This is a thread for @Illias and Gallow
The hospital sat on top of a hill overlooking the ocean. Half a dozen of brutalist buildings were scattered among the trees around the slopes. Massive slabs of concrete, all straight lines and harsh angles, interrupting the soft curves of the hill and the vegetation. The main building, a Victorian manor, crowned the summit. It still retained its glory. Soaring chimneys, a tower, latticed windows.
As the taxi drew closer up the road towards the manor, Victor Crenshaw looked out the side window. Trees crowded close to the road, so he only got brief glimpses of the concrete buildings. He saw a few orderlies in white, and perhaps a patient or two moving among the trees. A flock of crows took flight from a large oak, spiralling away into the sky.
A man was waiting on the steps leading up to the manor. Victor got out, paid the driver, and walked up to the building. The man, tall and thin, wearing a white coat and round spectacles, walked down to meet him.
“Victor Crenshaw, I presume,” he said, extending his hand.
“Yes,” Victor said, shaking the man’s hand. “You are Doctor Klein? We spoke on the phone.”
“I am,” Klein said, smiling. “Welcome to Ashbury.”
They walked up the stairs side by side. Klein smelled faintly of disinfectant and something else, something sweet and sharp. His back was ramrod straight, and he carried his 65 years with grace. Victor had done plenty of research before the visit. Klein was born in America to German parents, something that might have been to his detriment if it were not for the fact that he had trained combat medics for the Army and Navy in preparation for the invasion of Normandie. He had quite a reputation, Doctor Joseph Klein.
“There are rooms for you on the second floor,” Klein said as he pushed the door open. “I thought we might have dinner tonight and discuss how you wish to proceed.”
“I would prefer to begin at once,” Victor said. “Time is a factor, and it took long enough for me to gain access here.”
Klein turned to him. They were in the lobby, a large space with curving staircases up both walls. Large oil paintings of the Ashbury family, patrons of this and many other institutions across Maine and Massachusetts hung on the walls.
“I assure you, Mister Crenshaw,” Klein said, “we had nothing to do with those delays. It was only three days ago that I learned of your visit here.”
“Yes, you said as much over the phone,” Victor said. “I would like to begin at once.”
“Of course. Let me walk you to your room.”
Victor’s rooms had a large balcony with an ocean view. They were far more luxurious and much larger than his own apartment back in New York. Ashbury money at work. Klein made small talk while Victor unpacked. Notebook in hand, he followed Klein downstairs and out, into the trees, down a path towards building B. It was, according to what Victor had read, Ashbury’s most secure building. Where the truly disturbed were sequestered. Such as the patient known as Richard Corben, whose true name was Markus De Geer.