After this morning's development, I really didn't feel like doing anything else for the rest of today. These disappearances are becoming more and more frequent. As the note implies, those who disappear have been only those residents and staff with mental problems. Those who, like Moira Allen, have only physical problems, are apparently in no danger.

As I said, I would rather have cancelled my plans for the remainder of the day. However, I don't lead the life of luxury some do, so I lacked the ability to devote my day to our immediate problem.

I left the students and staff to forage for their own breakfast and made my way down to the main entry hall to await Miss Jones' belongings. They arrived shortly. The deliveryman could have used a few less pounds and a bit more coffee. I signed for the items – two wheeled suitcases and four cardboard cartons - and directed him to follow me. It's not as if I was going to carry them up three flights of stairs.

He followed me up to Miss Jones' room, where I rapped sharply on her door.

"Just a minute…" I heard the creak of bedsprings, followed by footsteps and the opening of the door.

Upon seeing it was I on her doorstep, the girl smiled.

"Good morning, Mr. Eldridge. Come in, come in…"

She returned to what I assumed had been her previous position: cross-legged on the bed, back against the headboard. She was sitting much the same way she had been when I met her at the mental facility. That same book (Forever Odd) was on the bed next to her, though she was almost through with it now.

I directed the deliveryman to leave the box outside her door and shut the door in his face.

I moved the desk chair nearer the bed and sat down. "How are you settling in?"

She shrugged. "Fairly well. Vega seems sweet."

I snorted. "She may have seemed sweet this morning." At her puzzled look, I explained further. "Takoda Vega is schitzophrenic. The side of her you saw at breakfast is Vega Two, I believe. She'll probably be different the next time you see her." I sighed, withdrawing a small notebook from my coat pocket. "Moving on. Your belongings should be arriving shortly-"

As if on cue, there was a sound at the door that was more a thump than a knock.

"For god's sake, leave it out there, I'll come get it in a minute." Incompetent people. There was another thump as boxes were dropped unceremoniously to the hallway floor, then footsteps receding.

"Now," I said, writing, "these are times you need to know." I tore a sheet of paper from the notebook. "Mealtimes, curfew. Three weekly appointments with Ms. Allen, two with me, at least one with Dr. Rivers." She looked at me quizzically. "Part of the reason you're allowed to be here is that I signed a contract saying you will continue to receive psychological care and evaluation. Dr. Rivers is very…nice." I grimaced at the word. "He's a good doctor, at any rate. Let's see…Oh. Every Saturday, you're allowed off campus to roam about as you please if you're accompanied by another student. You'll be given spending money taken from what your relatives pay to keep you here.

"Also, in addition to being a care facility, this is also a school. You can receive a high school diploma – an actual diploma, not an equivalency. However, you will be expected to do schoolwork. Is this all clear to you?"

"Who would be my teacher? Ms. Allen?"

"You're looking at him." I plastered on a cheesy grin.

She looked a bit like a scared rabbit. "Why, Miss Jones," I said with false concern, "you're not afraid of me, are you?"

"Erm…" She became intensely interested in the bedspread. "Only a bit creeped out, I think."

"Spec-freaking-tacular," I said, standing. I opened her door and nudged her crap within the doorway with my foot. Once it was in enough that I could close the door, I brushed myself off and said "Well, if there's nothing else-"

"Actually, just one thing?"

"Anything I can do to make your life more pleasant."

"Could you…like…not call me 'Miss Jones'?"

"What would you, 'like,' prefer?" I cocked an eyebrow.

"My name is Laurelai."

"It doesn't suit you."

"That's not my problem." She seemed vaguely irritated. "Make something up if you feel the need. Don't use my middle name, I hate it." Her middle name, if I remembered correctly, was Nicole, Nicolette, something like that. "Give me a nickname."

"Very well then." I tipped an imaginary hat in her direction with mock seriousness. "I bid you adieu…

Laurie."