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Inner Healing



 
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_author

Set on a hill with herb and flower gardens there was a pink building that advertised itself as Inner Healing.  The lobby had a fountain and massage chairs and magazines about Eastern healing arts and psychology.  The establishment was fairly new in the area and got a nice mixture of clientelle from all walks of life who were seeking alternatives to the sterile approach of conventional medicine for their healing.  Now, technically, they had never healed anyone, but some had seen improvement.  Mostly they were filled with wonderful theories about the complexity of their problems and their self-importance.  Treatments were tailored to fit their bank account and souls were collected by contracts hiddnen in the mass of paperwork that was filled out.  Still, the place had a fairly good word of mouth reputation and they advertised on television and through the internet.  They were not entirely demonic, the acupuncturist was a regular human from Changsha in the Hunan Province.  All the rest were demons though, including the receptionist.  Accounting and janitorial were done by outside services.

Dr. LaVey was 6'2" and 205 pounds. He had a beard that came to a point and his hair was salt and pepper.  He wore a pink button down shirt and khaki trousers. He stood next to the receptionist and chatted, occasionally consulting his pocket watch. He was expecting a new client 

September 30, 2019 04:55 pm

Averly Amoret


Migraines were what she had self diagnosed herself with. 

What had started out as dull pains in her temples had quickly escalated into sharp twinges of pain that snaked their way down her neck. Before long, Averly had developed severe migraines that often left her incapacitated for the majority of the day. She had given up smoking and drinking completely in hopes to cure herself. 

Then, the dreams had started. Strange flapping of wings, and staring into eternal flames that sometimes spoke of cruel things. These had scared her the most. 

A week ago, during a pleasant fall afternoon, she had been laying down on her sofa listening to a local radio station prattle on softly about some small town nonsense she didn’t care about. As the prattling turned into a chorus of prerecorded commercials, the words hypnotherapy caught her attention. Through what little knowledge she possessed on the topic, Averly knew at the very least it could be used to help treat anxiety, restlessness, and bad habits. All of which she could mark check boxes on in permanent ink. 

The number to the office had been an easy one to remember, and she had quickly punched in the numbers to schedule an appointment. Dr. LaVey was who she would be seeing seven days after making that phone call. 

Today was the big day. Had she any other choice, Averly would soon rather throw herself off a cliff than step foot into another doctor’s office. After her last encounter with a rogue therapist, she was rather weary of doing so again. However, the agony she experienced nearly every day was enough to make her desperate. 

The pink building sitting atop a hill, encircled by flower and herb gardens was pleasantly disarming. She felt herself loosen a breath she hadn’t known she’d been holding as she rolled up and parked her car just outside the office. Pleasant aromas greeted her the moment she opened her door, bringing a smile to her wane features. Eating, and keeping anything down during her migraines had become increasingly difficult. Hopefully, Dr. LaVey would be able to assist. 

Upon entering Inner Healing, Averly quickly scanned the office and appreciated the thought the office had taken into to build such a comfortable environment for its clients. It would have been most charming, had she had the capacity to feel such a thing. 

“I’m here to see Dr. LaVey.” 
October 04, 2019 10:35 pm

_author

The receptionist glanced up sharply.  "For your first appointment you were supposed to arrive fifteen minutes ahead of time to fill out the paperwork."  A glance of the clock would have told Averly that she was five minutes early. The receptionist did not intend to cancel her appointment, she just liked making herself feel important and to make those who depended on her doing her job feel uncomfortable.  When Averly seemed sufficiently penitent she set a clipboard on the counter with a clatter.  There were seven sheets of paper requesting the usual information. The good doctor was particularly interested in how she would fill out 'medical history' 'medications' and 'complaint'

He stood impassively with his arms folded, not seeming to notice the new client.  In fact he was quite interested.  Using a different body and different name he had involved her in an interrogation and murder that had brought her skills to the attention of his demonic superiors.  Since then he'd been trying to lure her into demonic service but her fundamental mistrust of everyone had so far made this difficult.  He retired to his office so that she would be led there by an attendant after she had submitted to the paperwork and paid up front.  These were all important power dynamics, having her work and then pay would make her want to see her investment through, and her having to enter his office put him at a natural advantage. 

