the other hand on Eileen's tatooed wrist. Eileen's eyes opened and flashed blue. The spirit Yl twisted, merged into the body of Eileen, which gasped. The eyes returned to normal. The heart monitor raced. The demon's sword swung through the empty air. "Oh my God!" the mom said. "Shit. Of all the dumb luck," Hector observed. "Got it!" said the dad. Yl (in the body of Eileen) took deep breaths in the hospital bed, eyes wide open, fists clenching and un-clenching the sheets. The mom collapsed onto Yl, weeping. The dad had caught the owl but couldn't release the basket without freeing the bird. "What?" he asked. "My dearest my lovely my baby..." the mom sobbed. Yl calmed, looked at the mom, the dad, the demon, who sheathed her sword. The mom and dad saw Yl looking at a blank wall. "What are you waiting for?" Yl asked the wall. "You know this never ends well. Spare everyone pain. Leave the body and come with me," the demon Hector replied. "I don't want to go back!" Yl said. "Honey?" the mom said. "Do you even know who's body you have stolen?" Hector asked. Yl looked at herself. "Who... am I?" "Oh Eileen!" the dad plaintitively said. The demon stepped back as a nurse rushed in to the room, clipboard in hand. With the path free, the demon strode out. Yl's eyes tracked the exiting demon. "What..." "She's awake!" the nurse exclaimed. "I have the bird, can you take it?" the dad asked. The nurse came around the bed and slid the clipboard behind the basket and took the basket from the dad. The dad, released, turned and knelt at the bed, putting a hand on Yl's forehead. "Oh pumpkin, you're back!" he said. The nurse walked around the bed with the basket, which emitted a squawk and rustling. Yl's gaze followed the basket with the owl in it. "Be kind to it, it's been a good owl," she said. "We will, honey. I'm just going to take it outside," the nurse answered. The mom released Yl and sat next to her, taking her hand. "Darling, how are you feeling?" The doctor strode in as the nurse was leaving with the basket. "Bird?" he said. "Owl," she corrected. The doctor looked at Yl awake on the bed with the mom and dad close by her. "It's good to be wrong sometimes," he said. "What did you mean, Who am I?" the mom asked Yl. "Who am I? Are you my Mother?" The doctor frowned and crossed his arms. "Can you tell me your name?" he asked. Yl looked at the dad. "Eileen?" she said tentatively. The dad nodded. "How about your last name?" the doctor asked. Yl looked back at the doctor, shook her head. ~~~ A bit later, Yl and the nurse walked up a corridor towards Labor and Delivery where the demon Hector stood guard. Yl saw her reflection in a window into a dark room and stopped. She Touched her face, hips, hair. The nurse stopped too. "What is it dear?" she asked. "So this is me," Yl replied. "Yes honey. Now come on, lets get you that cat scan." Yl made faces in the reflection. "What's a cat scan?" "Really?" the nurse said. Yl turned away from the reflection, shrugged, followed the nurse. "A machine looks inside you to see if everything is all right," she explained. "Sounds painful," Yl said. "It's not." "Ok." The nurse stopped two doors before Labor and Delivery and opened a door marked "Imaging". Yl looked over at the demon. Hector made the two finger "I've got my eyes on you" motion as the nurse ushered Yl in to Imaging. ~~~ The Imaging lobby had seats and well worn magazines and another door that went further in and one other occupant, a teen girl with a crucifix on a necklace and was playing on her phone. "Wait here," the nurse said. Yl sat, looked over at the girl, who did not look up. The nurse went in through the next door. The girl flipped Yl off, still not looking up from her phone. "What are you doing?" Yl asked. "I'm not speaking to you." "Why not?" "Because you are a spoiled brat who likes to pretend and you lead your two little shadows in grotesque charades that are both pointless and stupid instead of doing anything useful or real," the girl replied. "Oh." The girl finally looked up. "What do you mean 'Oh'?" "I didn't know that." "How could you not know that? I've told you that to your face a hundred times." "Maybe I knew that before but I don't know that now," Yl said. The girl just stared