Chapter 4: My Day

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Groaning, I pulled my comforter on top of me as if that would block the sound of my alarm clock. Instead, it continued chirping away happily, annoying fellow human beings from sleep to a dull day at work…

Wait a minute.

Abruptly I sat up, which for some reason sent my head reeling. Glancing around my apartment, I abruptly realized I was home. I glanced to my right and left as if to make sense of things. Had it…

The alarm clock still blared so I automatically got up to turn it off. I paused in the action and realized that I was still wearing my skirt from work. It was crinkled and (I sniffed my sleeves) needs to be washed. Sighing, I trudged towards my closet, grabbed a pair of formal pants and a white dress shirt before heading towards the washroom for a shower. My head still hurt… from a hang over perhaps?

I grabbed my glasses from the counter in the kitchen and grabbed a granola bar. Walking briskly down the stairs to the entrance of my building, I knew that the evidence of last night occurrence would be on my car, namely by dents, scratches and what not… if the car was even there.

And there it was, just parked there innocently without a scratch or even a hint of misuse. What the hell…

Had it all been a dream?

Frowning, I turned the car on. I didn't have time for nonsensical thoughts. Right now, I had to find out if Ms Morella was still out there. Normally, I would have stopped at my coffee shop for my daily caffeine intake and a warm cookie, but today I needed to get to the asylum immediately.

Parking my car at my usual spot, I dashed out and nearly tripped on my high heels.

"Deep breath…" I told myself before walking in with a smile. The security guard had changed and Stephan sat there instead. He smiled from his station and greeted, "Dr. Rivers. Morning!"

I mentally looked him over. Other than looking slightly sleepy, Stephan Jameson was the youngest security guard who had caught up with the security system fairly quickly. He always seemed cheerful and had a friendly word for everyone. I caught him smoking once with my eager to please receptionist, Susanne, once.

I smiled back, "Good morning. How are you doing today?"

His smile was just as polite, "Alright. How about yourself?"

"Just as well…" I hesitated for a minute before leaning forward on the counter, "How's Beatrice Morella?"

"I bet in her room," Stephan said, before turning to the screens. He pointed to one of the screens that showed her cell. "Sleeping away."

I leaned over to look at the screen, and to my astonishment saw Ms Morella sleeping away innocently as you please. Keeping my expression carefully neutral I asked, "And there were no… say false alarms or anything last night?"

Stephan looked confused for a minute, "Not that I recall. Mike had last night's shift. If you'd like, I can call him?"

"Please, it's a little important. Let me know what he says," I hitched my purse higher on my shoulder before turning to walk away without waiting for a reply. Unlocking my office, I walked and put on my lab coat. Pulling my hair into a quick bun, I looked at the mirror for a last look. I glanced at my mailbox to see three patient's files. Glancing at the clock by the door, I realized I still had thirty eight minutes before I had to hand in my reports. A quick peek at Ms Morella would not be the end of the world.

Immediately, Diana Fields stalked into my office.

Her blue eyes flashed, "Where the hell were you, Phoenix?"

Dr. Fields was a respected criminal psychiatrist of thirty years. She was efficient to a fault and had recently been promoted to my boss. Something she took complete advantage of, by bitching and bitching. I had adapted to her snarky remarks very quickly which further irked her.

"Whatever do you mean?" I asked, placing the patient's folders on my desk. Sitting behind my table I gestured towards the chair and smiled sweetly, "Why don't you tell me what's bothering you, doctor?"

Recognizing the cliché line, her lips thinned and she glared. Instead of sitting on the chair, she crossed her arms, "I thought I told you last night to check up on a patient. It appears you have irresponsible."

"By defying your orders?" I smirked. Though I did feel guilty for not checking up on a patient who had specifically asked for me, I'd never reveal that to Dr. Fields. "I couldn't make it yesterday because of an incident involving Dr. Morella."

Dr Fields rolled her eyes, "She's in her cell. I heard you asking security about her."

My eyebrows slowly went up, "Wow. News travels far."

"I overheard you speaking," She waved her hands as if to wave away that matter. Then she straightened, "Look, I don't want to cause unnecessary drama but I am your boss. I'd appreciate it if you would just tell me that you can't do something. I'd understand."

Bullshit, I thought as I smiled back at her. With a last stern look, Dr. Fields got up and walked out.

Glancing at my watch, I realized that I needed to report immediately if I wanted everything to be turned in on time and didn't want to work overtime.

Beatrice Morella could wait.

A knock shook me out of my reverie. Glancing up, I saw a nurse smile at me. "Honey, you have Fiona Walkers waiting for you in the interrogation room."

I smiled at her, "Thank you, Nancy."

Turning the computer off after I saved everything, I picked up my clip board and pen, which I shoved into my breast pocket. My heels clicked on the nearly deserted hallway.

Smiling at Ms Walkers, I nodded at the guards standing by the door. They nodded back and shuffled out quietly. Ms Walkers smiled back at me, her white teeth contrasting starkly against her dark chocolate skin. She was in her fifties, imprisoned for more than five suicidal attempts and second degree murder.

"Good afternoon, dear," she said. Her once curly dark hair was now slightly peppered.

"Afternoon," I replied back, sitting on the chair opposite to her. I opened the file I was given and frowned, "Really, Ms Walker? Another attempt? What happened?"

Ms Walker's eyes widened dramatically as she explained, "They haunt me…"

An hour later, Ms Fiona was escorted back to her cell. I stayed in the interrogation room, writing notes on my clipboard. I couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt. I had been almost successful with her, but she had repressed back to her homicidal tendencies. I had to tazzer her at one point when she had started screaming.

Sighing, I brushed a few free strands behind my ear. My eyes drifted to my watch. If I had to see Ms Morella I had to see her now. Quickly before I changed my mind, I walked over to her cell.

She had still to awaken…

Frowning, I asked one of the nurses, "Has Beatrice Morella left her cell at any point today?"

She shook her head confused, "I don't even think she had breakfast."

My instinct had now turned into blaring alarm, and I quickly told her to get security to her cell. Opening the cell, I crunched down next to her bed and looked for her pulse…

I checked her hand before checking her neck. I turned on my pen flashlight and opened each of her eyes to flash on her pupils. No constriction; her pupils were completely dilated.

Oh, my god…

Dr. Fields walked in, leading a whole squad behind her. "What's going on here? Dr. Rivers!"

"Ms. Morella is dead."