I was supposed to put up a brief excerpt today, but I wanted to do something fun for Halloween/Samhain. This is a piece of flash fiction that originally was posted on the witchychicks site. It’s a story I’ll be exploring again soon. It’s my treat to you today!
I’m Dr. Aeryn McCready and I treat crazy people. Correction. I treat mentally unstable supernatural beings. There is nothing human about them. Vampires, shape shifters, ghosts, witches, I take care of them all in my little house of horrors.
Okay, technically it’s a small white-framed house with a picket fence on Mulberry Street where I have my office. My patients ranged from narcissistic vamps and shape shifters with impulse control problems, to ghosts with identity issues and don’t even get me started on the zombies. The list is too long. The dry skin and lack of relationship skills is the least of their problems.
It’s my job to make them feel better about themselves.
Some days it didn’t pay to be me.
That isn’t true. Some days it’s the pay that keeps me from jumping off the top of the roof of my office. Well, that and the fact that it’s only a one-story building. I sat and listened to their problems, and they give me $1500 an hour. The job keeps me in four-inch Christian Louboutans so I don’t complain – much. The hours were sometimes long, like today. I’d seen nine patients and I was exhausted. (You just did the math and figured out that was $13,500 for one day’s work. Believe me when I tell you I earn every cent.)
I’d skipped dinner and my stomach was letting me know by making very un-lady like gurgling sounds. So when the door opened and Daniel Craig stepped in, I was slightly off kilter and not quite myself. I looked down at my schedule. Nope, Daniel Craig wasn’t listed.
He held out his hand as he approached my desk. “Dr. McCready?”
I nodded because my mouth wasn’t working yet.
“I’m Campbell Casen.” When he touched my hand, heat scorched through my body and my nether regions melted. Whoa, libido down girl. This is a patient.
“It’s nice to meet you Mr. Casen.” I was proud that I sounded so professional since my traitorous body wanted to press itself against him and do nasty things. I gave him a smile and motioned to the two leather club chairs in the middle of the office. “Please let’s have a seat. Tell me why you’re here tonight.”
I never bothered with small talk. I’ve found it makes patients uncomfortable. Most of the time they were anxious to get to the heart of the problem and I obliged.
His hands gripped the arms of the chair and I sensed tension. Perhaps this one did need some coddling.
“There’s no reason to be nervous with me. Take your time.”
He waved a hand. “It’s not that. I’m here more for you than me.”
Great. A crazy hottie. Weren’t they all? “Excuse me?”
Sighing he leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. “I’m butchering,” he winced at the word, “this. Are you by chance psychic?”
The question wasn’t as strange as it might seem. Most of us in psychiatric care had some ability. It was a necessity when dealing with supernaturals. They couldn’t always communicate on a human level and needed other ways to express themselves. “I can receive but I can’t read. Why?”
“I think it will be easier for me to show you what’s going on, rather than telling. But I’m warning you upfront. What you are about to see is beyond disturbing.”
I quite honestly have seen it all. Lycanthropes were big fans of show don’t tell and I’d witnessed more than one animalistic orgy. Then there were the vampires who accidentally ripped out jugulars and zombies with eyeballs falling into their laps. And that was just what happened today.
“I’m a professional, Mr. Casen. I’m ready when you are.” I gave him a look of encouragement. Strange, but I couldn’t tell what kind of creature he was. Usually I get some sense, but he felt human to me.
He took a deep breath and blew it out. “I have to touch you in order to send the thoughts.”
I moved to the sofa, which was nearer his chair and held out my hand. At first all I saw was darkness and then – me. I wore my favorite sapphire Marc Jacobs swing dress, and the earrings my mom gave me for Christmas last year. I was smiling and looked genuinely happy. The image was as if someone had put a soft focus lens on a camera. It made my skin look dewy and perfect, which I assure you is not the case.
Then the image shifted and I was in my bedroom wearing my lavender La Perla bra and panties. I had an enticing smile on my face and I crooked my finger urging my partner to the bed.
A flash of light and then I saw myself on the bed. My chest and stomach split open leaving a very good view of my heart. The bra and panties were gone, and there was blood everywhere. Then there was darkness again.
I realized I’d closed my eyes and opened them to see a worried Mr. Casen. He pushed the hand I’d been holding through his hair. “I’m sorry. I really am, but I didn’t know what else to do. I’ve never had anything like this happen before. I don’t even know how I knew what number to call but I did.”
I moved back behind my desk and opened the drawer. “No, I’m glad you did. You’re right it is disturbing to see oneself murdered, but perhaps now we can get down to business.”
I sighed. My past had caught up with me. I wasn’t sure how that evil nerd Damian had found me, but he was using poor Mr. Casen as a tool, and I couldn’t have that.
“Mr. Casen,” I reached into the drawer. “I’m truly sorry about this.” Then I shot him. Right through the frontal lobe. “You are pawn in a dangerous man’s game, and this simply could not be helped.” I continued to explain just in case his spirit lingered. “Trust me when I tell you this is the best thing for both of us.”
I set about disposing of the body and even managed to get a restful night’s sleep. I’d long ago decided to stop running. If Damian wanted another fight, I’d give it to him. No matter how many minions he sent to do me in.
The next day everything seemed back to normal until my four o’clock appointment time arrived and Mr. Casen walked through the door with a murderous look on his face.