Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. Santa Rosa, California. One Month Later.

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42! 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” the old, chubby, bespectacled man, kept repeating to himself, as he sat at a table in front of a Go game board.

“Leonard!” the young, pretty, purple haired girl replied, as she sat across from him, “stop with the numbers, already! You’re driving me crazy!”

Lysergic Oldham placed four black stones upon the board, encircling three white stones already in place.

“I gotcha surrounded, Leonard!” Lysergic giggled, “what ya gonna do now, huh?!”

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” Leonard replied.

“I knew you were gonna say that!” Lysergic said, as she took three white stones and placed them in the center of the board.

“There, I moved for you,” she said, “now, its my turn!”

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” Leonard noted.

“You know what I think, Leonard?” Lysergic smiled, “I think you’re trying to psyche me out! I’m on to you, buddy! You might fool all the others around here, but not me! I think you’re pretty crafty!”

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” Leonard retorted.

“You better let Leonard win this time!” an older, oriental looking man said, as he approached the table. His short, spiky, gray hair, sparkled in the sun light that shone in through the large picture window of the recreation room.

“I let him win once in awhile, Miles,” Lysergic answered.

Miles Straume grinned, as he took a seat at the table to watch.

“Well, you might not have ol’ Leonard around here much longer,” Miles said.

“Why?” Lysergic asked, as she placed two more white stones down for Leonard.

“I heard a big shot doctor is here for an audit!” Miles answered.

“Audit?!” Lysergic replied.

“Yeah,” Miles continued, “he just arrived. He’s gonna observe patients who’ve been here awhile and if they don’t meet to his satisfaction, then its off to the buzz room!”

“Buzz room?!” Lysergic asked.

“Electro-shock therapy!” Miles answered, “due to budget cutbacks, they’ve got to thin out the older population here! I’d guess once the Auditor catches Leonard’s number repeating act, he’ll be ready to play Rock and Shock!”

“That ain’t cool!” Lysergic noted.

“Look, I’ve been here for years and nothing has ever been cool around this place!” Miles replied.*

Just then the Recreation room door opened and in walked Dr. Leary, the Institute director, and another man in a white coat.

“That’s him, next to Leary!” Miles suddenly replied, “that’s the Auditor!”

Lysergic watched, as the Auditor and Dr. Leary went from older patient to older patient, pausing for only a few seconds to observe. Dr. Leary kept a notebook and jotted down whatever the Auditor told him. Lysergic figured Leary was writing down who would get a one way ticket to the buzz room.

Suddenly, they were headed their way.

“Here we go!” Miles whispered, “nice knowin ya, Lenny. Such as it was!”

“Hello, Dr. Leary!” Miles announced, “nice morning, huh?”

“Hello, Mr. Straume,” Leary answered, “yes it is!”

“Is this a new doctor?” Miles asked.

“No,” Leary replied, “he is just here as an observer. Nothing for you to worry about.”

“Yeah, right,” Miles mumbled.

“What was that, Mr. Straume?!" Leary asked.

“Uh, its really bright,” Miles quickly replied, “the sun. Its really bright today!”

“Hmm,” Dr. Leary mumbled.

The Auditor looked Miles over, shrugged, then moved on to Leonard.

Lysergic thought quickly.

“Leonard!” Lysergic said, “Lets play a math game! What’s two times two? Two times four? One minus sixteen? Two times eight? One minus twenty-four? Six times seven?! Quick! Give me your answers!”

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” Leonard answered.

“Say again, Leonard!” Lysergic said, “You’re too quick for me!”

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” Leonard repeated.

“Thanks, Leonard!” Lysergic grinned, “you’re a genius!!!”

“This is Leonard Simms,” Dr. Leary said, “I think he would be someone you might consider….”

“Well, he seems to know his math!” the Auditor interrupted, “look Leary, I’m running late, lets move on!”

“Uh, yes, sir!” Dr. Leary frowned.

Miles turned to Leonard.

“Looks like Lysergie just saved your ass, Lenny!” Miles said, “what do you have to say about that?!”

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” Leonard replied.

“Oh, you’re welcome, Leonard,” Lysergic grinned.

“Ah, oh!” Miles suddenly said.

