Surviving a fatal car crash five years ago, Caitlin has been seeing monsters ever since. They watch her from the shadows, their fluid bodies rippling with movement, but they’re kept at bay with little round pills and a constant stream of therapy sessions. When Caitlin’s home life begins to fall apart, and the future fills her with dread, she begins to talk to the monsters, the familiarly a comfort in the chaos that is left of her family. But when the monsters begin to talk back, Caitlin finds herself invited into the dark underbelly of society, a place where the vulnerable are given a chance to thrive, and where souls are the new currency…
20th December 2018, Session 1, 15.00
“It’s nice to see you again, Caitlin.”
Dr Allen crossed his legs and leaned back comfortably into his armchair. I was hit with an alarming sense of deja vu, not just with this room, but with the doctor himself, whose attire had seemingly remained unchanged in the five years since I had last seen him. Face thinner, wrinkles now clung to the corners of his eyes, but to me he still seemed like the same man from my childhood, his ironed blue tie swaying like a pendulum as he gestured to the seat opposite.
He continued. “I know everyone wants to talk to you about what happened. I can’t imagine how hard that is for you.”
I nodded, fighting the rising sense of panic in my body; it seemed to rise up and lodge itself in my throat, stealing my words. I stared down at my hands, folded neatly into my lap. A white bandage bound the middle and index finger of my left hand. Faint scratches still covered my skin. Little had been left untouched, yet they said I had been lucky.
“But I think the best thing for us to do is start somewhere else – not at the end, but at the beginning. That makes more sense, don’t you think?”
He pushed his clipboard onto the table, sealing the action with the click of his pen as he placed it on top, an unspoken promise that he was going to let me take the floor, uninterrupted.
“Take as long as you need.”
This story is one of my most prized possessions, and one of the few times I have scared myself silly with my own writing. My goal is to at some point have it ready for publication, so watch this space…