Tansy Undercrypt
Author, Illustrator, Purveyor of Doom & Whimsy


February 13th 2018 in Microfiction

“Sometimes, and I know this is weird, but I feel like the Devil is coming to collect me,” Nancy said nervously. “Like I haven’t made all of the wrong things right and I’m out of time to try.” “I don’t hear weird,” her therapist reacted, “I hear fear, self-judgment, and lots of pressure.” “Okay, yeah,” Nancy agreed (a little self-consciously). “And there’s also the pattern we’ve talked about before: you give yourself an impossible task (fixing everything in the whole wide world) and an impossible timeline (right now, immediately), so that your panic and despair have a good reason to stay active,” the therapist observed. Nancy groaned. “Right, right,” she said, closing her eyes and shaking her head. “So let’s keep working on that pattern through its various versions – this one using very old and arcane imagery to hold us hostage,” the therapist urged, and they spent the rest of the hour on emotional check-ins and grounding exercises. Later, drained from the appointment, Nancy stumbled back to her apartment ready for a quick sandwich and bed. If she hadn’t dropped her keys on the hall carpet, she would never have seen the hoof prints burnt into the welcome mat.

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