Translucent

Idea from Kyle Deddo. Written by –

Scott McSeerightthroughme

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you the truth.”

“Try me. I’ve heard all sorts of stories from all sorts of people and I’m sure this one isn’t too different from the others.”

“That’s what all of the others shrinks said.”

“I know that you haven’t had much luck before but I’m really here to help you. I’m sure the others were too but I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and sometimes therapists have this weird way of trying to relate to their clients by pretending that what they have isn’t real.”

“I mean, I’ll tell you everything that I’ve told the others, but it won’t help.”

“Well Harold, at least give me the chance to prove you wrong.”

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“Fine, but if you’re like the rest then I’m not coming back. I didn’t want to do this in the first place. My mom’s making me do it. Give it a few more months and I’ll be able to make the decision on my own, and I know I won’t be coming back.”

“And that’s okay, but let’s make the best of the time that we have together. Please tell me more about why you’re here.”

“Okay, well when I look at you, you’re translucent.”

“Translucent?”

“Yeah. When I look at you, I see the lab coat and I see your skin, but I can also see the orange and yellow floral pattern on the chair that you’re sitting in.”

“Do you know why you see it that way?”

“Wow, you’re the first shrink of four who didn’t try to get me to prove it. Doctor Thomas kept trying to get me to guess what he had written on a piece of paper that he held behind his back.”

“Could you do it?”

“No. That time I couldn’t see through him. I can see through some people, but not him.”

“Why’s that?”

“You wouldn’t like it if I told you.”

“You should still tell me.”

“Soon. I can’t yet.”

“We’ll come back to it then. When did this start for you?”

“Do you mean seeing through people?”

“Yes.”

“It’s happened for as long as I can remember. I think the first time that it happened was probably when I was five or six.”

“Do you remember what you saw?”

“Yeah, it was my grandpap.”

“Why was he translucent?”

“I don’t remember.”

“I think we both know that you do. Just tell me. It’ll make this whole conversation a bit easier for the both of us.”

“I don’t… remember.”

“Fine, but you’re going to have to learn to open up.”

“And you’re going to have to learn when to stop pushing.”

“You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“I know I’m right. Again, you’re the fifth shrink I’ve seen.”

“I thought you said that I’m the fourth.”

“Does that really matter right now, doctor.”

“I guess not.”

“Good. My mom’s paying for an hourly rate. Why don’t you start asking questions that really matter instead of wasting both my time and yours?”

“Okay. Who was the second person that you saw as translucent?”

“My friends’ mom.”

“How long ago was that?”

“It was probably around the same time that I saw my grandpap like that.”

“And you said that was around the age of five or six?”

“Yes.”

“Great. Who was next?”

“This one’s harder to explain. It was my mom’s stomach.”

“Why wasn’t it your mom? Why was it just her stomach?”

“I don’t remember. The next instance that I saw of it was this guy who was next to us at a stop light.”

“So, it’s not just people that you’re close to? It can be anyone?”

“Yeah.”

“What happened to the guy in the car?”

“He drove away when the light turned green. What did you expect?”

“I don’t know. I guess something else.”

“That’s very professional of you. I love hearing from an expert in their field that they ‘guess’ something.”

“I’m just trying to fill in the blanks that you clearly won’t fill in. I’m doing the best that I can with what I’m being given.”

“You’re doing better than the others. I’ll give you that.”

“Thanks, I guess. Did you tell them anymore than you’ve giving me?”

“The first two, yes but then they requested that I see someone else ‘more suited for my special circumstance.’”

“That’s peculiar. I get why you’re a bit nervous about therapists.”

“It’s because they can’t do anything to help me. They always treat me more as a case study than a patient. If I told you what it meant, then I’m sure we’d be having a different conversation. And, just to save a conversation, no… there’s nothing I can do for you.”

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“What does that mean?”

“I’m not telling you yet.”

“But you will tell me?”

“Eventually.”

“I guess that’s a step in the right direction.”

“There you are, guessing again.”

“… who else do you remember seeing as translucent?”

“One time my dad drove passed a dear that was translucent.”

“Interesting, so it’s not just people?”

“Wow, great inference. You’re doing great, ya know that?”

“I’m not… thank you – I’m just trying to help.”

“I know what you’re trying to do. I’m just trying to get through another impractical crazy session.”

“Is that how you see yourself? Crazy?”

“Can you think of a better word?”

“I really don’t like for my patience to use the word crazy. It can be really bad for self-worth and self-esteem.”

“Yeah. You’re probably right, but I don’t feel like I really need a better self-esteem at this point.”

“Why’s that? Everybody deserves to feel better about themselves. You’re no different.”

“Okay Mister Doctor. I’ll work on my self-esteem. The next thing I saw as translucent was Spot.”

“What was Spot?”

“She was our family dog. She was a beagle, but she had this weird spotted pattern on her back. When we got her, the owners said she was a purebred, but no one really believed that.”

“Tell me more about Spot.”

“What more do you want to know?”

“Honestly, just anything. That was the most you’ve given me since we started.”

“Well I don’t have much more to say about her.”

