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      I walked into the psychiatrist’s office, a little scared. OK, I lied, I was scared a lot. “Welcome son, please have a seat.” He said, directing me to one of those chairs that you lay down in. He was in the shadow, almost completely, but his legs were outside in the light. They were very thin, and crossed, black pants and dark brown shoes.

          “Where should I start?”

“Where ever you feel comfortable…” He stopped to look at his papers, trying to find my name. Typical.  “Mavrik? Do you go by Mav or Mavrik?”

“Most people call me Mav, but I guess I don’t really care.”

“Ok, Mav, start wherever. What about when you first started having these dreams?”



“They’re nightmares, not dreams. Dreams implies enjoyment, nightmares imply demons. They started maybe a month ago? I don’t know. Something like that.” I blinked. This was weird. I had never told anyone about the nightmare. Truth was that I couldn’t, I had tried, but I freaked out and had a panic attack. I guess that’s why I was forced into this therapy crap.

          My mind can’t figure out what. It’s sort of just a shapeless blob “Each one starts out in the same way. I’m in a room, with one window and no doors. Its cold, and there is a table and chair in front of where I am sitting. Then there is movement, and up until this point the room is dark and dim. Something moves, and the lights come on, through the window and above me. Something is standing there, and that scares me. My mind can’t figure out what. It’s sort of just a shapeless blob.

          Anyway, it sits down and puts a cup in front of me. Its weird, like a fruit that was hallowed out and filled with juice, Its kinda like a pink grape vine, buts it whole, sort of. It’s only the top with some weird straw sticking out of it. There is another one that looks like nothing I’ve ever seen. Kinda of like a carrots ass, but with a round bulb on the front, and its purple.

          The blob then sits down, but now I know what it is. It’s a stick man. Like a 2-D stickman, with no depth. He is always black, and his face is round and whole.”

“Can you tell me more about this stick man?”

“Sure Dr…”

“Stickmas. Dr.Stickmas.”

“Sure Dr.Stickmas. He is always about 2 and a half times taller than me. He never hurts me, unless… Legally you can’t laugh at me right?”

“I promise I won’t”

“Unless he is wearing a top hat. He always just sits there and encourages me to drink that weird fruit drink thing. We always talk for a bit. He asks me some questions about my place, and I point at some thing outside the window and ask him questions about them. He is really nice most of the time, although he yells and screams a little in some.

          If he is wearing the top hat, then once I finish my drink he stands up and flips his cup at me, and screams. Man that fruit drink maybe the worst part of it. It’s like…like… Like a grape, a banana, a carrot, a tomato, and an orange had an orgy and that was the product.

          Anyway, once I finish my drink the stickman will stand, bow and then a door will appear and I will walk through it. But if he attacks, he knocks over the table, and I escape through a broken part of the window. Then I’m in this weird forest. Everything looks familiar, but its totally different. The trees, they all spiral around each other, like they want to strangle themselves, or maybe grab each others weird fruits. The fruits, they aren’t even geometric shapes!”

“Do you struggle in math, Mav?” Dr.Stickmas asks. I throw a confused glance at the Doctor. “Ummm…No, I’m possible the smartest kid in the class…Why does it matter?”

“Sometimes when you struggle with something, it gets into your dreams and causes odd thoughts.” I blinked at this. What was this guy? He was tall, and he didn’t remind me of anyone I think I’ve ever seen! It was odd, but I think I felt safer with him than anyone else I had ever met. “Lets go on, Mav.” I took a deep breath. This was going to be tougher than I had thought.

          “So, I’m in this forest, Right? Everything is weird, and its hot. Which is the worst part, because usually I cant feel the weather in my dreams. I can control where I go, so I’m not completely left out of the loop, and I can end it as fast as I want. I can climb on of the weird trees, up, up, up, until I reach the top. Then, I can either pick a fruit, then eat it. I guess its poison, because I fall out of the tree, and just before I hit the ground I always wake up, crying and scared. The other thing that will happen up there, is I just…I don’t know, I just kind of…Blink and die. Of course I don’t die, but I wake up, shivering, cold, and sweaty.

          Then of course there are the times where I explore the forest. It’s a bit like a game, actually. Only I’m afraid for my life. Usually I choose to walk the path to the right, which leads out of the forest. I always like that part, because near the exit are some weird fruits, and whenever I eat one, I feel really good. It’s the best part of my dream, really. Sometimes I sit in that place, and wait to wake up. I never do. I only wake up when I die, I think. That or…or when I’m done with the dream.”

“What do you mean?” Asks the doctor, I sigh, some people will never get it. “I think…” A sob grabs my throat, I don’t want to cry. I will cry, though, there is nothing I can do about that. But I can cover it up. Or try, at least. “I think that once I get to the end of the dream, the end of this twisted, god forsaken world, I will wake up, or…or I won’t. I will just stay there, and be afraid. Be alone. Be…Be…” The tears refuse to stay back any longer. They come down my face, down my cheeks, and eventually, down my neck. I hate myself for crying, for showing weakness to this man. I feel something lightly tap my chest. I looked down, and see a Kleenex on it. It makes me feel better, and I turn to the doctor, who is now partially out of the shadow. He is smiling, maybe in his late 30s or early 40s. He has the balding thing, where he only has hair on the side of his head, which is slightly gray. He looks kindly, and a bit like the father I never had growing up. I nod my appreciation, wipe my tears, and go on with the story.

“I hate being alone. Being afraid, and showing weakness. I feel that some how, if I get to the end of the dream, I will be weak. I will be alone, I will be afraid and that’s what scares me more than anything else in the world. That, somewhere is my mind, the place I feel most secure, is a world where I know nothing, where no one knows me, and where I can’t be strong, or brave. I hate it, I hate myself for feeling that way, and that just makes me feel more afraid, like somehow I did this to myself. I don’t know what to do, I’m alone, I’m afraid, and I just… I just…” The timer rings. Dr.Stickmas looks disappointed, like it was his session ending. “I’m sorry Mav, but it seems as though our time is up.” I’m afraid again. “Dr…My mom can’t afford another session…I don’t think I can afford not having another session! Is there any way, anyway at all that you could find it in your heart to give us a small discount? Anyway at all?” The Dr Takes off his glasses slowly. He sighs, then rubs his eyes. He looks tired. “Mav, I’m not supposed to do this, and I really shouldn’t, but I think that… That maybe you need another session.” He puts his glasses back on and scribbles something down on his note pad. He folds it, then hands it to me. He writes something else on another note, folds it, and writes my moms name on it.  “Give the first one to my secretary on the way out. I think you know where the other one goes, right?” I nod. Then stand up. I shake the Drs Hand. After this first session, I feel like someone has injected Novocain into my fear sensor. I open the note for my mom, waiting for her to pick me up on the steps outside the office. I unfold it slowly, not entirely sure what I want it to say, much less what it actually says. I sigh with relief as I read the page.

          Dear Madam,

          I fear that Mavrik may be in a severe state of mental instability. As a result of this, I would like to offer him free sessions, around 5 of them, with your consent of course. Please call me, if any questions occur. Our next meeting will be Thursday, next week, 4 PM. Simply give your name to my Secretary at the front, and she will let me know you are here.

          Sincerely, Dr.Stickmas

          P.S Mavrik: Don’t be afraid of being afraid. Fear is not a weakness, but instead a way of over coming. See you next week.

          My mom pulls up in the car. I walk over, get in, and close the door. I cant wait until next week.