Amora made good use of her time in the Stress Ward. She befriended an environmental worker who looked very similar to her, a petite, brown-skinned woman with long, straight black hair and dark brown eyes. Arlan came in every morning before lunch to clean her room and bathroom. There was a navy blue patrolman from the APD who guarded Amora’s private room 24/7.

Arlan, a Filipina dressed in navy blue scrubs, went about a certain routine, seeing as this particular room housed an inmate from the Women’s Unit at the Anderson Jail. She would show her badge to the officer on guard, then knock on the door before entering.

Hearing Amora’s voice say, “come in,” Arlan would wheel in her cart and ask, “Is it all right to come in and clean?”

Throughout the last week, Amora had learned Arlan was originally from Roxas City and was working on her American citizenship. She had married a man using a long-distance connection from the Internet. He was a white man from New Jersey working in Anderson for the last 15 years, owned his own home, and wanted a wife to share his recent good fortune with.

With each day exchanging small talk, Arlan felt comfortable, despite the rather alarming circumstances for Amora’s reason for being in the Stress Ward. She went so far as to share with her fellow workers on breaks and at lunchtime how she couldn’t understand why this particular patient was tagged as “highly dangerous.”

Amora, since her confrontation with the other inmate in the jail discovered she possessed magical powers with the ability to control people without touching them. Arlan’s routine began in the bathroom to the right of the patient’s bed. She picked up a soaked rag with a special solution to sanitize the shower. As Arlan was busy wiping the shower, Amora came up to the back of Arlan very quietly.

Amora waved her hands to the right and to the left inches away from Arlan’s head. Arlan dropped the wet rag and turned around. Amora gave forth an odd type of expression. She began to speak in a deep tone with no emotion.

“If you cry out, I have the power to strike you deaf, dumb, and blind.”

Arlan nodded that she understood. Amora commanded her, “Take off your badge, your scrubs, your underwear. Give them to me.”

A naked Arlan handed her what Amora commanded, staring as if she had been hypnotized. Amora smiled, saying, “Very good, now I have a question. Are your car keys in one of these pockets?”

Arlan nodded, then pointed to the pants, the right pocket. Amora spoke, “Two more questions, then I will leave without hurting you. Where is your car parked? What is the model of your car? Whisper it to me.”

Tears rolled down Arlan’s cheeks, but she whispered in Amora’s ear, “My car is parked in the employee parking lot behind the main hospital building. It is a Kia Soul.”

“Arlan, you have done well. Stay in the shower,” Amora said, then she blew into Arlan’s face. Arlan collapsed slowly to one of the corners of the shower and closed her eyes.

Amora got dressed, then let her hair hang down like Arlan’s was. She adjusted the badge and wheeled the cart out into the corridor. She nodded and smiled at the patrolman who looked up at her seated up against the wall. She showed him her badge, and he waved her on. This badge was of great importance for anyone who worked in the main building and the other buildings at the Community Hospital campus. She left the cart up against a brick wall next to the Emergency Room entrance.

Reaching the employee parking lot, she was able to spot the light green car of Arlan’s. Starting the car, she breathed a sigh of relief, then laughed. She was amused to have successfully escaped. Before her main focus of action, she had to make a necessary stop to her office at the Saxony Facility in Noblesville.


Mitch Gable briefed Luther and I as he handed back our badges and our issued handguns. “The incident is this. Amora Rathbone accosted an environmental worker and escaped from Community.” He did not have to tell us to start at the hospital. We made our way to the Environmental Department located in the main hospital building basement.

He had told us to report to the head supervisor on the day shift, a mature, robust woman named Thelma. As we made our through the double doors and down the long, dingy, painted concrete block hallway, she flagged us down.

We walked into what looked like a break room with two rectangular tables, a set of burgundy over stuffed couches, then walked into the supervisor’s office equipped with three desks for each shift supervisor. Thelma directed us to where Arlan was seated, “Detectives, this is Arlan. Close the door behind you. These heifers are gossip hounds if they come waltzing into the break room before they are supposed to.”

I questioned Arlan first. “Hello, I’m Detective McMahan. What did she do to you?”

“I was wiping down the shower in the bathroom. She came to me from behind. We’re the same height, so I looked into her eyes. Something in her stare and the sound of her voice made me think of a Filipno legend of the aswang. I was terrified. She commanded me to hand over to her my scrubs, underwear, and my car keys.”

