His subject had been left alone and she was still disorientated from her ordeal. He had been watching her for some time, hoping that he would get this opportunity.
It brought him the Andrews mother. She served her up as an offering and he knew that the brothers were nothing without her. She could be used to his advantage. She would draw them in and then she could be dealt with. The Piper hated mothers.
The female doctor had been called away to help somewhere else while the nurses were busy working at the far end of the ward. Nobody really checked the identity of the middle-aged doctor; he walked unquestioned and unchecked amongst them.
“It is Mrs Andrews? Yes?”
Laura opened her eyes and looked up. At the end of the bed stood a man of fifty with steel grey hair and an imposing stance. She had never seen him before and was surprised at what felt like an acid flood beginning to sweep through her body.
“Mrs Andrews, I have been placed in charge of you and am a little worried by your condition. I would like to do a few tests with you to make sure that everything will be okay.”
Laura felt that something was wrong.
“I was with the young doctor, the woman. She seemed to think that I was recovering. She didn’t say anything about tests. Where is she?”
“Forget about her. She is very young and still learning. Now you have me and I have years of experience in this field. We want to make you better, Mrs Andrews. We want to make you well again.”
There was something wrong with his tone. She recognised the practised professionalism that was so common in doctors, but there was something else lying just beyond his words that was not so common. This one could smile sweetly as he pulled the lever at a hanging.
From nowhere he had sprung and suddenly he wanted to carry out tests. He had moved his position to the side of the bed and had put a comforting hand on her arm. The way that he held it, the way pythons held their victims.
“Now, you will listen a little and I will make you well again. You don’t want any more bad dreams do you?”
She had told no one about her dreams, not even the female doctor so how did he know?
He was squeezing her arm tighter now and his eyes were looking deeply into hers and she saw him. She saw the dark shape that liked to call itself The Piper hiding behind his retinas. She saw the dark waters opening up and the creatures that were reaching out to pull her back in.
She tried to scream but his hand was over her mouth with a handkerchief. She could do nothing but breathe in and, as she did so, the substance contained on the cloth entered her system, ending any hope of struggle.
The waters opened up again and the hands pulled her down.