User:Weremoose/Insane

From Shifti
Jump to: navigation, search

Insane

Author: Weremoose

The north wing was quiet. The patients were either sleeping or sitting silently in their rooms. Henry savored every moment of the rare occasion. Patrolling the long beige halls wasn't his favorite part of his job, but as an orderly, it was part of his responsibility.

He turned the corner to the longer main hall and stopped. He heard talking coming from one of the rooms. It was coming from Mrs. Johnson's room. He quietly knocked on the door and slowly opened it. Peeking in, he saw the sixty-year-old woman sitting on her bed rocking back and forth. She was looking at the ceiling counting.

"Ninety-three. Ninety-four…."

"Mrs. Johnson, how are you doing?" Henry asked in a calm voice.

She stopped counting but did not look from the ceiling. "Just fine, Henry. I'm keeping track of the number of goblins on the ceiling. Ninety-five. Ninety-six."

"Good night, Mrs. Johnson." Henry left the room pulling the door shut. He could still hear the woman counting several doors down.

Unfortunately, the rest of his patrol was not as uneventful. With an introduction of static, his walkie-talkie came to life.

"Henry, where are you?" came a male voice.

Henry unstrapped the radio from his belt clasp. "I am almost to the main lobby, Dr. Jones."

"Good. Sam and Rich are already in the main lobby. We need your help. Bring a wheelchair," Dr. Jones said.

"On my way," Henry replied and fastened the radio to his belt. He ran to the middle of the hall to the storage closet. The doors to the lobby were across the hall, and he could hear a loud commotion coming from behind them. He unlocked the closet door and retrieved a wheelchair. After locking the storage closet, he rolled the wheelchair through the large swinging double doors into the main lobby.

In the lobby he saw Dr. Jones, and the other two orderlies trying to restrain a middle-aged man. The man was flailing about and yelling. "You have to commit me!"

"Calm down, Mr. Mayer," Dr. Jones said motioning with both hands palm down.

The man thrust forward and tried to grab Dr. Jones's tie. Fortunately, Dr. Jones moved back in time.

"Commit me!" the man yelled again as Sam and Rich pulled him away from the doctor. "The police are too dumb to lock me up. I am a werewolf! I need to be locked up!"

Dr. Jones turned and saw Henry. "Henry, bring us the wheelchair. Mr. Mayer may be staying with us."

The man calmed down some after he heard Dr. Jones's words. Henry swiftly rolled the wheelchair over to the group. Mr. Mayer quickly sat in the chair. "Ok. I'm in the chair. Put me in a secure room!"

Dr. Jones signaled Henry to push the chair. They headed for the swinging doors. "Sam, get room 193 read for Mr. Mayer."

Sam headed through the double doors and was searching his key ring. Rich ran to the lobby office to get some papers. Dr. Jones held the swinging doors open as Henry pushed the patient through. The doctor then walked beside the wheelchair asking the man questions.

"Mr. Mayer, why are you persistent on us committing you?" the doctor asked.

"Because I do not want to hurt anyone," the man said.

Dr. Jones looked at Henry and then back to the man in the wheelchair. "Because you are a werewolf, right?"

"I am a werewolf, Doc! " Mr. Mayer yelled.

Dr. Jones nodded. "We will secure you for now. Tomorrow we will figure this all out."

The man's expression turned grimmer than it was. "I hope so, doc. The full moon will rise in two days. And sometimes, I change the night before and after the full moon as well."

"I'll make a note of that," the doctor said.

"You better, Doc. You better." Mr. Mayer scowled at the doctor.

Dr. Jones didn't reply. He stopped at an open door. Henry could hear Sam inside getting everything ready. "Here we are," Dr. Jones said.

Mr. Mayer leaned forward in the wheelchair to get a better look at the room through the doorway. "It looks like it may work."

The doctor nodded. "We will have you settled in no time."

After fulfilling Mr. Mayer's request of strapping him down to his bed, Henry and Sam stood by Dr. Jones' side.

"We will have a beginning session tomorrow," the doctor said.

"Ok, Doc," Mr. Mayer said.

Dr. Jones walked out of the room and Henry and Sam followed. Sam locked the door behind him. Henry could hear Mr. Mayer struggling with the restraints apparently testing their strength.

Separator k.png

Henry woke up the next morning around eleven o'clock. The previous night's events had tired him out more than he realized. His shift didn't start until one, so he had plenty of time to get ready. After taking a shower and getting dressed, he headed toward the hospital cafeteria for brunch.

