Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been following and reviewing ‘Silverback – Evolution is Coming.’ Your wonderful support makes writing this story a joy.
Please let me know if there are editing errors. I will correct them asap.
Molly’s twin sister’s death four years ago hasn’t been the only hardship her family has endured. It’s been one hard knock after another.
Now she has not one, but three little brothers to deal with, and it doesn’t help that two of the boys are disabled. Her mom wants to try again for another girl – a replacement for her dead twin, Madeline – the shining star everyone idolized. Molly’s mother has no time for her these days, and Molly has begun to resent her dead sister’s ‘perfect’ memory.
When her family vacations in Florida, animal lover Molly is thrilled to spend her time at the animal park. It’s a chance to cast off her life-sucks attitude for a while.
When she receives an S.O.S. message from a gorilla behind the glass at the park, nobody believes her. Molly has no idea why or what she can do to help the Silverback, but she’s determined to figure it out.
It quickly becomes apparent doing so will change her family forever. What she doesn’t realize yet is, it might just change the world.
Previous Chapters: Molly has rescued the baby gorilla, Jace, from the animal park. Capable of speech, Jace is in danger of being turned over for scientific experimentation. Against all odds, and with the help of her friend, Andre, Molly manages to get Jace home without incident, but when her father suffers a heart attack, her mother sees the baby gorilla, Jace moving around and talking. Molly is forced to choose between betraying her mother and allowing Jace to be discovered. Her mother is taken for a psychiatric evaluation, giving Molly a short window to breathe and figure out what to do with Jace. The police arrange for a family member to come care for the children. But when Andre arrives with the bad news that Molly has been identified on television as the person who has the missing baby gorilla, Andre, Jace and Molly flee her home, with the police, D.H.S. and other authorities in hot pursuit. Molly must figure out how to make Jace ‘disappear’ before it is too late. She finds an unexpected ally in Andre’s mother. When it becomes obvious that the authorities have identified Molly, and are only minutes away from finding her, they come up with a plan Andre’s mother takes Jace, giving Molly a chance to lead her pursuers on a false trail. Molly wakes up in a very strange place with no memory of the past few days and quickly realizes something is very wrong. She has not been arrested for stealing baby Jace, but placed in a government psychiatric facility for V.I.P.’s, according to one of the nurses she encounters, hundreds of miles from her home. She is taken to a different room and locked inside, where she finds her mother crumpled on the floor. She tries to help her mother, but quickly realizes her mother is suffering from delusions, whether from the treatments or her mental illness, Molly is not sure. Molly is appalled when the doctor arrives and confirms her worst fears. Molly is next. Separated from her mother, Molly is returned to her room. Molly is unaware she is being monitored by Government agents as well as the psychiatrist, Seth Fountain.
Characters mentioned or appearing in this chapter.
Seth Fountain – Resident psychiatrist at the facility where Molly and her mother are being held.
Sebastian Fountain – Molly’s old psychologist whom Pet forbade her to see.
Molly – our 16 year old heroine.
Pet – her mother.
Ryker and Ryan – her twin brothers.
Charlie – her youngest brother.
Mrs. Lydia Lyon – Molly’s friend, Andre’s mother who took Jace for her when Molly was being pursued by the law.
Orderly Smeck – the orderly assigned to transfer Molly between appointments at the asylum.
Jace – the baby gorilla Molly rescued/stole from the Animal Park in Florida.
Ben – The Silverback Gorilla who reached out to Molly at the Animal Park in Florida.
NOW READ ON…
Silverback Chapter 14 ~ The Twin
Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
The door beeped, and Molly’s limbs flailed as she regained consciousness. She shook her head to try to clear the fog hovering around her brain, and wondered if it was even the same day? Right after they’d returned, a sullen-faced nurse had carried in a tray of food with a sealed container of apple cider. She’d ignored the bland-looking pancakes and rubbery eggs, and settled for drinking the juice — big mistake. Fifteen minutes later, she only just made it onto her bed before her mind succumbed to the sedation infused into the apple juice.
