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This Shoal of Space:

Zoë Calla & the Dark Starship

(World's First E-Book—Published On the Web in 1996 For Digital Download)

a Dark SF novel originally titled Heartbreaker

by John Argo

Preface   Chapter 1   Intralog  Part I-Chapter 2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   Part II-Chapter 66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   Outlog


Chapter 25.

She told Dr. Stanislaus about her fall into the pool. "I feel something in my head. I felt it when I nearly drowned myself. I feel it now. It's always there."

"A personality?"

"I'm not sure. It's like an eel coming out from under the rocks deep in the water."

"So it's a snake or an eel?"

"I'm not sure. I don't see a creature, I just think there's one. It's in the back of my mind."

"So maybe it's just an analogy."


"Then we'd like to know what it's an analogy of."

"Yes. Am I suicidal?"

"You are under a great deal of stress. It seems to me you are afraid. You seem afraid of people doing things to you, not you doing things to yourself."

"Then, on Sunday, I was examined by an exorcist."

"You were what?" The gray walls around Dr. Stanislaus grew smoky, or was that just her vision blurring?

"I was interviewed by an exorcist." She told him about her meeting with Father Lawrence. "I was exorcised."

Pause. "I see." Another pause. "And how to do you feel about that?"


"Of the devil?"

"No. For my son's health."

"So it's the old fear."

She laughed. "Popping up in new ways?"

"What do you think?"

"I wish I were so sure."

He never spoke her name. "Tell me about the exorcist."

"Are you going to laugh?"


She told him. He drank it all in without expression.

"I guess you hear the wildest things," she said.

"What do you mean?"

"I meant, this all sounds crazy, right?"

He changed the subject. "Your physical turned out fine. No brain tumors or anything."

"Can I ask you a question?"


"Does it bother you in any way that a patient of yours seeks spiritual help as well as medical?"

"The mind is still a mystery. If it helps, do it."

"You don't think I'm flipping my frying pan?"

"I don't think so. I'm still working on extreme stress as a hypothesis. Are you still having your sleep nights?"

"Like with the exorcism. Is there a point here? Will I ever get better?"

He tapped the microphone. "Patient answers no."


Copyright © 1990-1996-2014 by John Argo, Clocktower Books. All Rights Reserved.