October 05, 2019 08:42 am

Averly Amoret


Averly forced a smile on her lips as to placate the bitter receptionist. Thanking the woman as she handed over the medical history sheets, Averly turned to take a seat in one of the chairs occupying the office space. Her eye caught a figure standing close by, watching, waiting. She could safely assume that this was most likely Dr. LaVey, but would wait for introductions until she was seated in his office. 

The sheets of paper were standard, asking her for medical history, any medications she was taking, and why she was visiting the office. Nothing out of the ordinary, so she filled it out to the best of her ability. Upon getting to the ‘complaint’ section of the stack of papers, Averly shot a razor sharp look to the receptionist. If she filled this out honestly would the bitter woman behind the desk take jabs at her? 

Probably. Professionalism is dead. She thought to herself. 

So, in a natural response, Averly listed her complaints as vaguely as she could. Using terms like ‘general sadness’ and ‘lethargic.’ Simple enough answers to where the woman couldn’t take a bite out of her for that too. 

Once completing the sections, Averly rose from her seat and handed over the clipboard and pen with a saccharine grin. 
October 06, 2019 09:08 am

_author

Averly was made to wait ten minutes past the appointment time, as the receptionist's enforced penalty for not coming 15 minutes early. Author had reviewed all the paperwork and waited for her to be brought in.  He rose when she did extending his hand, "Welcome to Inner Healing, I'm Dr. LaVey, I'll be facilitating your journey towards peace. Please have a seat... Averly"  He pretended to take a sidelong look at the file as if he'd forgotten the name, but he certainly had not.  They both sat and the good doctor again read the complaint, "general sadness, lethargy, hm, well one's first thought would be depression." He flipped pages, "By this list of past medications I'd say you've been treated for that before.  Depression is resistant to medication, and it will never heal you. Modern medicine never heals these sorts of ailments, never.  At best it can mask the symptoms for a time, though often that comes at a cost in side effects.  My specialty is hypnosis, we would be seeking to find the cause or causes of your troubles and then bring inner peace." He steepled his fingers and waited for Averly to respond.

October 06, 2019 04:50 pm

Averly Amoret


Ever the obedient patient, Averly took a seat in a cushioned arm chair inside the small office. Looking around, she spotted his qualifications and other whimsical items he had decorated the space with. She only half listened as he prattled on about what he saw in her paperwork. Yes, she had a history of depression. Most recently she had been diagnosed with panic disorder. Her history he would find inside her file. 

Picking lint off of her maroon colored sweater, Averly raised her thunder blue eyes to meet the eyes of the doctor. “Truthfully, I’m here about my migraines...and the nightmares that I believe cause them.” 

Swallowing hard, she lifted her chin to turn her full attention to the doctor to elaborate further. “It started with mild discomfort in my temples,” she brought a hand up to rub the spots for emphasis. “Not long after the dreams started. Flapping wings and endless infernos. Some nights I lost myself staring into those flames.” A shudder racked through her spine, causing her to close her eyes so that she wouldn’t envision the bright hearth. “The migraines followed. Some nights I would lay awake for hours in the dark. Exhausted, but too tired to sleep.” 

Returning her gaze to him, she shook her head. “I don’t know why these came on so suddenly. In my...faith, these symbolize a deep rooted fear or issue that I have not come to face yet. I would like your help in drawing them out of my mind, so that I am no longer suffering.” 

