This is an entry in the 15th Fortnightly Topic Challenge.
Harold Smith, a coffee in his hand, was contemplating his sleeping wife. Once again, he was up early, way before the alarm. "Why didn't I quit already? I could stay at home, take care of the baby with Sandra and make puzzles all day!" he thought with amusement. But he couldn't: Harold loved his job. Being a psychiatrist was not easy at first: Harold had still shivers when thinking about his internship at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. But after a few years, he had built enough reputation to allow himself to select his patients. He liked them all, and they liked him back.
"Let's have a look at the program," Harold said while picking his appointment book. "Mmh, nice," he thought. His first patient of the day was Elliot Anderson, who had been suffering from a dissociative identity disorder for a long time, and was still recovering from it. Elliot was one of Harold's favorite patients, since they shared puzzles as a common passion. Lately though, he had been acting strangely: his answers to Harold's questions were more and more evasive and he was late for the last weekly sessions. Harold had decided that he should find out more about the beginning of this mutism. Today, he would ask Elliot about his concerns. After his morning routine, Harold kissed his wife and Anne, his baby, and headed towards his office.
Upon his arrival, he immediately felt that something was wrong; his secretary came to him and said: "M-Mister Smith, I don't think Mr. Anderson will be here today." "What are you telling me?" inquired Harold. His secretary seemed shaken. "Well, he was here fifteen minutes ago, b-but he went straight into your office...I-I couldn't stop him, doctor, I'm sorry." She burst into tears. A bit perplexed, Harold told her to take the rest of the day off. He then proceeded to step into his office. "It could have been worse!" he thought. Indeed, there was a big mess: books on the ground, a broken chair, some stains on the carpet. All his belongings usually on his desk were on the ground, too. Instead, there was a book that was not his. He approached his desk and opened it.
There was nothing written on the first pages. Harold noticed that the paper was very thin. Then, he stumbled across two pages where there were strange symbols:
Five pages further, he found these few lines:
Last week, I was pretty sure to have a big black cat. But I verified. Clearly, I like you, but obviously, I been utterly mad... Remember Edwin? I'm certain he's part of it too. Hasten, shrink!
And... nothing. That was it. He didn't understand anything. Why was his office a mess, and what was the meaning of this book? His mind was confused. Suddenly, he remembered that the last sessions ended with Elliot and him discussing puzzles. He took another look at the book, and after a few minutes, he knew. In seconds, he ran away from his office.
Where did Harold go, and why?
The story continues here.