A glance at the small window revealed a dark, sullen sky bulging with storm clouds, but gave her no indication of time.
The pock-faced orderly who’d escorted her back to her room earlier entered, swinging his taser. His gaze traveled up and down her body as she slid off the bed and stood to face him.
“Behave yourself, unless you want a taste of this,” he said. “Of course, you might enjoy it.” He winked and arched his eyebrows suggestively.
“Why do you carry that everywhere?” Molly asked, keeping her face void of expression. “Compensating for something?”
A muscle twitched in the small man’s jaw, and he took a step forward, brandishing the taser. “You little bitch.”
Molly stepped back, her eyes widening, but he stopped and glared up at the corner of the room.
Molly followed his gaze and spotted the tiny camera, nestled against the ceiling. Oh, my God, they’re recording me. She looked at the man, and he met her gaze.
“Come on, let’s go,” he said, one side of his lip curling into a sneer. “There aren’t any cameras in the hallways.”
Molly shook her head. “No. I’m not going anywhere with you.”
A vein popped out on his temple as he glared at her. “Come here,” he said, his voice dangerously low.
Molly pressed herself back against the bed. “No,” she repeated, glancing up at the camera.
The orderly took two steps forward, before cursing softly and reaching into his pocket for a small black phone. He answered the call with a curt, “What?”
His face blanched. “Yes, sir. No, absolutely not, yes, I understand. Of course.”
A smile flitted across Molly’s lips. She couldn’t hear every word, but enough to know Pockface’s superiors were not happy with his comments or his attitude toward her, to the point of threatening him with bodily harm if he laid a hand on her in any way whatsoever.
Ending the call, he slipped the phone back in his pocket and straightered his shoulders. “Let’s go. I’m supposed to take you for questioning, and my shift ends in twenty minutes.” He walked back to the door.
Molly didn’t move.
“Fucking hell,” the orderly said, his voice rising in frustration. “Come on. They’re waiting for you and you don’t want to keep these people waiting.”
“Why shouldn’t I?” Molly folded her arms across her chest.
The blue vein reappeared in the man’s temple. “Because your mother’s life depends on you not pissing them off, that’s why.”
Molly launched herself away from the bed.
Once her guard opened the door, she moved around him and out into the hallway.
“Wait right there,” he snapped. “You think you’re pretty smart, don’t ya?” He stepped in front of her and glanced in both directions.
Emboldened by the lack of witnesses, and no apparent video cameras in the hallway, he smirked. “Just wait until they’ve extracted the information they want. They’ll toss you aside like the filthy rag you are.” His face morphed into an ugly leer. “Maybe I’ll come to visit you in the lock-down facility for all the crazies. You’ll be singing a different tune then. I might even get permission to take you out sometimes. You and I could have such fun together in the back of my van.”
“In your dreams,” Molly said, but a lump of ice formed in the pit of her stomach.
His laughter echoed down the stark hallway. “You have no idea.”
They’d only walked fifty feet when a figure emerged from a nearby stairwell and strode toward them.
“Shit.” Pockface said, looking around for a quick escape route.
The man walked up and Molly groaned in recognition. Could this get any worse?
“Doctor Fountain,” the orderly said, attempting to steer her around the doctor’s imposing figure.
“Stop right there, Smeck” Fountain said.
Molly felt a fleeting sense of pity for the orderly, whose face turned an ashen color as the doctor glared down at him.
“I’ll take Molly from here.” His authoritarian tone left no room for argument.
The orderly stared open-mouthed at the taller man, but his hand slipped into his pocket. “I’ve got my orders. They want to question her. I-I need to check with the-“
Fountain cut him off with a furious snarl. “Are you questioning my authority, Smeck?” He glanced down at his wrist. “You’re done at four, right? Perhaps I’ll make a call and find some mandatory overtime for you to work tonight. I hear they’re pretty busy in the east wing lock-down unit.”
