Monday 6 – Tuesday 7 April 2015
‘I’m truly sorry that Theodora suffered at the hands of Nurse Quipp. That was not something that we’d considered. It wasn’t meant to happen.’ Camille patted Byron’s knee. It was not an action that was intended to be patronising, but Camille regretted having done it when she looked at his forlorn expression. He’d made a point of looking out for the more vulnerable patients on his ward, choosing to protect rather than antagonise them as the other orderlies seemed to enjoy doing. Theodora had been a long-term patient, and despite the violence that resulted in her committal, she’d been an easy patient to get along with.
‘It’s not much consolation,’ Byron said, ‘but at least Florence Quipp will pay for killing Dora, and she won’t ever be a head nurse, let alone a nurse, ever again. That’s something.’
‘So, what exactly happened to them?’ Dennis Paulson hadn’t been privy to much of the events of the last few weeks. Camille had thought it best to allow him some degree of plausible deniability where Oliver and Dr. Hudson’s downfalls were concerned.
‘It was dirty, but then it had to be, especially given Hudson’s lack of morality.’ She smiled at the beauty of their revenge.
* * * * *
Physically and mentally exhausted, Dr. Aloysius Hudson slunk back into his office and dumped himself into his chair. The board of directors had grilled him for seven straight hours, providing only minimal comfort breaks, a few cups of coffee and glasses of water, and the sparsest of meals consisting of two rounds of poorly made sandwiches from the facility kitchen. Their questioning, however, was relentless and he’d been forced to justify every medical decision he’d made since arriving at the asylum.
They had begun by ripping apart his personal life, which Hudson believed had little to nothing to do with his ability to treat his patients. That line of questioning deftly evolved into the Camille West case and his association with the woman’s husband, Oliver. Somehow, the directors had managed to get their hands on information pertaining to Hudson’s college years and his friendship with Oliver West. They’d dug up the most obscure information on things that he’d long since forgotten, and worse, the board of directors had been given the photographs that Camille had threatened him with, the recording that she and the orderly had made of his alleged diagnosis of her being afflicted with absolutely nothing at all, and the set of records that were rarely removed from his office safe, the true records of his treatments. There was no way around this for Hudson. When the board of directors converged to give their report, they would have to fire him.
‘Well,’ he said to himself, ‘I won’t give you the satisfaction of firing me . . . I’ll resign.’
‘Talking to yourself are you, Dr. Hudson? That’s a sure sign of insanity. At least it is according to you.’
Emmett had a way of sneaking up on Hudson and startling him. Thankfully, this time he didn’t have a drink in his hand to spill.
‘This place has gone to the dogs. The inmates are, almost quite literally, running the asylum. What do you want, Emmett?’
‘Just wondered if you needed any help packing your stuff?’ Emmett grinned. He rather enjoyed stirring Hudson.
‘I’ve had enough help from you, thank you. However, there is one thing that you can do for me, Emmett.’ Hudson ran his hand over the top of his desk knowing that it would be the last time that he was in the office.
‘What’s that, Dr. Hudson?’
Hudson got up from the chair, walked around his desk and stood eye to eye with the orderly.
‘You can fuck off, you whiny little piece of shit.’ Spit flew from Hudson’s mouth and landed squarely on Emmett’s right cheek. A fist followed the spit and connected with Emmett’s left cheek and nose.
Emmett reeled back in utter shock, his hands moving to clutch at his face more to protect it from any further attack than to cradle his injured nose and cheek.
‘Bloody hell, Hudson,’ he mumbled between blood-covered fingers.
‘You deserve a hell of a lot more than a bloodied nose, Emmett. You and that West woman have cost me my career. Now get out of my sight.’ Hudson slammed his shoulder into Emmett as he stormed to the office door and held it open for the orderly to leave.
‘You’re wrong, Hudson. You cost yourself your career by being such an asshole to patients. The fact that you were screwing around with the same woman that Camille West’s husband was fooling around with, and you bowed down to his demands to have his wife committed and treated for a non-existent illness sealed your fate. You should have turned him away, but you chose to conspire with your frat buddy. This is all on you, Hudson.’ Still clutching at his face but not caring where his blood dripped, Emmett strode out of Hudson’s office to get himself cleaned up.
* * * * *
‘I don’t understand. What happened to Dr. Hudson?’ Dennis asked.
‘Long story short, a couple of the boys caught me as I was going to clean up, asked me what had happened, and the next thing I know, Hudson was being chucked into a cell. They had a word to some of the directors. A couple of them were hanging around to oversee the facility while the report into Hudson’s activities was being prepared. Seems they thought that Hudson deserved a bit of his own medicine. They’ve deemed him a danger to others and possibly himself, and they’re keeping him under observation until they can find an appropriate doctor to assess him.’
‘And Oliver is there too?’ Dennis glanced at Camille. She smiled and sipped her coffee.
‘Yes, for a little while. He’ll get a bit of what he had Hudson do to me, and as far as the directors are concerned, it was all completely authorised by Hudson.
Dennis leaned comfortably into the sofa. He sighed slowly and deliberately.
‘I guess it all comes back around to you if you treat people badly.’
‘Yes, Dennis, I expect that it does. That seems to be the case for Oliver and Hudson. Florence Quipp brought her treatment on herself too,’ Camille replied.
Dennis turned his attention to Byron. ‘And what will you do now, Byron?’
‘You know, I don’t rightly know. I’ve always wanted to travel, so perhaps I might go on a trip . . . a cruise maybe.’ He finished his coffee and replaced the cup and saucer on the serving tray on the coffee table. ‘Speaking of trips, I’d better be off. I told my wife that I wouldn’t be out for long.’
Camille and Byron rose together and she walked him to her front door. She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.
‘Thank you, Byron, for everything. If there’s anything that I can ever do to help you out in any way, please let me know. I owe you so very much.’
Without a word, Byron opened the door and let himself out. Camille watched him wander down the front path and turn onto the street without looking back. When she was sure that he wouldn’t turn back for any reason, Camille closed the door and returned to Dennis.
‘Now,’ said Dennis, ‘there’s only one problem left to solve and her name is Cassandra.’
Camille sat opposite Dennis, a wicked smile on her lips.
‘I don’t think we’ll have much of an issue solving that problem, Dennis. I’ve been thinking about her, and I’ve come up with something that I think is very, very special for Cassandra.’ She leaned forward, rested her elbows on her knees, placed her head in her hands, and began explaining to Dennis exactly how she’d decided to deal with his wife.
. . . The end . . .