The Darkness in the Tree – Part 8

In the Sui Lam Centre, Huang had been kept in isolated observation for the first twelve hours so that the doctors could ascertain whether he was a threat to himself or anyone else. They noted that he was polite, answered all their queries without hesitation, and obeyed their rules and regulations. There was nothing to indicate that the man suffered from mental problems, and as for his beliefs in demons and ghosts, well if that was a reason to lock someone up 98 percent of Hong Kong would be behind these walls, along with many of the doctors and nurses.

Huang was unsure of the time, they had taken his wristwatch, along with his other possessions. All he was permitted to keep was a small book of Buddhist teachings. They had obviously placed him on suicide watch because he noticed there was nothing in his small room with which he might injure himself. Lying on his bed he listened to the sounds of the nurses out in the corridor, the muted speech, and the sounds of the trolley wheels as they went about giving medication to those that needed it more frequently. The trolley wheels stopped outside his room and he strained his ears for the slightest piece of information. Slowly, almost soundlessly, the door opened and a nurse moved part way into the room. She turned her head back to make sure there was no one outside that might hear her, then he sensed rather than heard, “There is a danger. You must be ready to leave”.

Before Huang could say or ask anything, the nurse disappeared outside and closed the door behind her. Huang did what he did best. He sent out ethereal feelers in an effort to pick up any danger. He sensed something. It was not good, but the threat was not immediate, for now.


Chan arrived at his office in the Secretary for Security’s section which consisted of two floors of Government Headquarters. He was hoping for a quiet day because apart from the nonsense with the Tai Po murders he had a great deal of other work to be getting on with. There was a meeting scheduled with the section heads for 11 a.m. but it was routine and he had not been asked to make any presentations. He knew that at some point in time he would have to contact the CID and see if there was any news from Sui Lam, but he was putting that off for as long as possible. It was not until after he had returned from the meeting that he received a phone call from DCI Wong at the CID. Huang had gone missing!

Chan felt his headache return with a thump! “How the hell did that happen?” He demanded of Wong.

“Apparently he just walked out in broad daylight, wearing his own clothes and smiling at everyone. The staff and security guards apparently just smiled back and waved him on his way”.

Good old Anglo-Saxon swear words erupted in Chan’s brain but he managed to prevent them from passing his lips. It would not do for an officer of the department of the Sec for Sec to be heard swearing at a senior police officer.

“I don’t suppose you have any idea of his whereabouts? Or is that too much to ask?”

The sarcasm was lost on Wong who told him that they had alerted the local police to be on the lookout for him. Police officers at the Mass Transit Stations had been provided with his photograph and told to keep an eye out for him. Just then Amy appeared at the door, she motioned to the telephone handset that was his direct link with Sec for Sec. Things were getting worse, much worse.


(c) Copyright John Stewart Sloan – 2017 – Not for Distribution

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