"Good morning, Vera," he said to the food server.

"Good morning? I've been up for hours already," Vera said as she slapped some scrambled eggs onto Henry's plate. "I hear we got a new guest last night."

Henry nodded. "We did. He came in on his own shouting that we needed to commit him. Kept screaming that he was a werewolf and needed to be locked up."

Vera's eyebrows rose. "A werewolf, huh? Well, I better put more garlic in the soup."

Henry chuckled. "Garlic is to keep vampires away. Besides, you use enough garlic to keep everything away."

"For that I'm going to give you the biscuit that fell on the floor," Vera said and handed him one of the several-hours-old biscuits with a pair of tongs.

"Thanks. I'm sure it will add flavor." Henry smiled and quickly backed away before she could hit him with the tongs.

Vera's glare turned into a small smile before it went back to her usual expression as the next person in line wanted some eggs.

After finding an unused table, Henry sat and finished his late breakfast. For cafeteria food, it was actually pretty tasty. He didn't have anything to complain about. It was a free meal. Placing his tray on the tray return belt, he left the cafeteria and headed toward Dr. Jones' office to see what the schedule was going to be for the day.

As Henry got closer to the office, Dr. Jones could be heard out in the hallway. "Mr. Mayer, why do you believe that you are a werewolf?"

"Doc! I've told you this already," Mr. Mayer yelled. "I have seen myself change. And I have woken up in strange places."

"Like where?" asked the doctor.

"Well, there was one time when I ended up in some bushes in the park. There was a time when I was in an alley behind a trashcan."

"And have you hurt anyone while you were a werewolf?"

"I think so. I can't remember what I do as a werewolf. It's all blurry."

"I see." The doctor paused apparently writing something down on his notebook.

Henry stood at the door not wanting to knock. He did want to disturb Dr. Jones while he was speaking with a patient. However, he didn't have to knock.

The door opened and Dr. Jones stepped out. "Oh. Hi, Henry. I was wondering who was lurking outside my door."

"Oh, I'm sorry. I just got here," Henry said. "I was going to ask you what the schedule was."

"Ah. Check with Rich at the front desk. He may need some help. Later, you can give Mr. Mayer a tour of the complex."

Mr. Mayer leaned forward in his chair to get a look at Henry. "Yeah, he'll do. He seems fit enough," the man said leaning back.

Henry stared at the wiry man for a few seconds then snapped his attention back to Dr. Jones. "I'll be happy to. I'll go check with Rich now." He leaned a bit to get a better view of Mr. Mayer. "I'll see you later today."

Mr. Mayer just nodded and leaned back in his chair.

"Good luck, Doctor," Henry said as he walked away. Dr. Jones closed the door as Henry headed down the hall toward the lobby.

A few patients with nurses were sitting around the lobby looking out of the large glass wall at the view of the hillside and woods. The scenery was one of the reasons why Henry took the job at the institution. It was a serene location.

Entering the office behind the front desk, Henry saw Rich moving a lot of paper work and filing cabinet drawers. "Hey, Rich. How's it going?"

Rich laid a handful of folders on the desk. "Going fine," he said. "Just trying to straighten this up for Regina. She thought it was time to go through all the files."

"Again? Oh wait. It has been a year since the last time," Henry said. "Need any help?"

"Sure. That stack of boxes goes into the archive room," Rich pointed to a pile of brown boxes that were big enough to hold legal-sized hanging folders. "I was wanting to get those moved there before I had to take off in an hour."

"Sure thing." Henry wheeled the flatbed cart over to the stack and began loading boxes onto it. They weren't heavy at all. There were just a lot of them.

It didn't take long for both of them to finish loading the boxes on the cart. Rich wheeled it out of the office and down the hallway toward a storage room where the paperwork and other office items were kept. Henry followed and helped balance the boxes around the corners.

"So, what are you going to do tonight when you get off?" Henry asked unloading some of the boxes and stacking them up against a wall.

"I'm taking my wife out to dinner and maybe to a movie," Rich answered moving some of the boxes, too. "I need to make up for having to work late last night. She understands that I have to work late sometimes, but it's always pays to take her out somewhere." He smiled and placed some more boxes on the stack.

Henry chuckled.

"What about you, Henry? What are you going to end up doing tonight?"

Henry shrugged. "Not too much, it seems. The usual stuff, but I have to take Mr. Mayer on a tour of the place."

"The guy that came in last night?"

Henry nodded.

