The Pandion Prophecy ... Part 2


Welcome, and thank you for visiting the continuing story of “The Pandion Prophecy.” There are eight chapters in all.


A link to the first chapter appears below.


The music videos at the end of each chapter are an integral part of the story.



Saturdays were often hectic for the emergency department at St. Johns Hospital. Physicians were under constant pressure to discharge or refer patients for admission, quickly, before they spilled out into the hallways and parking lot.

The seats in the waiting area were occupied by the ambulatory; the triaged patients awaiting care, worried family members and friends. A television screen hooked to wall and stacks of wilted magazines were largely ignored. People fidgeted in their chairs with discomfort, held children in their arms, chatted and texted on their cells, or nervously paced the perimeter. Some who had grown anxious from waiting, walked outside to smoke a cigarette. Others sought the outdoors as a brief respite from the pervading tension and smell of antiseptic that pricked the air.

Kate Baron glanced at her watch. Two hours had passed since the EMT’s brought Ray to the ED. The anticipated wait time that tested a worrier's patience was one hour. Two were purgatorial.

Opening her shoulder bag, she pulled out her cell phone and listened again to Ray’s voice mail. Alarmed by his message and photos, Kate drove to the beach house, where she found him huddled on the bathroom floor. Terrified, he tried to tell her what had happened but his speech was rambling and incoherent. She immediately called 911 and the Detective Division of the Farhaven Police Department.

Kate studied the photos, searching for anything that might help her friend. His face was strangely ashen, with parched lips and reddened eyes that stared into the void of the lens with a silent plea. The skin on the palm and fingers of his hands were shredded from broken blisters. Yet when she arrived at the beach house, they were normal. It’s not possible, she thought. She skimmed through her handwritten notes that read like remnants from a nightmare.

Looking up, Kate saw her husband, Jack, hurrying toward her.

“Any news yet?” he asked.

She shook her head, her eyes clinging to Jack’s as she fought back tears of frustration. “They have me listed as Ray’s healthcare proxy but I still haven’t heard anything. I wish the Boston hospitals were closer.”

“Come with me.” Jack guided her to the reception area -- a glassed-in fortress situated at a right angle to the main waiting room. He printed Ray’s full name on a piece of notepad paper, opened his ID badge and pressed it against the glass. “I’m Detective Baron with the FPD. You have a patient here; his name is Raymond Stiegel.” He slid the paper under the window partition. “I called earlier when the EMT’s were bringing him in. I need to speak with the resident ED physician responsible for his care.”

The receptionist nodded and asked them to wait near a door adjacent to the entrance to the treatment facilities. Kate was relieved with the sudden progress and looked at her husband with admiration.

“What’s happening at Ray’s?” she asked.

“Forensics is still processing the scene. The Kelsey brothers are working this one…they’re the best CSI field team we’ve got. The lid to that empty chest in the sand is burned to a crisp; the inside of the casket is also charred. And the handle to the shovel is missing. It looks as though it was snapped off just above the blade.

“Wait…snapped off?”

Jack nodded. “Like a matchstick. The Kelsey’s discovered some kind of chemical residue left over from the burn. It’s in the chest and surrounding sand. This all happened recently.”

“But his hands, Jack. You saw the photos. How could those abrasions have healed so quickly? He stopped by our house this morning on his way to the cottage and he was fine. Then he supposedly digs up his beach for several hours during one of the hottest mid-June days on record for no apparent reason. And why isn’t he sunburned?” Kate took a deep breath to calm her nerves. “None of this makes any sense. All we know is that whatever happened out there threw him into a near-catatonic state.”

The door opened suddenly and a nurse’s assistant motioned for them to follow her. She led the couple down a wide corridor past a network of hallways and treatment rooms where adrenalized teams of nurses, physicians and technicians worked to assess and stabilize their patients. Slowing her steps, the assistant stopped near the office of Dr. Mark Faraday. “The doctor will join you shortly,” she mumbled, gesturing to the door. With her eyes fixed on her clipboard, she hurried back down the passageway to the waiting area.

The Barons entered the office to find Faraday already seated at his desk. After the appropriate introductions were made, he apologized for the delay and turned his attention to Ray’s medical records accessed on his computer. Peering over the rim of his glasses, he studied the case file.

“Mrs. Baron -- Kathryn Martin-Baron -- you are Mr. Siegel’s healthcare proxy. We have a copy of the signed authorization uploaded on file. Regarding your relationship to the patient; you’re an investigative journalist with The Farhaven Chronicle where he also works as a reporter?”

“Yes.”

“He has no family in the area?”

“No. Ray’s parents were killed in an auto accident last year in Arizona. We’re close friends. He’s like a brother to me. Jack and I are really the only family Ray has.”

