"I'm a werepan," I said hurriedly, hoping that he'd figure the rest out himself.
"Do you mean a panwere?" the shrink asked, his rather noble brow furrowed. I could just imagine what he was thinking; depressed, and prone to Spoonerisms besides.
"No, I don't," I said, my tone sharpening. "I'm a werepan. By which I mean, a were... panda." I was going to explain further, tell him that I'd *love* to be a panwere, capable of choosing any one of several forms to shift into. Tell him that if I were a panwere, I wouldn't be in his office, maybe. Tell him that as a panwere, the last form I'd ever choose to take, would be a werepanda. But then I looked at his face, and realised he was holding back laughter.
"Don't do that!" I snapped, and his face instantly transformed itself into an expression that looked to be genuine contrition.
"You're absolutely right, Miss..." his voice trailed off for a moment, as he said smilingly, "Your name's not actually Miranda, is it? I can get on much better with you, if you're honest with me."
I shook my head, a little of my anger dissipated. "I didn't want my name to show up on any, you know... records. I don't know what I was thinking. I was just so annoyed when my doctor tried to prescribe anti-depressants, I filled in the referral form using a random name. Well, not random--I thought it was funny, I suppose, at the time. Anyway, my first name's actually Carly. My mom had a thing about 60's and 70's singer/songwriters. The rest of the details should be fine."
Shaking his head a little, but not in a nasty way, the shrink glanced over the referral again before asking me to make myself comfortable. I took him at his word and kicked my shoes off, smiling at the tiny pattern of butterflies on my lavender socks. Once I was seated, my feet tucked up under my bottom, my bottom planted on his deep, hunter-green couch, he began. His first question was probably fairly close to standard.
"Would you like to talk about why being a werepanda makes you feel depressed?"