Rich laughed. "Good luck. He seems more pushy than crazy."

Henry nodded again. "The tour shouldn't take too long. I hope."

"Henry, there you are," Dr. Jones said.

Startled, Henry spun around. "Oh. I'm just helping Rich put these away."

Mr. Mayer peered around the door getting a good look at Henry and the boxes.

"That's good, Henry. Mr. Mayer is ready for the tour. If it's alright with both of you, he would like to get it over with pretty soon.

"The full moon will be rising," Mr. Mayer exclaimed with the hint of a worried tone.

Dr. Jones nodded. "We should have him locked in his room before night fall."

"Locked in good and tight," Mr. Mayer added. "I don't want to be able to get free. I don't want to hurt anyone."

"I understand," Henry said. "We will try to make the tour quick." He turned to look at Rich who was finishing unloading the cart. "Is it alright if I give the tour now?"

"Go right ahead," Rich said. "I'm about done here. Thanks for the help."

"No problem," Henry said then walked out into the hall.

Mr. Mayer moved to the middle of the hall eagerly awaiting the guide.

"Mr. Mayer, Henry will take good care of you," Dr. Jones said.

"I'm sure he will," Mr. Mayer replied.

Dr. Jones nodded at Henry and then walked down the hall. They both watched him until he turned a corner.

Henry turned to look at the slightly shorter man. "So, Mr. Mayer. Shall we start?"

"Let's go. And call me, Chuck."

"Ok. Chuck it is then."

Henry led Chuck down the hall to the lobby. "Here is the door to the lobby. This is where you came in last night."

Mr. Mayer nodded. "Yes. I remember that room. And my room is down that direction." He pointed town the hall to the left.

"That's right. It's down that hall." Henry continued down the hall. "Down this way is the cafeteria. Are you hungry?"

Pausing for a few seconds, Mr. Mayer finally answered, "No. Not right now."

Henry nodded. "That's alright. I'll show you where the cafeteria is located anyway. You may get hungry later."

Mr. Mayer nervously grinned. "Yes. I'm sure I will." He stayed about one step behind Henry.

Henry stopped in front of the entrance to the cafeteria. Glass lined the wall in the hall allowing a view of the whole seating area. Some patients sitting at a table near the glass wall waved at Henry. He waved back.

"And here is the cafeteria," he said turning his attention back to Mr. Mayer. "As you can see, it's a very enjoyable place to eat. And the food is good, too."

Mr. Mayer was staring through the glass at the patients and workers who were eating. "I'm sure it is."

"And you're not hungry?"

Mr. Mayer shook his head.

"Then, let's go look at more areas." Henry walked down the hall and waved at the patients at that table again. They waved enthusiastically and went back to their meals.

After showing Mr. Mayer the public bathrooms, the game room, the exercise room, the nurse's office, and other points of interested, Henry took the small tour outside. It was the best part about the location. Some patients were sitting out on the patio and near some trees.

"I come out here a lot when I'm off duty," Henry said leading them down a sunken stone path. "It let's me escape from work. But, I'm near if I'm needed."

"This is very lovely," Mr. Mayer said soaking in the view around them. "If it is allowed, I would like to come out here, too. But, I don't know how much supervision I will need."

Henry nodded. "Dr. Jones hasn't said. But, I will tell him you're interested in outdoor activity."

"Do you live here, Henry?" Mr. Mayer asked.

Caught off guard, Henry hesitated before he nodded. "I do. I stay in one of the living quarters. A few other staff members have a residency here, too."

"Why don't you stay with your family?"

"Well, my family lives a long way from here. No one local. And I can't afford rent. I could, I guess, but Dr. Jones let's me stay here for free as long as I work my shifts and help with any emergencies."

Mr. Mayer nodded. "I was just wondering." He stopped suddenly and stared at the forest. "What time is it?"

Looking at his watch, Henry was about to read the time, but Mr. Mayer spun around and ran toward the hospital.

"It's getting dark. It's too late," he screamed running down the path.

Henry gave chase. "Mr. Mayer. Calm down. Chuck, stop. We'll get you to your room…."

Mr. Mayer was already inside. Henry ran by confused patients who were being brought in by a nurse. Henry skidded to a halt as soon as he entered the hallway. The halls extended in three directions, and Mr. Mayer was no where in sight.

Pulling the radio from his belt, Henry spoke into it, "We have a situation. Mr. Mayer is loose in the building. I have no idea where he went."

"Henry!? What happened?" Dr. Jones's voice asked over the static. "Are you alright?"

