Adlet -- Inuit Nightmares
WARNING! This story contains graphic violence and non-sexualized rape.
They called him Dr. Sane Whispers. A horrible wordplay on his name, Shane Winther, but one the media had latched onto ever since he'd worked with, Doll-Eye Killer, Andre Clemmins. Without his skills the locations of the missing bodies (along with the rest of Clemmins' secrets) would have gone with him at the prick of a needle. Shane had single-handedly changed the course of modern psychology with his techniques and ideas.
At least the media mocked his name more than his pretty boy looks, like his classmates had. Occasionally he'd overhear a jab about his wavy, surfer-styled sandy-blond hair; how his naturally lean muscled body proved he spent more time doing anything other than psychology; or that his adoption of the California beatnik style made him less serious about his job, and therefore a fraud. He couldn't help that his mixed genetics had him looking like a surfer-hippie, or that he took to the carefree vibes of The Golden State. Thankfully, years of schoolyard torment prepared him for the onslaught of media lies, and most days he laughed it off.
His notoriety only increased when his books hit the market. Fortunately the media coverage got him the publicity he needed, and allowed Shane the opportunity to work with the most twisted minds of his day. People called him when they ran out of hope. That's what brought him to Labrador Canada, in a town on the edge of nowhere and the sea, where cold was a warm day.
As a rule, Shane avoided negative temperatures. Yet, when he'd gotten the old manilla files delivered to his desk instead of sent to his iPad, he couldn't resist thumbing through them. Once he'd seen the paper-clipped film photograph of a raven-haired Inuit girl (only four years his junior at twenty-five) he could sense the fear in her exotic, almond eyes. He had to help her. Once his assistant had transferred all the files to a digital download, he booked the next flight from LA to Canada.
Over the flight, and subsequent transfer to a smaller plane, Shane familiarized himself with the young woman, Ulaani Nayurak. No known surviving clan members, only the town that had adopted her when she stumbled her way through their streets a few months ago. Uncontrollably violent, she suffered from psychotic delusions of demons and shapeshifting dogs. The file didn't mention too many specifics; Shane preferred to come into a session fresh.
The facilities in Labrador's port cities received all their supplies via their single-strip airports, so they didn't have the resources to handle a crazed girl. They were lucky to have a hospital, and the staff kept her drugged to keep her controlled. Her bloodlines marked her as family for the primarily Inuit town, who considered Ulaani their personal orphan, and they refused to send her away. The reason they called him.
Shane tried to remind himself that the town's desperation in their letters tucked into the manilla file -- individually pleading with him to find what ailed their wandering sister -- sent him into the unforgiving cold. More than anything, something in those frightened eyes in Ulaani's photograph inspired him to help her. He possessed the skills, and wasn't about to turn down a challenge -- no matter how cold the environment. He kept telling himself all that while he rubbed his layered-glove-covered hands over the heater of the sheriff's patrol car. Even with the fur-lined ankora coat he'd bought before he transferred to the smaller supply plane, didn't save his sun-loving, California skin from the bone chilling temperatures.
The sheriff (who'd introduced himself as John Tupit when he retrieved Shane at the airstrip) reached out and clicked up the heater nob. "Thank you so much for taking on our case, Dr. Winther." With Tupit's sights locked on the road, he appeared normal enough for an Inuit man in his mid thirties -- until he turned his head, revealing a large black facial tattoo interlaced around the left side of his face. "We did what you asked, and we've kept Ulaani off the meds, but the staff wasn't too happy about it. I had to keep my people on guard at the hospital just in case."
The extra blast of heat penetrated Shane's gloves, his fingertips tingling as they began to thaw. "I am sorry about the inconvenience, Mr. Tupit, but I can't work with patients all doped up." Now that his fingers started to feel the warmth, the tip of his nose stung as it too defrosted from the car's heater.
"That's your call, Doctor." Tupit checked the cleared street ahead before he steered the car around the corner. "Like we said in our letters, we'll do anything to help our little sister get better."
Shane rubbed his nose with one of his gloved hands, keeping the other over the vent. "And I'll do everything I can to help."
Absorbed with getting the feeling back into his extremities, Shane didn't realize they'd pulled in front of the hospital, until the car rumbled to a stop. He looked out his foggy, frosted window at the cold, white snow; then calculated how long it'd take him to get to the door before his fingers started to freeze again. He didn't like the odds.
