“Asylum – XIX: “’Who’s Real?’” / A Memorable Fancy #396

[Continuing the journal of Diane McMurphy, a patient in Bad Shepherd mental hospital, “The Asylum”]

     I pride myself on being Doctor’s special project. “A tough case,” I once overheard him saying. On Mondays I have him for individual counseling. Today is Monday.

     “How is Sugar Odette these days?” he asks.

     “Fine, Doctor. She can’t wait to hear what I’ll have to say about today’s session.”

     “And what will you tell her?”

     “I don’t know, Doctor; we haven’t had the session yet.”

     He straightens up in his chair. “Don’t you Realize that what we’re doing now is part of the session? My asking you about Sugar Odette? That wasn’t just a courtesy, you know.”

     I, eye, downcast. He knows how to get to me. Of course anytime he mentions Sugar there is a purpose behind it: He doesn’t like my relationship with her. He wants to take her from me. I think he might be jealous.

     He continues. “Somewhere in your mind you must know that Sugar Odette is just imaginary. Someone you made up.”

     “Oh?”

     “Your imaginary playmate.”

     I, silent.

     He continues. “Imaginary playmates can hold you back from dealing with other persons – and with yourself. Normally they aren’t all that harmful, but in your case, …”

     “Harmful,” I echo.

     “Harmful,” he says. It keeps you from developing mature relationships with real people.”

     “Somebody here is real?” I, looking around incredulously.

[To be continued…]

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See www.terencekuch.net for a profile of the author, publications, reviews, etc.

Terence Kuch’s speculative fiction novels * may be purchased directly from the publishers or via his Amazon author page, www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch

    *The Seventh Effect: a thriller from Melange Publications about a new kind of bioterrorist plot against the USA; praised by Kirkus Reviews.

    *See/Saw: a literary adventure from Ink Smith Publications about implanting memories, and a murder.

00 SeeSaw front cover small image

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