“Can you tell me your name?”
A mile away, the old hospital was burning, casting a column of black smoke into the sky to drift across the town and over the highway and then the river in its inexorable progress downwind.
“Are you hungry? Would you like a cheeseburger? Mack, draw some petty cash, go get her a cheeseburger, will you? And some fries.”
It had been closed for years, abandoned, surrounded by high fences with padlocked gates and ‘no trespassing’ signs.
“How did you get in there? Were you by yourself? Did you used to be a resident? …Is there someone we should call?”
There was a patient bracelet on her wrist, but they hadn’t been able to get close enough to read it. She sat with her knees to her chest, her feet up on the seat of the police station chair.
“How long were you in there?”