AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a free excerpt from my psychological thriller “When She Was Good…” currently not under contract with any publisher. Just thought I’d give you all a taste of what’s to come soon from me.
The mirror quaked in her hands. Bright green eyes, a tangled mass of auburn hair and a heart-shaped face stared back at her. A patch of white gauze held in place with clear medical tape marred the smooth forehead of the person gazing back at her. Quivering lips, like a tiny red bow twisted and contorted in the stranger’s effort not to burst into weeping. Tossing it aside she felt it land between her legs in a thumping sensation.
Well at least I’m not ugly, she stated inwardly. It’s bad enough not knowing who I am but to be hideous to boot would’ve been too much.
“You don’t remember anything?” the psychiatrist asked.
“No,” she said flatly.
“That’s not uncommon for victims of blunt force trauma to suffer from amnesia so don’t take it with such defeat. I told you before you looked into it that you might not recall anything right away.”
The pretty blonde picked up the mirror and put it aside. She gazed at the medical professional and frowned, the tape pricking and pulling at the flesh of her brow. Clasping her hands together she let them drop to her sheet covered lap. She had come in just after breakfast and introduced herself as Doctor Gillian Trelawney, a clinical therapist on staff here at the hospital. She was young, petite and beautiful. Doctor Trelawney had a set of piercing blue eyes that seemed to bore into people’s heads.
“So what should I call you?” the analyst inquired.
“I can’t keep referring to you as Hey You so why don’t you pick out a name?”
“What does my chart say?”
“Then let’s leave it at that.”
“That’s me—I suppose,” Jane sighed.
“Nice to meet you Jane,” she chuckled. “So tell me what you do remember if anything.”
“I hate chocolate and don’t recognize that woman in the mirror.”
“What does it mean?”
“I have no idea Jane. But it must be a strong memory to keep you from forgetting it. Or perhaps not, you could be instinctively aware that you’re allergic to it. A self-preservation reflex of your mind to keep you safe until you can deal with what happened.”
I suppose that could be it. Looking at the pudding just made me ill.
“About the accident—where did it happen?” she asked.
“Just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania on a deserted lane, you were hit by a car filled with teenagers near a collection of cottages on the banks of Lake Erie.”
The dream! I remember that it had a lake in it as well! Maybe that nightmare was a memory not just a fantasy!
“Did you recall something?” Gillian queried with a smile.
“I had a dream about a house on a lake…”
“It was empty but I thought I heard someone upstairs.”
“Describe what you saw upstairs.”
“I-I can’t I was too scared to go up the steps. I ran out of the house and suddenly people started pawing at me… ripping at my clothes… I woke up screaming and the nurses were trying to restrain me,” she stated with a shudder.
“Was it a man or woman?”
“A woman—I think she was dead or at least dying.”
“I see. Was her voice familiar?”
“Now that you mention it, it was. Looking back at it somehow I know I should remember her voice. It was so oddly recognizable.”
I’m beginning to hate these tantalizing little comments she’s making! Jane thought to herself. Why do these shrinks speak so cryptically?
“What did she say?” Gillian asked, leaning forward in her chair.
“She said I had to see her, that I had to come up and visit. The woman was pretty insistent that no matter where I ran to I would have to face her sometime. What does it mean?”
“It could be your true self trying to break past the temporary blockage created in your mind because of your injury.”
“So it was me who was talking?”
“That’s a possibility. Have you had the dream since then?”
“Next time don’t try to fight it, just allow it to happen. It might snap this fugue of yours.”
“I don’t know,” she said trembling, “it was very scary.”
“It is possible you’re avoiding it because of stress. You could be running away from something, a stifling marriage for example, but trust me Jane you’ll have to face her sooner or later.”
“That’s not very comforting Gillian,” she all but spat.
“Right now your mind is in a safe place. It doesn’t want to leave but in the end the memories of your past life are going to come surging forward. Relax, it might not be so bad for your dream-self to be trying to make you recall everything too fast.”
“The mind is very powerful and can do many things as a defensive measure. You might be one of those people who take duty to family very seriously. Right now Jane isn’t fulfilling her obligations and Dream-Jane wants a return to normality.”
“So it could be a good thing?”
“Of course. Just because it was frightening doesn’t mean it was bad, just very strong in trying to get you to remember,” she commented with a grin.
I don’t know about that—that cunning bitch upstairs seemed smug and menacing. Disguising her voice the second time around to lure me to that house doesn’t seem the type of thing a friend would do. I’m sure, as sure as I’m sitting here I don’t want to meet her! Jane mused with an icy shiver.
“I think we’ve done enough today,” Gillian announced. “I’ll be back in a few days. But if that dream happens again just go with it, it might provide even more clues.”
“I’ll try,” she whispered.
“Take care and just concentrate on healing.”
Embrace the dream, huh? Well I’m almost positive that’s a shitty idea especially if my gut instinct is telling me to run away, Jane thought. But who is she? My inner self or some terrible memory of something I just don’t want to remember? I could be some disgusting whore or even worse, a serial killer! No, this feels like something other than me. Someone I’m afraid of, not the true me trying to force me to remember.
Sinking back into her pillow she closed her eyes and tried to calm the tempest in her mind. Relaxing into the firm mattress she fell into a dreamless slumber.
“Sir you can’t go in there!” someone shouted.
Jerking to wakefulness Jane heard a frenzy of slapping footsteps, there was someone running down the hall outside of her room.
“Get out of my way!” a man roared.
Her hands tugged the sheets up to her chin and she began shaking fearfully when the figure appeared in the doorway to her room.
He was tall, black haired and very handsome despite the anger polluting his face. His chest was heaving with both excitement and exertion. A slowly spreading smile creased his features and he let out a sobbing laugh of relief. Taking three cautious steps into her chamber Jane found herself cringing away from this unexpected visitor.
“Trisha! Oh my God it is you!” he cheered.
“W-who are you?” she whimpered.
“What do you mean, who am I?”
“Sir you have to leave!” Sally insisted from behind the stranger. “You don’t have the doctor’s permission to visit Jane.”
“Jane? Jane? That’s not Jane that’s my friend Patricia Anne Marlowe! I’ve known her since grade school!”
Patricia? Patricia Anne Marlowe—Trisha? Is that my real name? she thought frantically.