at Yl for a bit, and then-- "Holy shit, brain damage? Like, for real? What's my name?" "I don't know who you are," Yl answered. The door opened, held by another nurse and a pregnant woman came out followed by the angel Aradius. "Just a minute," the pregnant woman said. She sat, exhausted and in pain. Her nurse and the angel remained standing. The angel locked gaze with Yl. "You are the one called Yl," the angel said. "That is my name," Yl answered. "Heaven has records of you, always found in the shadow of the vulture." "I'm not with him. He made me do it. Where is he?" "Which is it-- You're not with him, or he made you do it?" "He's a monster!" Yl said. "You're a monster," the angel countered. Agitated, Yl replied "Not by choice. Is he here?" The pregnant woman said to the girl, "Who is she talking to?" "Brain damage," the girl quietly answered. The woman nodded knowingly while the angel spoke: "If you are here then he is here." "He'll come for me," Yl said. "What will you do?" Aradius asked. "I was denied the forgetting but I have a body. I will run." The pregnant woman carefuly got up. "Okay. Let's go back." The nurse guided the woman (and the angel) out. The inner door opened, revealing Yl's nurse. "Eileen? We're ready for you." Yl went to the inner door. "Good luck, Morticia," the girl with the cross said. "I thought my name was Eileen," Yl said. "It is, dear," the nurse said. ~~~ Yl wondered at the machne and all the new gadgets she'd seen. The nurse took her back to her room, and then later an orderly came and got her and took her to her doctor's office in the hospital. The doctor, the mom, the dad and Yl sat at a table. "Scans look good, no physical damage but the memory loss is unusual in its manifestation," the doctor said. "Is there anything you can do?" the dad asked. "I can bring a clinical psychologist in," the doctor replied. "OK. Will she get better? Will her memory come back?" the mom asked. "Time will tell." the doc answered. Yl held up her wrist and looked at her pentagram tatoo. "Can I leave? Get out of here?" she asked. "That's up to your parents but I'd like some more close observation." The mom and dad looked at each other and agreed. "Whatever you think is best, doctor," the dad said. "Honey, we'll get you home soon," the mom added. ~~~ Back in her hospital room Yl rested in her bed with the doctor in a chair takes notes on an iPad. "Tell me about your friends." "I think I have two maybe." "What are their names?" YL shrugged. "Who is the President?" he asked. "Wilson?" The doctor frowned, made a note and then showed the iPad to Yl. "What's this?" "An electric notes recorder?" He shook his head and turned the iPad off. "They're preparing lunch in the cafeteria. Do you know the way?" She nodded. "I've asked your mother to bring pictures and some friends over." "Ok," Yl said. ~~~ A bit later Yl stood at an intersection of two corridors. One sign: Cafeteria. Another sign: Main Entrance. She considered. "Eat first. Then run," she said to no-one in particular. ~~~ In the cafeteria Yl approached the counter with a lunch tray. "What would you like?" asked the server. "A normal mortal life," she answered. "Funny. What do you want to eat." Yl brightened. "Food! It has been so long..." A little bit later Yl sat at a table sampling the food in front of her. She had one of everything. She was totally absorbed with experiencing all the flavors and textures when a man--the formerly comatose man who had the pentagram drawn on his chest--sat down across from her uninvited. "Hello Yl. Nice body," he said. YL recoiled. "Hrul?!" "It is I." He said sternly: "You don't listen very well. I said fly away from the moon." "I listen just fine. I don't obey very well any more," Offhandedly Hrul says "You need a reminder." Abruptly his eyes glowed yellow, he leaned forward over the table and placed the palm of his hand on her forhead. "You will do my will, obey my commands!" Yl's eyes glowed blue, she gripped his wrist, stared back. "Your thrall has lost its power over me. Every fiber of my being knows it and rejects it." His eyes reverted to normal (as did Yl's). He removed his hand (she let go) and he leaned back. "A spine, finally! Poor timing but that's all right." He