Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Unusual Therapies

This week's challenge? To think up and write about an unusual monster, something that hasn't been seen before. I'm not sure but I think I got a brand new one. Please do enjoy. 

Dr. Karl Venn studied his patient lying on the couch a long time before he began the session. The prison guards hadn’t felt entirely comfortable about leaving him there without any restraints, but Dr. Venn assured them that the prisoner wouldn’t be any trouble. He was certain of it and somehow that made it all the worse. Just by looking at him no one would ever guess that the man sitting on his couch was Charles Lee Benton, dubbed in the press as “The Ohio Butcher” and convicted killer of at least ten people (and suspected in the murder of many more).  He was calm, listless, stared vacantly up at the ceiling. This was not the same man who had first come into his care, a man who would at the drop of a hat flip from over the top aggressive rage to a cold calculating reptilian monologue that would make Hannibal Lecter uncomfortable.  And after nearly three weeks of intense observation, Dr. Venn was certain he wasn’t faking it.  

“I took a look at some of your art,” Dr. Venn said. “I have to say it’s remarkably different from your previous drawings.”

“I ain’t interested in drawing the demon clowns no more, doc,” said Benton.

“And you’ve focused your attention on angels and unicorns now?”

Benton shrugged and fidgeted.

Venn knew he wouldn’t get anywhere with this track. He bit the tip of his pen as he made his decision to breach into Benton’s more deviant behavior. After all, Benton hadn’t just killed his victims when he’d abducted them.

“If we can get into something a little more personal Charles, can you tell me about your sex drive? Any noticeable changes or feelings you’ve had recently?”

Benton paused for a moment before he began.

“There ain’t nothin’ to tell. I haven’t had an itching for a while now.”

That was what he called his sexual feelings. A lifetime of suppressed urges fueled by an overbearing religious fanatic of a mother had helped to mold him into what he was today. It was such a textbook case that Dr. Venn was certain if there ever was a stereotypical description of a serial killer then Benton was it. But not at the moment it seemed. Dr. Venn only hesitated for a brief moment before he tried something risky.

“Charles, can we talk about what you did? Do you have any feelings for what you did to those people?”

Benton looked good and hard at the doctor before he did something no one could’ve ever expected; he began to cry. Big gulping sobs and confessions of guilt and hopes of redemption poured forth from Charles Lee Benton, a man who had practically bragged about his crimes during his trial. The man who saw himself as the prime hunter, the alpha male of the whole human race was crying like a little girl in front of him.


Later at his lab Dr. Venn looked over the prison .Assaults, murders, rapes, all of them had decreased by over 50% over the past month. He knew warden or the prison guards weren’t responsible for this, some of the reports by the staff were as baffled as he was about the trend and could offer no explanations for it. But it also seemed as if they weren’t really looking for one as well.

He tried to concentrate on the test samples, but it had been a long night and his mind began to wander back to his own problems, to his soon to be ex-wife. Damn bitch has me by the short hairs, he thought. She’s actually seeing her lawyer now. I’ll be lucky if I only lose the kids and half my money. At least he'd be able to keep this amateur lab though. He knew she'd never in a million years want it. Thank goodness for small miracles.

He looked over at the bottles of chemicals beside him. All it would take was just one small drop from one of them and it’d look like she had a heart attack. It wouldn’t be too hard to do. His wife always enjoyed a night’s drink before bed and her family did have a history of heart disease.

I should, he thought. I should really…   

The sound of a door opening and closing shook him awake.

“Who’s there?” he yelled. “Whoever’s out there …this isn’t funny…”

The faint buzzing from the halogen lights on the ceiling was his only reply. He sighed, thankful that there was nothing there but when he turned around…

It was sitting on his desk staring at him like some Lovecraftian horror. Its body was scarred and what looked like cancerous clumps grew from its folds in its body.Past its flesh that was its body were its eyes, some of the brightest blue he’d ever seen, and for some reason he couldn’t name he thought of them as the eyes of a child. It advanced towards him on hands and knees, crawling slowly to him like some mockery of a seductive lover. He stood transfixed, his muscles not responding to his mind’s commands to flee or even wince as it reached out to him with a hand that ended in gangrenous tentacles in  place of fingers. When it touched him he felt the greasy slide of its fingers caressing his arm, and it seemed to grow fatter, its pustules expanding as if it were absorbing something into itself. He felt light headed and almost retched before…before…

He stood alone in the room, his heart racing a mile a minute, but for the life of him he couldn’t say what had caused it. As he calmed himself down he felt better, somehow. As if the some weight had been lifted from his shoulders. When he thought back to his life, and his patients and his soon to be ex-wife the anger and indeed hatred he’d born her was no longer there. He started to gather up his belongings. Life was too short to waste on unanswered pointless mysteries, he figured. After he was done, he shut off the light and locked the lab door, leaving a silence in there that was only broken by a soft, faint wheezing, like the snoring of some being who’d feed and feed well that night.


  1. I really admire the effort that you put into this - particularly in your description of the monster. Excellent work.

  2. I love the description of the monster, You get the proper amount of dread across. I like it:)

  3. Great concept. Any monster that can be described as "Lovecraftian" has got be good.

    I liked the way the doctor responded to the crim crying with "fascinating". Very nice. My only bit of confusion was that when the doctor went back to his lab, it was filled with bottles of chemicals. This made me question whether he was a chemist or a psychiatrist.

    (Or possibly I'm just showing my ignorance about psychiatry?)

  4. @ thehappylogophile:
    No, you're right. Psychiatrists don't normally work in labs. Lol.
    I had a throwaway line about him being an amateur chemist in the draft but apparently I forgot it in the actual story. I'll have to go back and do some edits it seems. :P