his head snapped up sharply, as if he'd been a sleepy student at school, there was a man in the cell now, he was pacing back and forth from doorway to window. The door way was now open but that was no use, he was tied down, strapped onto the bed. The man didn't even seem to register that he was now awake.
"Robert Farrel, born to Seth and Mary Farrel on the 21st of May 1976.
Raised in Slough, Berkshire, well brought up, well educated, member of the local church choir, educated at Churchmead Secondary School for two years, all things considered a promising young student!".
He stopped and turned himself to face the bed, he was holding a think file.
"Then something went wrong didn't it", it was not a question.
"Halfway through your second year, suspended twice for attacking another student, suspected in several cases of theft, vandalism , constantly truant, usually arriving for school then leaving mid morning",
He continued flicking through the pages of the file, "finally excluded from school for arson?", he turned his head in Roberts direction for the first time, there was a small look of surprise in his face,
"Arson? Seems a tad over the top for you?",
he turned his eyes back towards the file, had he expected a response?
"Leaving school you fell into the worst crowd that would have you, in this case a gang of heroine dealers from the Manor Park area, being a hundred times brighter then your "peers" and NOT a heroine addict, you quickly took over and murdered the supplier contact your gang purchased from.."
"Thats a lie", retorted Robert, no emotion in his voice, no sign of outrage or distaste at being accused of such a horrible crime,
"No" replied the man, "It is not".
He closed the file, "would you like some coffee?",
Robert stared up at him, he had an old face, lined and strained, looked like to many late nights up reading or researching or whatever this guy did. Who was he to know such things anyway? The body of the dealer he'd killed had never been found, it couldn't have been! He himself had watched the junky crematorium assistant incinerate it!
"I have never killed anyone!", his words were spoken in a short tone, still emotionless,
"would you like some coffee?", the old man repeated,
Robert thought, then replied, "yes", then staring down at the straps across his body, "you might want to let me off this bed first?!", there was a small hint of sarcasm, but it wasn't intended to amuse,
"why don't you release yourself?", asked the man
"why don't I what?.....Who Are You?!", patience was not with him today,
"why don't you release yourself? And in answer to your question, my name is Doctor Joseph Woods, you may call me Dr Woods, although in time, I'm sure you'll begin addressing me as "The Professor, all the other "guests" do.
"Well, PROFESSOR! How exactly am I supposed to release myself when I'm strapped in like this?!",
"I don't know", replied Woods, "you may well ask how you managed to survive a 44" magnum round to the spinal cord, or how you survived the ten floor fall from your hotel room, or even, how you managed, under the eye of 5 gang members, 8 bank clerks, 12 customers and 48 police, to escape from a sealed bank volt with one entrance?!", this time Woods didn't only sound surprised, he sounded enthralled by the idea of learning more.
How did he know about the bank job? Every single man he'd gone into that bank with had kept their mouthes shut, not one daring to put him anywhere near that bank! He'd been masked and silent the whole time, and latex gloves had stopped any chance of DNA or finger prints being left, how did he know all this?!
Woods beckoned to someone outside the door, the girl he'd seen and threatened before walked in, the light in the doorway showed her full form, she really was thin, her long dark hair reached the middle of her back, and she was wearing and long black dress, reaching her bare feet and a blue cardigan. She turned her head towards Robert for just a second, then back to Woods,
"Yes Professor?", she asked,
"Eclipse you may release our new "guest" now,
She hesitated for a moment then turned back to Robert, she bent down over the bed, her hair falling into his face, it smelt strange, perfumed, obviously some shampoo, but something else, like static. She had her head inches from his chest, he could see her hair move in his slight breath, she had noticed to because she flicked it over her shoulder then turned to look him in the eye, it was a hate filled look.
As their eyes met again he took in the whole of her face, she really was beautiful, he shook it off, no time for emotion, so she was pretty, he must have met a hundred girls like her, even more beautiful, but those eyes, those dazzling blue eyes had him. She finished undoing the straps and stood back, as if expecting him to lunge at her.
