Authors: Joshua Peck
Chapter 1: The appointment
I was sitting there in a chair waiting for my doctor’s appointment with Dr. Mitchell. He's a psychologist and this will be the first time we will meet. He's rather good from what I heard. I'm anxiously waiting, but I’m unsure if this was still a good idea. I was told by many people I should see someone for a counseling session, but I was too stubborn to listen. I also didn’t like one review that referred to him as Freudian Jesus. I think I read too many reviews on Angie’s list. Either that or I trolled the internet and social media too much. I wanted the best person for the job and I wasn't leaving until I talked to him.
So I sat there anxiously waiting in a cozy leather chair. I was drinking coffee and watching the clock. It was 10:35 and he was late. I can't believe he was making me wait. I hate waiting for people. I heard that patience is a virtue, but I didn't have much patience. Maybe that's why I wasn't a doctor and he was. Ok back track that because that’s what a paranoid delusional person would say. I was sitting there waiting with a cup of breakfast blend coffee I made in the doctors prized Keurig coffee maker. The thing was a piece of crap. It took two times to make one large cup of coffee. I think it had been used so much it needed to be replaced soon. Nothing like having a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The smell of fresh coffee wakes me up. I didn't drink coffee often. Soda and energy drinks were my vice. I sometimes put way too much sugar and cream in my coffee. Some people joked with me, asking if I wanted some coffee to go with my sugar and cream.
As I sat there waiting there was a door that was locked with multiple locks. Who locks a door with a padlock and a bolt lock? Nobody I know locks things away unless they’re trying to keep someone out or keep something in. Great, the paranoia is setting in again! This is why I really need to speak to someone. Whoever the hell is holding up this doctor better have a five alarm emergency! Seriously, this patient better be bat-shit crazy.
Avoiding curiosity was never my strong point. I was overwhelmed with a rush of flooding emotions. What could be behind that door? I tapped on the door. That was probably not a good idea. I heard a tap back and what sounded like a scratching sound. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me. I'm sure I heard a knock back though. About a minute later I heard a low growl and what sounded like my name. It hissed "Greg, let me out". How in the hell did it know my name. I really hope the doctor came soon I think I was losing it.
Chapter 2: Dr. Mitchell
Dr. Mitchell pensively sat listening to the problems of Mildred. He had dreaded her visits but he would feel bad if he referred her. He didn't care hearing about her failed marriages, dead husband, older children, or sickly cat. Mildred was full of drama and she was a hypochondriac. She had a house full of cats and they were her life. She thought people were following her, she thought everyone was angry with her, and she believed that someone was out to kill her. She brought the problems on to herself. Her oldest daughter was an alcoholic, her youngest son died of an overdose, and her widowed husband’s son robs her blind. She creates her own chaos, but Dr. Mitchell can't help but listen and try and help her. He’s entertained by her like a soap opera. He also can't help but laugh uncontrollably on the inside. Finally his session was done for the day. "We're done for today Mildred. The sand has reached the bottom of the hour glass and time is precious. My people await me. Let’s make an appointment for two weeks from now. I look forward to talking to you again really soon" said Dr. Mitchell. He gave her an appointment for August 15th at 10:30. Until then he didn't have to deal with her drama. He sat down and made a quick cup of green tea. He spoke into his Dictaphone about the appointment and reminded himself to write notes later. He already had 2 appointments today and he had three more patients to see today.
Now he had to deal with the drama of a new patient. Who was next up to see him? Oh it was a new patient who he had talked to briefly on the phone. Dr. Mitchell read the patients file that was sent from another psychologist and he read it quickly. He called him in and put on a smile as nicely as possible. "Oh hello you must be Greg. Please come in and sit down. Hold on one second I have to answer this phone call." Dr. Mitchell said.
Chapter 3: The Doctor is in
I was sitting in the chair waiting patiently for this doctor. Wow these chairs were comfortable. He had to run and make a phone call. That’s what they have secretaries and answering machines for. I guess not today.
“Thank you for waiting Greg. So Greg what brings you here today? What troubles you? If you could explain it in a few sentences to someone else what would you say” said Dr. Mitchell inquisitively.
“Well Doc here’s the thing, I think everything around me is overwhelming me and my very existence. I feel like people are following me and everyone is talking about me. I know it might be all in my head, but it’s becoming overwhelming. I even heard scratching at your locked door and it sounded like there was something or someone calling my name from behind there” I said emphatically.
“Greg, now hold on don’t be silly. That door only has my stuff behind there. I live in the house next door to here that’s connected to the office” said Dr. Mitchell.
I think he seemed alarmed that I mentioned the door. Had no one else ever mentioned the door? Seriously why that door would be locked like that is beyond me? It was especially locked so securely that no one could enter if they wanted to. He must have been hiding something in there he didn’t want anyone to see. Well he must be an idiot if he didn’t think I would find out what was behind that door.
“I am experiencing a lot of issues with depression and anxiety. It’s so overwhelming I don’t even want to leave my house sometimes. Have you ever felt so comfortable with your home that it becomes your sanctuary Doc?” I said with mild anger.
“Yeah but not leaving and not allowing yourself to experience the outside world can be detrimental. Soon that sanctuary becomes your own prison” Dr. Mitchell said with enthusiasm.
“Wow I never thought of it like that. Thanks for the great insight. I guess I should leave more often. I should go out to night clubs or find a hobby. Maybe join a bowling league or something like that.” I said to him heartily.