Without the car's heater blasting, the frigid outside permeated the front seat, worsening as Sheriff Tupit exited the car. Shane had no choice but to follow suit. Pulling the big fur hood tight around his face, so that only a small hole remained opened for him to see through, he stepped out into the frigid subarctic air.
Frosted wind stung his nose, returning it to its numbed state, and dribbling trails of salty moisture down to his lips. Following behind the sheriff and using him to block some wind, he made it to the hospital doors before the floodgates really opened.
Shane sighed when the blast of hot air hit him in the face. At least the place had a heater that works. Inside the warmer hospital, he made a beeline for the receptionist's desk where he grabbed a handful of tissues. He attended to his nose while Sheriff Tupit talked in the corner with his deputy. The way they stood, shoulders tense, heads low, turned inward to block out the rest of the room, all told him that they hoped to hide something from the others. Probably, they wanted to keep something from him. Chances were that in a town this small everyone knew everything already. He was the only outsider in the room.
Behind her receptionist's desk, the woman appeared less Inuit than the sheriff because of her blonde hair, but Shane could see the native heritage in her tanned skin and almond-shaped eyes. She wore the name-tag, Laura K., clipped to her white scrubs collar. When she smiled at him, her pretty grin only accentuated the lines of her haggard, sleep-deprived state by deepening the bags under her eyes. "Could I get you a cup of coffee or tea?" Her voice had a foxy falsetto, like a cartoon character from the fifties, with only a hint of a Canadian accent. "Something to warm you up?"
Shane nodded miming her friendly grin. "Coffee would be fine. Lots of sugar and milk, please."
"No problem." She stood and left the desk.
While he waited, Shane looked around the tiny hospital foyer. Everything had that clean, sterile appearance with the white and moss-green tiles and matching paint. He tossed a tissue into a wastebasket, then grabbed another, wandering around. He paused when he heard voices in a nearby room, and edged closer so he could hear better.
"So, Cindy," began a young man, "Did you find someone to help get you home?"
"Yeah," Cindy spoke with a mousy squeak to her tone, "like I'm going to walk by myself after they found that body. I'm practically living here anyway, what with Ulaani off the drugs."
So that's what the officer's were trying to hide. A body inferred a murder -- not really something you want known to a visitor who paid for his own trip. No doubt, the reason Sheriff Tupit offered his spare room on Shane's arrival. He'd take that room, just to be in a house with a man who knew how to use a gun.
He strained his ears as the conversation continued.
"Just be lucky you're a lady." The young man cleared his throat. "That dog freak likes to go for the nads."
Cindy giggled. "Shhhh. Don't call her that. Sheriff would be so mad."
"Well, Tattoo Face would be singing a different tune if he'd been in the path of that lady's claws of steel, or a good well-aimed kick."
Before Shane could hear Cindy's reply, Laura returned with a steaming Styrofoam cup.
He removed his gloves, shoving them into his wide coat pockets, before accepting the drink. "Thanks, Laura."
She blushed. "No, thank you for coming here. We don't know what to do with Ulaani. If you can whisper some sanity into her, we'd be forever grateful." She eyed Sheriff Tupit, still deep in conversation with his deputy. "Sheriff knows what it's like to loose family. I don't think he sees how far gone Ulaani is. He won't let her go."
"I'll do everything I can to help her." Shane sipped his coffee, reveling in the sweet warmth that spread from his face and down to his stomach. The steam filled his nose and slowed the dribbles of snot. He watched the sheriff's expressions while he continued his conversation. He'd found body language so important on understanding the human mind.
Tupit's jaw jutted forward below squinted eyes, wrinkling the intricate facial tattoo, which gave him a disgruntled appearance. The deputy, younger than the sheriff in looks and height -- and no tattoo -- appeared as if he'd been up for a week. His eye baggage was obvious from across the room. Greasy, spiked hair crowned his unsettled expressions, and his uniform was wrinkled and stained. Obviously, Ulaani hadn't made his night easy.
When the two finished their conversation, Sheriff Tupit patted his deputy's back, then turned to Shane. He crossed the foyer to reach him. "We've got Ulaani set up in a conference room for you like you asked. There have been some problems getting her to behave today, so the blinds have to stay open, and we can't let you go in there with anything sharp."
"That shouldn't be a problem. I take all my notes with my iPad, and it's a great recorder. She probably can't do much with a little iPad. It doesn't exactly break easily."
