Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)
TITLE: Locked Box
By Carole Robishaw
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"Cathie, Cathie, stop, it's okay."
The light came on. Steve was there. "Another dream? Let me guess, from looking at the way you're wrapped up in the sheets, and banging on the headboard, I'd venture to say….hmm, dream number two, the one where you are bound, gagged and locked in an airtight box. You did a pretty good job on that pillow, trying to eat your way through it?"
I rolled over on my back, my chest was heaving, my pajamas were drenched.
"Cathie, it ends here. You have two options, the counselor, or the drugs. If I have to I will tie you up and force them down your throat. I'd go for a third option of doing both, but I know that will never happen."
I forced one eye open and growled.
"Okay, I won't tie you down, but I will find a way to get them down you."
"Fine, call!" I barely whispered it, but he heard me.
"I love you, Cathie, you know I do, otherwise I'd have walked out of here a long time ago." With that Steve picked up the bedside phone to make the call. "You are going this time, no pretending, even if I have to take you there and stand guard."
"So, have you memorized the titles on my bookshelf yet? What I'm charging you makes it a pretty expensive activity."
I turned towards him, clenching my jaws.
"Can you just tell me about the dream? Is it the same one you were having before?"
"I'm in a box, and I'm struggling to get out. Sometimes I'm tied up, sometimes it's just a really dark place, and I can't see or hear anything." I can barely spit out the words.
"Do you know why you are locked in a box?'
I tried to sort out my thoughts before I answered. "I have to confine her. She's dangerous."
"Dangerous? To you? To someone around you?"
"Everything, everyone! She can't be allowed to roam free, the damage could never be repaired."
"So, she's not physically dangerous? What kind of damage?"
"She will destroy me! Everything I have spent my entire life building up. I'm a math professor! I deal in facts, numbers. If I can't see it in front of me it doesn't exist! She, she…she wants to take everything away. She's frivolous, and, and flighty. She's spontaneous! She does things on the spur of the moment. I can't trust her. She has to stay locked up." I could barely get the words out between my sobs. "I have my life all planned out. Everything! My career, my marriage, the timing of our children, everything! And she wants to throw it all away! Just like that! On… on an impulse!"
Dr. Spencer murmured what were probably supposed to be comforting words. But it wasn't helping. I can feel my hysteria growing. I just want to scream, and kick and throw a major temper tantrum. Me! quiet, steady Dr. Winston, acting like a child. I whimpered at the mental picture that appeared.
"Cathie, can you be more specific? Is there some particular thing she wants to do? This person you have locked up inside of you, has she always been there?"
"No, just a few years, she appeared right after I received my position as Head of the Math Department. I just started having this overwhelming desire to, to, I can't, if I say it, it gives her power over me. She has to stay buried, locked up. I can't allow her to ruin my life."
"No Cathie, she has power over you because you deny her. The more you fight her, the stronger she will become. You are empowering her. If you expose her, however, we can deal with her. We can find a way to limit her and keep her from ruining your life."
"Cathie, start by telling me what it is she wants to do."
I moaned, a shudder rose from my guts and just shook me from head to toe.
"She can't be allowed to do it, she can't"
"Cathie, it's okay, just say it."
"She, she wants." Gasp! "She wants to be a fiction writer!"
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