Quentin gave in to his host’s control, letting “his” memories guide him through a chaotic shift in the Emergency Room. He likened the feeling to an out-of-body experience, looking on from the fringe, aware of both his and his host’s identity.
After giving up a host, Quentin would sometimes wonder if the host also understood their duality, but never had a chance to ask. Eventually, when it was time to move to a new “home,” Quentin made sure the previous host didn’t survive.
Now, standing in the locker room, fresh from the showers after a long day, Quentin thought about Abigail. He left her body empty, but unharmed. Without her essence, she couldn’t exist, but he had a niggling feeling that he forgot something. He missed her. Even after her betrayal, he hoped they would be together some day.
Changing into Dr. Payne’s street clothes, Quentin decided he would need to go shopping soon. The good doctor was due for a fashion upgrade. Passing through the now quiet ER, Quentin had an unsettling feeling of déjà vu. Shivering with unease, he scanned the waiting patients before hurrying out the automatic doors, nearly running into a tall, red-head entering the foyer.
Abigail dodged Quentin/Marshall as she entered the hospital. Turning to stare after him, she tingled with recognition. She didn’t expect to find him so quickly. His reaction told her she didn’t have to worry. If he knew the truth about her altered state, he would have challenged her.
She was a full three inches taller, with auburn hair, hazel eyes and creamy skin. A stark difference from her petite, blonde, blue-eyed, tanned appearance only a few days ago. Relieved to have passed her first trial, Abigail stood a little straighter and sauntered to the reception desk.
“My name is Iona Dolan, I think my uncle was brought in here earlier,” Abigail worked up a tear. “I was told he was hit by a car?”
After a few phone calls to verify Abigail’s claim, an orderly escorted her down to the morgue to identify the body.
Dr. Aldridge met her in the hallway outside the examination room.
“Ms. Dolan?” Aldridge stood between her and the observation window. “There seems to be some discrepancies in the emergency room reports regarding your uncle’s case. I’ve contacted the authorities about inconsistencies in his time of death.”
Abigail needed no other validation that she found Quentin’s first host after he left her at the cemetery.
“Does that mean, I can’t see him?” Abigail said.
“No, we still need to confirm his identity,” Aldridge said. “We just can’t release the body yet.”
Abigail nodded, then followed the coroner into the room. When Aldridge pulled back the sheet, Abigail felt a familiar rush of nausea. A residual bit of her essence lingering in the body reconnected with it’s previous owner. Abigail gasped. Aldridge thinking yet another family member swooned at seeing their dead relative, caught the fainting woman.
Across town, Quentin doubled over with a sudden wave of vertigo.