“Okay… well who else have you seen?”

“Doc, the list goes on for a long time. I could go through a lot of different people, animals and whatever else you can think of, but I don’t think my mom’s that rich.”

“Do you know why you see these things as translucent?”

“I thought I made that clear at the beginning of this conversation.”

“I just wanted to be sure. Tell me more about your grandpap.”

“Is that what this conversation is going to be now; you just asking about people who I’ve seen as translucent?”

“If you’re not going to tell me what it means then I’m going to figure out what I can.”

“You don’t want me to tell you and more than that, I don’t want to tell you. It’s hard enough living with it, let alone breaking the news to other people.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Nothing. It’s nothing.”

“Even if you won’t tell me, at least tell me how it makes you feel. If nothing else, I’d like to make you feel better about it.”

“Do you have a wife or kids?”

“Two kids and an ex-wife.”

“I’ve never understood how a therapist, or someone who helps people with their problems, can get divorced.”

“It was a complicated situation. Every relationship is different.”

“Do you love your kids?”

“Of course, I do.”

“Do you tell them that regularly?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“Well?”

“Yes. I tell them that I love them. What are you on about?”

“Calm down. You’re the first shrink who’s gotten confrontational. I just want you to feel better, too.”

“I feel fine. What are you getting at?”

“Spot disappeared later that day. My parents said that he went to a distant relatives farm, but I knew better.”

“Can you stop being so cryptic and just tell me what it means?

“When my dad and I were driving home that night, the dear was on the side of the road. It had been hit by a car. I think our neighbors hit it because their car was in the shop the next day.”

“Okay? What does that have to do with anything?”

“The guy who was next to us at the stop light, he sped ahead and no more than five miles later, we saw his crumpled car on the side of the road. My mom miscarried who was supposed to be my younger sibling. My friend’s mom died after a long struggle with breast cancer. My Grandpap had a heart attack later that day at the age of 66; I never really knew him.”

“So, wait – are you telling me that whatever you see as translucent dies?”

“Yes. In the same day.”

“Well yeah, that’s unusual, but that’s not the end of the world. I can’t believe you went through four – or was it five – different shrinks before me. This is peculiar for sure, but not too bad to help.”

“I’m sure there will be more than four shrinks.”

“What makes you say that? You don’t think I can handle you? Ha! Harold, I’m sure I’ll do just fine now that I know what the problem is.”

“I’m sure you will Doctor Vann… I’m sure you will.”

“This is a great start! Now that I know what the problem is, how about we schedule something at the same time next week and we can hash out even more details!”

“That sounds great Doctor Vann. I’ll see you then. One last thing before I go, have I told you how much I like the design on your chair?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Well it looks great. I like it a lot.”

“Thanks, Harold. I’ll see you next week.”

“Good-bye, Doc.”

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Boy in the Kitchen

Scott McTrespassing

I heard a loud metal clang from downstairs. It sounded like pots and pans had fallen to the kitchen floor. I crawled out of bed silently and put my slippers on.

“Hello?” I asked. “Babe, you home?”

Home invasions weren’t uncommon around here. I grabbed a baseball bat that was sitting next to my bed and went to the top of my stairs. I stopped in my tracks as I heard another loud crash.

I stepped onto the first stair; it squeaked under my weight and I flinched. I worried that whoever was downstairs heard me, but nothing changed. It sounded like someone was rummaging through my refrigerator.

The next steps didn’t make any noise as I descended to the first floor. I inched around the banister, peaking into my kitchen. A young boy, no more than six or seven, was looking in my pantries and eating everything he found.

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“Hey, buddy,” I said, lowering the bat. “Can I help you with anything? Are you lost?” The boy didn’t acknowledge me. He continued pawing through my cabinets. “Come on kid, you can’t just take all of my food. I can give you some for the road if you need it.”

He still didn’t stop. His chewing sounds echoed through the lower floor. I stepped closer to him. Without looking up from the whole tomato that he was eating, he moved away from me. I sat at the kitchen table and watched him continue to eat.

“Tell me where you’re from,” I said. I was starting to get angry. I didn’t know what to do. There was just this boy in my kitchen. “If you don’t tell me why you’re here then I’m going to kick you out.”

The boy didn’t stop. I was furious. I walked over to him and went to pick him up, but he slipped out of my grip. I grabbed his hand and dragged him to the door. I pushed him outside but before I could blink, he had entered through the back door.

“I’m not playing around anymore,” I said. “It’s time for you to go.”

I walked back over to him, wound my fist back and swung. He didn’t move away. This time he looked at me and smiled. My fist was frozen in mid-air before it could make contact.

“Not only do you do it to your wife,” the boy said in a low, menacing voice, “you would do it to a random boy? The world doesn’t need your kind.”

The boy morphed into a large beast, covered in horns and fire. He laughed in a dark, demonic tone and grabbed my wrist. A fiery hole in the floor opened up.

“What are you?” I screamed.

“That doesn’t matter where you’re going,” the monster laughed.

I was pulled down into the hole. The last thing that I saw before it closed was my wife standing above me, staring down at me with her black eye.