She fidgeted with her purse, running her hands through layers of loose tissues, a cell phone, her keys, change, and over again. With her left hand she

fidgeted with her hair, twirling it around her index finger one way, and then the opposite way. She didn't lift her eyes from the floor before her, not wishing to take in the stark white walls around her, the green border that so reminded her of asylums in movies. Too bad the woman she was seeing was a hypnotherapist, rather than a man with a large needle and a spare straitjacket.

"Miss Marks?" a young voice called, seeping through the fog of her thought. Danielle looked up to see the concerned, slightly amused face of the office's receptionist. The girl looked as though she'd been calling for a while. She smiled when Danielle met her gaze, "Dr. Myers will see you now."

Danielle nodded and stood. She began walking toward the door next to the receptionist's desk, but the girl put a hand on her arm to stop her. Danielle looked down to meet her eyes again. "No need to be afraid." the girl told her, voice and face kind and sympathetic. "Dr. Myers is the best hypnotherapist in the country. You're in good hands."

Danielle gave an extremely strained smile. "Thank you." She said, and walked through the open doorway of the office.

Upon entering, Danielle was greeted with the doctor's warmest smile and kindest glance. The woman stood and moved around her polished mahogany desk, never dropping the stapled-on happy-face. "Hello. My name is Dr. Anna Myers." she said as she approached her new patient, extending a well-manicured hand.

"Pleasure to meet you." Danielle let the words leave her in a small sigh, her tone dim and rightfully disappointed. If the doctor noticed, it didn't register in her wide, clear eyes. Danielle shook her new doctor's hand lightly.

"Please, sit." The doctor gestured toward the west side of the room. There two chairs sat across from each other in front of a tall bookshelf filled with large novels. The scene was surreal in its cliché presentation; a classic mistake of familiarity. In normal rooms, the chairs didn't face each other, and the books weren't all encyclopedias and text books. Silly doctor. Anna walked across the room to the chairs, and Danielle followed.

While Danielle was still taking her seat, the doctor leaned forward on her elbows. She steepled her fingers below her chin. This was the "interested pose". Soon now the pre-session small-talk would begin.

And so it did. "So," the doctor began, "What is your occupation?"

Danielle shifted her gaze from the doctor's eyes to the floor. The rug was extremely detailed. At least this was different. "I'm a substitute teacher. Generally, I work in Middle Schools in my area." Her answer was pre-recorded in her mind and so played the exact same way for each time the subject was inquired on.

"Good for you. How is your relationship with your boyfriend, other than the problems you alluded to over the phone?" From the edges of her vision Danielle saw the doctor tilt her head with what the doctor probably wanted to convey as keen interest. It came across as slightly airy, and of course overused. It was odd, though, how she had moved so quickly from the job subject. There was always "Do you like your job?" or "How do the children treat you?" before the next subject. Perhaps the good doctor was in a hurry.

"We're doing rather well. In love, even through all of this." Danielle gestured loosely at the office, as though its shiny wood, pictures and the giant desk within it were the equivalent of with every other office she had been to in the last few years.

"How many psychologists have you been to?" The steeple fell and the doctor rested her hands on her knees. Her tone was, for once, truly interested. Danielle looked up once more.

"I've been to about ten, give or take, in the last three years. I started with one, who gave me the name of another, and that one another, and so on. Waiting lists are nearly endless for most of them. The latest one I saw gave me your name, so," she paused, and glanced around, "here I am. He seemed confident that you'd be able to help me." The last took on a tone involuntarily; it pleaded.

The doctor nodded. "I will definitely try. Now, let us begin. If you could just tell me exactly what the problem is, it would of course be extremely helpful."

Now was the moment of truth. She tried to gather herself, but the deep red in her cheeks appeared as every time she spoke of it with shame in her voice and hurt in her eyes. She knew she looked like a sad puppy. "I was. . . abused. . . as a child. By my father." She searched Anna for understanding of her meaning.

The doctor nodded sympathetically and gestured for her to continue.

Danielle took a deep breath. "Now whenever Daniel and I have a mind to. . . try. . . I just can't go through with it. I try to hard to forget it, but it won't go away. I cannot forgive. I need it to be something gone, in the past. Something my mind can get over so my body can, too."

The doctor took her hand gently. "I know that every doctor you've gone to has tried to convince you of the fact that it isn't your fault. Somewhere you know it isn't, and yet you still can't move forward?"

Danielle nodded.

"I believe that you have come to the right place. What I can do for you is convince your lower consciousness to accept it and allow it to leave you alone, as your higher consciousness is trying to do. It will take time, but eventually you'll be able to move on and function properly."

