Shrunken Heads

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"Best quote"

Jasper squints his eyes into narrow slits as he stares at the therapist across from him. While the couch on which he sits may be designed for patients to lay on, his feet are planted on the floor and his elbows rest on his knees. All in all, he is physically blocking himself from the therapist to whom he's been talking to for the better part of an hour.

Blue jeans, a crisp blue button up shirt, and a pair of shiny black Clark's serve to make Jasper appear more casual. Yet his posture is anything but casual. His chin rests on his hands as he stares beyond the therapist. His jaw tightens as his eyes open some. "Look," he clears his throat, "It's not like I called you willy nilly here, doc. It's like they happened to me. Not some previous lifetime. Not some random fantasy. TO me. Here. Like a memory." He pinches the bridge of his nose.

A slow, grim nod from the white-haired man in the chair across from the couch. "I understand what you're saying, Jasper, and while our time is up, I believe the best thing I can do is to recommend you to someone I know who works in what we call 'hypnotherapy'. It's often effective with this kind of memory recall. How do you feel about that?"

Jasper leans back in his seat and exhales a slow breath. He'd come here with a measure of skepticism in the first place, and now he's being recommended some alternative therapy. But then the urge still hasn't abated. The memory still has its presence. He can almost taste its reality. The smells. The air. He nods vaguely, as if this body language magically answers the man's question. Feelings— it's always about feelings with these types. He coughs once. "Look doc," he pinches the bridge of his nose, "I'll go see this hypno-whosy-whats-it." But he won't talk about how he feels about it. Not when time is up. That means he, like the therapist, is off the hook.

"Hypnotherapy," is repeated patiently as he rises from the chair to his desk, pulling open an antique filing cabinet but pulling an ID chip from it that's only a few months behind. Still, it's telling, even before he mentions, "She works below the line," in the slums, which he refuses to say outright; a small pause as he turns the item in his hand before returning to Jasper to offer it, "But I think you'll get what you need from Alice."

A bitter smile tugs at the corners of Jasper's lips. It stays longer than he intends, but with a fleeting wave of his hand, his tone becomes fleeting, "Fine." And then a pause. Alice. His eyebrows draw together and he leans forward in his seat once more, his attention evidently piqued. "Alice?"

Eyebrows tweak together, "Ah, I'm sorry," he flaps his hand then offers the chip a second time, "Dr. Dodge."

"Riiiight," Jasper clears his throat. His head tilts to the left and his eyes narrow. "Doctor Dodge." Alice. Alice Dodge. Find Alice. "Alright. I will go see her." Alice. Maybe it'll make a difference?

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