The yacht with no name had been driven into the protected waters surrounding the Phantom King’s private island. With the swiftness of a cast of Peregrine Falcons, the yacht was surrounded by an army of men known as members of the “family.”
Armed with AK-47s, they boarded and searched the yacht. They found what they thought was the lifeless body of Adeline, until they heard her moan. Quickly radioing base, they followed instructions to tow the yacht to shore.
Only a select few of the family’s members actually had direct contact with the Phantom King. Even fewer knew his real name. There was a rumor that the King had once shot a member in the face for calling him by his first name without permission. His body was then cut into pieces and fed to the pack of guard dogs who freely roamed the estate.
The family had several Lieutenants with definitive pecking orders. It was the lower echelon who attended to small details like controlling the situation when a visitor, whether accidentally or on purpose, happened to invade the privacy of the Phantom King’s domain. Purposeful visitors had never lived to tell the tale, or so legend had it.
The Phantom King’s domain was entirely self-sufficient. An actual “hospital” wing had been established and doctors and nurses were on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Being given handsome salaries bought their expertise, their silence, and their loyalty, They wanted for nothing. Attorneys’ had elaborate accommodations not far from the main house and they too, were paid handsomely for limiting their practices to one client.
Two days after the yacht with no name was towed to the island and carefully disassembled, there was a happening.
In a brightly lit room, the curtains softly billowed by a gentle breeze. The smell of honeysuckle wafted through the air and the sound of birds singing lent an almost fairy-tale ambiance to the room. Adeline was aware of someone standing over her asking “can you hear me?”
Her head was throbbing and her eyes could barely focus but she managed a nod.
“You can call me Dr. Burt,” he said. “How do we feel?” Adeline said “I don’t know how you feel but my head hurts.”
Dr. Burt chuckled and said “yes. What else?” Adeline looked around the room and said “I don’t know. I mean, I don’t recognize this place. Am I in a hospital?”
“Of sorts,” said Dr. Burt. “Can you tell me your name?”
“Of course,” she said.
Dr. Burt looked at her and said “well?”
“Well what?” she asked.
Dr. Burt said, “you were going to tell me your name.”
“It’s…it’s. Dammit. I know it. I just can’t seem to remember it right now.”
“Okay,” he said. “We’ll give you a little while. You just rest.”
As he turned to leave the room, Adeline said “where am I?”
Dr. Burt said “as I said. You’re in a hospital of sorts.”
Adeline was clearly starting to get agitated. “What kind of hospital? A mental hospital? A psychiatric hospital? Am I the only patient? Am I a prisoner? How did I get here? Who put me here?”
Dr. Burt tried to calm her down and said “nobody put you here, my dear and you’re not a prisoner. You’ve had a shock. We’ll talk more tomorrow,” and motioned for the nurse to give her a sedative.
When he stepped out of the room, he gave his report to Roy, who was assigned to guard the room. “Tell the King that she has no memory of what happened. She doesn’t know who she is or where she is and she has no idea how she got here. It might take a while, but I’ll find out what’s going on.”
To be continued___________