Returning to England

Evangeline stepped off the bus on to the corner street in front of an Odds n’ Ends store. Opening up the front door smiling, she called out, “Melissa! Your favorite renter is home!”

“Evangeline!” sounded a friendly voice. An older women with greying hair and a big apron wrapped around her waist, steered around the checkout counter to embrace her. “You haven’t called in forever, and then people started coming by and then your parents, I-“

“People?” Evangeline asked, leaning back and blinking. “Did I forget to give notice that I’d be out of town for awhile?”

Melissa shuffled on her feet. “No, no. These were complete strangers. What sort of trouble have you gotten in to, Evangeline? This man came by asking all sorts of personal questions, and not a week ago your parents came and took all of your things! Said you wouldn’t be living here anymore!”

“Bother!” Evangeline grumbled. “I think Mother is in a panic because Father is ill, she wanted me to come home straight away. I suppose to move back in. But that’d be miserable, so I’ll just get my things back.” There was a brief awkward silence. Evangeline tilted her head. “What’s the matter, now? I can’t move back in?”

“Crickets, Evangeline, I’m so sorry. But I did tell you ages ago that Harold was going to retire soon, and well… he did! Now he has this fancy idea of traveling around the world like nomads and we’ve sold the shop. I just couldn’t get a hold of you, oh dear, I hope this doesn’t put you out!” apologized Melissa, she sounded ready to cry!

Evangeline just laughed and shrugged her shoulders. “It’s all right! I’m sure it’s fate’s gentle nudging that I need to be elsewhere. Once I make sure Father is okay, I have to fly back to America. I’ll just rent an apartment or something.”

It took a little convincing to reassure Melissa that she wasn’t put out of a home, but once that was done and she kissed her cheek goodbye, Evangeline was off straight to her parents house.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Clark was a little run down, but it was a nice sized home with a grand door. Evangeline didn’t have to wait long before the door open, and she greeted her mother with a smile. “Hello Mother! How is Father? I hope I didn’t take too long, I stopped by my flat but apparently you cleared out my things?”

Her mother was silent as Evangeline talked, stepping aside to let her in and closing the door behind her. “Your Father and I wish to speak with you. Come with me to the den.” Mrs. Clark’s tone was cool as she led the way.

“I thought Father was in the hospital. Was he released early?” Evangeline replied. They entered the den where her father promptly stood. There was another individual in the room, a man, but a stranger she hadn’t met before. He was definitely a doctor, but now she was sure it wasn’t for her father.

Mr. Clark cleared his throat. “I am not ill, Evangeline. However, the fib was necessary to bring you home. Running around the world on these… these… crazy whims of yours, and now you’re chasing mythical creatures? A nice young man came to see us, Evangeline, and we’re worried about your… sanity.”

This was entirely too confusing. First Evangeline was trying to figure out who was talking to her parents about her, and then she was just angry that they assume she was crazy! “My sanity is perfectly sound. I’m certainly not chasing around imaginary people. Why couldn’t you just talk to me on the phone?”

Mr. and Mrs. Clark cast a look between each other when the stranger finally spoke. “Ms. Clark, your parents are just concerned about your welfare. They’ve been told that you think of yourself as some sort of psychic and that you believe you’re a vampire to save the world? That sounds extraordinary. Unbelievable. You must understand. They would like you to see a doctor, just a little evaluation…”

“Oho! This again!” Evangeline was doing very well to keep her voice even, but she was incredibly frustrated. “You know I’m not crazy and I’m most certainly not a liar. If it’ll make you happy, I’ll see your doctor, but it’s really just wasting out time. I need to get back to the States.”

With Evangeline in agreement, they ushered in to a vehicle to drive off to the doctor’s place. Evangeline remained silent, keeping her temper in check. It was so rare when something would make her so mad. Her parents were… unreasonable. Practically disowning her and then making up stories to get her to come home, only to have her evaluated. If they were so embarrassed by her, they could pretend she didn’t exist!

Her thoughts were cut short when they arrived to the hospital. Something about the place was off, but Evangeline couldn’t seem to figure it out. It felt like a hospital, but it came with such an ominous sinking feeling.

“Ms. Clark, if you’ll come with us…” said a voice inside, gently taking her by the arm.

Her parents remained by the door, impassive. “Thank you, Doctor. Please let Mr. Carnatelli know we appreciate him taking care of this for us.”

Evangeline stopped dead in her tracks, yanking her arm free. “Wait a second! What do you mean, Mr. Carnatelli? Anthony Carnatelli?” She didn’t get far before she was snatched again, both arms being held firm by two assistants as they drug her down the hall. Her parents were already leaving, while the Doctor followed close behind.

“Ms. Clark, it’s really in your best interests not to struggle. I’m sure Mr. Carnatelli would be upset if his special guest were to injure herself before he had a chance to greet you.”

As she fought being pulled down the hall, it was a cold realization. A trap… a very elaborate trap! Evangeline hadn’t thought on how strange it was for her mother to call, especially not even knowing how to reach her. Or how her parents would even know what she had been doing lately! She should have realized…!

A prick on her arm, followed by being thrown roughing in to a cramped padded room, Evangeline was left alone. Woozy with something rushing through her veins, she crawled to the corner, pulling her hands up to block the voices that were starting to pry in to her head. The place was starting to open, like cell doors. A hospital of evil beings, all looking for a soul to latch on to. All chipping away brick by brick…

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