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“I have a boat….well, it was my late husband David’s boat…”--Elizabeth Smith
The therapy room was the color of twilight. The blonde woman laid back on the couch and stared at the gray ceiling. The young Doctor, who had light hair and wore spectacles, which gave him an air of authority beyond his actual age, sat nearby.
“Okay,” the Doctor began, “I want you to relax. Gently clear your mind. Now, when I count to three, I want you to visualize. Okay? One. Two. Three!”
Elizabeth “Libby” Smith closed her eyes.
“Where are you?” the Doctor asked.
“The sea,” Libby began, “on a boat. A sailboat.”
“Describe everything that is happening around you,” the Doctor said, “are you alone on the boat?”
“No,” Libby replied, “my husband David is with me. We’re sailing our boat. ‘The Elizabeth’. He embarrassingly named it after me.” Libby smiled gently.
“Where are you sailing to?” the Doctor asked.
“We’re a few hours out from Tahiti,” Libby continued, “David wanted to test out the boat. We were planning to sail halfway around the world to the Mediterranean. It was wonderful! The sea was calm. The ocean air was so sweet and fresh! It was the first real vacation we had had since we got married.” Libby smiled at the recollection.
“Please continue,” the Doctor said.
“The day was so beautiful,” Libby continued, “so perfect until….” Libby’s smile began to fade.
“Until what?” the Doctor asked.
“Until the storm!” Libby’s voice became strained. Stressed.
“It is okay, Libby,” the Doctor said, “no harm will come to you. You are safe. You are now just an observer of your memories. Tell me more about this storm!”
“It was just so strange,” Libby continued, “I mean, one moment the sky and sea was so calm and clear. Then the next moment, the sky became so black! The sea so dark! The winds suddenly picked up! The waves began to crash against the hull! David struggled with the wheel! He yelled for me to quickly lower the sails!”
“Were you successful?” the Doctor asked.
“Yes,” Libby continued, fear now covering her face, “but it didn’t help. The waves kept coming! The rain began! We couldn’t see a thing! David said the compasses were spinning! We didn’t know where we were or what was happening!”
“What happened next?” the Doctor inquired.
“It was just so pitch black! The day just turned to night in a matter of moments,” Libby continued, “then suddenly. Rocks! We hit some rocks! The boat was lifted up by a large wave! David and I held tight to the throw lines. I thought we were going to capsize! Then I guess I sort of blacked out!”
“What do you next remember?”
“We’re on the shore. A beach. David and I. The storm is gone. Its calm again. Sunny. We both seem to be okay. Just shook up a bit. The ‘Elizabeth’ is beached. David checks it out and said it seemed to be okay except one mast was broken. David says we can fix it. We still don’t know exactly where we are. I ask David how soon can we fix the mast and get out of there!”
“You want to quickly leave?” the Doctor asked.
“Because,” Libby continued, “I don’t like it here. There is just something strange about this place. I just can’t describe it!”
“What are you feeling?”
“Really nervous,” Libby answered, “very anxious!”
“Okay,” the Doctor continued, “please tell me what happened next.”
Libby took a deep breath and slowly exhaled.
“I’m helping David fix the mast. Its getting dark.”
“Is the storm returning?”
“No. The sun is setting.”
“Did you tell David about your feelings?”
“No. Well, yes! I said I didn’t want to spend the night here! He just laughed. David said that even if we fix the sail within the next hour, it would be too dark to set sail. He said we would spend the night on the boat. Then finish fixing the mast in the morning. The tide should be back in by then, which would help us re-launch the boat.”
“Then what?” the Doctor picked up a small leather-bound book and scribbled some notes.
“Well,” Libby continued, “we bedded down for the night but I couldn’t sleep!”
“I kept hearing something. Something out past the jungle line. I awoke David but he said he couldn’t hear anything at all.”
“What did you think you heard?”
“I really don’t know,” Libby answered, “like something was moving around amongst the trees. It felt like someone or something was watching. Waiting.”
“Did you eventually fall asleep?”
“Yyes,” Libby nervously stammered, “I must of dozed off. But David awoke me!”
“Why did he awake you?”
“Well, he didn’t mean to. He was coming back into the cabin.”
“He had gone outside?”
“Apparently, yes,” Libby answered, “I didn’t know he had left. I was really angry with him!”
“Why were you angry?”
“Because! Because he didn’t wake me and tell me! Because he left me alone! Because he left!”
“Why did he leave?”
Libby laughed, “he said he had to go to the bathroom!”
The Doctor smiled.