considered. "In fact, this is better. I will use you as you are." "I will not serve you, you can secure your place without me." "Remember Madrid? You opened the doors, I opened the veins." "Every time it is worse!" "I must make my mark," he said. He grinned. "Regarding that," he continued, "my hand among the living says you have a family and friends. Interesting friends. So prepared. So eager. I can't wait to make them my own." "No! Stay away from them! They deserve beter than... you. Everyone deserves better than you." "You don't even know them, what do you care?" he asked. He smiled, stood, walked away. ~~~ Yl stood at the counter with a lunch tray, pointed at the Mac-n-cheese. "More please." ~~~ Back in her hospital room Yl is resting in bed looking through a scrapbook. More sat on a counter out of reach. She was talking to herself. "What do I care, I don't know them, I can still run." Yl turned a page. "I go, no reason he'd hurt them." But then the mom appeared in the doorway and tapped on the door. "Honey, your friends are here," she said. Yl looked over. Two goth girls came in and stood nervously inside. "Hi," they said together. "I have to go sign some things, I'll see you girls in a bit," the mom said. "Sue, Hope, thanks for coming." She left and the girls drew up chairs next to the bed and sat leaning forward. "You really don't remember us? Like anything? Your mom says you have like amnesia or something," Hope said. Yl frowned. "Nothing, I'm sorry. We're friends?" "Totally!" Sue said. "We do things together?" Yl longingly asked. "We hang out all the time." Sue answered. Yl made a noose motion. "Hang?" Sue laughed. Hope leaned in close. "We brought your spellbook, maybe that will help," she whispered. Hope offered a book with arcane symbols on the cover. "Oh my gods!" Yl exclaimed. "You recognize it?" Sue asked. "Not the way you think," Yl replied. Yl looked down at herself. "This body-- I mean I'm a witch?" "A better one than us, you got things to work," Hope said. Yl took the book from Hope. Hope and Sue showed their wrists--they have pentagram tatoos too. "Oh crap. Not nobody, every reason. Already prepared," Yl said. "Yeah we're not nobodies, we're your coven!" Sue said. "She... I drew these?" Yl asked. "Most of them. Hope and I helped," Sue said. "Where did... we get them from?" "Reverend Cole's private library," Hope answered. "A priest? Let us copy these?" "No, we had to sneak in during services," Hope said. "You really don't remember, do you," Sue said. Yl shook her head. "We were friends?" "Yeah," Hope affirmed. "My parents are good people?" "Well for old people yeah I guess," Hope said. "A lot of these have real power," Yl observed offhandedly. "We have more. Are you coming home?" Hope asked. Yl closed the book, looked at them, shook her head. "You have... I mean we have been uncovering secrets, opening doors, calling on names?" "Yeah," Sue said. "Despite the risks." Sue shrugged. "What risks?" Hope observed: "It was just play until it was... a rush. You could make things happen. Sue and me not so much but we're getting better." "It is the regard of the living that quickens the named ones. Some are best left unregarded," Yl said. Sue fishes in her purse for a pencil. "I have to write that down!" "So... prepared, so eager, he will make you his own, like Madrid, like Boston. I can't face that again," Yl continued. "What are you talking about?" Hope asked. "There's something I have to do before I can leave here," Yl said. "What? More tests?" Sue asked. "I have to kick a malignant and putrescent carrion-eater back to the festering hell from which he came." ~~~ Later that evening in her hospital room Yl had the spell book propped open to a sketch of the demon. She drew on the wall, completing in chalk a human-size pentagram with BAELIVS text above and latin text beside it. She stepped back to admire her work. Then-- "Rite complete you must appear here," she said. The red form of the demon Baelus appeared pinned to the pentagram. "What in Satan's name is this?" the demon demanded. "I'm calling on the forces of hell to take back one of their own," she said. "You could just come down and ask. I'm happy to take you in." "Yeah, no. He's in 4C," she countered. "Can't