Don't be too insightful - Chapter 8
As Levi pulled up, Laird took off his scarf and necklace and put on a white collar, ready to disguise himself as a real cleric.
“Your problem of getting lost while driving is still so serious,” Laird muttered, flipping down the visor and looking in the mirror, replacing the gold-rimmed glasses with thin black-rimmed ones.
Levi said as he parked into the parking space,”It’s all because of your blind command. I never get lost without you.”
“The wheel didn’t come back straight.”
“You shut up.”
It’s not that Levi is hard-mouthed. He really doesn’t get lost when he runs around alone. Every time he runs into Laird (formerly known as Master Hopkins), he would encounter poorly marked trails, no signposts. Small towns, stops that don’t exist on the map, hidden stops hidden by trees, etc…
Every time he “run into” Laird, they are led by what they’re investigating into remote places, even in big cities.
The two got out of the car and looked at the road on the hillside. There were dense bushes on both sides of the road, and only two people could walk side by side without any gap.
The Red Oak Sanatorium is located on a dense tree covered hill, no buildings can be seen from the parking lot, only the boundless woods can be seen.
According to Laird, as you walk slowly up the path, the nursing home will suddenly come into view after a certain corner.
Levy said as he walked, “Why do I keep running into such a secluded place? How come weird things don’t happen at Disneyland?”
Laird asked, “What kind of weirdness are you talking about? All unsolved mysteries in general, or ‘The Door’ in particular?”
“Did you think there wasn’t one in Disneyland?”
Levi sneered: “Don’t take creepypasta seriously.”
Laird said: “No, I’m talking about Tokyo Disney (Note 1). You don’t know? One day in 2009,
When a local family of six visited Cinderella Castle, their four-year-old daughter and fifteen years old eldest son of 2000 disappeared, and disappeared under the watchful eyes of the second daughter and her parents. According to their description, the eldest son led the younger sister into a door, and when they followed, the door disappeared. It was like it never appeared.”
Levi said: “Is there such a thing? But I don’t think it’s quite right… The sighting reports of the ‘Door’ usually have a common feature, that is, the appearance of the ‘Gate’ is mostly ancient or exotic… If there is such a ‘door’ near Cinderella Castle, how can only one family suffer? There are many quaint or ornate doors in Disney, so wouldn’t there be many tourists who got in?”
Laird said: “According to the description of the family, they saw a silver-grey sensor sliding door on the outside of a wall on the back side of the castle. There was no sign on the door, no handle, and after the young child approached and touched it , it slid to the left automatically. You can imagine what this door looks like, if you see it in an amusement park, what do you think it is?”
“Staff entrance,” Levi instantly understood what he meant. “Of course… Disney shouldn’t have set up such an abrupt staff entrance.”
“Yes, most people would think it was the staff entrance. So, even if there were other tourists who saw the door, most of them following the rules would choose to ignore it, rather than look at it. What’s more, ‘The Gate’ has always been very brief, and it is estimated that there would never be a concentrated and large number of witnesses.”
It seems that the “doors” are not necessarily very old, they are just out of tune with the environment.
Levi asked, “How do you know so well? I’m talking about Tokyo Disney. If there’s an accident or even a murder at Disneyland, it’s bound to get spread all over the world, but I’ve never heard of a thing.”
Laird said: “Sometimes, the more serious the case is the less it’s known, it’s just a nonsense urban myth that can be passed around. I’m a psychic after all. Like you, I have my own sources.”
“Are you really a psychic?” Levi thought about this question more than once, and have asked it casually more than once.
Laird didn’t answer. He stopped, bent over his knees, and complained that the uphill path was too tiring…
Levi ignored him, didn’t wait for him, just kept walking. He had seen “Master Hopkins” being chased down the street by a pit bull, and Laird was not so weak.
Levi had discovered long ago that Laird likes to act when he wants to change the topic, but his acting skills are as bad as ever.
In Levi’s view, Laird was covered in the words “suspicious” and “liar,” even though he didn’t call himself a “medium.”
Levi recalled the last “random encounter” with Laird…Laird mentioned at the Cates house that the two of them had investigated a “fence wall” incident together:
A group of children on the farm were playing games by the fence. One of the children jumped over the fence and disappeared, never to be seen again (Note 2).
The section of the fence was short, with a clear gap in the middle, and most children could look past it to see their companions. Witnesses said the missing person turned over and took two steps toward the fence before disappearing.
Other children said there were no strangers or wild animals nearby, and no hidden caves, wells or flowing soil were found near the fence.
That time, Levi walked around the farm for nearly a week, disguised as a fish and wildlife officer.
He believes that the incident is not necessarily caused by the “Door”. Because the fence is the farm’s own, it’s not a quirky object, and the other children present didn’t see anything that could be described as a “door” or “entrance.”