Sheriff Tupit gave him a strained expression. "Ulaani's excessively violent off her medication. She's unpredictable."
Shane held up his hand. "Listen, Sheriff, I understand you're trying to do your job, but it's my request that she be off her meds. I've worked with far worse than a delusional young person. One little iPad won't mean anything. Besides, it's how I work."
Grinding his jaw, Tupit nodded. "Fine. This way." He led Shane across the foyer, then stopped. "Are you warm enough to take off some of those layers?"
"Sure." Setting his coffee on the receptionist's desk, he pulled out his iPad from his ankora pocket and set it next to the cup. He slipped out of his heavy coat, then tossed it to the Sheriff. After he removed a lighter jacket, and a thick sweater he stopped when a chill of cold stalled his hands, and he decided to keep the rest on. "She's not going to try to strangle me with my sweaters, right?" He chuckled, retrieving his coffee and iPad.
The sheriff shrugged. "Like I said, she's unpredictable." He led Shane past the receptionist's desk and down the hall. When he stopped next to a large window, Shane got his first sight of Ulaani.
Her long black hair hung around her shoulders like a thick blanket and shone under the bright hospital lights. At the angle she sat, hair obscured her face, and only a small part in the front hinted at the woman underneath. Over her blue polkadoted, knee-length hospital gown, a straightjacket wrapped her arms and tied to the chair and table.
Shaking his head, Shane turned to Tupit. "I'm sorry if I'd been confusing in my request, but she can't be tied up like that. Straightjackets are just as distracting as drugs."
Sheriff Tupit stared at Shane in flustered worry. "Doctor, you really don't know what you're dealing with here. I --"
"You asked for my help." He kept his voice calm. "If you want to leave her in the damn thing fine, but I'm not going to have her trussed to the furniture."
With a hung head, the sheriff nodded again. "Fine." After motioning his deputy to comply, he continued. "Just know that the first sign of anything, I'm sending someone in there."
Shane followed behind the deputy, who walked as if he too had gotten attacked in the crotch a few times too many. His slow, calculated movements, and the way he glared at Ulaani with worry in his stare, gave it all away.
I'll have to keep an eye on her limbs. Shane thought, watching the deputy inch closer. "Hello, Ullani. I'm Dr. Winther."
She tiled her head up, revealing more of her face. Her expressionless stare remained locked on him. "You're cuter on T.V." A dark detachment tainted her words.
"I'm usually warmer." He smiled, then paused as he collected what Ulaani had said. "So you recognize me?" At least she has some cognizance left. She's not so far gone off her meds. Perhaps that connection will help her open up to him.
"If I behave, they let me off the drugs," she said. "There isn't much to do other than watch T.V. and you're on it a lot." Beneath her curtain of hair, her eyes shifted to the deputy.
The man hesitated, creating the illusion that he'd sensed her subtle motion. But by the way he defended his crotch, Shane assumed he just took extra precautions.
Shane walked behind his chair across from her, and rearranged it so that it faced the window and door. If he needed to signal them, it'd be easier to do that way. Pulling out his chair, he gripped the back and hovered behind. "I'm sorry they had to tie you up like that. I don't like to work with anyone in restraints. If you let him untie you, he'll leave, and it'll just be the two of us."
"Can you really find people's sanity?" Ulaani's gaze left the deputy, returning to Shane's.
"I help people find their own sanity." He hoped his kind tone would soothe her into talking with him.
In a slow, almost creaking motion, she turned her head to face the deputy.
Blood drained from the man's skin as if he'd just jumped into the Atlantic -- a feat for someone with a tanned, Inuit complexion.
"Untie me and go away," she said without a hint of emotion. Remaining in that position like a posable doll, she only contorted her facial muscles to grimace at him.
The deputy scrambled to comply, his entire body shaking under Ulaani's gaze. When he'd finished, he scrambled away from her and bolted out the door.
Ulaani returned to her original position, glancing slightly above the tabletop, which just happened to be level with Shane's crotch. She didn't make any face other than a blank stare. Whatever this young woman had been through, the least had been rape. Her reaction to men made that fact obvious.
Now that they were alone, Shane paused to take in the solidarity of the moment before speaking. "Would you mind if I record this?"
Motionless. Not even a shrug of physical response.