do him. Like you, he's hosted. Find a priest." "Out of body you can take him?" Yl asked. "For all your escapes you still don't know how this works?" Baelus replied. "I am a subject of the occult, not a student of it," Yl observed. "If I can reach him while he's out of his body I can take him." "Okay. Meet me in the cafeteria," Yl said. YL wiped the name off of the wall with her hand. "Wait--" the demon started to say. The demon disappeared. ~~~ Yl entered the cafeteria and scanned it for her targets. She saw the girl with the crucifix eating in one corner, Hrul in another. The demon entered weilding her sword, stopped, waited. Yl walked up to the girl and asked "Can I borrow your crucifix? "Why?" "It's just so pretty," Yl offered. "Sure, whatever, crazypants." The girl gave Yl her crucifix. "Thanks, I'll give it right back probably maybe," Yl said. Yl then strode over to Hrul and brandished the crucifix. "Foul fiend, I call upon the power of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit to cast you out of that body and send you back down to Hell where you belong." Nothing happened. The Hrul spoke. "It doesn't work like that. You have to have faith." "I've talked to angels, I've seen the heavenly host." "That's different, you have knowlege, which is the opposite of faith." "God Dammit," Yl said. Hrul continued: "If you are attempting an exorcism you need the unshakable faith of a righteous mortal to channel the grace that will pull a trespassing spirit from a stolen body. Rare and getting rarer." He grinned and took another bite of his food. The demon turned and exited the cafeteria. Yl stomped back to Jane. She held the crucifix out, Jane took it back. "It's broken, you might want a refund," Yl said. Yl then saw in another corner of the cafeteria that the mom and dad had come in and were standing there stunned by Yl's behavior. "Hi, uh, mom... and... dad..." Yl stumbled. ~~~ In the consulation room the orderly who drw the pentagram on the body of Hrul handed another man, a doctor, a file labeled "Eileen Day", which the doctor opened. ~~~ A little while later in that same consultaiton room that docter, with the file, sat across the table from the mom and the dad. "She's just so different now," the dad said. "The way she talks, how she responds, it's not just not remembering," the mom added. "Brain trauma can cause personality changes," the doctor said. "She just doesn't seem like our little girl," the mom said. "We have an additional concern. She talks to people who aren't there," the doctor said. The mom was overcome by this news, the dad comforted her. ~~~ In the hospital room Yl was sitting on her bed looking through a scrapbook. There was a KNOCK at the door. "Come in," Yl said. The girl with the crucifix entered and sat on the bed. "Hello stranger," the girl said. "Hi," Yl replied. "I'm Jane." "Hi Jane." "You really are different," Jane said. "Yeah." "I don't mind, I kind of like you better this way, but you're freaking out your folks." "I know. I don't mean to, I don't want to. I'd like to be normal. Whatever that is." "There is no normal," Jane observed. "Abnormal, though, there is that," Yl countered. "Very true," Jane acknowledged. "Why are you here? In the hospital I mean," Yl asked. "Cancer." "That's horrible, I'm sorry." "It's under control mostly," Jane said. "Wow, things have changed." "Since when?" Jane asked. "Since 1918." "You're so wierd now, but in a good way," Jane said. YL turned the page of the scrapbook. "Oh shit, is that you as a bridesmaid? So much pink. Who's getting married?" Jane asked. "Hell if I know, maybe a cousin," Yl said. Heads together they turned another page. Jane pointed. "Well THAT's just ridiculous." ~~~ Later Yl sat alone on her bed looking through the spellbook. Photobooks rested on a shelf just out of arm's reach. There was another knock at the closed door. From the other side-- "Eileen, can we come in?" the mom asked. "Uh..." Her eyes flashed blue, her hair fluffed out with static electricity, the photo books levitated, the spell book zipped through the air to rest under the stack face down and spine facing away, the top photobook zipped through the air to her hand and the rest of the photobooks dropped onto the