Wetting her dry lips with a sweep of her tongue, Averly felt the need to add things she had done to try and fix her issue herself. “I stopped smoking. I stopped drinking too. I started exercising, and I’m still taking xanax for my panic disorder. But these memories pop up in my head, and with the nightmares I feel like I’ve taken a step backward.” Her eyes darting between Dr. LaVey and the window, she pleaded. “Help me.” 
October 07, 2019 09:58 am

_author

Dr. LaVey listened and did not speak for a few moments.  "Its interesting that your written complaint differs from the one you present in the office." He slapped the folder closed as he didn't feel there was much in it that would be helpful.  What she was saying was the helpful part.  He stroked his beard as the thought.  "I believe what we're going to find here is at least two events, one which is comparatively recent, soon before the onset of the troubling symptoms.  And then the second event will be buried deeply, something traumatic that probably you can't call to mind immediately.  Getting at the more recent event is probably easier and it would give me some clues as to what I'm looking for in the older one.  So let's see if you can call to mind something that i'm describing just before the recent symptoms. After that perhaps we could explore some areas of your memory where there seem to be patches missing or whenever you try to think of it you shudder, does anything readily come to mind for that?"  There's no use struggling for the identity of the deeper event, I'll use the hypnosis to bring that out, but I need as many clues as you can give me to find it."

  

October 07, 2019 03:02 pm

Averly Amoret


A soft smile tugging at her lips, Averly responded to Dr. LaVey’s scrutiny over how she filled out the paperwork with a shrug of her shoulders. “Can never be too careful these days. The breaks in my psyche aren’t really something I want on paper.” 

Her steely eyes watched as he closed the folder, eyes snapping between the hands stroking his beard and his dark eyes. Something in them was all too familiar, a familiarity she couldn’t quite place. But, the doctor was too right describing the events leading to her nightmares. There indeed was an event that was recent. 

She had handled herself well taking over the case Author had hired her for. Too well for her liking. In fact, she handled her assignment with an expert grace. Her winnings from the demon were more than fair, and she had burned through her suddenly full coffers before she had time to build any real savings off of it. The blood money had been spent on booze in hopes she might be able to forget the carnage she had cleaned up inside that abandoned home. The blood of Feyre had taken multiple scalding hot showers to scrub away. 

As for past events however, there were too many that had developed her mind to count. 

“My field of work is...unconventional to say the least.” Averly swallowed hard, an attempt to force the words out before she could think better of it. “My last assignment was brutal. It took me weeks to look at myself in the mirror after what I had witnessed.” 

Her thunder blue hues started off in the distance as she recalled the mangled corpse left on the dining table, “My client, though he was generous in my payment, was what some would call a monster in disguise.” Not that she was any better. Keeping broken fingernails she had ripped from victims was hardly a sane thing for anyone to do. But somehow, there was a mile wide rift separating her from Author. 

Returning her eyes to meet those of Dr. LaVey’s, she offered up, “I think that’s where this started.” 
October 08, 2019 03:19 pm

_author

"When I hear you say 'unconventional' what I'm hearing is 'criminal.'  I have no interest in what that is specifically.  It would be best if you didn't confess to anything involving human trafficking, abuse of minors, murder, or something that endangers another's life, those things I am required by law to report.  Other than that, I absolutely assure you that everything said in this office is entirely confidential."  He sat back sizing her up

"Without going into any more detail than necessary, let's try to match up what about this recent event has disturbed something in your past that you, for reasons of self-preservation, were trying to keep buried. You weren't ready then, and you haven't been since, to handle whatever it is, but I assure you that with the help of an experienced professional like myself, we'll get you through it... together. So I'm hearing 'brutal' and I'm hearing 'shame' when you mention the not being able to look in a mirror.  Without thinking at all, I want you to just throw out the name of someone who comes to mind from your distant past when I say 'brutal' and 'shame.'  Then tell me approximately what age you'd like to take you back to in hypnosis. Again, don't think on it, just first thing that comes to mind.  

October 08, 2019 08:45 pm

Averly Amoret


The shadow of a smirk contorted Averly’s features as she said, “You think I would incriminate myself so easily, doctor?” She snorted. 

Despite this reaction to his comment, Averly listened intently. She could agree with the fact she felt shame, and she could think of times in the past she had felt that way. Despite his absurd notion that she might say something that would have her leaving the office in handcuffs, she had to admit he was well suited for his line of work. 

“When I hear ‘brutal’ and ‘shame,’ I automatically think of my grandmother Esmerelda.” 

Averly’s mouth had gone dry. She swallowed, forcing down the feelings that fought to break the surface. A cruel, twisted woman she had been. Before Averly killed her of course. “Twenty. That would be the age to take me back to.” 
October 09, 2019 08:42 pm

_author

"My point in telling you what I am obligated to report is so you know that everything else you might say no matter how dangerous it might feel to you, is completely protected by doctor/patient privilege.  I am duty bound never to reveal it. I sense a good deal of resistance on your part towards honesty here," he gestured towards the paper with the complaint she had filled out that was, though not inaccurate, not a forthright description of the problem she wanted to tackle.  He got up now and stood in front of her. "The kind of hypnosis I do will leave you in complete control at all times.  You just need will yourself to wake up and it will be so. Don't be afraid to do that as sometimes these memories still have quite a lot of power and you are the best judge of how much you can handle at one time. We'll process whatever we get."  He removed his pocket watch and showed it to her.  "Now put your feet flat on the floor, put your hands someplace comfortable and relaxed, and start taking a few deep breaths.  Do you have any questions?  Its ok to be a little apprehensive, but I want you to feel as secure as possible, its the way for us to make the most progress."  He smiled warmly, careful not to reveal his fangs.

October 10, 2019 05:02 am

Averly Amoret


Nodding, Averly did as she was instructed. Sinking back into the chair, she uncrossed her legs to place her feet flat on the floor. Palms flat on her legs, she tilted her head back and began her calm steady breathing techniques. 

“No questions, just do what you have to.” Biting the inside of her lip, she let it go and tried to relax into the armchair. Hopefully, slipping into hypnosis would be just as easy as falling asleep used to be. Otherwise, they might be here for a while. 
October 16, 2019 01:48 pm

_author

Dr. LaVey remained patient, he continued to cycle through the breathing techniques because Averly was not relaxing sufficiently.  To be fair though, had she realized that he was the psychopathic murderer that had triggered these recent difficulties for her she would have been even more nervous.  So things were all relative.  At last he felt she was ready and the watch began to move in its pendulem fashion and he gave her the instructions in the droning voice.  "Keep your eye on the watch... you are getting sleepy... sleepy ... sleepy..."  He went through this a few times as there was something making her hold back, but finally her eyes closed and her breathing pattern was correct. She was under.

"We are going back, back, back to your twentieth year.  We are looking for Esmerelda.  Nothing can harm you here, you are a fly on the wall, a ghost.  Tell me what you see."

October 16, 2019 03:56 pm

Averly Amoret


Thunderous hues fixated on the watch the doctor gently swing between his fingertips, she could feel her eyes drooping as his voice droned on. It wasn’t long before they closed completely and she could feel herself slipping into unconsciousness. Truth be told, she had half a mind to fight it. Sudden fear and regret turning her stomach. But, his soothing voice wrapped her mind in a warm hug and pulled her deep under. 

Her body went limp, but her mind still raced. Somewhere between being fully asleep, and being awake. She envisioned herself in an empty space, the only light directly above her. Warming her skin and allowing her the ability to see nothing else occupied the emptiness of her subconscious. Until the doctor muttered that they were going back. Back to a time where Esmerelda occupied space in a rift between worlds. 

 Doing as she was told, Averly folded herself into the walls, only an observer to the memory laid out before her. “I see myself in an armchair, Esmerelda standing over me.” 
November 03, 2019 09:19 am

_author

"Good," Author said, careful to keep his voice at an even, comforting tone, "Describe her.  What is she thinking? What is she trying to do?  Looking at yourself, are you in danger? Are you feeling ashamed?

The doctor was actually surprised that she had gone under as easily as she did.  He knew she had gigantic trust issues.  He also hoped to stay ahead of her in terms of insight.  He certainly wasn't there to help, at least not in the way that a doctor ought to be. He was there to find a way to suck her deeper into the clutches of Satan.  He wanted to quiet her shame but unleash her rage.

November 03, 2019 01:57 pm
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