I still wondered what was behind that door! I knew I wasn’t crazy. I heard scratching and I heard a growling voice. The sound of it sent chills down my spine. The fear of the unknown was worse than anything else. It was rather eerie and unsettling. I know I’m not crazy even though I was waiting to talk to someone about myself. I needed to talk about what was going on with my life. I was on the verge of going insane. I wish he would just tell me about the door. I knew that this appointment was going to be interesting. I wondered if he thought that I was being too nosey. I hoped he didn’t think that.
He looked at me rather puzzled. “You’re the first person that really asked about the door. You have balls Greg. Not sure if you really are insane or just curious. Curiosity killed the cat you know. Believe me I know and it’s a damn shame! I had a cat named Peaches who bit a plugged in lamp and died of electrocution.” Said Dr. Mitchell sarcastically. I’m not sure if he was being sarcastic, serious, or a little of both.
“The door holds wonders beyond your wildest dreams. It has a box in there that is alive. Remember the saying that magic comes with a price. Well believe me I know. That’s why that door stays locked. If the box stays in there, what’s inside can’t get out” said Dr. Mitchell.
“So you’re afraid of something so much you lock it away? Hiding from something is no different than running from it. I know I have never ran away from my fears. I only have a few things that I have kept hidden and tried to keep hidden for a long time now” I said emphatically
“Ok tough guy you finish one session and tell me one dark secret about you no one else knows and you can take the box home. This box holds magic beyond your control though and even after one wish you probably will bring it back. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The box is dangerous and the box will feed on your emotions” said Dr. Mitchell now sounding agitated.
By now I could see he was agitated and he was starting to get red in the face. I felt bad for him and I thought that maybe I should just end the session. Maybe it might be better that way. I didn’t wat him to know about my past and what happened as a kid. I decided to talk anyways. Might as well get this over with.
“Ok, no one knows that I killed a childhood friend. He fell out of our treehouse and I put him out of his misery. I hit him with a large rock so he wouldn’t suffer anymore. He probably would have been paralyzed or been a vegetable. I turned him over so it looked like he fell face first. The medical examiner must not have noticed anything different. I was only 10 and I have held on to this guilt all of these years” I said with emotional distraught. I haven’t told anyone and I don’t think anyone would really understand.
“You’re right, no one would probably understand! This is something very personal. You have been holding on to this for 15 years. As long as you haven’t hurt anyone else then I can understand why you did what you did! I imagine that the family has dealt with a lot of pain over the years though” Dr. Mitchell said inquisitively.
“I can’t even talk to his parents or family anymore. It’s too emotional. He was one of my best friends. I just feel like it shouldn’t have haven’t he fell when we were climbing out of the house” I said with tears in my eyes.
“Well since you were honest and told me something no one else knows I guess you can take the box. I will warn you that it feeds off your every emotion. Take care of it. When you make three wishes the box will no longer work. Be careful of what you wish for because sometimes what you wish for has bad consequences. Don’t wish for ill-gotten gain, time reversal, or bringing back the dead. It won’t end well” Dr. Mitchell said with a smile.
“I will do my best to make you proud doctor. This sounds like it’s going to be easy to handle. So is it like a genie trapped in there or something?” I said with confusion.
“Or something. I have never been able to really figure it out. I don’t think I want to either! I will end our session for today and I will make a new appointment for one month from now on August 31st
at 1:30 pm. How does that sound?” said Dr. Mitchell with a crack in his voice.
“It sounds fine with me. I enjoyed our session. I will be careful what I wish for doc and everything will be fine!” I said with a smile.
Chapter 4: The Box
I walked home to my less than meager studio apartment. I had the box in a little knapsack, hoping that nothing would happen to it. It was only a walk of about 4 blocks home so I think I can handle it. I daydreamed about the box and its actual contents. It worried me that this box had controlled Dr. Mitchell for so long. The doc looked like he was petrified of this thing. I’m not sure what happened to the doctor, but maybe he has more psychological issues than I do. I kept walking and kept allowing my mind to aimlessly wander, that was until I almost got hit by a large truck. It was my fault, I walked right out in front of it. Frankly, I almost caused a serious accident. I noticed that time itself seemed to freeze for a split second though. It was either that or I was having a psychological episode. This box had to have stopped everything around me so I could get across the street safely. I wasn’t sure if I should be impressed or appalled. I guess I didn’t pay attention to the doc when he said that the box feeds on your emotions. All this thinking was making me hungry.
I stopped at a Chinese restaurant not very far from my house. I ordered a quart of sesame chicken, an egg roll, and some fried dumplings. I waited at one of the table’s while my food was cooking and like always a group of them flocked together. They usually sit and bad-mouth the customers who come in in Mandarin Chinese. Today I could understand them. The skinny, well taken care of lady cashier said to her female coworker “I wouldn’t touch him with your crotch”. I shouted back to them in Mandarin Chinese “I wouldn’t touch you with your boss’s dick. Tell Mr. Miagi that if he puts anything in my food you’ll be the one whacking him off when I break his hands” I said angrily. I felt on top of the world. That’s the first time I actually stuck up for myself. The box was giving me a false sense of bravado. I got my food and paid for it. I walked the rest of the way home and ran upstairs to my studio apartment. I ate my food and I imagined some more what might be in the box. My curiosity just kept gnawing at my brain. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was just an elaborate ruse. Did the doc think I was stupid or did the box really have some sort of special powers? Could I actually make a wish and it actually come true? Fat chance that would actually happen…but it was worth a try.
I put the box on the table in front of me and stared at it. I thought about my wish intensely. I didn’t want to say it out loud, but from what I understood you had to say your wish in order for it to happen. That’s how it happened in all of the movies and cartoons right? I thought for a second longer. I then started to utter my wish. “Magic box I wish…”