“That’s not my name.”
“Two years. I’ve been your primary psychiatrist. Two years. Look at me. Don’t you even recognize me?”
Teddy .used the cuff of his suit jacket to wipe the sweat from his eyes, and this time they cleared, and he looked across the table at Chuck. Good o1’ Chuck with his awkwardness around firearms and those hands that didn’t fit his job description because they weren’t the hands of a cop. They were the hands of a doctor. a0, “You were my friend,” Teddy said. “I trusted you. I told you about my wife. I talked to you about my father. I climbed down a fucking cliff looking for you. Were you watching me then? Keeping me safe then? You were my friend, Chuck. Oh, I’m sorry. Lester.” Lester lit a cigarette and Teddy was pleased to see that his hands shook too. Not much. Not nearly as bad as Teddy’s and the tremors stopped as soon as he got the cigarette lit and tossed the match in an ashtray. But still ...
I hope you’ve got it too, Teddy thought. Whatever this is. “Yeah,” Sheehan said (and Teddy had to remind himself not to think of him as Chuck), “I was keeping you safe. My disappearance was, yes, part of your fantasy. But you were supposed to see Laeddis’s intake form on the road, not down the cliff. I dropped it off the promontory by mistake. Just pulling it out of my back pocket, and it blew away. I went down after it, because I knew if I didn’t, you would. And I froze. Right under the’lip. Twenty minutes later, you drop down right in front of me. I mean, a foot away. I almost reached out and grabbed you.”
Cawley cleared his throat. “We almost called it off when we saw you were going to go down that cliff. Maybe we should have.” “Called it off.” Teddy suppressed a giggle into his fist. “Yes,” Cawley said. “Called it off. This was a pageant, Andrew. A—“ “My name’s Teddy.”
“—play. You wrote it. We helped you stage it. But the play wouldn’t work without an ending, and the ending was always your reaching this lighthouse.”
“Convenient,” Teddy said and looked around at the walls.
“You’ve been telling this story to us for almost two years now.
How you came here to find a missing patient and stumbled onto our
Third Reich-inspired surgical experiments, Soviet-inspired brain
washing. How the patient Rachel Solando had killed her children in much the same way your wife killed yours. How just when you got close, your partner—and don’t you love the name you gave him? Chuck Aule. I mean, Jesus, say it a couple of times fast. It’s just another of your jokes, Andrew—your partner was taken and you were left to fend for yourself, but we got to you. We drugged you. And you were committed before you could get the story back to your imaginary Senator Hurly. You want the names of the current senators from the state of New Hampshire, Andrew? I have them here.” “You faked all this?” Teddy said.
Teddy laughed. He laughed as hard as he’d laughed since before Dolores had died. He laughed and heard the boom of it, and the echoes of it curled back into themselves and joined the stream still coming from his mouth, and it roiled above him and soaped the walls and mushroomed out into the surf. , “How do you fake a hurricane?” he said and slapped the table. “Tell me that, Doctor.”
“You can’t fake a hurricane,” Cawley said.
“No,” Teddy said, “you can’t.” And he slapped the table again. Cawley looked at his hand, then up into his eyes. “But you can predict one from time to time, Andrew. Particularly on an island.” Teddy shook his head, felt a grin still plastered to his face, even as the warmth of it died, even as it probably appeared silly and weak. “You guys never give up.”
“A storm was essential to your fantasy,” Cawley said. “We waited for one.”.
Teddy said, “Lies.”
“Lies? Explain the anagrams. Explain how the children in those
pictures—children you’ve never seen if they belonged to Rachel
Solando—are the same children in your dreams. Explain, Andrew, how I knew to say to you when you walked through this door, ‘Why you all wet, baby?’ Do you think I’m a mind reader?”
“No,” Teddy said. “I think I was wet.”
For a moment, Cawley looked like his head was going to shoot off his neck. He took a long breath, folded his hands together, and leaned into the table. “Your gun was filled with water. Your codes? They’re showing, Andrew. You’re playing jokes on yourself. Look at the one in your notebook. The last one. Look at it. Nine letters. Three lines. Should be a piece of cake to break. Look at it.”
Teddy looked down at the page:
13(M)-21 (U)-25(Y)-18®-1 (A)-5(E)-8(H)-I 5(O)-9(I) “We’re running out of time,” Lester Sheehan said. “Please understand, it’s all changing. Psycliatry. It’s had its own war going on for some time, and we’re losing.”
“Yeah?” Teddy said absently. “And who’s ‘we’?”
Cawley said, “Men who believe that the way to the mind is not by way of ice picks through the brain or large dosages of dangerous medicine but through an honest reckoning of the self.”
“An honest reckoning of the self,” Teddy repeated. “Gee, that’s good.”
Three lines, Cawley had said. Three letters per line probably.
“Listen to me,” Sheehan said. “If we fail here, we’ve lost. Not just
with you. Right now, the balance of power is in the hands of the surgeons,
but that’s going to change fast. The pharmacists will take over,
and it won’t be any less barbaric. It’ll just seem so. The same zombiefication and warehousing that are going on now will continue under a
more publicly palatable veneer. Here, in this place, it comes down to you, Andrew.”
“My name is Teddy. Teddy Daniels.”
Teddy guessed the first line was probably “you.”
“Naehring’s got an OR reserved in your name, Andrew.”
Teddy looked up from the page.
Cawley nodded. “We had four days on this. If we fail, you go into surgery.”
“Surgery for what?”
Cawley looked at Sleehan. Sheehan studied his cigarette.
“Surgery for what?” Teddy repeated.
Cawley opened his mouth to speak, but Sheehan cut him off, his voice worn: