Finish #18 – Reliving the Past

Part of a challenge of finishing a line, couple sentences or paragraph from

His heart was heavy. He had to find the right words to let her know. It would be a shock for her and he wasn’t sure how she would handle the news. Why? He had asked himself that question thousands of times over the last thirty minutes. Why? Somehow there had to be an answer for it. If only he could come up with one before he had to tell her… After the doctor visit he will.

The beginning.   The panic attacks.   His stomach twisted into knots.   The pain would get worse as he struggled to convince himself “panic doesn’t attack… slow breath, slow breath”.. coughing.   The knot confines his lungs.   Intestines creaking up into knot.  Breath is gone.   Breath is beating as fast as it can not to be caught up too.

Dr Frankel, physical psychologist, 204B.  The door has confronted him for three minutes.   “My appointment is at 2.  They take lunch at 1.  So I bet it’s locked.  I’m early.   This was a mistake.   Yes, I’ll just turn and go..” The door opens magically before him.

“At four minutes, I’m supposed to open the door.  Because in five minutes, you’ll be in your car on way home.  Mr Rose?  Please come in.  Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Please fill out top three and medical release on page 4.  Any questions, I’m right over there behind the window.” Evette the whirlwind has him seated and is on to next task at hand.

“Oh Libby won’t like this.  I’m going to get better. Doc advertises remove what blocks you from living a normal life.  Today, Sheila can’t touch me anymore.   Bad memories, gone.   Normal life. I don’t think it’ll work.   Pills, more pills. He gives me pills… I’ll leave.   I’ll get up and leave. … panic does attack.  Oh God. . Name. .I hate forms.”

Ten minutes later.   Evette retrieves Michael and his forms.   The office in back is wide open.   Small glass rooms.  Glass block dividers with fronts of glass colored pale blue, green, yellow and orange.  “Now, pick your room. Color helps relax you.   Music will come on after you sit down.  Doctor will be right there.” The voice almost sings.

Yellow.   Bright happy yellow room.   The music is really upbeat.  Almost too perky. The room is bare but a couple Lucite chairs.  A small device with device with some wires sits next to him.  On opposite glass block hangs a sunset.   Two shadows break up the scene as if they are looking at it.

“Michael Rose, yes?” The tall thin, way too thin man looks at him.   Behind wire rim glasses, a studious man gazes at Michael.   Time stands still.

After an uncomfortable pause, Michael starts “I’m here to get rid of bad memories.   Like it never happened.   You says you can do that, please.  Is that right doc?”

“We have a great rate of reducing these memories.   The anxiety is what we try to eliminate.   You can think your way past obstacles, when anxiety is gone.   No pills.   We scan your brain.   Trigger you thoughts that cause the biggest problem.   And stimulate the areas of your brain correcting them.  Simple, not much pain.  Maybe a headache.   A couple times maybe, you’ll be a new man.   Michael, life well be good again. Promise.”

The doctor lifts a mesh copper helmet.  Placing his hand inside, you can see the lovely detail.  A web that shimmers and sparkles in the light.  “I’m going to place this over your head.  If your comfortable, we ask questions. Discuss the first event that caused your condition.   When your think about it being up every emotion associated with it.   That’s what we focus on.   You give me lost car keys and your trigger is traffic. . It doesn’t work.  Are we ok with this? ”

His mind jumps. Are we ok?  Are we really fucking clear about I’m nuts? I’m never ok. .. oh god. . Here it comes.   “Doc.. just. … get it started please. … I’m getting breathing. .. You know. ”

The helmet is slipped over his head.  The blood vessels appear around his temples, hands, and arms.   Sweat is everywhere.   The labored shallow breathing kicks in.

“Michael tell me.   What happened?”

“It’s Libby.   She has ruined my life.  She hit into my past. All of it. Every women, is she better than me, prettier than me, more fun then me.  Every friend, are they who you tell things to,  why not me instead.   Do you love me? Did you every love me?”

“You’re doing fine.   I’ll have this taken care of rather quickly.  You can relax or if you want to continue please do.   I’m here to listen to everything.   Total cure, Michael.  That’s what I do.”

“No doc.  Just fix me.”

The doctor pulls out a pen with two wires.  He hands Michael a copper disc. “Now,  You hold that on the side of your head here.   I’m going to touch your head over here.   The path of electricity will stimulate the cerebellum.   Taking with it part of the memories and most of the triggers.   In a few short minutes, you’ll be on your way. ”

Michael sinks into the chair. Colors in his mind flash.  Warm feelings come and go.

“Now tell me about Libby.” Dr Frankel asks.

“Who?  I’m not sure I know a .. Libby?”

She’s going to be so mad at him.

Finish it #17 – Strange but not a Stranger

Three people walked into a bar. They used to be friends. What happened next nobody will ever understand. Let’s just say that a fourth person was involved. Fact is that nothing will ever be the same again.

Thomas, Rose, and Carol show up at the Tidal Pool, theme bar where everything tropical decorates the bar down to rattan bar stools.  At the far end sits a man known only to Thomas. The women have no reason to recognize him. 

Carol suggested this place. “To die for Mai tai’s and teriyaki chicken skewers. It’s like Hawaii down the street! ”

Rose didn’t care. She wanted to drink.  She always wants to drink.  Thomas is the main reason for that.  She used to care.  But the fires have cooled, more ash then embers.  She always looks for a spark.