”I see. So the purpose of this discussion is two-fold: To counsel his healthcare power of attorney and the investigator in charge of his case. I’ll be frank with you,” Faraday said, glancing at Jack. “This is a little unorthodox.”

“Unusual, perhaps, but necessary given the circumstances. “

The physician thought for a moment. Nodding in agreement, he shifted his gaze back to the monitor. “We’re admitting Mr. Stiegel for overnight observation and further diagnostics. When the paramedics brought him in, he was disoriented and agitated; blood pressure was severely elevated. No apparent physical injuries but he’s dehydrated. We started him on IV fluids with saline and administered minimal sedation to relieve his distress. The standard drug test results were negative.”

“You ran the clinical screen?” inquired Jack.

“Yes. Amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, methadone, and opioids…they’re screened initially.”

“As I notified the ED earlier, we suspect that Ray was seized, detained and manipulated against his will with the use of a powerful chemical substance or drug. What about hallucinogen toxicity? That’s not easily diagnosed.”

Faraday was impressed. “That’s true, Detective. Even with recent ingestion, a diagnosis may prove to be difficult. There are a number of compounds to consider, including what are commonly referred to as designer drugs. I’ve already ordered the additional tests. What his unit physician, primary care doctor and consulting specialists later decide is beyond my purview.”

Kate's eyes rolled upward to the sunlight flowing through a window high in the wall. She appreciated the young resident's thoroughness but was growing impatient. “Can he have visitors?”

“Yes, but only for a few minutes. The sedation has been stabilizing but he needs rest.”

The conference ended and the Barons thanked the physician for his help. Faraday reminded them of the need to keep their visit brief, then directed them to the new inpatient facility that served as an adjunct to the hospital’s emergency department for new admissions.

In his late twenties, Ray's medium height and muscular build seemed incongruous with the pale figure swathed in blankets on the solitary hospital bed. Though the sedation had made him drowsy, his body would jolt awake the instant he felt himself going under. Eager for familiar human contact, his mood brightened when his friends walked into the room.

Hey. Am I glad you’re here.”

Kate pulled a visitor’s chair close to his bed. “Hi, kiddo. How are you feeling?”

“Better, thanks. I want to thank you both for your help. I don't know what I would’ve done if you hadn’t shown up at the beach house.”

“I’m thankful you called Kate when you did,” replied Jack. “We’re going to find out who did this to you, and why.”

“This case will keep you on your toes, buddy. Either someone slipped me some bad peyote, or you’re looking for an entity straight out of a wormhole. Or…or maybe…maybe I’m losing it,” he muttered, rubbing his eyes.

Kate leaned toward him and spoke in a comforting tone. “Everything out there on that beach right now is real. You didn’t imagine it. We’ll figure this out in time.”

“I’m not sure I wanna know." He turned his head and stared into her face, fighting the urge to tell her something. When the words started to form, his throat tightened with fear that she wouldn’t believe him, or that he could somehow pull her into the shadows that haunted him.

“You‘re exhausted, Ray. You need to sleep.”

“I’m so damn tired,” he mumbled to her, his words barely audible. “But I’m afraid to sleep. The whispers…they keep running through my head. Sometimes I can feel them as well as hear them.”

“Whispers?”

“Yes. They’re…they’re broken pieces of time.” His eyes misted over. “I wasn’t supposed to see. That thing on the beach…it told me not to see.”

Kate felt a sudden chill and was silenced. She reached for his right hand, held it firmly in her own and found her voice. “You’re safe. I’m here and I won’t leave you.”

“Always the stubborn redhead, Katydid. Thank God.”

“Count on it,” she said.

Ray closed his eyes with a faint smile. His grip of her hand relaxed as he fell into the realm of dreamless sleep. The whispers followed him to that drifting place before ebbing, slowly, from his mind.


The figure of a man stilled beneath the bristly skirt of a large Balsam fir -- one of several in a huddle of trees that bordered Ray’s beachfront property. Hidden from view, he watched with hooded eyes as the last uniformed policeman left for the station. The Kelsey brothers stayed behind to complete their site forensics of the chest cradled in the sand. The traveler knew what was in store for the two men and smiled. Crooking his head oddly to the side, he recalled his world of chaos. Although he needed to watch what was about to unfold, other tasks required his attention. Gravity tugged at his limbs with an unfamiliar heaviness. He stood up, unsteady at first like a newborn calf, struggling to find his balance. He brushed the evergreen needles from his trousers with awkward hands, then faded into the trees.


Music composed by Thomas Newman. Video created by cerino68 of YouTube.



Copyright Notice

Written and copyrighted by Genna Eastman (Genna East) 2014; all rights reserved.