But Laird thinks it must be a “The Door”: witnesses said the missing child walked two steps toward the fence and disappeared, so the child may have seen some kind of passage in the fence wall. As for why the other children didn’t see it… Probably because they were on the other side of the fence and couldn’t see the “door” from their direction, only the normal fence.
“Wall of the Fence” left Levi with two questions, one was whether the incident was related to “Gate of Discord”, and the other: Why was “Master Hopkins” so well-informed and always with him”
Levi’s first contact with “Master Hopkins” was four years ago, when they both came to investigate a suspected haunted house.
Levi’s fake identity is a real estate agent, and “Master Hopkins” was invited by the family to perform an exorcism. At that time, both Levi and the victim felt that the “exorcist” was too young to be reliable at first sight.
In the end, they discovered that the “haunting” was a misunderstanding and had nothing to do with unknown phenomena. Since then, “Master Hopkins” began to appear around Levi frequently, and every time Levi pursued a valuable case, a suspicious “psychic medium” would follow.
On a few occasions, Levi even suspected that he was being tracked. “Master Hopkins” always says it’s a coincidence, it’s fate.
It was only today that Levi finally realized that it was neither a coincidence nor the trackers, just because they were both tracking the same thing.
Although this doesn’t explain why Laird is always particularly well-informed… Levi can only think that probably he, like himself, has some kind of organization and channel behind him that is inconvenient to disclose.
Levi didn’t want to ask Laird’s true identity for the time being. That man was Laird Cates, a precious witness who had seen “Gate of Discord” twice, and for that alone, it was worth working with him.
The two turned a few turns on the path, the slope of the road slowed down, and the red oak sanatorium built on the mountainside finally appeared behind a forest.
“Sanatorium” sounds more modest, but the building actually looks more like a mini-prison. There is a guard room next to the gate, and the courtyard wall is very high, with barbed wire on it. Through the barbed wire, you can see the two low buildings deep in the courtyard, and a fully enclosed metal fence is installed on each window. Laird took a few deep breaths as he entered the yard. Levi noticed that.
He couldn’t help but wonder, maybe Laird hasn’t come to terms with his memories, maybe this is still one of the places he’s most reluctant to set foot in… He’s lived here for five years since he was ten years old, and there’s no way a mental hospital can give him a normal life, and when other children were learning to become adults, he was accompanied by madness all day long…
Levi was thinking, when Laird suddenly came over and asked, “You are frowning, what are you thinking?”
“I was thinking, why Angela seems to be more crazy than you.” Levi said, not lying, he did think about it before.
“I don’t think you’re thinking about this…” Laird smiled slyly. “Ah, I know what you’re thinking, should I guess, or I should tell you directly…”
“Wait, what am I guessing?”
Laird leaned closer and whispered, “I haven’t been sexually assaulted here. Don’t think about it and don’t feel sorry for me.”
Levi gave him a sideways glance.
Laird quickly added, “Oh wait, there’s an ambiguity in that sentence! I mean, I haven’t been sexually assaulted anywhere, don’t feel sorry for me.”
“Laird…” Levi squeezed his eyebrows and sighed, “The nurse here beat you, right. You didn’t deny it at the Cates house.”
Laird was slightly surprised, and his voice was deliberately vibrato: “Yes…their management methods were really unstandardized at that time. Later, the person in charge was changed here, and the working methods were improved…I hope There is no such thing now.”
“Oh, did you feel pain?”
“I was a child then, and of course it hurt. What are you asking about this for?”
“Nothing. They played well.”
Levi smiled at him, pushed open the door, and walked into the building.
Before reaching the nurse’s desk, Laird was berating Levi all the way, with the following charges: mean, callous, disrespectful, easy to get lost, lack of empathy, lack of team spirit, unskilled in reversing, eating meat before eating hamburgers.
Levi has received these reprimands more than once. The last one, which was newly added, which he got today and took effect on the shores of Lake Gera, specifically when the two bought lunch at a roadside stop.
At the nurse’s desk, Laird was back to normal in an instant. With a calm and gentle look on his face, he looked a bit like a real cleric, although he was a little younger.
After hearing the name of the patient they were going to see, the nurse looked regretful: “I’m sorry to tell you this.. Ms. Nuno passed away this morning.”
“This morning?” Levi and Laird were surprised.
“Her family is waiting for you,” the nurse stepped out and motioned for them to follow. “She knew you were coming today, and she was patiently waiting. Come with me.”
Note 1: The Tokyo Disney incident is completely fictitious. No such incident has ever happened.
Note 2: The fence wall event has a prototype, there’s a book about the unsolved mysteries of the world, and one of the stories in it was that children climbed over a fence wall (or a low wall?) and disappeared, it happened in the sight of their companions, the fence wall was not high.