Shane set his iPad on the table, touching a button to start the recorder. Another tap on his iPad flicked on a blue laser that spread a virtual keyboard across the table. This way he could listen, and type out a few quick notes for when he reviewed the data back at the sheriff's house.
Her glance darted to the digital keyboard. "How much did they pay to get you here?"
"I have lots of ways to make money. It allows me to take on whatever cases I want."
A subtle twinge at the corners of her lips, implied a hint of sadness. "You're going to wish you got paid." The expression vanished, when her eyes returned to a sideways stare.
"Why is that?"
"You can't leave until the next plane comes. That's a month maybe. Everyone will be dead by then."
"What makes you say that?"
"The adlet are in this town. No one's safe but me."
The unfamiliar word interested him, but he could address that later. "Why won't they hurt you?"
"They won't kill their mother. It's my curse."
Shane paused, bringing one of his bent fingers to his mouth. "You know why you're here, right?"
She looked toward the window crowded with the hospital staff and the few police. "They think I'm crazy."
Carefully, he phrased his words into a simple statement rather than a question. "You don't."
She turned back to Shane. "I've been wondering that since I was kidnapped. But when I came here, and they started pumping me with all that poison, I began to realize what madness really meant."
Not wanting to get too far ahead, Shane tried to direct her away from her mental state, to something she seemed to remember. "Who kidnapped you?"
"You won't believe me. No one ever does."
"How do you know if you won't try? I'm not like everyone else. This is what I do. Listen to people."
"It's more than just listening, Dr. Sane. This is about understanding, something you could never do." She leaned back in her chair, tilting her chin up, so that her hair parted revealing more of the exotic Inuit features of her face. "Since you came all the way here on your own dime, I suppose your interest is at least worth attempting to explain."
"Why don't you start at the beginning?"
"You mean, the day the demon stole me away and plunged me into this living hell?"
Interesting. She planned to start with her delusions. Very well. He'd been down that road before, and he'd prepared himself to listen. "Describe it how you want. They are your experiences, and deserve your words."
"All right." Ulaani paused, seeming to retreat into herself by the way her eyes glossed over. She let her lids fall closed before she began again. "I remember it so well. With my eyes closed I see it all, as if it happened seconds ago." She continued, her arms shuffling within the confines of the straightjacket sleeves, so that a subtle scraping of fabric against the floor filtered through the quiet room.
"I'd been hunting with my brothers. They liked to go after bigger game, but I always had a knack for catching ptarmigans so I stayed closer to the forests setting up snares. While securing the last of my traps, I heard crashing through the trees. The sound was too loud and heavy for the small birds I hunted. Something -- to this day, I still don't know what -- kept me there, my feet rooted in the snow as if I'd grown roots into the earth. I waited while the crashing grew louder, until a blast of upturned snow revealed a red beast leaping through the trees. When the snow settled, only a red Labrador remained.
"We faced each other across the clearing. His tail swished from side to side. He didn't growl, or lay his ears back, nothing about the dog appeared vicious in any way." She shook her head roughly, her eyes squinting in anger. "Like an idiot, I held out my palm to him and stepped forward. When he wagged his tail and walked toward me, I thought he was friendly enough. I moved closer."
Intrigued by her ability to think back to an earlier event with regret and retrospect, Shane typed a couple of quick notes while Ulaani continued.
"Before we reached each other, I saw something odd. What I first saw as a Labrador, his fur had a deeper almost sanguine color to it, as if he'd rolled around in the fresh carcass of an animal. I don't know why I reached out to touch him, but I couldn't stop my hand, it just kept inching forward. It wasn't until I saw the blood dripping from him that I stopped. All that dark red fur dripped with tiny droplets of blood, I followed those trails with my eyes, but not one touched the ground. The snow around him remained white. I couldn't move.
"I heard my brothers' angry screams nearby and turned to see them behind me, waving their homemade weapons." She shifted her body as if she reacted and relived the moment.
"When I turned back to the dog, his mouth hung open, lips curling up into an eerie cheshire-cat grin." She recoiled but kept talking. "His teeth grew into long points, until his mouth filled with razor-sharp fangs. A subtle growl, almost like a snicker, left his mouth with a puff of steam as his breath hit the icy air.
"I jumped away from the creature, but I stumbled backward and fell into the snow. With our faces level, I watched the dog's eyes sink into his head. The muscles swallowed them until only a void of pulsing muscles remained. Blood dripped down his face like red tears." Her face contorted in repulsion, and her skin paled a shade.