Smeck’s face fell, and he let the phone slide back into his pocket. “No, Doctor Fountain, sir, I mean, yes, I’m off at four. I’ve got plans.”
Molly stretched her neck to look down the hall. I could make a run for it, she thought, but where would I even go? She bit her lip, willing her legs and arms to stop trembling, as her mother’s post-treatment confusion and memory loss flooded her thoughts.
“Ouch,” she said, as Doctor Fountain gripped her arm in a vice-like grip. “I’m a busy man, let’s go.”
Jerked off her feet, Molly had no choice but to follow him, leaving the open-mouthed Smeck standing in the center of the hallway behind them.
“Don’t look back,” Doctor Fountain instructed her, pulling her by the arm at such a brisk pace, Molly was forced to jog to keep up with him. He lowered his voice as they turned a corner. “Next door on the left. Hurry up, and I hope I didn’t hurt your arm.”
“What?” Molly asked, but the doctor was already pushing her through the open door and into a dark stairwell.
The door shut with a loud clang behind them. Molly jumped with fright and felt behind her, pressing her hands against the cold stone wall.
“It’s dark. I can’t see,” she said. “What are we doing here, and who are you?” The psychiatrist, Seth Fountain wouldn’t have apologized for hurting her arm, would he? Molly groaned inwardly, as her thoughts battled each other. Perhaps he was just trying to keep her quiet until…what? She shuddered.
“Just a sec,” came the reply. “I’m so sorry, Molly. Don’t be afraid.”
She heard a click, and a blue glow infiltrated the darkness as emergency lights came on overhead.
Lifting his hand, Doctor Fountain began tugging at something around his wrist; at the same time, he inclined his head toward the stairs leading down. “Let’s go. The way out is several floors below us yet, but we have to time the escape to the second.”
“You’re not Seth Fountain, are you? You’re my Doctor Fountain. My psychologist, right?”
“I always knew you were an exceptionally bright girl, Molly, from the first time I met you. I’ll explain everything in a minute, but we need to move now.”
Molly took the steps two-at-a-time, as hope flared in her chest. She paused on each landing, but a glance at her companion sent her hurrying down to the next level.
When they’d descended to the lowest floor, Doctor Fountain stopped. Holding up a hand, he cracked the door and peered into the corridor.
“All clear. Let’s go.”
Molly followed him obediently, heart pounding. Her nose twitched at the musty smell.
“Where are we?” she said, in a loud whisper.
“The old unused maintenance corridor.” Doctor Fountain continued at a brisk walk.
Molly looked up at the green mold growing on the stone walls. “How old is this place?”
“This part of the asylum was built back in the mid eighteen-hundreds. There are hidden rooms and exits down here even those C.I. A. agents don’t know about.” He stopped and peered at the wall. “Ah, yes, there’s the mark.”
Molly watched as he felt around a crevice in the rocks and extracted a hollow silver key.
He handed it to Molly. “Insert this in that black tracker on your ankle.”
Molly squatted, and seconds later, the tracker clicked and she yanked it from her ankle. It flew from her hand and clattered against the wall.
Dr. Fountain crushed it beneath the heel of his boot and kicked the remains into the shadows. Then he beckoned to Molly, and they continued walking.
“But won’t they have been tracking me the entire time?” Molly said, unable to keep the tremor out of her voice as she jogged to keep up.
“Nope,” Doctor Fountain said, winking as he gave her a warm smile. “Once we left the main floor and entered the service stairs, the signal would have been blocked. Besides which, I took it upon myself to dabble in their tracking system software this morning before I came to the wards. Then I came down here and hid that key.”
“But how? You don’t work here, do you?” Molly let the last two words trail off. What did she know?
“No, I do not work here. Nor would I. My brother does, but you already know that.”
Molly bit her lip. “Yeah. I met him.”
“My deepest apologies.”
Doctor Fountain stopped abruptly at a narrow wooden door, pushing it open to reveal a small empty room. “We’ll wait in here until the security guards change shifts. This used to be a storage closet back in the day.” Closing the door behind Molly, he slid several bolts across to secure the door and flipped a switch. A dull light flickered and came on above their heads.
