THE MINOTAUR

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5: A Psychologist's Job

Louis had been a psychologist for fifteen years and a damn good one too. It was something he loved doing. Helping people, solving problems; those things gave him a sense of purpose in life.

Unfortunately, being a vampire, even if he had barely clocked five years as an undead child of the night, made attending to people very hard. Obviously, announcing to tell them that sessions started at seven in the evening and peak hour was one in the midnight would be more than weird.

It was for that reason that Louis decided to switch his customers from the mortal populace to the supernatural one. If he had been able to help the mortals during his human years, then it couldn’t be all that difficult to do the same for the immortals during his vampire lifetime.

Unfortunately, that also came with its own problem; his locality. Thing is, after receiving so many calls from his former patients and close friends about why he had suddenly decided to quit being a psychologist even though there appeared to be no problem at all with his health or anything like that, Louis realised that he wouldn’t be able to continue his practice- or his life, for that matter- like nothing happened.

So, he moved from New York, which was his original base of operation to an area where he believed he would be unknown and therefore at peace; West Harbour.

But as he was soon to learn, the small town wasn’t exactly a hub for the supernatural and even less for the vampire community, which made his business take more of a nose dive than before.

But problems or not, Louis still loved being a psychologist; and although he couldn’t cater to people during the day, he still made the time every morning just before he had to really go and retire to sift through the many patient files he had accumulated over the years; study their cases, and reminisce what it truly meant to be a scientist of the mind.

It was his alone time; and definitely not one that he would have expected to see the man who stood with his back to the wall just as he entered his basement office. “Louis Davis,” called the man and Louis stopped short; he hadn’t sensed him before then.

But then he did. The blood, the decay, the power; the person standing in his office wasn’t a man at all. He was a vampire.

“You’re-” Louis didn’t get to complete his statement because the next thing he knew, he was being flung into the wall with the vampire’s hand firmly pressed against his throat; he hadn’t even seen him move.

“Say I’m like you and I’ll snap your neck,” the vampire threatened.

“Michael Holger,” Louis breathed out. “You’re Michael Holger. We spoke on the phone yesterday.”

Michael didn’t believe for a second that the psychologist knew him just from the phone call they had made the previous day.

From the moment Louis had stepped into the office and saw Michael resting against the wall, he had had the sickening stench of fear wash all over him; and that stench had only gotten worse with time. He knew exactly who the ancient vampire was; reputation and all.

But Michael allowed the other vampire his peace anyway, letting him go and the latter began to breathe easily again; at least, as easily as anyone could breathe in the presence of someone like him. He took a seat on a revolving chair by the lone table in the room, rolling it gracefully in circles until Louis joined him.

“Mr. Holger, I have to say that I’m a little confused about this whole engagement,” began the psychologist. “You never really did tell me what you want me to do for you in our last conversation.”

“Well, Louis, I want to you to do exactly what your job description states,” Michael replied. “To listen. And I’m willing to pay you handsomely for your services too, if you’re worried about that.” He brought out a cheque and placed it on the table for the other vampire to survey.

Louis believed that a psychologist’s job went beyond just listening to people but he didn’t state that opinion; he still didn’t know what could tick off the ancient vampire. Plus, the price Michael offered on the cheque was lot more than he could have hoped to make in one year of practice in West Harbour.

However, he did find something curious and it was that Michael even needed a psychologist to begin with.

Thing is, he really had known whom the ancient vampire was the moment he laid eyes on him; only a blind, deaf, and utterly stupid newly turned vampire wouldn’t recognise the most infamous vampire in Europe at one glance. He was a stuff of legends; and of nightmares too. He was always in the minds of the New World supernaturals as someone whom nothing could touch, who didn’t need another person to listen to his issues.

But that was exactly what he had just admitted to; and that made Louis all the more unsettled by the vampire who was sitting down in front of him.

Michael knew exactly what train of thoughts the other vampire was having. While being a thousand year-old vampire hadn’t given him the ability to read minds, he could still deduce thoughts from his keen sense to perceive aura; like how the sickening stench of fear he’d gotten off the psychologist earlier had told him that he knew who he was from before their first encounter.

In that moment however, the stench of Louis’s fear of him was now replaced by an almost nose-tickling smell of curiosity, which meant that he was trying to figure out why the ancient vampire would come to hire his services.

Truth is, Michael didn’t need a psychologist; at least, not in the manner that the other vampire was probably thinking about it.

As it turned out, another gift that a millennium of vampirism had given the ancient vampire was a very good memory. He could recall everything that had happened to him ever since he was a child with great precision; almost like they were still happening to him in that very moment.

In order to cope with that ability, Michael hired psychologists, therapists, counselors, even stenographers; supernaturals or not. Anyone who could understand and transcribe the events, he called.

But it wasn’t their opinions or advice that the ancient vampire was looking for; he couldn’t give an owl’s hoot what they thought about the events of his life. He only wanted them to do one thing with the events and that was listen to them, which was exactly what he intended to explain to Louis that morning.

But just as Michael was about to do that, his phone buzzed and he pulled it out from his jacket pocket.

It was a text and one that immediately put a smile on his face; Clarice White had sent it to him. “You know what, Louis, I think we’ll have to reschedule this meeting some other time,” he said, he standing up and walking straight out of the door without even waiting for the psychologist’s response. “Apparently, I have a date to attend.”

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