“Did she threaten or touch you?”

“She did not touch me at all. Her threat was if I cried out. She had the power to strike me deaf, dumb, and blind. I believed her because of the legend I mentioned. You probably think I’m crazy.” Arlan began to cry.

“Arlan, not in any way do we think you are crazy. Both of us have a large amount of knowledge of this legend,” I reassured her.

Luther spoke up, “Did this patient know you had knowledge of this legend?”

“The only thing I told her was that I am originally from Roxas City. We did not have any conversation of Filipino superstitions.”

Luther and I looked at each other. I sat there telling myself, How is this possible? I saw the black duckling fetus burn.

Luther probed more, “Did she turn into some horrible-looking creature?”

“No, she remained human like you and me. One thing: one morning, she mentioned how she and I looked so much alike. We could have been twins. There was something in her eyes, the color deep red,” Arlan said, shaking all over, holding on to the crumpled tissue as if it were some prized possession.

Luther told Arlan, “Arlan, you have been very helpful. With the history of this type of criminal, she has a specific agenda in mind. She will not come for you. I’m certain of it. I am giving you my card. Give me a call if you have any concerns or fears.”

“What about my car? I need it!” Arlan insisted.

“We will alert those here in Anderson and Indianapolis about your car. Describe it, make and model.”

“It is a 2014 light green Kia Soul.”

When we got to Luther’s vehicle, I told him, “We need to warn Wesley.”

“First, let me call Luana Barba. Hang tight.”

I sat there feeling a rushing panic all through me. Now that I had been reinstated, I needed to stay cool and calm. Getting hysterical would not help in this tense situation. I stared at Luther’s expression. He not only reached Luana, but received something we could act on.

He placed his cellphone in his console and turned to me, “Luana said her powers of controlling people live on in her, although she did lose her ability to shapeshift. Then she told me something very interesting. A month ago, she had sent a mixture in pill form of the drug Divinia and ground up cassava root to Wesley. If she ingests this by mouth or put into her food or drink, she will die.”

My mind raced. This combination of a lethal potion would have to be a last effort. This type of solution could backfire on us and bring us both to be prosecuted as murderers despite her being the most evil creature on the planet. On the other side of the coin, if we brought her back to custody, she would surely escape again.

Luther called Wesley, “Oh good, I got you. Are you alone at the house?” Luther nodded up and down. “Good. Amora has escaped from Community Hospital. She could be on her way to you. Glenda and I are on our way to where you are.”

Now on the road to the Rathbone estate, I called the division. “Hey, Officer Faraday, it’s Glenda. Could you put out an APB on a stolen car, owner Arlan Gomez, a 2014 light green Kia Soul? Thanks, Frank, you’re a prince.”

I was conflicted and confused on how I was looking at this new development. I felt clueless as to how we would overtake a suspect with witchlike powers. At the same time, this was the most alive I had felt since collapsing on the division floor after Amora had been, say, de-aswanged. I was beginning to believe what Wyla said in the hospital about saying goodbye to living a normal life after rubbing up to the supernatural.


For all installments from The Islands Tell of It, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Chapter 1: The First Victim
  2. Chapter 2: Four Months Before October
  3. Chapter 3: Bobber’s Café
  4. Chapter 4: Heat Wave
  5. Chapter 5: Deep-End Dining
  6. Chapter 6: Rathbone Estate
  7. Chapter 7: Althea’s Run
  8. Chapter 8: Emergency Interrupts
  9. Chapter 9: Girls Talk Turkey
  10. Chapter 10: There Came a Lull
  11. Chapter 11: Dangerous Mind
  12. Chapter 12: Luana Barba
  13. Chapter 13: Trip to Milwaukee
  14. Chapter 14: Enough Killing
  15. Chapter 15: A Parking Lot Visitation
  16. Chapter 16: The Restaurant
  17. Chapter 17: Late-Night Work
  18. Chapter 18: Grandpa Pete
  19. Chapter 19: A Group is Formed
  20. Chapter 20: Rendezvous with Evil
  21. Chapter 21: The Upside-Down of it All
  22. Chapter 22: Two Ways to Fight
  23. Chapter 23: I Have to See Her
  24. Chapter 24: A Funeral