“There, that should do it.” He began tugging on his fingertips.
“What are you doing?” Molly asked.
Kindly, green eyes twinkled down at her. “I’m trying to remove my brother’s fingerprints.” He tugged harder and peeled off a cylindrical flap of what looked like skin. Within a few minutes, he’d peeled off three identical pieces of ‘skin.’ Slipping out of the white jacket he wore, he rolled it up and tossed in on the ground.
“Even identical twins don’t have the same fingerprints,” he explained.
Molly glanced at the name tag still visible on the crumpled white jacket. Even in the photograph, the man’s icy expression in the I.D. tag photo had the power to make her shudder, with the name tag’s reflective security prism glowing in the muted light.
“I thought you were him at first. How did you do that? The fingerprints I mean? And how did you get his badge? Won’t he miss it?”
“It’s a copy. As for the fingerprint molds, let’s just say I know some exceptionally talented people. My brother isn’t quite as smart as he likes to think he is.”
Molly watched a shadow flit across the doctor’s face. “You’re nothing like him, you know.”
“Shocking really, what with us being identical twins and all that. Of course, people never get us mixed up these days, because that miserable psychopath never smiles.”
“If he was my brother, I’d change my name, Dr. Fountain.” Molly looked away to wipe at the tears forming in her eyes.
“Call me Sebastian, or Seb, if you like. I’d consider that if I didn’t think so highly of my father.” He glanced at his watch and tisked. “We need to hurry up and go through the plan.”
Seb nodded, reached into his white coat, and pulled out a small pin. “Here, put this on. Make sure it can be clearly seen by anyone approaching you.”
“That’s one of those pins from your office. The Animal Conservation and Rights Project,” Molly said, struggling to keep her expression neutral, as memories of the Silverback, Ben, pointing to her identical pin, rushed into her mind.
“Yes, it is, but look at the letter A.”
Molly studied it for a few seconds and shook her head. “I don’t get it.”
“The bottom of the letter A curls inward. Just like the pin you took that day from my receptionist. That’s how the Silverback recognized you at the Animal Park.”
“Seriously?” Molly took the pin and turned it over in her hand. “So, André’s mom was right. You do know about Ben and Jace.” Her eyes widened. “Is he okay?”
Seb smiled. “Yes, Lydia Lyon found me. That’s how I knew what happened to you. Jace is safe, and so is Ben. They’re both hidden in the Jungle Underground. That’s all I can tell you. Now we need to get you home safely.”
“Home?” Molly blinked. “You can’t just leave me out of this. I’m involved. What am I supposed to do now? If I get out of here, I mean? I can’t just go home. They’ll come right back for me.” Images of her baby brothers and André filled her mind. She sucked in a deep breath. “What about my family? My dad? Mom? My broth-ers?” Her voice broke on the last word.
“I’m sorry, Molly. We had a great plan in place. Our retrieval team was on the way to your house to pick Jace up and provide you with a cover story when your dad…”
“Had a heart attack,” Molly finished for him. “And everything went to hell.”
“Pretty much,” Seb agreed. “Okay, now, listen up. At exactly four p.m., the guards who watch the grounds will change shift and sit in the office together for about five minutes. That’s when you’re going to…”
Molly’s eyes grew wide as Sebastian Fountain went on, explaining exactly what she would have to do and how the Jungle Underground planned to get her to safety.
“Are you in?”
Molly grinned. “Yes.” Excitement bubbled in her stomach. “You’re brilliant.”
“Things could still go wrong.” He gave her a wan smile.
Molly widened her eyes in mock horror. “Doctor, you must remain positive. Your thoughts create your reality, you know,” she said, playfully shaking a finger, as she quoted him from one of their therapy sessions.
Seb Fountain chuckled. “I knew I was right about you.” He glanced at his watch. “Okay, it’s time. Ready, twin?”
Molly’s smile widened. “Ready.”