In the psychiatrist's chair

"The voices are telling me to kill you!"

"Again?"  Dr Fraud stifled a sigh and repositioned the letter-opener so that he could use it to defend himself.  His years as a student in Vienna had involved him in both the fencing club and a number of first-blood duels, but now he tried to use less violent means of settling arguments.  Last week, when he had been forced to duel Bethany to a stand-still using his umbrella, had been altogether too Errol-Flynn for his liking, and had required him to buy a new umbrella.  He still couldn't understand how she'd managed to sneak a samurai sword into his office without him noticing.

"Yes, Dr Fraud, again!  I can hear them quite distinctly.  They're mewing that I have to kill you before you can imprison my thoughts on your notepad."  Bethany sat up from the chaise-longue where she'd been reclining sybaritically, and Dr. Fraud pushed his chair sharply backwards with his feet.  He'd ordered restraining straps for the couch, but they'd not arrived yet.

"Notebook, Bethany, not note-pad," he said carefully, realising that the letter opener was out of reach again now.  "We use computers these days, it's much more professional.  And I very much doubt that anything written on a Windows machine can be stored for any length of time at all.  Half the time I can't access my notes about anyone...."

Bethany started to rise to her feet, then changed her mind and reclined again on the chaise longue.  She brought the back of one ebony-skinned hand dramatically to her forehead, and smoothed her sheer red-silk dress with the other.  Dr. Fraud swallowed hard and his fingers unconsciously tapped Lolita into his Notebook.

"They're always mewing now," she said dreamily.  "They mew when I wake up, and they keep mewing till I hit the snooze button."

"Wait," said Dr. Fraud shuffling back towards the letter opener, "when you hit the snooze button?"

"Yes," said Bethany, "on my new alarm clock.  My nephew bought it for me, it's got a recordable wake-up message."

"And yours is mewing at you that you should kill me?"

"Yes, I think my cat must have recorded it."

"Last week you told me--" Dr Fraud tapped hopelessly at the Notebook and watched as Windows announced that it was having Oedipal issues and needed spanking.  He hit the reboot sequence and hoped his memory was good enough.  "Last week you told me that your cat had died?"

"My nephew drowned it accidentally."

The faux-Faberge egg-timer on his desk pinged, Bethany's hour was up.  Dr. Fraud did sigh this time, relieved.

"That's all for now Bethany, though I wonder if you should come in again at the end of this week?  It sounds like we might be making progress here."

"I'll see myself out, Doctor," said Bethany rising to her feet gracefully.  "I'll talk to your secretary about the killing."

"Billing, Bethany," said Dr. Fraud, tucking the letter opener into his jacket pocket.

The End

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