“Oh, no–I did it again,” Callie whispered as she stared at the dried blood on her hands.
She lay naked in an alleyway, behind a pile of garbage bags, crates, and boxes. It was late in the morning; she looked about furtively, trying to see if she could recognize the area.
She crept towards the end of the alley with one hand over her breasts and the other over her crotch. To her knowledge, she had the same sexy body she’d had in the swimming pool. Sexy, but smelling of sweat and garbage.
She noted a street sign on the corner: it was white with black bordering, like many seen in Toronto. In fact, the street itself looked familiar. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Well, Kluh? she asked. How do I get home?
Trust our instincts, the spirit told her. Do what we did last time. Sense if there’s a man walking by who’ll be suitable.
Callie backed up and hid behind some boxes. Then she closed her eyes and concentrated. She could feel the psychic energy connecting her with her surroundings, including all those passing by the alley. Kluh’s connection to her mind made it easy for her to master this meditating. Many men and women walked by: she focused her scanning on each person’s thoughts, wishes, and desires.
The women, as well as one gay man, would have been safe for her to present her nakedness to; but she sensed that they were all either too busy or apathetic to be willing to help her. The vast majority of the men would have been so voracious in their sexual appetites that she’d have risked another sexual assault, and therefore another transformation into the beast.
Then, one rather timid man was approaching. She sensed that he’d desire her, but be gentle enough with her to exchange a pleasant sexual favour for borrowed clothes, a shower, and a ride to her apartment. She chose him, flashing with a grin he mirrored.
As the beast had been racing and jumping about the night before, Kluh had used her powers to put Wayne’s landlady in a trance to go into his apartment and retrieve her purse and clothes, all before the cops arrived. The entranced woman arrived at Callie’s apartment just in time, around noon that day, when Callie also got there, so she could unlock her door and get in.
That afternoon, she lay on her bed thinking about her situation. That merging of her mind with Kluh’s was progressing. Now what scared Callie wasn’t being raped, nor was it even killing potential rapists: she now not only liked the sex, getting a thrill from the danger of being assaulted, but she was also beginning to like the killing.
“I need to find a shrink,” she said.
Good idea, Kluh told her, knowing exactly which one to direct Callie to.
Detective Agnes Surian had been sulking at her desk that morning until the newspaper was dropped on her lap.
“Prepare to brighten up, Agnes,” Detective Andrew Thurston said. “The dawn of a new day for the Mort Brahms case.”
“Oh?” She looked at the headline on page two of the Toronto Star: “Toronto Man Clawed to Death by Mysterious Hairy Beast.”
“Did that flash of insight put the fire back into your heart, cutie-pie?”
“Yes, it did, Andy,” she said with a smile. “Like a bolt of lightning. Looks like I’m heading off to T.O.”
Callie found arranging an appointment with Dr. Visner easy and prompt, for he had a free afternoon that very day…thanks to Kluh’s influence. She went up to the fifth floor of a building in downtown Toronto, then walked into the reception area.
“Ms. Seaver?” the receptionist asked.
“Yes,” Callie said. “Is Dr. Visner in?”
“Yes, he’s waiting for you. You can go right in.”
“Thank you,” Callie said, then went over to the door of his office. The sign on the window said Dr. Chris N. A. Visner, Psy.D. She put her hand on the doorknob and paused. He’ll never believe me when I tell him about you. He’ll think I’m crazy, which I probably really am. She turned the doorknob.
That’s OK, Kluh mentally replied. Getting all your pain off your chest will be good for you. That he’ll never believe in the clawed beast means we’ll be safe from the law.
She opened the door and saw Dr. Visner sitting at his desk.
Her eyes widened at the sight of the handsome middle-aged man. “Holy shit.”
“Is something wrong, Ms. Seaver?” the therapist asked.
“Oh, no…it’s just…you look a lot like my late stepfather.”
“Oh?” he said, gesturing to her to sit on the couch across from him. The transference is already in effect, he thought. I still don’t know what possessed me to cancel all my other appointments today.
Indeed, Visner was a lot like Mort, in many ways. His wavy, grey hair, the soothing sound of his voice, and his agreeable manner were all practical replicas of her stepfather; but especially there was Visner’s choice of clothes that day–a grey suit and vest, with a red dress shirt–the outfit looked eerily similar to one Mort often wore.
Good, Kluh thought. He dressed in the exact way I influenced him to this morning, all without Callie knowing. My power is growing, with every lover.
Callie sat on the couch, still feeling awkward and at a loss as to what to do. “What should I say?”
“Anything you like, Callie,” he said. “Is it OK if I call you by your first name?”
“Of course,” she said with a nervous giggle. “But I don’t know how to tell you…what’s bothering me. It’s going to sound so crazy.”
“Don’t worry about what I think,” he said, his Bob Ross-like voice sending ASMR-like tingles all through her. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s troubling you. Just say whatever’s on your mind, and don’t censor yourself. That’s crucial.”
“O…K…,” she began. “It all started, I guess, when my mom and dad got divorced, she got custody of me, then he basically showed no more interest in my life. I was about ten.” There was a lump in her throat. “Then, she met a man–Mortimer Brahms. He was so smooth with the charm, with me as well as with her. I actually liked him at the time he was dating her.” A tear ran down her cheek.
“Did she marry him?”
“Yes.” She fought to keep from sobbing. “And that’s when my real troubles began. He–” She paused, letting out a sob.
She sobbed again. “Yes. He told me never to tell Mom, that it was me he was in love with.” She sobbed some more. “He…had me…for the first time…when I was…twelve.”
“Oh, my God,” Visner gasped, then handed her a Kleenex.
At the coroner’s in Toronto, Detective Surian was looking at the claw wounds on Wayne’s body.
“The wounds have the same contours, the same look to the slashes, the same cutting style, as on Mort Brahms’s body,” she said. “It must have been the same animal…if only I could identify what kind of animal.”
“I don’t know if this will help your investigation,” the coroner said. “But the cops found Wayne’s body, fully clothed, with his fly open and his penis hanging out. You don’t suppose he tried to commit bestiality with the animal, and that’s why it killed him?”
“If he did, it must have been one hell of a sexy animal,” she said, “because Brahms’s body was also found fully clothed, with his fly open, and his dick showing.”