Thomas is confused.   Larry shouldn’t be here.  Bad things happen to Thomas when things are out of place.  It’s not a sickness, it really causes problems.

The order goes in and drinks start to flow.   Thomas can’t help watching Larry.   Larry is only there to eat.  He had no idea what shit Thomas is trying to pull.  They trade info about the others companies.  No-one sees them together. Larry is steaming. 

Rose sees Larry.   The dark stranger across the bar.  In hear mind comes the thoughts “He’s dressed so well, the beard.  He has hair, unlike the cure ball to her left.  Damn, years ago she would have his attention. He does keep looking over every so often.”

Carol and Thomas start talking work stuff.  Big project roll out next week.  Larry is furious, he’s being played.   Larry gets up, finds the quickest way out. Stopping to look at his accomplice.

Rose sees her chance.   “This is so stupid.  I got to try it. Maybe I’ll get in trouble.” Her thoughts wonder.  “Thomas, I’ll be back. I left something in car.  Give me the keys.   You can keep discussing that roll out but I need another drink.”

She runs to the door.  Her heart jumps. He’s looking right at her.

“You looking for someone, hon.   Careful, lots of people chase things.   You tell me what you want.” Larry is toying with her. His mind is clear, Thomas is sleeping and selling to the other woman.  Maybe he can work with this one.

“I came out to see who would stare at me.   My husband wouldn’t be happy. Donwt need a big scene, do we?” Rose is losing direction fast.

“Honey, Thomas is screwing us both with the same person.   You go have a couple more.  I’m thru with him.”  Larry walks away.

Finish It #16 Things That Get Bumped in the Night


She knew she’d hit something. But what? She saw the shade suddenly jumping or running right in front of her car. Oh no! Her heart was racing while she got out of the car. Maybe it was just her imagination. Maybe it was the fog and the darkness setting in. Maybe she did not hit anything. Maybe it was just the fog. But she felt it too. She slowly made her way to the front of the car. And then her heart froze. There it was.

It’s her first new car. The damage is just awful. Her silver arrow more had a broken noise! Julia must figure out how to explain this. Her new baby crushed.

She screamed once, then twice. Stomped her three inch heels, snapping one in the process.

“Oh Julia. We talked about you getting that car. I thought it was too much power for you. I’m so glad you didn’t kill yourself. ..” She mocked the voice that would tell her how bad it was. She cried a little. Uttered some more semi coherent phases. She once more limped around here vehicle on one broken heel
She kicked the object responsible. Then again. Then again.

“Aaaahhhhh, my shoes are ruined. My car is ruined. What is wrong with you?!” She terse voice looks for something to blame here.

“Ok calm down Julia. You got to call. Get it over with. He’ll come get you. Make you feel loosy about it. Then he’ll fix the GOD DAMN PIECE OF SHIT CAR!” Talking to herself on isn’t working. But the echo from the other side of fog is. The echo chides her as well.

The Baxter freeway. Road to nowhere. Expressway to avoid everyone. Here she sits. Staring at broken car. One person there. It’s really quiet. Because there’s no cell phone service.

Gulp. The body in front of the car is no longer in front of the car. Julia thinks to herself. Maybe it wasn’t an animal at all. That’s right it’s a shadow. Could of been a deer. … bounced off to the side. It happen fast. Surely nothing could have walked off with the damage to the car.

The fog that was thick parts showing the rock wall keeping cars from falling down forty foot drop. Tree tops stand very dirty on front of her. The full moon casts their shadow at her. The birds of fog dance in the moon’s glow.

“It would be so beautiful. ….”

Her thoughts and voice cut short. There’s a figure kind of sitting on the rocks. Engulfed by shadow but it’s there. She can feel it. It can feel her too.

“Oh god, it’s not dead. I need to know what it is. Why is it just sitting there?” She whispers. She half crouches and leans toward her companion still thirty plus feet away. Her heart beating like bingo drums in her ears. She stands frozen for a minute or half hour. Time has all about stopped.

She checks her phone. No signal! She walks backwards to car. Her eyes on that dark shape. Her mind finds what looks like legs but not quite right. Are they human? Not quite right. Are they animal? Just a little too thick. She looking for movement. Hoping for no movement. Her hand feels the car behind her. The sharp edge of bent nose pricks her finger. Slow warm blood drops from those manicured nails.

Then it happens. The thing in shadow moves. It’s stretching to upright itself. The fog rolls up from the side of road. In a flash she thinks it stands on two legs but didn’t seem like a person. The moon light fades beneath the fog. Darkness and headlights. No creature. Julia is now in the car with a very loud door slam.

“Calm down girl. It’s alive. See you didn’t kill anything. .. But the car. .. I wish I could see it. That fog covered everything. Oh no what’s that sound?”

There is a single sound piercing the fog. It could be a howl. It could have been a scream. It didn’t sound hurt.

From the corner of her eye, comes movement. A flash of brown. Then the window shatters. A clawed hand grabs her by the hair. Screaming replaces breathing. She fights off the first wave. Then a second. It leaves her sitting. Alone. Sitting. Dark road. It’s going to be a long night.