“But something was strange,” Libby said.
“Yes,” Libby replied, “Even though I was asleep when he left, it just felt like David had been gone for hours! I didn’t think about it then but it made sense later!”
“What do you mean?” the Doctor continued taking notes.
“I mean,” Libby continued, “in the morning things were different!”
“Different? How so?”
“David was different,” Libby’s face took on a sudden air of confusion, “he seemed distracted. Not himself. Very serious. No emotions.”
“Well, he had a lot on his mind, trying to get the boat fixed.”
“It was more than that,” Libby replied, “he would look at me and it was like he didn’t recognize me. Didn’t know me! He looked at me like he…like he..”
“Like he what?” the Doctor asked.
Libby’s eyes began to tear up, “like he wanted to kill me!”
“Relax, Libby”, the Doctor said, “you’re still safe. Continue, please!”
“He also seemed to loose interest in fixing the mast. I asked him to help, that we had to get out of there! But he would get angry!”
Libby shook here head. “I don’t know, I can’t remember anything else!”
“Libby,” the Doctor began, “I’m going to continue the count. On six, you will fall into a light sleep. You will still be able to hear me and answer me. You will still be safe. But you will be better able to visualize your memories. Okay. Ready? Four….Five….Six!”
“What do you see, Libby??!!” the Doctor immediately called out.
“No!!” Libby cried out, “David! No!”
“What, Libby, what is happening??!!” the Doctor asked.
“David has an oar in his hands!” Libby replied between sobs. “ ‘I’m going to kill you, you Bitch!’ He cries out! I beg him to put the oar down! I look into his eyes. They’re dark! Lifeless! Soulless! I don’t understand! David takes a swing at me! I manage to run away! But he comes after me! I run around to the other side of the boat! David is screaming, ‘Come here, Libby! I just want to talk to you!’”
“What do you do?”
“I remembered something,” Libby replied, “I’m so scared! I climb back on board the boat and run into the galley for something!”
“What, Libby?” the Doctor asks.
Libby is now visibly shaking! “I remember I must get something from the galley! I’m now in the galley! I hear David up on deck! He’s still screaming my name! He's now coming down into the cabin! I’m still looking in the galley!”
“What are you looking for, Libby?”
“I’m still looking in the galley,” Libby cries out, “David’s almost here! He’s going to kill me, I know! I don’t know why, but I know he is going to kill me!!” Libby is now sobbing uncontrollably!
“You are safe, Libby,” the Doctor comforts, “tell me what are you looking for?”
“I finally find it!” Libby calls out, “I finally find it!! David has kicked in the galley door! He raises the oar. I’m so scared!”
“Then what happens?”
“THEN I DID IT!!!” Libby screams out, “I PULLED THE TRIGGER SIX TIMES!!! I PULLED THE TRIGGER SIX TIMES!!!!!” Libby screams again. She falls off the couch onto the floor sobbing!!! “I KILLED MY HUSBAND!!!! I KILLED DAVID!!!”
The Doctor immediately helps Libby up off the floor and back onto the couch!
“Listen to me, Libby!” the Doctor begins, “you are safe! On the count of nine, you will relax into a deep sleep! Ready? Seven… eight…nine!” With that, Libby slowly stops sobbing and slowly drifts off to sleep. The Doctor gets up and goes into the next room. A thin, very tall man, in an expensive suit, is sitting at a table looking through some files.
“You monitor all of that?” the Doctor asks.
The man glances up, “Yes,” he answers, “what is your initial analysis, Doctor?”
The Doctor frowns, “I think she is telling the truth!”
The man glances back through the files.
“According to the report she filed with the Coast Guard,” the man says, “she and her husband were caught up in a sudden storm but her husband, David, fell overboard during that storm and was lost at sea. She managed to weather the storm and bring the boat in on her own!”
“Well, she is a certified yachtswoman,” the Doctor said.
“Yes,” the man grimly replied.
“What do you want me to do with her?” the Doctor asked.
The man reaches into a briefcase and pulls out a document and hands it to the Doctor.
“Go back in,” the man instructs, “and implant these instructions into her sub-conscious. She might turn out to be useful for us. Then check her out of Santa Rosa. Be sure to give her this before she leaves.” He places an Oceanic Airlines round trip ticket to Sydney, Australia on the desk, then gets up to leave.
“Do you believe her, Mr. Abaddon?” the Doctor asks.
“Its not important what I believe, Dr. Brooks!” Abaddon answers, as he exits the room. The End. Next Story: “The Magic Box”