"I am fine. No one is hurt, so far. But, he ran from me when he realized what time it was. I couldn't catch him."

Sam spoke on the radio next. "Henry, where are you now?"

"I'm at the west entrance."

"I'll start searching from the east end," Sam said. "Henry, you start from where you are and work your way to the middle."

"Roger," Henry said and ran down the right hallway.

"Mr. Mayer wasn't that far ahead of him," Henry thought to himself. "He couldn't have gotten away that fast." Henry reached the end of that hall and turned a corner to loop around. "Maybe Mr. Mayer is just lost. They did go down a lot of hallways on the tour. But, then Mr. Mayer did remember where his room was located in relationship to the lobby. Hopefully he is found before…."

A howl echoed through the hallways. Henry froze in his tracks. Looking up and down the hall, he didn't see anything, nor could he tell which way it was coming from.

A few doors opened and heads popped out looking around.

"Everyone, back in your rooms," Henry said. "Please, go back inside your rooms."

The heads disappeared and doors closed. Henry ran down the hall continuing his search pattern and telling other patients to close their doors.

"Henry, did you hear that?" Sam's voice asked over the radio. "I heard a howl."

"I heard it, too," Henry said while running. "I couldn't tell where it was coming from."

"I couldn't either," Sam said.

"Neither could I," Dr. Jones said. "It is not coming from his room. No one is here."

Henry was hopping that was where Mr. Mayer was headed, but apparently, it wasn't. Either there was another destination, or he was lost.

A scream sliced through the air. Henry could tell where that came from. He broke off his search pattern and ran to the source. "I heard a scream," he said into the radio. "I'm going to check it out now."

He came to an intersection in the halls and backed up against the wall. Peaking around the corner, he saw a room door ajar and crying coming from inside. It was Mrs. Johnson's room. The hall was empty, so he scrambled to the door. Peering inside, he saw Mrs. Johnson on the bed crying her eyes out.

"Mrs. Johnson, are you alright?"

She looked at him for a second and continued crying. "My goblins! They're gone!"

"What happened, Mrs. Johnson?"

"My goblins are gone. All of them!" She grabbed her pillow and cried into it.

Henry pulled up a chair and sat next to her. "What happened?"

Mrs. Johnson sniffled. "This monster came by and scared all my goblins away." She buried her head on her pillow again.

"Where did the monster go? What did the monster look like?"

Mrs. Johnson only continued crying and muttering about her goblins. Henry left the room and picked up his radio. "The scream was Mrs. Johnson. A monster scared all her goblins away. She didn't say what the monster was or where it went."

"Ok. No sign of Mr. Mayer here, either," Sam said.

"You keep checking that wing, Henry," another voice said over the radio. "Derrick and I are going to start searching from the middle." It was Walter. He and Derrick must have just clocked in when Dr. Jones recruited them for the search.

The extra eyes helped a lot. They covered a lot of ground, but no sign of Mr. Mayer. Howls were echoing through the corridors during the night, but they did not help with the search. It helped them know that he was still loose, but nothing more.

It was turning daylight outside. They had been searching all night. Henry stopped in the middle of a hall and listened. He could hear patients stirring in their rooms. Others were trying to find out what was going on without being noticed that they were peeking out doors.

Then he heard it. It was heavy signing. Or more of a whimper. Maybe it was a mix of both. It wasn't coming from any of the patients' rooms.

"Sam, do you hear that?" Henry asked in his radio. "I hear a whimper or something."

A few seconds later Sam answered, "Yeah. I think so. Where are you?"

"I'm in hall 3E," Henry replied.

"How can we hear the same then when I'm on the opposite side of the building from you?"

"I hear it too," Walter said. "And I'm near the lobby."

Henry walked around in a circle in the hall trying to find the source of the sound. Or at least a direction. He shook his head in frustration and looked up for a split second. That split second was all he needed. There was a vent on the wall close to the ceiling.

"The air vents," Henry said into the radio. "I think we're hearing it through the air vents."

"The basement!" Derrick said.

"But, the basement is locked…." Sam began to say but trailed off. "But, let's check it anyway."

They all met at the basement door that was a heavy iron door near the cafeteria. Neither the door nor the lock appeared to be tampered with. If Mr. Mayer was down there, he must have found a different route.

Sam unlocked the door and walked in first. There were a few lights down there, but all the overheads were turned off to save power. Even after Sam turned on the overhead lights, the basement was still mostly dark. The furnace and air conditioner units were down there along with a few things like old tables and desks and things that were too large to store in one of the storage rooms.

The four of them slowly walked down the stairs. Flashlight beams were moving all over the place lighting up dark corners. When they reached the floor, they split up to search. Henry followed the wall looking under piles of broken chairs and behind furnace equipment.

The others could be heard shuffling around in the dark. When checking on their positions, Henry could only see their flashlight beams moving around and an occasional silhouette between stacks of boxes.

The heavy sighing grew louder. He was definitely on the right track. Hopefully, Mr. Mayer wasn't hurt. The breathing didn't sound like he was in pain, but that didn't necessarily mean anything. In the state Mr. Mayer was in, no telling what he had done to himself.

As Henry drew closer, he realized that the breathing wasn't sighing at all. It was snoring. And it was coming from behind the furnace right in front of him. Tiptoeing between the furnace and some folding tables, Henry peered around he corner of the furnace. There, next to the wall, was Mr. Mayer curled up sleeping. Next to him was an air vent that had its grate removed. That must have been how Mr. Mayer got into the basement.

Henry backed out from behind the furnace and signaled for the others. He heard their acknowledgements and went back behind the furnace to keep an eye on Mr. Mayer.

Derrick was the first to arrive. "Where are you, Henry? Did you find him?"

"Behind the furnace," Henry whispered. "He's sleeping."

Derrick squeezed between the furnace and tables. "We need to get him out of there. You wake him up, and I'll be here if you need backup."

Henry nodded and kneeled down. Mr. Mayer's bare feet were closest to him. "Mr. Mayer. Wake up," Henry calmly said while shaking Mr. Mayer's leg by the ankle. "Mr. Mayer."

With a jerk and a few small swings of his arms, Mr. Mayer woke up and sat up quickly. "Huh? What?"

Henry shined the flashlight on his own face. "Mr. Mayer. Are you alright? You were sleeping behind this furnace."

"Oh. Henry. How are you doing?" Mr. Mayer got to his feet. "I didn't hurt you did I? Did I hurt anyone else?"

Henry shook his head. "No. No. You didn't harm anyone. We need to get you back to your room."

"Great! That's where I want to go."

Derrick backed up so Henry and Mr. Mayer could get out from behind the furnace. Sam and Walter were there.

"Are you alright, Mr. Mayer?" Sam asked.

"I'm fine," Mr. Mayer said as he made it out into the larger aisle. "I just want to get to my room."

"And that's where we're going to go," Henry said walking toward the stairs with Mr. Mayer next to him. Derrick stayed in front, and the others followed just in case Mr. Mayer decided to run rampant through the building again.

"Dr. Jones, we have found Mr. Mayer and are returning him to his room," Sam said into the radio.

"Good work. I'll be there in a moment," Dr. Jones said through the static.

"I'm sorry I didn't get you to your room in time last night, Mr. Mayer," Henry said as they were walking down the hallway to his room.

Mr. Mayer snorted. "I told you to call me Chuck. And it wasn't your fault. I should have been keeping up with the time. I am just glad I didn't harm anyone."

"Other than running some goblins off, no damage has been done." Henry grinned.

A perplexed look crossed Mr. Mayer's face before turning into a large smile. "Oh yes. Some goblins. There's no telling what you'll run into in a nut house."

Dr. Jones was standing in the hallway outside of Mr. Mayer's room. He noticed them approaching and walked toward them. "Mr. Mayer, are you alright?"

"Yes. I'm fine." Mr. Mayer rolled his eyes. "Will everyone stop asking me that? Everyone else was in danger last night."

Dr. Jones nodded and led Mr. Mayer into his room. Mr. Mayer was almost skipping as he walked through the door. Dr. Jones stood at the doorway and turned to Henry and the others. "Thank you for finding him. Now, go get some sleep. I know you all had a long night last night. Paul and Rich are on their way over if I need any help."

"Yes, sir," they said together.

Henry was the only one that lived at the hospital. The others walked toward the lobby while Henry made his way to his room. He got ready for bed and set his alarm. When his head hit the pillow, he realized how tired he was. He was asleep in no time.

Separator k.png

Later that day, Henry was making his rounds through the halls. Some patients were making their way back to their rooms from eating dinner. Some were in the social rooms. Everything was typical.

He yawned a little wishing he had gotten another hour of sleep. Working through almost two shifts the night before really took a lot out of him. The next day was his day off, so he can make up for it then.

