#Chapter 18: Hypnotherapy
Without removing my lab coat and goggles, I ran from the laboratory and down the hall. I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing, but I had to tell someone.
As I ran down the hall, I nearly ran straight into none other than Jessica. She had her hair up in a bun and a stack of textbooks in her arms, which she dropped when I almost ran into her.
“Geez!” she said, clutching her chest with one hand as she looked at me. ” What the hell happened? You look like a crazed murderer.”
I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a classroom window. Jessica was right; my lab coat had blood on it from opening up the cadaver, and my goggles only emphasized my wide eves But that wasn’t important right #Chapter 18 Hypnotherapy
“Follow me,” I said. “I have to show you something.”
We returned to the lab, Jessica grumbling behind me about how gross cadavers were as we entered.
“There,” I said, pointing at the table with my cadaver on it. “Look.”
She walked over, clutching her books to her chest, and peered at the body with a scowl on her face. “What is it?” she asked, sounding confused.
I stomped over to show her the body, but the chest was completely healed and the fangs were no longer there. How?
“Someone switched the body,” I said, whirling around to see if someone had moved my cadaver elsewhere. Jessica only looked on in confusion.
“Um… Nina, are you alright?” she said,
putting a hand on my shoulder. “Are you overly tired or something?”
I shrugged her hand off and shook my head. “No,” I replied. “I’m fine. I swear my cadaver’s heart was massive… twice the size of a normal human’s. And I checked his teeth. He had fangs. Like a wolf.”
Jessica furrowed her brow and looked at me with concern drawn across her face. “Nina, that’s ridiculous,” she said. “I think maybe you should go home and get some rest.”
“I know what I saw!” I snapped. My hands were shaking and my eyes began to fill with tears. “That cadaver was no ordinary human, and someone switched it.”
Jessica didn’t say anything.
“I know you think I’m crazy,” I said, pulling off my goggles and my lab coat and putting them away in my locker. ”
Chapter 18 Hypnotherapy
But I swear. I saw something that was not… human.”
“I believe you,” Jessica said slowly. I could tell that she was lying, but I didn’t say anything. “Let’s just go home and you can rest, then we can talk about what you saw.”
I shook my head and grabbed my bag out of my locker. “No,” I replied. “I’m talking to the dean. Right now.”
Before Jessica had a chance to stop me, I stormed out of the lab and marched straight to the dean’s office.
The dean was sitting at her computer when I unceremoniously entered without knocking. When she looked up. at me with a stern expression on her face, I realized how rude I was being and suddenly felt embarrassed.
“Good afternoon, Miss Nina Harper,” the dean said, taking off her glasses and clasping her fingers together with
her elbows on the desk. “Can I help
“I… uh…” I stammered.
“If you haven’t got anything to say,
kindly leave my office,” the dean said.
“I saw something,” I blurted out, “in
my anatomy lab. My cadaver… it wasn’t
The dean raised an eyebrow. “Oh?” she
said. “Do explain.”
“It had an extremely enlarged heart, and… fangs. Like an animal… a…. a wolf.” Saying it out loud to the dean made me cringe at how insane I sounded.
“Hmm…” she put her glasses back on and looked down her nose at me. “Why come to me, and not your professor?”
I swallowed, unsure of how to respond.
Truthfully, I hadn’t thought ahead this
far. For some reason, my immediate #Chapter 18 Hypnotherapy
instinct was to tell the dean.
When the professor saw that I wasn’t responding, she nodded and pulled out a notepad. She jotted something down on it and ripped the paper off, handing it to me. It had a man’s name and phone number on it.
“I’m sure you’re stressed,” she said. ” Please make an appointment with Edward Williams. He’s an excellent
“I don’t need thera-”
The dean held her hand up for me to stop talking. “It’s not so much a request as it is an order,” she said, “I won’t have one of my students having a mental breakdown. Not on my watch.”
I nodded solemnly and looked at my.
feet, blinking back tears.
“Is there anything else?” the dean asked.
I wanted to ask about my reassignment, but felt as though the dean wouldn’t allow it now; besides, 1 was too embarrassed. I just wanted to
go home. “No,” I replied. “That was all. Thank
I did as the dean told me to. I called Edward and made an appointment. When Jessica asked what happened later, I simply told her that I was tired… No one would believe me, anyway.
My appointment with Edward was the next morning. I went to his office after a sleepless night; I’m sure the dark circles under my eyes didn’t make me appear any more sane.
“So, tell me what happened
yesterday,” said Edward, a portly, kind- looking older man with glasses.
#Chapter 18. Hypnotherapy
“I… I saw something yesterday when I was working with a cadaver on my anatomy project,” I replied as I fiddled with a loose thread on my jeans. “It had an enlarged heart, and fangs like a wolf. It was extremely muscular, too.”
“And what happened after that?” Edward asked.
“I ran,” I replied. “And when I went back a few minutes later, it was gone. Like someone switched the bodies. Or… like it healed on its own.”
Edward was silent for a moment while he jotted on his notepad..
“Let’s just assume that what you saw was real for a moment,” he said, crossing his legs. “Why would a dead body heal on its own? Not to mention healing within a matter of minutes after having its chest cut wide open.”
I paused, still looking down at my lap.
Maybe Edward was right; this all
seemed ridiculous. But it had felt so real I knew it was real. It had to be. I wasn’t crazy!
Edward continued. “We all have fantasies sometimes. It sounds like you’re stressed, and you likely need a break.”
I shook my head and finally looked up at him. “It wasn’t a fantasy,” I insisted. “I know what I saw.”
Edward fell silent again and jotted something down on his notepad. He looked thoughtful, but I could tell that he still believed I was having some sort of episode.
“Have you ever tried hypnotherapy?” he said, setting his notepad down on the table next to him.
After my session with Edward, the rest
of the day went by in a blur. I went to #Chapter 8 Hypnotherapy
my classes and went to work, and soon I was starting to feel a little more normal albeit exhausted. I still felt strongly about what I saw, but I decided to keep that to myself for now. No one would believe me, anyway.
But maybe there was one person who
might know something…
I left my shift at the diner, still dressed in my uniform and just ready to go home and sleep. On my way out, however, I was met by none other than Justin.
He was sitting on the hood of his car in the parking lot and jumped down when he saw me coming.
“Hey,” he said. I froze for a second then turned and started walking past him. He jogged to catch up.
“Nina, I’m really sorry about the
party,” he said. I didn’t reply, and
instead kept walking.
“Hey! Just talk to me, Nina!” Justin shouted, then suddenly grabbed my arm. I turned around and tried to wrench my arm free, but his grip was too tight.
“Let go!” I yelled.
“Do you even empathize with me at all?” he said, still holding my arm tightly and pulling me closer. “I know I fucked up! But now you’re just being cold. And I know it’s just an act. Deep down, I know you love me.”
When he was finished speaking, he yanked me closer and tried to kiss me again. I leaned away from him, but his grip tightened on my wrist. I yelped and shoved him as hard as I could, knocking him to the ground and finally freeing myself.
“I already slept with someone else,” I said, holding my wrist in pain as tears streamed down my cheeks. “So I guess you could say I’m totally over you.”
“What’s going on?!” a familiar voice shouted. I looked over my shoulder to see Enzo jogging across the parking lot.
For some reason, I was happy he was here.