Visibly swallowing bile, she recovered, inhaling from her mouth in, what Shane assumed was, her attempt to rid her mouth of the taste. "I forget screaming, but I must have, because the steam from my own breath filled my vision. The next thing I saw, was the dog launching over my head. I followed his path, watching his body morph, elongating, his muscles flexing, remolding into thick apelike limbs. When he landed, I rolled over, to see that the dog-beast stood on his hind legs like a man.
"Cracking his knuckles by flexing his wrists and fingers, his claws grew into long knives. With one swipe from his thick arm, he cut my younger brother in half. The force sent the two halves in opposite directions."
Ulaani sniffled, but went on despite how her face contorted while she spoke.
"Sometimes, I still see his horrified face as his torso fell into the snow. My elder brother raised his spear, but the demon dog knocked it from his grip." Her whole body shook so fiercely, she paused, her teeth grinding audibly, suggesting she tried to will her shivers to stop. Tears welled in her eyes before they trickled down her cheeks.
Whatever Ulaani had experienced had been very real to her. Her memories were crisp, like a person stuck in post-traumatic-stress. It worried him.
Using the long sleeves of the straightjacket, Ulaani wiped her eyes, but her face still twitched as she held back sobs. Her cheeks pinkened in anger adding back a bit of color to her skin. "I watched the demon grip my brother's head in his huge hands. He opened his jaws up, like a snake, and clamped down. I can still hear the crunch of the demon's teeth breaking my brother's skull." Her lip quivered, but she swallowed down a lump. "The creature lifted my brother into the air, then threw him against a tree. . . . So much blood. . . . Everywhere." She looked down at her sleeve-covered hands. "The snow turned brown from the amount of it all. The metallic tang from my brother's blood filled the air."
Horror lined her face, pulling her muscles so tight she stopped talking, which only accentuated her persistent tremble. She sucked on her lip before beginning again. "The last thing I remember was the demon whipping his head around to face me. His red-muscled eye sockets filled my vision. I couldn't breathe, and then -- nothing."
Shane took the moment to interject. "What is the next thing you remember?"
Without shifting positions, Ulaani continued. "The inside of a wooden shack. Two windows, boarded and barred. No door. A chimney off to one side, with a black metal flume pumping the smoke out of the room. Only that stove kept me warm. Blankets over piles of hay covered the wooden floor." Hesitating, her mouth hung open.
"Go on. You can tell me anything." Shane could guess where Ulaani's account headed. He'd spoken with enough victims to pick up on the queues. Despite her outlandish tale, she still exhibited typical behaviors, none of which were psychotic.
Tilting her head to meet his gaze, tears hung in her lower lashes. "You don't want to know. I don't want to remember. But the images -- the memories won't go away."
"Sometimes, saying it aloud helps those thoughts leave."
A few tears slipped from her lashes and rolled down her cheeks. "All right." After a deep breath, she resumed. "All my clothes were gone. I wasn't alone long before he appeared."
"Who is, 'he'?"
"The demon dog. He appeared out of the shadows." A chill visibly traveled up her spine, shaking her, so that her shivers started again, but she talked through chattering teeth. "Still in his werewolf form, he slunk across the room. I couldn't take my eyes from him. His fur, still bloody red, dripped drops that never touched the ground." Ulaani swallowed, looking like she might throw up, but somehow kept it down.
Shane wanted to make it easier for her. "You were raped."
Tears streamed down her cheeks and she nodded. "He told me he brought me there to breed his demon spawn. He planned to let his adlet spread across the subarctic." Her sniffling back her sobs, urged Shane to push a tissue box toward her, but she ignored them. "It's all my fault."
Self-blame? It's rare that someone with a mental condition ever blamed themselves for anything. Shane hoped to probe further. "What is?"
"I couldn't get away from him. The demon made it so hard. . . . I tried. I got a plank on the wall pulled back once, but I only found bricks. I should have tried harder, to find a better escape." She heaved, but kept talking. "He liked to play tricks on my mind. Once, when I carried his second litter, he convinced me I'd woken up in my bed from a nightmare. Even let me think my mother cooked me a full breakfast before he snapped me back into reality."
Wanting to focus on something more tangible than what her dreams were, he asked, "How often did you have these litters?"
