Its all in your head

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Chapter 7

Two weeks later

James pulled the last of his drawings off the wall and crushed them into a ball. He dropped them into the bin, a smile crossing his lips. There was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” he said cheerily.

Dr Barrett poked her head round the door, the bruise on her cheek having turned from purple to yellow. James turned his face away and guiltily looked at the floor.

Dr Barrett smiled. “James, you have to get over it. It wasn’t your fault – you were under hypnosis.”

James lifted his head and smiled at her. “I know, but I’m still sorry.”

Dr Barrett returned his smile, blushing a little. She sat down on the bed. “Don’t worry. Anyway, how is everything?”

James nodded. “Great, thanks. Haven’t had a dream about the creature since the hypnosis. Whatever Dr Walsh did, it worked. I feel brilliant. Better than I have done for a long time.”

Dr Barrett gave James a beaming smile. “I am so pleased for you. Dr Walsh will be thrilled. In fact, that’s why I came. He would like to see you now, if you’re available.”

“No problem, on my way.” James started to walk past Dr Barrett, who had remained seated. He leant down and kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks, Doc.”

Dr Barrett looked into his eyes, colour rising in her cheeks once more. “You’re welcome.”

James opened the door and stepped out into the corridor, pulling the door shut behind him. He stopped with his hand still on the door handle as he heard a noise at the other end of the corridor.

He looked around but saw nothing.

Don’t start this again, he said to himself.

The light at the other end of the corridor started to flicker, and he saw in the split second of darkness the head of a brown badger. I’m dreaming, he thought, just dreaming. But he knew that he was awake.

“This isn’t happening,” James said aloud.

“You created us.” The voice was in James’s head. It was James’s voice. The flickering light went out and the thing appeared as if lit up by a spotlight.

“It’s all in my head,” James said.

“You fear us,” the voice responded. The next light went out. Three of the things stood there now.

“But the doctor said I’m better, I’m cured.” Teared started to well up in James’s eyes.

“You tried to get rid of us.” The next light went out, more of the things appeared.

“Go away, leave me alone.” James was sobbing now.

“They helped you free your mind.” More appeared as the next light extinguished.

“No, no, no.” James’s body was trembling with racking sobs now.

“And free us.” The next light went dark as more appeared. Only one light remained now. The corridor was filled with the things.

James stood there trembling, sobbing, not moving.

The last light went out. The corridor was now in total darkness, but the things had vanished. All but one. The thing appeared by James’s feet.

“This time, it’s for real.”

A cacophony of screams echoed through the halls of the hospital. James looked down at the thing. It raised its blades and stepped forward.

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