I was grateful that it was still early enough in the morning that there were no visitors or workmen in the cemetery to witness my retreat from the garden. After the night I had, or nights, I’m sure I looked a fright. My teeth chattering from the cold, I practically ran towards my car.
Sitting in the front seat, the heater cranked to full blast, I went through a mental inventory. The simply fact that I was alive meant Quentin had changed hosts, my own life force released when he took over a new body. A niggling feeling of disorientation told me Quentin retained a trace of my essence.
Whether by chance or choice, it may prove his undoing. It will serve as a search light, guiding me toward my quarry. With luck, he is unaware of the trail of bread crumbs he’s leaving behind.
On my drive back to my apartment, I relied on muscle memory. Thankful again for the early morning lack of people out on the street, I made it home without further incident.
A long, hot shower still could’t wash away the stench of Quentin’s decay. A sweet, cloying perfume that left a faint scent of rot in its wake. Wrapped in dryer-warmed flannel pajamas, woolen sock and my grandmother’s afghan, I curled up on my couch to ponder my next move.
As I flipped through the TV channels, I caught the end of a news report about a pedestrian versus car accident earlier in the day. A perky, blonde reporter was interviewing a young, handsome ER doctor. A new chill ran through my veins.
A homeless man had stumbled in front of a car, and ultimately died at the ER.
I stopped listening to the audio, and just watched the doctor’s mouth. A curl of lip, a crooked smirk, too much teeth when he smiled. I found Quentin. It made sense. Taking a host unlikely to be reported missing was a good first capture. If done with some forethought, a hospital would be the next logical upgrade. A physician would fulfill Quentin’s need for an intelligent host.
My mind was reeling. Too many questions demanded answers. I had to get to that hospital and track down Quentin.
Dropping the afghan, I ran to my bedroom to change.