Rubbing her straightjacket-covered hands over her stomach, she continued. "Two litters of five adlets have ripped their way out of my body. I died twice. The demon always brought me back. He gained too much pleasure from tormenting me. He told me so -- often. Every time I woke from a dream to him raping me, he'd whisper in my ear."
"What did he whisper?"
Her frightened gaze jumped to meet his. "He'd --" her voice got very low, as if she wanted to mimic his tone. "He'd whisper, 'I love the look on your face when you start to realize where you are.'" She paused to suck in a frightened breath, allowing her sights to drift away. "He never forgot to tell me. Not once."
"Did he ever tell you his name?" Maybe she remembered something more tangible about her kidnapper.
Ulaani shook her head. "No, he told me his adlet were more important. He wanted his demon spawn to take all the glory. If they didn't live up to his expectations, then no one would know which demon started them, so he could rethink his plans without fear of a religious figure trying to stop him."
Unsure of what to say, Shane sat back in his chair. Obviously, Ulaani had been through a traumatic series of events. For all intent and purposes, she'd been raped by a demon. Her mind believed it so strongly, Shane seriously doubted he'd could change her mind. Why she'd create such a vividly outlandish fantasy, he couldn't quite guess. A part of him couldn't be sure if she'd invented any of it. Her hesitation centered around sexual details, normal for any female speaking to a male therapist. It's not as if she needed to create an elaborate story for the town to take her in, her Inuit blood made her family by default.
When Ulaani tilted her head to look at him expectantly, brows raised, Shane realized how long he'd been silent.
Flustered, he opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Ulaani's story had him stumped. He closed his mouth, and cleared his throat to cover his awkwardness. Desperate for words, his mind scrambled to come up with something to say. Before he could think it through, he blurted, "Let me understand you correctly." As soon as the sentence left his lips, he knew that he'd said the wrong thing.
Ulaani's eyes went wild with rage, and her cheeks went red to drive the point home. In a flash, she whipped her arm; her long straightjacket sleeve sailed across the table, wrapping around his neck, so that the hanging ties spun around the sleeve creating a loose noose. His coffee fell to the floor with a splat. "You can't possibly understand!"
Rapid doorknob rocking, and muffled shouting told him the staff struggled with the door. Did they really lock him in? Shane could only stare into Ulaani's anger filled eyes, and think of a way to calm her down before she did anything rash. "There --"
She ignored him, raising her voice over his. "Never! Not until you've woken up from your nice, safe, normal life to a demon-sized dog dick crammed into you. Not until you thought your life made sense, before litters of demon dogs clawed their way out of your body. Not until you've tasted heaven, only to resurrect into hell." Pausing, she blinked tears from her swollen, red eyes. "I don't even know if you're real. Maybe, I never escaped! I could wake up any second still in that cursed hut, forced and bruised by that blood-drenched monster. I wish I were insane! I wish I could take or do something to make all these images, all these feelings go away! Tell me I'm insane! I don't want this. I want my life back."
"I . . . I want to help you," Shane gasped. He couldn't see anyone beyond what he could gather from the corner of his eye. Nothing could make him turn his head, not even when the door swung open and three officers, two orderlies, and a nurse filled the room.
"How can you help me if you don't believe?" Ulaani flicked her sights toward the newcomers, her sleeve still wrapped around Shane's neck. "Get out of here! This is between me and the doctor here."
"Put him down Ulaani." The gruff command belonged to Sheriff Tupit's.
That strong voice calmed Shane enough. Still, he wouldn't let his guard down -- not with Ulaani so close.
With a blank stare, Ulaani said, "I'm making a point."
"You've made it, sister." Tupit's used a pleading patience one might attempt with a coddled child. "Now, let the good doctor go."
"I didn't do anything," Ulaani shouted. "Don't let her stick me with that."
Finally, Shane's tongue found the words, and he held up a hand toward the location of the sheriff's voice. "No drugs! It's all right, Ulaani. Just let me untangle your sleeve from my neck, and we can all calm down. There's no need for needles."
Without taking her eyes from their focus, Ulaani responded. "Do it."
Bringing his hands up to the outstretched sleeve, Shane untwisted the dangling strap. His fingers fumbled twice before the sleeve went lax and fell from his neck. Relieved, he slumped into his chair so hard, for a second his chair rocked back on two legs.