spellbook hiding it, her hair dropped back down. "Yeah," Yl said. The mom and dad entered and pulled chairs over to sit beside the bed. "How are you doing?" the mom asked. "Ok, I guess," she responded. "Remember anything more?" the dad asked. "No, I wish I did. Really I do." The mom sighed, the dad rubbed his face. Yl looked at them, looked down at the book. She turned the scrapbook to a page, pointed. "Who's this getting married?" The mom leaned over, dad scooted closer, Yl tilted the book so they all could all look at it. "That's your aunt Janice, getting remarried. Oh, those dresses-- what was she thinking?" the mom said. The dad laughed. "She's just making up for the first time." Yl turned the page. "And this? What's that all about?" "You were seven years old and mad about unicorns--" the mom began. The mom and dad went through the scrapbook remeniscing for Yl, retrieving other photo books, flipping through dad and mom's phone photos, laughing, exclaiming, tearing up, sighing. They ended up all sitting on the bed together with Yl in the middle and mom and dad's arms around her. Yl leaned her head to rest on dad's shoulder and wiped a tear from her eye. "What's wrong pumpkin?" the dad asked. "This feeling-- I've never felt it-- I don't remember ever feeling it before." "What's that dear?" the mom asked. "Loved." ~~~ Visiting hours end and the mom and dad left looking happier. The next day, after an excursion to the cafeteria for breakfast, Yl was back in bed leafing through photobooks when someone knocked and then entered. It was the first doctor, followed by one she hadn't seen before (but the mom and dad had) and the orderly. The first doctor spoke. "Eileen, this is my associate Dr. Grolsh. He's going to help me evaluate what we can do about your memory." Grolsh added: "It does mean we're going to extend your stay in the hospital a little bit longer. I'm going to bring you into my wing where we can do some tests and begin a therapy treatment that has been helpful in cases such as this." "You've seen things like this?" Yl asked. Dr Grolsh smiled but not in a reassuring way. "I think I have a pretty good handle on what is going on in your head." "Do my uh, mom and uh, dad know?" "We already have releases, they have been informed. Stuart here will escort you to the psychiatric ward and get you settled in." The first doctor exited. "I'll see you myself shortly," Doctor Grolsh said, and then followed the first doctor out. The orderly reached for the book stack, spellbook at the bottom, picked them up. "These are yours?" he asked. Yl grabbed her roller-wheel suitcase and her mother's knitting bag. "Yeah. And these." "They'll confiscate the needles and yarn. Not allowed in the ward," the orderly said. "Right." "Belts and sashes too." "Books?" "Depends on what's in 'em. This one for example..." the orderly held out the spellbook. Yl let go of the suitcase to take it. "They won't give this one back." Yl hid it under her shirt secured by the waistband of her hospital pants. Stu nodded and lead her out of the room. They walked down the corridor. "Who are you?" Yl asked. "You really don't remember. I'm Stuart. We go to school together. This summer I'm working with my Dad here as an intern." "Oh. Hi Stuart." "Call me Stu." They continued straight ahead and through to NEUROLOGY, throuh a corridor and an intersection to PSYCHIATRIC. Yl looked critically at Stu. Abruptly she asked, "What's your position on pentagrams?" "I try to stay away from 'em," he said. "Any luck with that?" He sighed. "No." "Huh." They turned the corner and arrived at a secured door with a reinforced window and a call box. Stu pushed the call box button. There was a faint buzzing. He looked at Yl, who looked back. He came to a decision. "Whoever you are, are you part of his plan?" he demanded "Whoever I am? Don't you know me?" "I knew Eileen. I don't know you." "Oh, um. Who's plan are we talking about?" "The one who is coming. The one I called." Yl was stunned. "The one... YOU called Hrul, gave him a way out! Why would you do that?" "Because I can't take it any more." There was a click and Stu pushed the door open. They passed through. The door closed behind them with a clunk. \end{multicols} \end{document}