#FridayFlash: Plea Bargain, part 3

Plea Bargain, part 3

by Tony Noland



"Doctor, I've been thinking a lot since we had that discussion."

"Which discussion is that, Jesus? You mean back in January, when you first began to revisit your trauma?"

"You don't have to use euphemisms like 'trauma', Doctor. I'm talking about that first session where you had me remember the murder of my mother."

"Ah, yes. Well, sometimes if we refer to things in an oblique way, it helps to distance us from the emotions that would otherwise -"

"And made me remember it in every little detail."

"Well... yes, the healing process requires a certain -"

"And then had me do it again and again and again. You got me to retell it in a dozen different ways, tell it backwards and forwards, lingering on the details about my mother's face and how it looked as Papa blew the back of her head off with the Glock he shoved in her mouth."

"Jesus, I'm hearing you say that I had you remember that trauma, and that I had you recount it."

"Don't retreat behind 'active listening' bullshit, Doctor. We're a little bit past that, wouldn't you agree?"

"How does all of this make you feel, Jesus?"

"Curiously enough, I feel better than I have felt in a long time. Maybe better than I've ever felt in my whole life."

"That sounds like a good thing. In what way do you feel better?"

"You're terrified, aren't you? You see the new me and you are wondering what happened, what you've done to me, what you've awakened in me."

"Not at all. I'll admit that you do seem to be more at ease. In therapy, that could be a good sign, a sign of healing and growth. However, it can also be a sign that new barriers have been put up. We always try to protect ourselves, Jesus. Sometimes people tell themselves they're getting better in order to avoid facing truths they'd rather not confront. I'm just trying to understand what you mean when you say you feel better."

"Do you go to church, Doctor?"

"Uh... why do you ask?"

"Because today is Good Friday. Today's the day my namesake was beaten, stabbed, nailed to a tree and left to hang in agony until he died."

"That's one way to look at the crucifixion story. You know, you've never expressed any religious feelings before today."

"I never had any, not until recently. I remember, when I was very little, Papa tried to take me to Mass a couple of times. Mostly, I just remember screaming and crying as soon as we got through the door. Mama never went near the church. Now that you've made me remember her clearly, remember her the way she was when Papa shot her in the face, I finally understand why. It was the pain of being on holy ground, the same pain that made itself felt in me."

"Ah, I think you may be mixing a few things together in your mind, things that aren't really related."

"Oh, they're related. Intimately so. You see, until you made all the pieces fit together, I never really knew who my mother was. Never knew who I was, or what I was. My mind has been expanding ever since you opened my eyes. Did you know that, Doctor? Since I've finally stopped fighting myself, resisting the knowledge of my true nature, I've been growing and changing in so many, many ways."

"And what ways might those be?"

"You don't need to be subtle. Go ahead and take your notes, I don't mind. Write down the words that are coming to your mind - avoidance, delusion, monomania, obsession... write whatever you like. In what ways am I growing? I'm stronger, smarter, faster. I don't need to sleep anymore. I can see in the dark and around corners. I can smell aromas left behind a week ago and hear sounds that won't be made until tomorrow. I can read thoughts and control the minds of the weak."

"I see."

"And now you're wondering if I'm just screwing around, or if I really believe all this nonsense. So limited, so narrow and human you are. Mama was a beautiful, wonderful, powerful vampire. She kept Papa as a plaything, but he never knew it. She took his seed and created me as her own little monster, gave me my name as a vicious joke on the God she despised. And Papa never knew. Not until he came back from prison and began to see her for what she truly was."

"And what was she?"

"Did you know that Papa was raped in prison? Over and over, the big men raped him and beat him until he was broken and bleeding. Only a man who has walked in hell and had his soul torn to pieces can see a vampire for what she truly is. When he came home, it took years for him to believe what he saw, what he knew to be the truth, deep down in what was left of his soul."

"Jesus... these things you're saying... do you understand that they aren't consistent with reality?"

"Ha! So cautious! So professional! Talk the lunatic down from his lunacy, eh, Doctor? You're pathetic. I don't wonder that you can't see me for what I truly am, the ugly, twisted half-breed monster that Mama made. She knew herself to be evil, and she wanted something even worse to compare herself to. All my life, I hungered. For what, I never knew. In every memory I have, I'm scared, hurting, confused, in pain. But not anymore. No, now I know who I am and what I'm meant to be."

"Hmmm. We're going to have to continue this discussion at your next session. Our time is up for today."

"And as my power grows, I will control your mind, Doctor. I will use you to make sure I am free to wreak the vengeance I was born to execute. You'll protect me and help me, because you'll have no choice."

"What I'm going to do is put you under observation and order some meds to help you sleep."

"Your science won't help you. It won't save you."

"It can't hurt to try, can it? Oh, by the way...since you brought up religion and your newfound depth of conviction... will you be attending the Easter services in the chapel?"

"There's no need. I'm already risen, Doctor. I'm already here."

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.


  1. some powerful stuff contained in here. It still works better for me to be under impression vampirism is his psychosis, rather than this being a vampire tale. But then that's just my prejudice I think. it certainly works on my favoured level.

    Marc Nash

    1. Thanks, Marc. Despite the ambiguity, I'm glad it packs a punch for you.

  2. Still can't decide if he is crazy or really is a vampire. or maybe both. a crazy vampire. LOL

  3. I wonder if the meds will work? I think he may be delusional, still the piece does have one wondering if it's all in his mind or a reality.

    1. I can tell you this much: the meds aren't going to work.

  4. I like the ambiguity. Though I'm also hopeful that Jesus is just deluded...

    1. Oh, Jesus is certainly deluded. The only question is what part of his world view is delusion and what part is gruesome reality.

  5. The ambiguity is exactly what makes this work. Maybe the shrink should bring a crucifix with him next ime/

    1. ... and maybe some of those wooden bullets...

  6. He (not the therapist) reminds me of the narrator of Poe's Tell-Tale Heart ... "I heard all things in Heaven and in earth. I heard many things in Hell" (that may not be quite right -- did it from memory). Much scarier here, with the ambiguity about madness v. inherent evil.

    1. Ambiguity is the heart of this one. I'm glad it was a source of tension and not irritation!

  7. I fear for the ever optimistic shrink now - love the last line when he asks Jesus if he will attend the Easter service.

  8. Seriously, I love where you're taking this. Your writing just gets better and better. Please let this be the start of a book.

    1. Thanks, Icy! No promises about a book, but I think I need to wrap this story up with at least one more episode.

  9. The craziness here brings all three parts together nicely.

  10. I love how this is going. No matter what part of what Jesus is saying is delusional and what part is real, it seems to me that the therapist is way out of his depth. The tension is cranking up very nicely now that Jesus is starting to process the memory instead of just repressing it.

  11. I'm with Sonia on this I can't work out if he is nuts or really is a vampire. Great follow up though, looking forward to the next installment


Thank you for leaving a comment. The staff at Landless will treat it with the same care that we would bestow on a newly hatched chick. By the way, no pressure or anything, but have you ever considered subscribing to Landless via RSS?