“What now?!” Lysergic replied.

“Look who just walked into the Rec room with her “baby”!” Miles noted.

Lysergic turned to see a middle-aged, pretty blonde woman, cuddling a bundle of blankets in her arms.

“Auditor sees her, its bye-bye Claire!” Miles noted.

Lysergic immediately got up and intercepted Claire Littleton, as she wandered toward Dr. Leary and the Auditor.

“Hey there, Claire!” Lysergic said, quickly taking a hold of Claire’s arm and guiding her away, “can I have a look at your baby?”

Claire smiled absently, “Of course, dear.”

Claire peeled back the blankets to reveal some twigs stuck together with a G.I. Joe doll head on top.

“He’s really grown since the last time I saw him, huh?” Lysergic commented.

Claire smiled, “Yes, hasn’t he? He’s growing like a weed.”

“He’s acting kinda cranky,” Lysergic quickly said, noticing the Auditor and Leary wandering their way, “has he had his nap today?”

Claire tried hard to think, “I don’t think so.”

“You look like you could use a nap, yourself,” Lysergic noted.

Claire yawned, “You’re right! Aaron kept me awake all night.”

“I’ll tell you what,” Lysergic suggested, “you and Aaron head back to your room and both of you take a nap. If you’d like, I’ll stop by later to baby sit Aaron, while you go for a walk. Okay?”

“Thank you!” Claire replied, “that would work out great. Could you remember to sing “Catch a Falling Star”? That’s Aaron’s favorite song.”

“Uh, yeah, sure,” Lysergic answered, “no problem.”

Claire smiled, turned, then walked out of the Rec room before the Auditor or Dr. Leary had even noticed she was there.

As Lysergic headed back to the table to rejoin Leonard and Miles, she noticed a nurse and two orderlies quickly come into the room, glance her way, then head over to speak with Dr. Leary. Leary nodded, then all three approached the table.

“Ms. Oldham,” the nurse said, “there is someone here to see you. If you would please come with us.” The two orderlies stood threateningly by.

“Whose here to see me?” Lysergic skeptically asked.

“Just please come with us,” the nurse replied.

“Where we going?” Lysergic wondered.

“Don’t go, Lysergic,” Miles whispered, “it’s a trap!”

“Look, Ms. Oldham,” the nurse irritatingly replied, “you either come voluntarily or I’ll have these orderlies “escort” you!”

“Jeez,” Lysergic replied, “someone must be in an awful hurry to see me. Now who could it be? I wonder! I wonder! I wonder!”

The nurse turned to the orderlies and nodded.

Lysergic suddenly found herself being lifted up and out of her chair and carried along out through the Rec room door.

“I warned her not to go,” Miles shrugged, “didn’t I, Leonard?”

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42!” Leonard agreed.

“HEY! LET GO OF ME YOU M***********S!!!” Lysergic cried out!

The nurse followed close behind the orderlies, “If you don’t calm down, Ms. Oldham, then we’ll have to use the shock sticks!”

Lysergic had experienced the shock sticks. She immediately calmed down.

She was taken into a back room that contained two chairs and a desk. The orderlies sat her down in the chair opposite the desk.

“Shock sticks or not,” Lysergic called out, as the nurse and orderlies left the room, “any of you ever touch me again, I’ll kill you!!!”

Suddenly another door to the room bolted open and a short, thin, older man with graying hair, dressed in a white shirt, black suit, and tie, entered carrying a file folder.

He had an intense look on his face, that indicated to Lysergic he was a no nonsense kind of guy. Just the kind Lysergic loved to get into their heads and mess with their mind.

The man closed the door and sat in the chair behind the desk. Lysergic remained silent.

He opened the folder and thumbed through the pages. After, what seemed an eternity, he spoke.

“You are Lysergic Diethyamide Oldham, correct?” he said, in a no nonsense tone.

“If you say so,” Lysergic answered.

The man smiled, reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out a tranquilizer gun and casually fired a dart into Lysergic’s neck!

“NOT COOL!!!” Lysergic cried out, just before the tranquilizers took effect, “NOT COOL AT ALL!!!”

Next: Chap. Ten “Chit Chat”

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