Until Death Do Us Part

By: Lynda Hilburn

Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist

a humorous mini-story



by



Lynda Hilburn





Time: After the events of The Vampire Shrink.



The silence of the empty building hung rich and heavy, pressing against my ears like aural hands. I closed my eyes and breathed for a few seconds, savoring the stillness, allowing my body to relax. Despite the high stress level, I loved my job. I wouldn’t trade it. Being a psychologist was an ideal career for someone who liked to explore shadows and turn over rocks to see what was hidden underneath. Someone fascinated by the unusual, the abnormal. My clientele was unique, to say the least, and the stories I listened to on a daily basis were the stuff of nightmares. Mostly, I rocketed between astonishment and horror

But after a full week of back-to-back clients, I was ready to kick my shoes off and drink a glass – or maybe a bottle – of wine, hopefully, with a certain blond lust object. I smiled as a visual of the gorgeous male in question floated through my imagination.

Fridays were my long day – and night – and by the time I finished updating all my client case notes on my laptop, my brain usually felt like mush, and tonight was no exception. I reread the last entry, progress notes for one of my vampire clients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and shook my head.

Joseph had been afflicted with the mental health challenge long before his recent conversion to the undead. In fact, he’d been so fixated on the idea of having a disease that made him age quickly, that he’d answered an ad on Craigslist, seeking people who wanted to remain young forever. He got his wish, and then some. But he still stares into mirrors constantly, seeking invisible wrinkles and delusional signs of human aging. Nothing has worked yet to convince him he will remain a perfectly preserved twenty-one-year-old forever. Too bad he still faints at the sight of blood. The notion of a long-term client takes on new meaning when treating vampires.

Remind me why I thought adding these . . . individuals . . . to my private practice would be a good idea? Freud must be spinning in his grave. Sometimes I really wonder what I was thinking. Maybe I wasn’t thinking at all!

Joseph’s case notes completed and saved, I pushed back the chair, and checked the time. Five minutes before Victoria – office manager, resident high priestess and witch – would call to notify me my last clients of the evening were on their way up. Just long enough to stretch and release the faint, underlying tension in my neck and shoulders – an occupational hazard of sitting in rapt hyper-awareness, listening to the weekly installments of personal dramas, traumas and idiosyncrasies.

The full moon shone like a beacon in the clear winter sky, beaming through the wall of windows into my office. Appreciating the light show, I ambled over to enjoy the panoramic view of Denver’s skyline, and beyond that, the majestic Rocky Mountains. Thanks to the celestial brilliance, the scene looked spectacular.

I supposed some good had come from being invited to leave my previous professional address, although it had taken me a while to reach that lofty conclusion. What therapist in her right mind would relish being unceremoniously booted from her building for such a prejudicial reason? So the walls and carpet got a bit stained? Body fluids happen, right?

My current office was extraordinary; a perfect reflection of the artistic sensibilities of the building’s owner – Devereux, my undead significant other. He’d actually collaborated with a designer to align the colors, textures, and furniture styles for my space as part of his campaign to persuade me to move my private psychotherapy practice here. There was just no arguing with a gorgeous, wealthy, ancient bloodsucker.

Soft, inviting leather couches and chairs filled the large room, providing the perfect ambiance for transformation and the therapeutic spilling of guts. Subtle aromatherapy scents wafted from special canisters secreted in the heating-cooling vents, and soothing music floated through the air from a state-of-the-art sound system.

I definitely must have done something right in a past life.

A friendly voice erupted from my speaker phone. “Kismet? Yvonne, Falcon and their entourage just entered the elevator.”

“Thanks, Vic.”

“They’re your last clients of the night. Shall I stay? Or are you expecting the boss to drop by?”

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