Copyright © 1995-2010 by Wayne Edward Boyd. All rights reserved.
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Chapter 3

Time Gods

A novel by Wayne Edward Boyd
Visit the author's website.
Projected Publication date: Spring 2011
Publisher: Atma Communications

Chapter 3

Harlem Hospital Center on 135th and Lenox, New York.

Paul McPherson reached up to feel his forehead and noticed the bandage wrapped around his head. He also noted the stubble of new hair on the top of his head through gaps in the bandage.

There was a second bed a few feet away and an old television on the table in the corner playing some kind of strange black and white soap opera, but the sound had been muted. Sunlight poured through the window. Usually these hospitals had holograph projection phones. He looked to find one.

He couldn't remember how he came to be here. All he could remember was entering the Empire State Building, being forcibly restrained and shoved into an elevator. There had been some people there, and one of them had struck him on the back of the head.

He closed his eyes and rested for awhile. He didn't know for how long. His throat was sore.

A deep, masculine voice broke the silence. “Want to tell us your name?”

Paul opened his eyes. The bright lights of the room silhouetted the doctor hovering over him. With a stethoscope around his neck, the doctor was a self-assured looking African-American with a plump, dark face. Wearing a white gown, with a pen and folded papers protruding from his chest pocket, he held a clipboard under his arm.

“Excuse me?” the monk inquired hoarsely.

“The nurse told me you were awake and talking with her awhile ago. You've been unconscious for two days. Can you tell us your name?”

He rubbed his eyes. “Paul McPherson. I think.”

“You think? You're not sure?”

“No no. It's Paul McPherson.”

“I'm Doctor Jones,” explained the physician. “How do you feel?”

“My head hurts.”

“Understandable,” offered the doctor. “Mind if I ask you some questions?”

“Be my guest.”

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-six.” The doctor scribbled something on his clipboard.

“Born in New York City?”

“New Rochelle,” corrected Paul.

“Mother? Father? Family?”

“Yes, both parents still live there. I have a younger sister.”

“Her name?”

“Josette. That's about it for family. I'm not married.”

“Do you know the name of your mother and father?”

“Yes,” Paul replied. “Of course. Paula and Joseph McPherson.”

“Who was the first President of the United States?”


“Who was...”

“What kind of question is that?” Paul interrupted, irritated.

The doctor frowned and apologized. “I need to know whether you're bleeding internally, inside the cranial cavity. If you are, it's going to compress your brain and cause a lot of serious neurological problems. To rule that out, we need to determine your mental status, and that's done by a series of tests, starting with some simple questions.”

Paul nodded, and his head hurt. “Why don't you just do a DP scan?”

“A what?”

“You know. One of the Dimensional Probe scanners. The hand held?”

“I have no idea what you're talking about.”

“Well then, have you at least done a CT scan? While I was unconscious?”

“Now let's just get back to who was the first...”

“George Washington,” Paul replied.

The doctor smiled politely. “Alright, let me ask about your education.”

“New York Institute of Technology in Yonkers. I have a degree in interactive holograph imaging and computer programming.”

“Holograph what?”

“Holograph Imaging. You know. Like your cell phone's projector.”

“Sounds pretty sophisticated. Does that have to do with computers?”

“Well, of course it does,” Paul said.

The doctor nodded and noted Paul's general physique. “You look in fairly good shape, if you don't mind my saying so.”

“I work out,” McPherson explained. “Used to be into baseball and wrestling. These days I'm into martial arts.”

“And you're some kind of religious person?”

“A monk of sorts,” Paul offered.

“I see,” the doctor mumbled. Contradictory for a monk to be athletic, he thought. Then again, everyone needed to enjoy good health. Sounded like he was some kind of computer genius as well. He leaned forward and shone an ophthalmoscope in Paul's eyes, noting the dilation of his pupils.

“So am I seriously hurt? Will I be alright?”

The doctor cleared his throat and raised his eyebrows, but didn't reply immediately. “So far things look pretty good. The nurse says your blood pressure is back to normal.”

Behind the Doctor, Paul noticed a very short man with an old, withered face standing at the doorway. He was dressed in a suit and tie, peering into the room. He had an average-size trunk, short arms and legs, slightly enlarged head, prominent forehead and large nose. Oddly, a pair of binoculars dangled around his neck. He had a receding hairline above long lobed ears that protruded prominently from his head. He retreated and disappeared down the hallway. Paul also noticed other people passing by in the hallway. Visiting hours, no doubt.

Doctor Jones leaned over. “Look straight ahead, at the TV in front of you.”

“It's a black and white CRT. Where did you guys find one of those?”

“Well, I think color TV throughout the hospital is a few years off, but it's coming.”

Paul laughed, but was also confused by the reply. “How did I get here?”

“Don't know,” the doctor replied. He moved to the other side of the bed, pointing his light. “Someone informed ER you were lying on the pavement outside the ambulance entrance. How many fingers do you see?” He held his hand in front of Paul's face and started flashing his fingers – first two, then three, then one.

“Two. Three. One. So you mean I was just lying outside on the pavement?”

“Luckily for you,” confirmed the doctor before putting his hand down and turning off the light. “Head injury and water in your lungs.”

“How soon can I get out of here?”

“Two days is a long time to be unconscious. We need to monitor you for a few more days. Any nausea?”

“Not at the moment,” replied Paul.

Doctor Jones smiled and left the room, and the tech came in and took his vital signs. Soon he was alone again and rested his head gently on the soft pillow. He closed his eyes.

Hardly a minute later the little man with the withered face reappeared at the doorway. He stood not more than three feet high. Approaching the table near Paul's bedside, he climbed up on a chair and slid open the drawer. Removing the wallet he found there, he took a blank, business sized card from his own pocket, scribbled something with a pen, and then examined what he had written. “Meet me at the south-west corner of Central Park, 6 PM.” He inserted it in the folds of McPherson's wallet. Then, without taking anything, carefully placed the wallet where he found it. The drawer squeaked as he closed it with a slight thud.

Opening his eyes and seeing the little man inches away, Paul jerked his head and his headache returned. “Hey,” he exclaimed. “What are you doing? Who are you?”

The man looked concerned and with his short arm held his finger to his mouth. “Shhh,” he hushed, climbing down the chair and turning to leave. “My card's in your wallet.” Quickly wobbling out of the room, he was gone.

Strange man. No privacy in a hospital. Paul drifted back to sleep and dreamed happy visions. It would be his last happy dream in a long time.

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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

366 pages, 58 Chapters, 4 Parts!

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