Karen (August 2018)

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Karen (August 2018)

Post by SSmith on Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:20 pm

"Can I have a cigarette? They won't let me smoke anywhere..."

Karen's eyes darted around the room. She looked nervous, fidgety. It was a little late for this sort of appointment, but these days she had nothing but time.

"I'm afraid not, but this shouldn't take long. You can take a break whenever you want, but remember, we only have an hour."

Lisa Hannity was, supposedly, the best professional therapist in the area. Her demeanor was cool, her dress sharp and businesslike, her glasses crooked, the only imperfection in the image she had created. She sat empty-handed, cross-legged, hands folded in her lap, her undivided attention focused on Karen. Karen had expected her to be holding a clipboard or something. Therapists on television always have clipboards.

"Shit... Okay, so what are we supposed to talk about?"

"Anything you want. Start wherever you feel comfortable."

"I'm here because they all think I'm crazy - but I'm not crazy! He really is alive again! He's visited me at home..."

"This being your son, Grant, who passed away?"

"Yes! I know how it sounds... I saw him die... but he came back! It's not a ghost, and I'm not imagining it! He's solid! He's real!"

"Relax, Miss Geary, I didn't say I don't believe you. Why do you place so much importance on being believed?"

"Because... because he told me not to tell anyone, and I couldn't help it, and now he's gone again..."

Karen's voice cracked, and she looked down at her lap, where her hands were clutching the hem of her white gown, knuckles going white. Lisa sighed softly, but spoke patiently.

"Miss Geary, I do believe you saw something. I believe it was real to you. However, if your son had really returned to life, why would that be dependent on you keeping it a secret?"

"He didn't explain... he came to me a few times late at night, and he just kept making me promise not to tell anyone... but I couldn't... I couldn't keep it to myself... my boy was back..."

"When you saw your son, did he tell you to hurt his father?"

The blood drained out of Karen's face. Her breath caught in her throat. She shook her head, fidgeting more energetically with her gown, growing increasingly agitated.

"No... No, he was a good boy, he wouldn't ask me to hurt anyone... but my ex-husband, that son of a bitch... He said he'd seen him too, and he said... he said he told him not to trust me, that I'd say I'd seen him, but that it wasn't him... and I... I couldn't..."

"Take your time, Miss Geary. We have to get through it, but you don't have to rush if it's causing you stress."

"He was a liar! He was a goddamn lying son of a bitch, and he made it all up, said he'd seen our son too, just to hurt me... and when I saw Grant, our little boy, standing behind him, looking so hurt, I just... I knew what I had to do, to protect him, now that he's back... Did... did he die? Did Dallas die?"

"Your ex-husband will likely be in physical therapy for a while, but you didn't kill him, no. How much of the trial do you even remember?"

"Not much... not very much at all... but my son... I haven't seen him since. Do you know where he is? Have you heard anything about my son?"

"Miss Geary, please try to understand. Whatever you think you saw, your son has been dead for over a year."

The monster briefly changed its appearance from that of the therapist, whose body was actually rotting in the trunk of its mortal servant's car, to that of Karen Geary's son, whose appearance it had used extensively over the past month to gaslight Karen into savagely beating her ex-husband. Karen's eyes widened, her expression became one of confusion and terror, and as the monster returned to the visage of Lisa Hannity and calmly called for the orderlies to return Miss Geary to her room, it saw with some satisfaction that very little of Karen's sanity remained.
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SSmith

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