Redmond and Annette Gardner entered Santa Lucia in search of someone who could help them. The halls were filled with doctors and nurses bustling back and forth between rooms. Patients sat outside their rooms, gloomy and upset. Some sat with their mouths agape, unaware of their surroundings. Others talked to people who weren’t there.
“My God, Red, this can’t be the right place,” said Annette.
They walked over the receptionist. “Excuse me, could you tell me what sort of hospital this is?” asked Red.
“This is the Geriatric ward, senor,” said the receptionist, “Are you looking for a particular area?”
“Um…yes, I suppose we are…could you direct us to maternity?”
The receptionist gave him directions that were less than helpful, but he gave up trying to understand. Instead, he thanked her and left to find it on his own.
“I mean, it would make sense that she was in maternity, right? She said Olivia was fine and that she was healthy…” said Annette, “Oh, excuse me! I’m so sorry!” She had bumped into a young doctor with a heavy heart.
“No no, it’s my fault! Pardon me,” said Dr. Maria Santos, “Can I help you folks?”
“As a matter of fact, you can,” said Annette, “Could you direct us to maternity?”
“I’m actually one of the doctors on-call there,” said Maria, “Are you looking for someone in particular?”
Redmond’s brow furrowed. “Uh…yes…a friend of ours recently had a baby and we were hoping to visit her…maybe she’s one of your patients…Samantha Flint?”
Worry spread across the doctor’s face. “Samantha Flint? You know Samantha Flint?”
“Why is that such a surprise?” asked Annette.
“She and I…well, we’ve known each other a long time…”
Suddenly, Redmond’s phone began to ring.
Foley held the receiver and dialed Redmond Gardner, twisting the cord with nervous anticipation.
“Come on, come on! Pick up, damn it!” said Foley. The phone continued to ring, but no one answered.
Foley inhaled deeply, ready to leave a message.”Red, this is Foley. I know I’m one of the last people you want to hear from now, but you’ve got to listen to me. Samantha and I are with Olivia on…on the Amazon River. I know that sounds absurd, believe me, I know. We’re at some old fruit plantation that was owned by some guy named Salvador. That’s all I know. Get here as quick as you can. I’m sorry about all this. I’ll try and call you again.”
He hung up the phone just as Samantha walked in. “Who could you possibly be calling, Foley dear? You know, Domino’s doesn’t deliver this far out.”
Foley clenched his fists. “I was just seeing if the phone worked in case we needed any help in this Godforsaken place.”
“Good thinking,” said Samantha, “I just put Livvy down for a nap…we could spend a little time together now if you want.” She began to caress his arm in a way that thoroughly disgusted him.
“Not now, I’m not in the mood,” said Foley.
“Not in the mood? Honey I don’t think you understand. You’ll do what I tell you to do.”
“No,” said Foley flatly. He walked away from her proudly. No longer would he be a slave to Samantha’s deceit and manipulation. She had gone too far this time, and he would no longer be a part of it.
He found himself in a room that looked like it used to be a library. Standing in front of a large bay window, he looked across the grounds of the dilapidated estate. This was not where he would spend the rest of his life if he could help it.