Clara woke up in a hospital room. She pushed the nurse button and was quite relieved to learn that she was no longer in the mental hospital. She and Paul had fainted simultaneously. Neither would wake up, so they were both rushed to the emergency room. Paul was under heavy guard down the hall.
There was something wrong. At first she thought her spare soul was gone, but when she relaxed and let herself inside herself, she found that it was still there, but it felt different. It felt damaged. She tried telling the nurses about it, but they thought she was traumatized and not thinking right.
Then a nurse introduced him to the head psychiatrist. She was afraid she was going to be committed, but he asked her questions that made her believe he believed her. He then confessed that he'd been talking to Paul, who was all excited that he finally had a soul of his own.
When they entered the meeting room, Paul jumped up to hug Clara, but the orderlies shoved him back into his chair. He thanked her for taking such good care of his soul. He was talking about how he could finally start a life of his own, but the orderlies kept telling him that he was still committed.
After the asylum’s lawyer explained the process towards freedom Paul cheered up again. Then he frowned and said, "I wonder what happened to Edgar."
It turns out that Edgar was the name of the soul that kicked out Paul’s soul. Now Edgar was gone. Hearing that Clara took a few deep breaths and looked inside herself. She still had an extra soul, but it was very different. She knew it was Edgar and she knew she was in trouble.
Paul’s tale of growing up was horrifying. The older he got, the stronger Edgar got. When puberty hit, it was over. Paul’s consciousness was stuffed into a corner, and Edgar took over. Paul then learned to fight back. The more weight he gained and the less exercise he did, the more Edgar hated being inside him. Then Edgar killed a man in a failed attempt to jump to another body.
Fortunately, Paul’s attempts to explain Edgar to the authorities led to him being declared criminally insane. He wound up at the mental hospital under heavy medication. Medication that allowed Paul to detach from Edgar.
Unfortunately, when Paul’s soul recognized his true vessel he jumped across the void, leaving Edgar a path to escape. However, Edgar was unable to dislodge adult Clara’s soul and was very unhappy playing second fiddle.
Clara was worried and uncomfortable. Her spare soul was gone. She felt the emptiness where it once was. Then there was this new thing. Not a soul. Something evil. Something that wanted to hurt her. Something that was trying to convince her that it was harmless. She knew better. So did the Shaman.
Unlike the spare soul, Edgar was something the Shaman said he could handle. Clara went to his place, and he had all these candles and things burning. He had her drink this foul drink, and after that she could feel Edgar screaming.
The Shaman had her sit on the floor and he began circling her and chanting. He placed a large bowl in her lap. The third time around, Clara started to twitch. The fifth circle and she vomited. With the vomit went Edgar. She was free.
She went to thank the Shaman, but froze when she saw the Shaman drinking her vomit. He drank it all. He went to put the bowl down and fell over. He started convulsing violently.
Clara went to find some water. She didn’t know why she thought she needed water, but she did. She found a glass in a kitchen cabinet, filled it and brought it to the Shaman. He wasn't convulsing anymore though. He was standing and smiling an evil smile.
He told Clara that she should leave. She was free and unburdened. She told him that her body and soul may be hers now, but she felt responsible for that evil smile. He laughed and told her that Edgar would be no problem for him. He was strong enough to control Edgar till it was the proper time to dispose of him.
Clara did not sleep well that night. Both her emptiness and her fear for the Shaman played catch with her attention. She finally distracted herself by planning her future life as a unisouled person. That was wonderfully boring, and she drifted off to sleep an hour before her alarm went off.
She had no excuse now for not having a normal life. It was time for a career, not just a job. Maybe a boyfriend, not just a few dates. Her life, body and soul were all hers and only hers. For the first time in a long time the future was hers.
Hers, for three days anyway. First she heard it on the radio, and hoped she was wrong. Then on TV, proving she wasn’t. The Shaman had killed three men. There was no question. There were witnesses. The Shaman confessed, but said right into the camera, that it wasn’t his fault. It was Edgar’s.
(to be continued…)