Therapy Sessions

Content note: Please be aware that this story includes violent actions and some gore. 

Lorelei reached across the restaurant’s rubbery tablecloth. Just once she wished they could eat somewhere with real linens. She grasped Jeremy’s hand and smiled. “I love you.”

When he didn’t respond, she squeezed his hand again and blinked back tears. She pictured her balding therapist swishing pompoms and cheering her on for not succumbing to the insecurity clawing its way up her throat.

Jeremy rolled his eyes. “Jeez, not with the crying again.” He signaled the waiter for the check.

“I need to move on.” The words popped out before she realized what she was saying. Her therapist cheered louder

The rah-rah-rah in her mind was interrupted by Jeremy’s derisive snort. “Like you can do better.”

Her anger flared, scorching her thoughts, burning up her balding therapist mid-cheer until the red flames engulfed her, becoming white hot.

Lorelei leveled her gaze at Jeremy. “Watch me.”

***

Jeremy followed her up the walkway to her house. She swung around to face him. “Are you kidding me?”

He held his hands out. “I paid for dinner.” He stepped closer, until his face was inches from hers. “Now it’s your turn to pay.”

Her anger flared up again, burning its way into her brain. Her therapist was back, chanting his support. Lorelei imagined a T-rex snapping him in half.

She flashed a half-smile. “Of course.” She spun around again, not waiting for Jeremy to follow her inside.

***

Lorelei swung the aluminum baseball bat like a golf club, feeling the bone give way with a delicate pop, like the top of a chocolate cordial when her teeth sunk into it. She closed her eyes and envisioned a golf ball sailing past a crowd of stately trees. The imaginary ball landed, bounced a few times, then came to rest at the edge of the putting green. Lorelei smiled.

She knelt down to examine the outcome of her work, resting her knee on Jeremy’s chest. Lightweight. He’d gone down fast. Almost too fast. She wondered if her therapist had upped the dosage on her Lorazepam without telling her.

The skin along Jeremy’s hairline had broken open, and blood was matting his hair. She could already see redness along his right temple where the bat had struck home.

“That’ll be a nasty bruise.” She felt the skin, realizing that she had shattered part of his cheekbone. “Quite the nasty bruise,” she said, not hiding the pride in her voice. She patted his chest. “Not that we’re going to let it develop that far.”

She stood up, positioning herself once again. Jeremy moaned. Lorelei clucked her tongue against the back of her teeth. “Serious lightweight,” she mumbled.

She pulled back her arms and swung once more. This time the shattering bone quickly gave way to oozy resistance. Her therapist wasn’t cheering her on anymore.

Lorelei heaved a contented sigh. She was doing better already.

***

Originally written for Short Story and Flash Fiction Society Flash Fiction Contest #10

Comments

  • What a terrific device, to use the coaching inner voice of the character’s therapist. But then we see all too clearly that she has no problems ‘imagining’. The dark humor has me laughing and shaking my head at once!

    Charli MillsOctober 20, 2015
    • That therapist’s voice was a direct result of responding to your weekly writing challenges — it was not in the first draft at all. But I definitely think it adds a little (much-needed) levity in Lorelei’s life. Thanks for reading 🙂

      cjaiferry@gmail.comOctober 21, 2015
Sorry, the comments on this post are closed.