Use the Pillow by Benjamin Sobieck

Author’s Note: The effects of hypnotherapy differ for each patient. Consult with your doctor before beginning treatment. The following is only one example of a session. For doctor and patient privacy, some information was redacted. Try it for yourself. You’ll need a friend to recite the script to you.

Dear [redacted],

You recently contacted my clinic. For treatment of [redacted]. Your first two sessions were in my office with me. The next treatment is an at-home session. Of administered hypnosis.

Give this letter to [redacted], my assistant, who will visit you. Get comfortable on a couch or easy chair. Have [redacted] recite the rest of this letter.


Note to [redacted]: Use slow, short, soothing speech when reciting this script to the patient.

Shut your eyes. And breathe. In deep.

Hold your breath. For five. Seconds.

Exhale slowly.

As you breathe. Your body. Relaxes more. And more. And more.

You are. Becoming calm. Peaceful. Calm. And peaceful.

You only hear. My voice.

Nothing else.

The more I. Talk. The more you. Relax.

You are happy. To be so. Peaceful.

You will always. Hear me.

But it isn’t. Important to. Keep your mind. Focused on. My voice.

You are in. A perfect. Peace.

You don’t want. To leave.

So you will. Experience. What I tell. You to. Experience.

Imagine. Yourself. Relaxing. Next to a. Cool stream. Of water.

In a green. Forest. On a. Beautiful. Sunny day.

The air is. Refreshing.

The sounds of. Nature around. You keep you. In a relaxed. State.

You could stay. Near the stream. Forever.

My voice is. Far away. Yet you hear. Me clearly.

You become. Sleepy.

You feel separate. From the world.

You want to. Take a nap. Near the stream.

You move closer. To the stream.

You love. The soothing. Sound of gently. Moving water.

You cannot. Hear it. Enough.

Every second. You hear the. Water. The more. Sleepy. You become.

You move closer. And closer. And closer. To the stream.

Closer. And closer. And closer. To the stream.

Closer. And closer. And closer. To the stream.

You are still. Sleepy. And relaxed. When you fall. Into the. Stream.

Note to [redacted]: Use the pillow.

Who do you. Think you are. To skip out. On paying. Your doctor?

You think you. Can just blow. Off a bill. From me?

I’ve got two. Sick kids at. Home who have. Real problems.

Not like your. Lame ass. [redacted] issues.

I don’t work. For free. Because my. Kids don’t. Get sick. For free.

Note to [redacted]: Continue firm application of pillow.

Dealing with. My sick kids. Makes me angry.

Angry that. They have to. Go through what. They do.

It’s not. Healthy to. Keep all that. Anger. Inside.

I’ve always. Wanted to. Take it out. On someone.

I’d feel. So much better. To have that. Release.

So this is. The way. You’ll pay me.

Thank you. This treatment. Has made your. Doctor feel. So much. Better.

Note to [redacted]: Confirm patient has expired. Call me at [redacted] with the results of treatment. I will then bill his insurance and the state for the session, and send you half the amount. Don’t forget, I owe you a free treatment, too. Let’s plan on next week.


Dr. [redacted]

About the Author: Benjamin Sobieck keeps one vial of the disease and one vial of
the cure at His crime novel, Cleaning Eden,
will be published by Shadow Line Press in November 2010.


Jimmy Callaway said...

Sobiek is constantly pushing the boundaries of flash and constantly succeeding in taking the form to new height/depths. I'd hate him if I didn't like his stories so much.

Charlie Wade said...

This is very clever, really original. You really feel the anger towards the end.

David Barber said...

I highly recommend people check out Sobieck's previous submissions as found in our Archives. He makes reading stuff fun, because of the different formats.

Like this one, for example. You get the feeling that you FOUND something you probably weren't meant to see. I really like this one.

Ben Sobieck said...

If you try this, please let me know. Or don't. Since you'll have a pillow stuffed into your lungs.

AJ Hayes said...

When there's as much revealed in the unstated backwash as there is in the main current of a story then you got a river churning through your living room, but if it's skilfully done, you don't realize it until too late. My furniture's floating and my socks are soaked. Damn you and your river B. Sobieck. Terrific flash. More.

Ben Sobieck said...

Thank you, AJ. I'm trying to give the reader a novel's worth of story - even if it's suggested - within 1,000 words. The reader can consume the entire feeling or suggested plot of a longer work, but not give up a day reading it. I think that's why flash will be an enduring format.

EldonHughes said...

Nice! Outstanding Flash.

W.J. Nunnery said...

That was awesome. I got a feeling of such calm and professional hatred. Very nice!