by Jon Batson
Third in the Jack Richmond Conspiracy Series, this book is based on a true story, that of a young woman held against her will in a Raleigh, NC mental hospital. While investigating her story, Jack returns home on Halloween to find that his fiance, Teri, has been abducted. Finding her becomes his first objective, but along the way he has to deal with new assassins, old friends gone bad and members of the organization that is really running things.
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Jack Richmond returns home on Halloween to find that his fiancé, Teri, has been abducted. Finding her becomes his first objective, but along the way he has to deal with new assassins, old friends gone bad and members of the organization that is really running things.
“You can’t hold me here!” yelled patient number 516. She was clearly under some stress and looked as if she had slept badly. Her hair was in wild disarray, save for one side, which was pressed in. She wore no makeup and was dressed in one of the standard issue, gray nightgowns the hospital commonly issued to patients when their clothes were taken.
Doctor Alexander Nikolin looked at the woman. He evaluated that she had the capacity to look attractive, under different circumstances. He couldn’t tell if the contortions in her face were from the medication she had been force-fed, a facial tick from her illness or the migraine headaches she complained of. She had been on several medications, including one for migraines, but if they were working, he reasoned, she wouldn’t be sitting in front of him now.
“I can hold you for observation for 72 hours from the moment you sign this paper admitting yourself voluntarily to my care. If you do not, I can hold you indefinitely involuntarily on the suspicion that you may be suicidal or even criminally insane. It’s your choice, of course.”
Doctor Nikolin pressed his lips together, raising one eyebrow. The woman had been under the care of the hospital since Friday, over the weekend. She had not seen a doctor in that time. She had been admitted after complaining of a possible overdose, fearing that she had taken too much of her anxiety medication.
“But I have my own doctor, a therapist. I have been seeing him for some time. Can’t we call him. He’ll vouch for me. I should be under his care, not here.”
“All I can do is to admit you voluntarily and keep you under observation. You are on suicide watch and there are steps. We can’t let the patient dictate the treatment, now can we?”
Doctor Nikolin placed his elbows on the desk, pressing his fingers together and looking through the small bridge his hands made. He loved to do that. It always put the patient on edge, off balance.
“I’m not suicidal,” cried the woman. “I just fell asleep and forgot what time it was. I’m fine – except that I have a splitting headache and they won’t give me my medicine for it. And they won’t give me my anxiety medication either. They just locked me in a moldy cell on a wooden bed in this rag and left me for two days!”
Doctor Nikolin pushed a piece of paper to the edge of the desk along with a ball-point pen.
“Here’s the form. Here’s a pen. If you want me to consider your case, you have to be admitted. There’s no one here on weekends; this is the first opportunity I have had to examine you, but I cannot examine you to see if what you say is true or not until you sign this paper. There are procedures to be observed.”
The woman took the pen and signed a ragged scrawl across the lower line. She dropped the pen on the desk and sat back with a look of defeat. The doctor smiled.
“There now. That wasn’t so hard, was it?” He took the paper and put it into the open folder in front of him.
“Nurse, would you return the patient to her room. We’ll see how she sleeps and I’ll see her in the morning.”
“But you said once I signed that you would see that I got my medication,” the woman screamed. “I have a migraine! I’m in pain!”
“No, that’s not what I said. I said I could see you once you were properly admitted. I have patients scheduled. You’ll be seen in the morning.”
The doctor waved his hand and the nurse took the woman out of the office, down the hall, into a small room with a bed and a desk, but no chair. The bed was topped with a thin, plastic, inflatable mattress, a flat pillow and a thin, stained blanket. The nurse closed the door, leaving the woman standing in the middle of the room.
The woman immediately sank onto the edge of the bed, placed her hands on her head and pulled it between her knees.
“Oh, God!” she said quietly to herself.