"Whats your name?", he asked her,
"are you deaf?", she came back coldly, "Eclipse", she left no sign of wishing to continue the conversation, or any other,
"Our "guest" do not use there real names", said Woods, "it is part of the process", he spoke these words as though Robert should know exactly what he was talking about. "So!", said Woods as if he were the host of a grand dinner, "coffee!".
Eclipse moved hurriedly down the corridor and out of site through another door, closing it quickly behind her,
"You must forgive Eclipse," said Woods sadly, "She has had the most unhappy life I'm afraid to say, but then you'll learn all about that in your studies."
"In my what?", replied Robert, but Woods wasn't listening, they had traveled the full length of the long white corridor, huge cast iron doors on either side, Robert counted at least 20 rooms. He pushed open the large wooden double doors at the end of the corridor and motioned for Robert to go through.
Through the door, the room awaiting could not have been more different from the cold white walls of the corridor and the bleak empty gray of the cell. The room was some sort of greeting area he presumed. It was lavishly furnished in oak, from the highly polished floor, to the grand staircase leading up from the middle of the back wall, then arcing out into two separate balconies, each with two more doors leading somewhere. Around the room were several tables, each had a large glass box on it.
Above them, the whole room was illuminated by an enormous globe light, like a small moon floating in mid air. In the centre of the floor was a large white marble circle with three large gold letters in its centre, L O M. He looked down at it for a moment before following Woods who was moving towards another set of large wooden doors on the other side of the room.
The next room was a lot like the one they had just left, lavishly decorated in wood, with tables and chairs scattered around the floor. Instead of a flight of stairs, however, there was a huge ladder, at least 20 feet high, running on rails around shelves holding more books than Robert had ever seen. A library, or a study. He moved closer the nearest shelf of books, the first one he saw read, "The Wolf-Man, fact or fiction?", the one next to it, "The Mysteries of the Mind and Body", both were by the same author, Dr. J. Woods.
"Are these all your work?", asked Robert,
"No, no I'm afraid only this shelf holds any of my own research", replied Woods, indicating the shelf area Robert was just looking at, "I'm afraid i haven't written anything in a long time, my work here has taken over from the other aspects of my carer", he seemed slightly down hearted by this admission.
Robert snapped himself out of the moments laps at the change in the Doctors tone.
"Look will you just hurry up and tell me WHAT I'm doing here!?", Woods turned back to Robert,
"You are here to learn", he said and pointed to a very large red leather arm chair in the centre of the room. Robert walked over to it and sat, "your coffee!" said Woods and on looking left of his chair, Robert saw a steaming cup of frothy white coffee sitting on a tiny wooden table.
Woods moved across the room to a glass box on a table, very like the ones in the receiving room. He took from his inside pocket a small gold coin, Robert could just make out the lettering on the coin, where the queens face should be, instead, there were the same three letters as the floor on the receiving room, L O M.
Woods held the coin above the box, then dropped it. As it fell, Robert swore he could hear a whistling in the air, as though more than what he was watching was happening. As the coin hit the box, it exploded silently into gold dust, which landed over the top of the box, which vanished completely. Just as Robert was about to ask how he had done it, the ladder on the book shelves began to move. it moved all around the room, getting faster by the second, humming as it went. Faster and faster, it was now only a blur, and as Woods reached into the box and lifted out its contents, the ladder stopped, there was a loud "clunk" and the door they had come through, was gone.
"Where...?", but Roberts question trailed off as he saw what Woods was holding, a book. A large, heavy looking book,
"Here," said Woods handing the book over, "you will read the entire book before we meet again, you may not leave this room, if you need anything", he pulled a small gold bell from his pocket, "simply ring the bell, but make note, no one will enter while you are looking!".
Robert stared down at the large, wood bound book with its golden lettering, L O M, The Journal. There must have been thousands of pages,
"I'm not much of a reader I'm afraid", Robert stated defiantly,
"Mr Farrel let me save you time, you can not escape this room, let alone the hospital or grounds, you are completely cut off from what you consider your world and no one is looking for you, now drink your coffee while its warm and we will speak again in a few days", he took another look at Roberts face, then the book, "or perhaps weeks?!".
Woods began walking towards one of the book covered walls, Robert looked down at the book then raised his head to say, "you still haven't told me what I'm doing here or why I'm here?!!", but when he looked up, Woods was gone.