“I don’t disagree with you, but you have to admit, this puts me in a delicate position.” In truth, Sean thought she was more than half mad.
“Will you help me?” Bridgett knew that she was asking a lot of her friend.
Sean shook his head, her plead was innocent, but the fear in her eyes had shaken him. “Yeah, I guess so, but I don’t know how much help I can really be.”
Bridgett pushed her glasses back up her nose, nodded her head, and turned back towards the door, “I’ll call you once I know how to proceed.” She hesitated at the door, hand on the knob. She turned and stole a short glance back, “And Sean, thank you.” It was barely a whisper but just enough that he heard it.
He watched her walk out of his office then sank into his overstuffed chair behind his desk. Never had he heard such an outlandish story, and never in a million years did he expect that he would promise to help his best friend spy on his boss.
He opened the daily paper for the first time today and his interest peaked when he read the headline taking his mind momentarily off of Bridgett’s request.
Bridgett half expected to run into Dr. O’Conner on her way out of the building and prayed that she wouldn’t say or do anything that would lead him to suspect she knew something about his wild rampages.
She knew what she had seen, and even the look on Sean’s face told her that her story was bordering on insanity. A man turning into a monster, climbing rooftops, chasing unsuspecting women, it was absurd, yet she knew what she had seen with her own two eyes, and they had never before led her astray. She didn’t allow herself to think of the other horrific events she had witnessed the previous night.
She made it out of the building and onto the street without mishap and as she walked around the corner to her car she worked on steadying her racing heart.
Dr. David O’Conner looked around him in surprise when he woke with a start. He was lying huddled behind a large dumpster in an alleyway and had no recollection how he had gotten there. His clothes hung in tatters, dirty and covered in a crusty layer of something dark in the early morning light. Even with the confusion as to where he was and the amnesia he seemed to be suffering from, he felt euphoric.
It was the best walk home he could ever remember having.
“July 12, 2010. The mixture that I found in the old case did not prove fatal, but did however cause a form of amnesia along with a nice high when I awoke. This may be the tonic that I’ve been searching for, but will not know until I can find further proof of my outings after drinking the potion. I will try again tonight.” Dr. O’Conner pushed stop on his tape recorder and looked at his ruined clothes lying on the floor in the corner of his bedroom. He couldn’t possibly imagine what kind of trouble he had gotten into last night to rip his clothing to shreds nor could he figure out where the dried blood came from. He had searched his body over this morning and found no signs of cuts or bruising.
Sean waited for his boss to come in, they were very late for an important meeting with the university and he knew Dr. O’Conner to be a very strict man when it came to time. He had tried his house and his cell numerous times only to get the answering machine or voicemail.
“Damn it, David! Where the hell are you?” He questioned to only himself. Finally seeing no way around it, he called out to Madeline, his secretary, and demanded she call the University and tell them that he was on his way.
His last call to Dr. O’Conner ended with a rather gruff voicemail, “David, I don’t know where the hell you are, but you better not leave me hanging in front of the Dean at the University or I swear to God…” Sean knew he better just hang up and not finish that sentence. He hastily paid the cabbie and headed in to his meeting.
Bridgett dressed in her darkest clothes, hard to find considering she was a light person, and her wardrobe was packed with bright colors. It was almost dark and she had a long walk ahead of her if she was going to find her way back to the place to spy on Dr. O’Conner.
She threw on the midnight black cloak she had purchased from an antique peddler on her way home from her meeting with Sean. It smelled of mothballs and of being shut up for far too long.
Bridgett opened the long locked away chest in her bedroom that held things she had inherited from her father when he had died and took out an ancient military short sword lashed it to her belt and her father’s .45 Colt. She loaded it with shaking fingers and stuffed it into the back of her pants.
Bridgett stepped in front of her full length mirror and pulling the hood up over her head she thought she looked like something from Van Helsing. The handle of her sword glinted from just behind the edge of the cloak and her deep green pant leg ended when it met a black military style boot.
Thank God her father was a small man otherwise some of his old things would never have fit.
Dr. O’Conner placed the video recorder on the bookshelf in his office at home and turned it to record. Stepping back and near his desk, he looked directly at the camera.
“July 12, 2010, my name is Dr. David O’Conner and I am testing a tonic that I have acquired to see if it has the desire effects it claims to have.”
He took the small vial out of the weathered brief case and held it up to the camera. With a dramatic flick of his hand he drank the vial down and waited.
Dr. O’Conner thank you for giving me free reign once more.
Dr. O’Conner looked around the room, his eyes wide. “Who’s there?”
He turned in a full circle and seeing no one thought he must have been hearing things. He shrugged his shoulders and settled down into his favorite reading chair and pulled out his latest historical crime novel.
“Sean! Sean! Oh God Sean!”
“Calm down Bridgett! Take a deep breath and tell me what the hell is going on!”
Between Sobs, Bridgett tried to spit out her story of seeing Dr. O’Conner leave his home and in the field behind his house change to a horrible beast that resembled something like a giant.