"You can do that in one session?" Danielle asked. To her it sounded like a load of crap, but whatever might work, she'd try.

"Yes, I can." The doctor once more smiled. "After that it just takes time to heal. Do you want to start now?"

Sighing, Danielle nodded. "All right."

"Don't worry. You're in good hands." The doctor reached into her pocket and brought out a ring on a chain. "Now look directly at the ring, and allow your eyes to follow it as it moves." She said softly, and let it swing.

David heard her car pull up in the driveway and lay his book down on the arm of his chair. Through the living room window he saw the headlights die, and he heard the engine quit. He stood, stretching lightly and listening for the driverside door to slam. It did, and he smiled. Her signature entrance was executed every night, but usually it was work or school from which she was coming home. He walked to the door and opened it, greeted with the sight of Danielle, her hand just reaching for the knob. She looked up and smiled, and he did the same, hugging her in the doorway.

"How was it?" he asked, releasing her and leading her inside, closing the door behind them. "Did she help you?" He turned back around to look at her, her hand still in his.

"She said the effect would take a while. It needs to sink in or something." She smiled again. "But I feel a lot better."

"Good." He said, and released her hand, turning back toward the living room. She spoke first though.

"Wait. . .Dave." She said it softly, and he turned again, his face concerned. He raised a brow in question. Instead of speaking, she walked up to him and put her arms around his neck, lifting her head to brush his lips with her own. When she pulled away, he was smiling in that kind way he always did. He lowered his head and kissed her –longer- putting his hands on her hips.

She moved her lips off of his, kissing his cheek, then his jaw line, then his neck, and lower on his neck.

Then she bit him. Hard. As she did so, a contented sound escaped her clamped mouth.

He gasped sharply at the pain and tried to pull away. "Danny. . . stop, hun."

She bit harder. There was blood then. It flowed into her mouth from the ragged tear in his neck. She pulled his neck more firmly against her lips, swallowing the slow but steady trickling and pulling for more, sucking in more blood.

He screamed in pain. . . but it was quiet. He was going to faint from the shock rather than the blood loss, which was still minimal. She hadn't pierced the carotid artery, which would have been ideal; for him as well as her. The jugular vein, which somehow she had ripped into, supplied a minimal amount of blood at a time, and therefore would take longer to drain him. He knew this as his knees began to weaken and bend.

As he fell she kneeled to follow, not strong enough to hold him up without his help. She didn't let go of his neck with her teeth. As he passed out, she found it all the more easy. He hadn't fought at all.

Dr. Myers watched the Newton's Cradle rock continuously, one ball striking the other with a loud clack, the ball on the end flying up, the process repeating. The thoughts which ran about her head were fueled by the constant, unchanging action. Danielle was the third patient in three months to undergo her experimental procedure.

The trick was to be good at what you advertise. Build a solid practice, and a wide reputation for succeeding where others failed in hypnotherapy (she referred to this as her "gift"). Let the needy flock to you, and then, years into your career, you can begin doing what you want to do with the sheep.

Two months ago she'd turned a man into a zombie. She'd designed it so that whenever someone would say the word "time", the man would lose all ability to think and feel as a human, and have only the intense need for human flesh. The man left her office happily that day, finding himself free of his former trouble. A week later, the story of his death appeared in the paper. His trigger-happy wife had shot him twice in the forehead. No one had believed her story, and she was now in court, trying to defend herself against a life sentence.

Myers was pleased with the results.

Some part of her knew that using this power she had over others was wrong. The other parts didn't care; they craved the control.

Last month a patient had come who she had made a werewolf, to follow the theme she'd found herself enjoying. She didn't have any news on that yet; but then, it had only been a month, and the full moon hadn't been until last night. A dim red flashing caught her eye and she looked over to her phone. She had one new message on the answering machine.

She pressed "Play" and sat back, closing her eyes and grinning widely.

There was a yell on the other side as well as a door-slam, and a voice all in quick succession. "This is Frank Barnes, you had my wife in last month. Listen, lady, I don't know what you're pulling here, but my wife has gone fuckin' crazy. . . She's howling like a fuckin' dog. . . Ah Christ. . ." There was a long howl very close by, feminine, and a vicious snarling, then a loud and continuous pounding noise. "She'd trying to break down the goddamn door. . ." a splintering crack, "Oh shit! Shit! Barbara, no!"

There was a long scream, filled with pain and shock. Then there was silence, but for the hurried and wet sound of feasting.


Myers smiled. She was pleased with the results.

The cradle clacked away.