At the end of the hall, he stared out one of the windows at the grounds. Some nurses were bringing some patients inside since the sun was going down. Henry turned away from the window. He had a few more halls to inspect, but he had something else he needed to find out first.

Walking down the hall, Henry searched his key ring. He found the key he was looking for by the time he reached the door to which it belonged. He checked the hall to see if anyone was there. Quickly, he opened the door and went into the room locking the door behind him.

"Henry? What are you doing here? Leave now!" Mr. Mayer yelled from his bed. He was restrained, but he wasn't bound tightly.

"I am not going to leave," Henry said calmly. "I have to see for myself."

"Leave now! The moon is rising. I don't want to hurt you."

Henry stood by the door not saying a word.

"I'm warning you. Leave…." Mr. Mayer's words turned into a growl and he began pulling at the restraints. With a screamed of pain, he managed to rip free. Before he could move off the bed, he began convulsing.

Henry backed up against the door. He had prepared himself for what he was going to see, but being there while it was happening almost made him wish he hadn't walked into the room. He knew he had to. He just had to.

Then as quickly as they started, the convulsions stopped. Mr. Mayer sat up and howled. Seeing Henry, he began to snarl. He jumped off the bed landing on his hands and knees. Crawling slowly he approached Henry.

"Mr. Mayer, snap out of it," Henry pleaded. "You are still a human. You are not a wolf. Mr. Mayer. Listen to me."

Mr. Mayer continued coming. He crouched getting ready to pounce. Henry knew there was only one thing that he could do. He didn't want to do it. He had to. He got on his hands and knees also. He started growling at Mr. Mayer. Mr. Mayer was surprised for a second, but he went right back to his snarling.

Henry knew he had to carry this further. He had to finish this. He growled again showing his teeth also. But with this growl, Henry's teeth were sharp. His face became a muzzle while gray fur covered his body. He was not on his hands and knees anymore. He was on all four of his feet. His tail pushed out from his pants. He was in his wolf form.

Mr. Mayer stared and then seemed to come out of a trance. "You... You... You're one, too," he said.

Henry shifted back to his human form. "Yes, I am a REAL werewolf," he said.

Mr. Mayer looked down at his hands. "And I'm not? I'm not a werewolf?"

Henry shook his head. "No. You're not a real werewolf. You were just thinking you were."

"I'm not a werewolf!" Mr. Mayer said joyously. "I'm not a werewolf!" His joy turned to concern. "You aren't going to eat me, are you?"

Henry laughed. "No, I don't eat people," Henry said. "Now, Mr. Mayer, will you please keep this a secret?"

"I will," Mr. Mayer said intimidated.

"Good," Henry said. "Pleasant dreams, Mr. Mayer." He unlocked the door with his key and left the room. He didn't lock it behind him.

Henry took a deep breath and went back to his routine hall inspection. His little visit put him a few minutes behind schedule.

Separator k.png

"Henry? Can you see me in my office?" Dr. Jones asked over the radio.

Henry pulled the radio off his belt. "I'll be right there," he answered. He felt a lot better now that he got caught up on his sleep. Hopefully Dr. Jones didn't have a big all-night task in store for him.

Henry knocked on the office door.

"Come on in and have a seat," Dr. Jones said.

Henry opened the door. Dr. Jones was sitting at his desk. Henry walked in and sat down in one of the chairs in front of the desk.

"Henry, it seems one of our patients has had a breakthrough."

"Oh? That's great!" Henry said.

Dr. Jones nodded. "Yes. Yes it is. Chuck Mayer says he owes most of his recovery to you. He didn't say why."

Henry was relieved that Mr. Mayer did not reveal his secret. "Me?"

Dr. Jones stood up and walked around the desk. Henry stood, too, but Dr. Jones motioned for him to sit. "I'm going to talk to the board and see if I can give you a raise. It probably won't be much more, though."

"It will be something. Thank you, Doctor. But, I don't think I…."

"You deserve it. You've deserved one for a long time. You're an excellent worker, and a fine human being."

"Thank you, Doctor." Henry stood and shook hands with Dr. Jones.

"Now, go out there and continue that good work."

Henry nodded and walked toward the door. He may have had a slight spring in his step.

"I'm glad you're on my staff, Henry." Dr. Jones said. Henry turned to face him from the door. Dr. Jones had a smile on his face. "I'm glad to have someone with your… talent."

Henry smiled back and went about his daily routine. If Dr. Jones did know the secret, Henry was sure it was safe.