When he turned his head to gather who had entered the room, they'd all lunged on Ulaani, becoming a pile of heads limbs and colors. Shane stood, leaning over the table. "Please, let her go. I'm all right, officers. Our session isn't over yet."
They ignored him. His pleas drowned out by Ulaani's screams, and the frantic commands of the police.
Before Shane could get around the table, an elderly nurse stepped from the fray with a fully plunged needle.
"Dammit!" Shane glared at the woman. "I can't work with her now! You've ruined an entire day's worth of time. I have to wait until that crap is out of her system."
The woman flashed him apologetic eyes, but wrinkled her mouth and shrugged, saying without words, that she'd only done her job.
He knew that, but it didn't make him any less angry. Turning his attention to Ulaani, he sighed as the officers and orderlies lifted a struggling, but much less aggressive Ulaani. Shane looked into her eyes, already out of focus. "I'm so sorry. I'll be back tomorrow."
Streams of tears ran down her face. "They're real. They are! They're real. I know . . . I've seen what they can do." All five men carried her out the door, and Shane followed. "You'll all die. You're all dead. It's too late." She broke into a stream of wails while the six men carried her down the hall to her room.
Shane leaned against the hallway wall, taking a moment to process his first encounter with Ulaani. Turning from that distant doorway and the muffled yells, Shane almost bumped into Laura. He jumped backward to avoid knocking her over.
She peered around Shane toward the commotion, then back to Shane. "Are you going to be all right?" Her foxy falsetto had such a pleasant ring to it. "Can I get you anything?"
"Another cup of coffee, please." Shane said with a weak smile.
"No problem." After a spin on her heal, she headed for wherever the hospital kept the coffeepot.
Alone at the front desk, Shane let his racing heartbeat subside. His eyes wandered in a meager attempt to distract himself from the noise down the hall.
Random thoughts raced through his mind, unable to concentrate on anything, until something in the small trash caught his eye. The words 'Wolf' and 'Death' emblazoned in a bold font on a folded newspaper. After a quick look around him, Shane snatched the newspaper from the trash, and tucked it under his sweater. Following the direction Laura had gone, he called to her, "Is there a bathroom here?"
"Sure is." She replied from a room behind the front desk. "Down the hall on your right. There's a sign."
Shane walked past the cracked door and rushed to the bathroom. Once there, with his back against the cold door, Shane lifted his sweater and slipped out the newspaper. Unfolding the paper, the headline read:
Wolf Pack Blamed for Sheriff's Daughter's Death.
A quick scan of the article confirmed Shane's fears. The death had been Sheriff Tupit's daughter. So that's why the Sheriff held such a strong attachment to Ulaani. He used her to deal with losing his daughter. Absorbed in the story, Shane continued to read.
With comments like: 'despite the gruesome scene.' and 'the sheriff assures,' the reporter didn't seem convinced that a pack of wolves was responsible. At the end they included an eluding question to Ulaani and himself with 'For now, more questions encircle the hospital and its latest guests. With any luck Dr. Sane can find some answers.'
Dropping the paper, Shane dashed toward the sink. The cold water ran as strong as any town that relied on well water, but enough to splash on his face. Blasted by the icy shock, he stared down at the white sink and the tinkling water.
Had he really come to a town overrun with demons? Did such a thing even exist? Ulaani's story was crazy, but that didn't make her psychotic. All his years dealing with the worst minds, he could recognize insane babble. He hadn't witnessed insanity in that room, only a victimized young woman.
That left him one month to stay alive. One month until the plane returned. One month to make sure, what he already knew, that Ulaani told him the truth. If he couldn't make it out of this arctic nightmare, no one would ever know that the adlet walked among them.
According to my encyclopedia: Adlet are monsters from Inuit myths in the Labrador region of Canada. Their creation myth centers around an Inuit woman cohabiting with a red dog and their ten demon children. Five turned on the Inuits and slaughtered them. Apparently there is a similar creature under the letter 'E'.
I wanted to write about what happened to that woman.
Words can't describe how glad I am to have finished this story. It took me months to hammer down. I don't often write horror, but this book has quite a few disturbing monsters in it, so this story just gave me extra practice for the future.
I left the outcome of the story up to the reader. Based on the information given, what do you think happened? Does everyone die, does anyone survive, or is this all just a figment in the mind of a crazy girl?
Thanks so much for reading.
The next one is much happier. ^^