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Comments 49 comments

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 11 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I admire the taunt writing. The pace made me feel like a young reporter chasing a story. Your characters interact with such ease which delivers realism. You draw us in and leave us in anticipation as what is to follow. Smooth!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia

This is an extremely well written and captivating story Genna. It makes me anxious for the next chapter. Very professional writing that is a joy to read.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

wow, you have come full circle.. Pandion.. a king Athens.. Love the way you just brought this together.. everything fits and every word makes this story so visual.. bravo .. again bravo


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 11 months ago from Central Florida

Genna, this story is well-written and full of visuals. I'm looking forward to discovering what Ray saw on the beach and who's currently lurking in the bushes. Great tension.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Good morning everyone. It is such a pleasure to see some of my favorite writers visit this story.

@Mockingbirdbks: Hi Mike. Thank you, my friend. I had to pare the story down a bit to publish it on the Hub. But there is reason for the taut pace in chapter 2. I see you have recently written another wonderful installment to the Carriage Driver. I am headed over there in a few minutes. :-)

@Jodah: It's good to see you. I appreciate your encouragement more than you can know. I must have changed Pandion about a half dozen times. It is part of a 3-story trilogy. I hope you continue to enjoy the journey. :-)

@FrankAtanacio: What a nice compliment...thank you. I loved your observant comment, but I should explain that Pandion exists only in the abstract sense as it relates to the story. King Pandion is mentioned very briefly in chapter 6. :-)

@BraveWarrior: Thank you for those kind words of support. Ch 3 will be published on Monday. It picks up where this chapter left off, on the beach, with the Kelsey brothers.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 11 months ago from Olympia, WA

The scene was set beautifully in the very first paragraph....the suspense gripped us throughout the entire story, and that's because you set the mood so very well...and the ending was superb. Genna, you are very, very good at this. Bravo!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 11 months ago from Southern Illinois

Genna: This is a compelling mystery. Your detailed descriptions put me there. ( Your introduction to the ER was a perfect picture of reality. ) I can't imagine what is in the sand. See you next time. Bravo..Hugs.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Billybuc: Coming from you, that is indeed high praise. I only hope that I prove worthy of this in succeeding chapters. Thank you, my friend.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

AlwaysExploring: Hi Ruby. I'm grateful that people have taken the time to read this installment series. Stories with multiple chapters aren't as popular on the hub. I appreciate your kind comments and thoughts. I hope you find Pandion interesting. Hugs, my dear...have a great weekend!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 11 months ago from Riga, Latvia

Very well written and a most intriguing story.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Rasma. I appreciate you taking the time to read this story, and hope that you enjoy it. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 11 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Genna. I came back to listen to the music again. Also, I wanted to say how I admire the way you inserted the dash of tension both with Jack and the bureaucracy of the hospital staff and even the unease of the Dr talking with Kate. Happy Sunday

Copyright 2014 or 2015? Have you worked on this for a year?


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Mike. What a nice thing to say -- thank you! I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by "worked on it." The story was written in its entirety in 2014. I've made some changes to it, and had to do some research to fine-tune a couple of aspects of the story as it relates to physics and chemistry (but that's my never-ending, perfectionist nonsense at play with anything I write) -- nothing that would be considered "material to the original story," as my attorney explained to me. I used to do my own copyrights a couple of years ago, but since my attorney also handles my business copyrights, I've had him file the creative work for me as well. It certainly saves me a lot of time and bother with the legal mumbo/ jumbo, which I don't understand and find annoying. I hope you are enjoying your weekend. :-)


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 11 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I have waded through the copyright process several times now. It is arduous but necessary.

I guess I meant that it is hard to believe that over a year has gone by since the story first appeared.

It is likely the perfectionist in you is what makes your writing soar.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Mike. It takes longer for me since I work 9-10 hours a day. And yes, my obsessive-compulsive changes and edits drag it out even further when it comes to writing long, short stories. The trick is knowing when to stop. (Poetry and short stories are different, and don't take nearly as long.) I can't count the number of times when I've hit the publish button and regretted it later, seeing mistakes that make me wince. That's what happened when I published the first two chapters of Pandion. I promised myself, "never again." But we each have our own rhythm and style. Coming from a writer I respect and admire, your compliment makes me blush in that I think I have a long way to go before I consider myself to be a truly good writer. Retirement will help -- if it ever arrives. Thank you. :-)


DnWW 11 months ago

This is excellent writing dear lady. I am anxious to read the next part. I admire the way you bring your characters to life on the pages in a way that makes them accessible. I'm glad, too, that non-members can comment on your boards again. Spammers? The trilogy you commented about above -- is this to be a book? Molly and I both wish you well deserved success.

Dana


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 11 months ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Genna,

It is so wonderful to see you publishing again! I understand about working long hours, as I work in the city with an hour commute ...but looking forward to retirement too.

You are truly one of the best creative writers here on HP. I always enjoy anything you write. This continuing story is full of intrigue and keeps one wanting more. I look forward to your next publication. I always love a good mystery.

Happy New Year!

