"and you've been having these dreams for how long now?" Doctor Meister tapped his black Shaefer fountain pen against the page on his clip-board.
"About three months, but it's so confusing that I get muddled up. Mickey says I've been tossing and turning in my sleep whenever he's been home on leave from the rig." Sally offered. " I don't know what to do. The pills Doctor Fraser gave me don't seem to be helping. Can you help me like you did before?"
His patient was clearly near breaking point and doctor Meister had no intention of being beaten by someone's psychosis.
"Yes, of course I can help you, Sally. I want you to try something for me. It's not difficult, although it doesn't work with every patient. I'd like to try hypnosis. At the moment, as you say, things are confusing for you, but if we can put you under hypnosis for a few minutes we'll be able to clear the fog away and I'll have a much better understanding of what's actually going on."
He looked at the large fob watch chained to his waistcoat. Following Sally's gaze he laughed. "No, no Sally. You've been watching too many B rate movies. We don't really use watches. Come over here."
Meister directed her to a seat in front of a large silver metronome.
"Here, look at this all the mod cons in Meister's practice, Sally!"
He pulled the blade of the metronome to one side and started speaking slowly and evenly as he released it.
Tock, tock, tock, "Watch the silver circle, Sally." Tock, tock, tock.
"As you watch the circle, Sally and see it move from side to side, I want you to think of the last time you had a really good night's sleep. Remember? It was so long ago and you are so tired now. Wouldn't it be good just to relax and let yourself go. You deserve it, Sally. You are so, so tiredrelax nowjust relax. That's it, close your eyes, you need to rest. Sleep nowsleeeep."
Meister checked her eyes.
"Can you hear me,Sally?"
"Mmmm." She was under.
"Okay, Sally. We need to take things back to when the dreams began. Can you remember the first dream, Sally?"
"Nnnnggg," Sally's head moved suddenly and her face contorted.
"It's all right, Sally. I'm here with you. You're okay. That first dream think back. Can you remember it?"
"Nnnnggg, NO! Nodon't want to remember"
"Sally, you must! You must concentrate. What happened in that first dream?"
His patient's movements became more violent as she swung from side to side in the chair.
"No, no, I can't, I won't, I"
"You must remember, Sally. Something must have happened to set these dreams off. You must know and I must know if you know what it was!"
Sally's eyes snapped open.
"I've remembered," she hissed. "It was you, you bastard."