-Chapter 4-

A young hand reached out for a stuffed animal that wasn't there. Eyes flew open with a sudden gasp.

The room's shadows were unfamiliar to the boy who sat there, squinting in bewilderment. He put his glasses on, but that only confused him further.

He stood up and walked to the door, opening it. Looking up and down the corridor, he saw a woman in a nurse's uniform. He'd been taught not to speak to strangers. But nurses were okay, weren't they? But maybe she was busy.

Nurse Sally Eigen noticed that one of the patients was awake. It wasn't uncommon for them to have nightmares or troubled sleep and she was used to having to get them back to sleep. Checking her charts, she discovered that this particular youth, Bryce Lynch, had suffered a traumatic shock as the result of seeing his fiancee killed before his very eyes. It was noted that he was suffering from traumatic amnesia and should not be addressed by name until he himself had used it first.

"You should be in bed, young man," she told him, in a stern but friendly tone.

The voice he spoke with was far younger than that of a boy of sixteen.

"I'm sorry. I can't sleep without my Jen-Jen."

"Your Jen-Jen?" Nurse Eigen tilted her head questioningly. "Honey, how old are you?"

"Seven," he said, simply. "Who are you?"

"I'm Nurse Eigen," she told him. "But you may call me Sally."

"Hi, Sally," he said, politely. "I'm Trace Carter."

Sally was careful not to let the frown in her mind reach her face. It wasn't uncommon for dissociation to take place in cases like this. Especially when the mind was beginning to remember a forgotten trauma sooner than it was ready to.

"Listen, Trace," she apologized, "I'm afraid I don't know where your Jen-Jen is. Can you tell me what it looked like?"

'Trace' nodded with a smile. "Jen-Jen's my stuffed leopard." he told her. "She's got white fur under her dots, though."

"A snow leopard," Sally said, making a mental note to buy him one. It wasn't in her duties, but if it helped him sleep at night it would make her job a lot easier. "Well, if I can't find her, can I buy you a new one?"

"I s'pose so," 'Trace' shrugged.

"Now, let's get you back into bed for the night, okay?"

"But I can't sleep without Jen-Jen!"

"Can we pretend that Jen-Jen went on a vacation?" Sally suggested.

"I guess we can do that." 'Trace' said, after a moment's consideration.

"Can I ask you something?" Sally asked.

'Trace' nodded as he got back into bed.

"Why did you decide Jen-Jen was a girl leopard?" Sally asked as she tucked him in.

"'cause momma leopards protect their cubs."

Sally smiled. "Good night, Trace."

"Good night, Sally."

Sally went back into the hall and closed the door. Standing there quietly, she made a note of the boy's newly emergent personality for the other doctors.

Dissociation Personality Trace Carter emerged at three-fifty in the morning. He is a friendly boy of seven who has a little stuffed snow leopard named Jen-Jen whom he was looking for. He is very sweet and easy to get along with. He seems to trust nurses as he had no problems speaking to me.

Back                         Home                              Max Headroom Main Page                              Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted!