A Trip to the Head Doctor

Contributor: Jake A. Strife

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I’m on my psychiatrist’s couch. He looks at me, tapping his fork on his plate. He always seems to be eating breakfast when I come in on Friday mornings. Normally he would eat a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Today, I can smell sausage. I can’t help but wonder why, as he leads the guided meditation.

“You have not seen monsters.” He begins, “The injury did not come from an ‘alligator mutant’.”

I listen intently, wanting to believe him, but I know what I have seen and I can once again feel the claws that sank deep into my arm.

“You are going deep within my friend. Look inside your soul. You see your father. He abused you, did he not? This was no different. This is where the injury on your arm came from.”

Why is he telling me this? I expect him to be telling me something more positive. Before I can wonder further I am standing before a dark tower.

“What?” I whisper.

It doesn’t make sense. I can’t hear his dry, raspy voice anymore. A prank. It has to be a prank. We have done guided meditation before, but never once has he brought me to a place like this.

Lightning flashes overhead and a downpour begins. I can feel the cold rain stinging my bare arms. I am not dressed for stormy weather. The only place for shelter is the large wooden door of the tower. I run and yank it open.

Inside torches light the hollow center and an old stone staircase spirals up toward the top. I take a step forward and my foot crunches down onto something. I jerk back and stare down at a long bleach white bone. Dread fills me and I stumble backward into a bookcase. Books fall to the floor, flapping open. The feeling of dread multiplies. I have damaged a book.

“We do not lend books!” I hear the baleful, evil voice from my nightmares once again.

The tower shakes with thundering footfalls. It is coming for me. Once again, it is coming for me. I turn and try to pull the wooden door open again, but it is locked.

“Doctor.” I say, “Get me out of here. This is a prank right? Please, this isn’t funny!”

Then in a flash of bright light it is before me. The eight foot tall alligator girl with the sagging flesh, and the gouged out eyes. A clawed hand lashes out and I feel the same sudden numbness in my arm. I look down and a chunk is missing, just like before. I scream, and hear myself from far away.

“Wake up.” My psychiatrist’s voice. The moment I hear it my eyes fly open.

“Doc?” I ask, seeing my arm is still intact.

“You did better this time,” He says, “See you next week.”

I leave, thinking it better to stay out of therapy from now on.

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I'm Jake A. Strife an author of Young Adult Fiction, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Flash Fiction, Screenplays and video game-to-book adaptations. I live in Los Angeles, California and plan to keep on writing till the day my hands fall off!
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