I caught up with Dr. Carly Chambers in the cafeteria of the hospital where she works. I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that she'd returned my call and agreed to meet with me. We sat at a small table in the corner of the cafeteria and even though it was nearly midnight, the place buzzed with activity. Dr. Chambers, Carly, as she insisted I call her, is about my height, but that's where the similarities end. She's blonde with blue eyes and seems to be in constant motion, even when she's sitting still.
I noticed that her gaze moved from my face to the entrance of the cafeteria several times and wondered if she was expecting someone else to join us. I sipped at some really bad coffee then cleared my throat and picked up my microrecorder.
MM: Dr. Chambers, thanks for agreeing to meet with me. I promise not to take too much of your time. I know you're originally from California, how did you wind up in New Orleans?
CC: (laughs) I actually graduated from Tulane Medical School. I did my internship here and wound up falling in love with the city. It was kind of a case of wanting to get away from the family for a bit and then just deciding to stay here.
MM: Wow, I didn't realize you'd gone to medical school here. For some reason, I thought you'd come after Katrina.
CC: No. (hesitates) I was here before Katrina, but I worked in a different hospital. Some co-workers convinced me to leave. I wish I hadn't, because I know how much doctors were needed here. (hesitates again) But I'm back now, and I'm not leaving again. This is my home now.
MM: Speaking of home, you live close to the French Quarter, don't you?
CC: Yes, I have a great apartment, more of a condo, really. It's two stories with a great balcony in the bedroom. I love sitting out there when I get off work. I usually take a cup of tea or hot cocoa and watch the sun come up and then go to bed. It's interesting working the night shift, you know? You meet a whole different kind of people.
MM: Really? That sounds interesting, tell me more.
CC: Well. (She took a deep breath) Just last night I met someone who really intrigued me. He’s very good looking. He has this incredibly long black hair with golden skin and beautiful green eyes. His name is Tony. I wouldn’t mind getting to know him better, it’s just that he has all these secrets and he thinks he’s a ….well, I just can’t say it out loud. It’s too crazy!
MM: Carly, you can tell me. What kind of secrets? Is he a Mafia hit man? A politician?
CC: (laughs) Not exactly. When his friends kidnapped me...
MM: Wait a second! Kidnapped you? You were kidnapped? When? How? Who? Did the cops catch them? Oh my god! Are you ok?
CC: Wow Marilu, slow down a bit. They didn't really kidnap me so much as escort me abruptly to take care of Tony. See, he'd been shot and poisoned. His friends took great care of me and I didn't report it once I realized they had to do it that way.
MM: Can you tell us more about this mysterious Tony? You said he had secrets? Or did you say you thought he was crazy?
CC: Well, how do I put this? He thinks he can change shape…into an animal.
MM: An animal? What…does he think he’s a werewolf?
CC: Not exactly. See he’s not a werewolf, he’s a were…Oh hell! (Carly jumped and reached for her pager. I saw people rushing from the cafeteria and heard some garbled announcement on the paging system.) I have to go. It’s an emergency! Sorry!
Unfortunately, Dr. Chambers had to rush off to the ER. I guess I’ll have to catch up with her another time to find out about this mysterious Tony. I was left with half a cup of really bad coffee and more questions. Never a good thing for a writer!
I think maybe I will see if I can't get an interview with the owner of that hot spot "Animalia". Apparently you have to know someone who is already known there. I heard the good doctor was seen there.