Peace and blessings always,

Theresa


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 11 months ago

Oh wow Genna, now I am almost afraid to go to sleep after reading this and what is going tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Fantastic writing.

Blessings

Shyron


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

DnWW: Dear Dana; it is so good to see you. Yes, we had spammers some months back, and then a few more after that particular bombardment. I didn't turn off the members-only posting feature until about a month ago. And yes, this is to be a book. (The other story is a mystery that takes these characters to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, but I don't plan on publishing it on HP.) I watched part of the GG last evening with you Brits doing so well with the Wolf Hall win...and rightly so, my friend. Long may the BBC/PBS/Masterpiece Theatre share the reign. We shall miss Downton. Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Love and hugs to both you and Molly.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Faith, it is wonderful to read such thoughtful and encouraging comments. It is food for the soul. :-) Thank you! And I know exactly what you mean about work and commuting hours. Peace and blessings to you as well, dear Faith. :-)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Shyron: I'm grateful that hubbers are taking the time to read this story; I realize that continuing stories aren't quite as popular on the Hub. So your visit and comments mean a lot. Thank you!


drbj profile image

drbj 11 months ago from south Florida

This is even more intriguing than Part 1, Genna. You have hooked me, m'dear. I have become a faithful Pandion follower ... no matter what.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I'm so glad you find the story interesting. Thank you visiting, and for those kind words. :-)


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 11 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Masterful and well - developed, dear Genna.

The musical selection is icing on the cake.

Your life balance is truly inspirational.

Hugs, Maria


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I love this series so far, Genna. I'm looking forward to reading all the installments.


annart profile image

annart 11 months ago from SW England

Such great writing, Genna. You certainly know how to leave a cliff-hanger of a hook at the end. Bill's right, you set the mood brilliantly and hold us right in the scene. The emotions are palpable.

Off to the next one!

Ann


shprd74 profile image

shprd74 10 months ago from Bangalore

Geena,

The suspense is from the start. I liked it and will read all the parts. Thanks. You are an inspiration for sleek writing.

- Hari


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Marcoujor: Maria, yours is one of the nicest compliments I have received. Thank you! Hugs, my friend.

AliciaC: That is so good to know...thank you, Alicia. :-)

Annart: Ann, I can only say, "thank you," in all humility. I only hope that everyone continues to find Pandion a worthwhile visit. Good to see you.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

shprd74: What a nice thing to say, Hari...thank you. I hope you enjoy the ride. :-)


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Genna

I thought I'd missed something here when I went straight to part 3'by mistake, boy did I!

This is awesome, full of suspense and kind of like reading an X files mystery. Love it

Lawrence


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 10 months ago from California

Well Genna--your writing is so good here--8 installments might be enough for a novella???


Eldon Arsenaux profile image

Eldon Arsenaux 10 months ago from Cooley, Texas

The closing paragraph is told with tense diction. I especially enjoyed the conversations. No part is overdone. Someone above used sleek to describe your diction. I don't dare claim a better word or way to describe it so. I'm catching up, though it is apparent I have fallen far behind (from the start!).

-E.G.A.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

lawrence; Audrey and Eldon: Thank you! I'm grateful for your interest in Pandion ... more than I can say. :-)


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 10 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Another gripping post. Your story reminded my me the TV series Fringe . Supernatural...You write very well.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Hi Nadine. I've never watched, "Fringe," so I will take you word for it. Thanks so much for reading Pandion, and for your kind words of encouragement. They are greatly appreciated.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

This is good! Headed to Part 3.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you!


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 9 months ago from Cape Cod

Having just finished part one, I headed quickly to this installment for two reasons: the first is obvious. This is interesting writing. The second reason is clinical. I wanted to see how you were going to move the plot along. You had a lot of momentum in the initial offering and the follow up did not slack off even for an instant. You've kept the tension going and in fact even increased it. Five Stars of Five!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 9 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you! I truly appreciate your reading the additional installments and hope you like the story as it continues. Happy Sunday. :-)


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 7 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Your words make the story so vivid and real as if it is unfolding right before the eyes. The suspense is building up for sure.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 7 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Rajan. I hope you enjoy the story as it progresses. The only thing I can add about Pandion is that everything is not what it seems.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas

Very suspenseful story that has certainly captured my interest!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 6 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Peg, for taking the time to read Pandion. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story. :-)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 months ago from California

Genna, you really write beautifully--this flows so well--and the plot line is wonderful!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you, Audrey. I hope you enjoy the story. :-)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Genna....From your impeccable narrative, pulling me in more and more focused to the heavenly strings & piano tune, I'm there with them....this fascinating tale compels me to follow.........


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

I tried to write this in a way that engaged the reader, to encourage them to stick with story. I am pleased that you find it interesting. Thank you.


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 5 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Sorry, gotta go. Chapter three.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 months ago from Massachusetts, USA Author

Thank you.

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