“Bridgett! Have you been drinking? Where are you, I’ll come pick you up.” That seemed to catch her off guard, and he could hear her take a deep breath.
“I have to go Sean - he’s on the loose again. I have to follow him!”
With that the phone clicked off and Sean sat stunned looking at the wall across from him.
Bridgett had been following the beast most of the night. She thought beast but wasn’t sure what else to call it other than a giant, but that wouldn’t be right either. He still looked like a man, just a huge one.
Her hurried conversation with Sean she knew would leave him with questions, and with any luck maybe he would find it in himself to go to Dr. O’Conner’s home and have a look around.
She didn’t stay long to look at the girl that the beast had killed, raped, and then fed from. He was so fast that she didn’t have much of a choice but to keep running after him.
He had climbed onto a roof top again and was racing farther away from her. She rounded a corner and looking up saw that she had lost sight of him. A feeling of disappointment and dread filled her and she wondered who the next unlucky woman would be who would befall the creature.
The creature who had taken over Dr. O’Conner’s body knew he was being followed. He could smell her dying perfume on the breeze and see her shadow as she raced after him. Her smell was intoxicating. She wanted him, he knew it, and his instinctual side told him that he could not stalk what was stalking him. Finally seeing his opportunity he turned and followed his new prey.
Sean sat in his chair upset over Bridgett’s phone call, but even more upset that Dr. O’Conner had stood him up in front of the Dean. He was not impressed. The presentation had not gone well at all, and part of that he blamed on stress of worrying about his no-show boss.
He poured himself a glass of scotch and after slugging it down, poured another. With a new resolve he grabbed his coat off the coat tree and went to get into his car. He had some questions that needed answers.
Bridgett walked slowly back to where she had parked her car a little ways away from Dr. O’Conner’s home. All that running had taken a lot out of her and she was also trying to sift through many thoughts of confusion, fear, and the unknown.
Her body registered fear before her mind. Something behind her shuffled and stifling a cry she turned to see what was behind her in the dimly lit street.
She saw nothing and drew closer to the buildings lining the side she was closest to. Putting her hand on the sword hilt and another on the gun she waited trying to make her body stop shaking and willing courage to help her in whatever might occur.
She felt something sticky drip onto her shoulder then smelled a foul odor on the air above her. Without thinking she quickly ripped the sword out and straight up into the air above her. She heard a grunt as it sank into something solid then her world went black.
Sean pounded on Dr. O’Conner’s door and after about ten minutes of no answer he finally tried the door. It wasn’t locked and stood partially ajar. He let himself in and called out as he went, “David, David are you here?”
He finally made his way to the home office and noticed an open briefcase containing a few vials full of liquid and across the room a camcorder the red light still showing that it was recording.
He pushed stop and rewound the tape. More questions filled his mind as he listened to and watched the short documentary prepared by Dr. O’Conner. He also watched as a change seemed to take over the man in the chair reading before he stood and left the room with a wicked smile on his face.
Sean gathered up the vials and the briefcase then took them back to his apartment where he figured he would do some testing to see what the vials contained.
The beast held Bridgett tightly under his arm as he ran the rooftops towards the edge of town. An old church stood as the last remaining marker of the city limits. His laugh broke through the fog in Bridgett’s mind. Opening her eyes she saw the beast that held her and a scream ripped through the night sky.
An evil smile looked down at her as he stopped on top of the old church and set her down on the rooftop. His laughter made her cringe and the drool sliding down the left side of his chin made her nauseous.
“What do you want with me?” Bridgett managed to squeak.
“The same thing you want with me honey.” His gruff voice seemed to coo as he held her up and buried his face in her hair.
She tried with all her strength to push him away from her but to no avail. “Dr. O’Conner? Dr. O’Conner I know you’re in there.” She cried, “Please Doctor let me go.”
More laughter broke her pleading. She became submissive knowing it would do no good to fight as he started ripping her clothes away from her body. “Dr. O’Conner is out, and I’m afraid he’s no longer accepting appointments.” A Sob welled in Bridgett’s chest threatening to come out. “You’re in the company of one Mr. Hyde.” Another throaty laugh echoed around her.
Such an odd combination of compounds, Sean thought to himself as he dissected the potion in the vial. He knew his chemistry skills would come in handy one day. I’m surprised that drinking this didn’t kill the man!
Dr. O’Conner awoke closer to home this time but in a grove of trees. His clothes shredded again hung around his body. He had the faint suspicion that he might have ran into someone he knew the night before, but couldn’t be certain. The amnesia it seemed won out again.
As he made his way through the back door to his house and into the office, he noticed that the briefcase with the vials was missing. In its place the camcorder that had been on the shelf was lying open the tape missing.
Somewhere in the darkness of the outer world, Mr. Hyde waited in anticipation of the next doctor who would pick up the vials and set him free once again. He licked his lips in anticipation knowing that the world of Dr. O’Conner was much more fascinating than the world of Dr. Jekyll.