Both times before, I wished I'd a place in my port for my entries...this time I do!
|My body feels heavy as I lay with my eyes closed on the worn leather couch. The air conditioning hums, lulls me into deeper relaxation. Dr. Vincent’s gentle voice floats across my consciousness, mingled with her floral perfume.
“Now, Gracie, I want you to think of an animal. Choose one that is fierce, fearless, powerful. Think. What animal do you see?”
“Tiger,” I whisper without hesitation.
“Good,” says Dr. Vincent. “I want you to imagine you are the tiger. Your body is muscular, able to run at incredible speeds. Your senses are sharp, and you can see and smell other animals before they notice you. Feel the power you possess.” Her voice trails away like evaporating mist.
I look around me. I'm moving through tall grass. My giant paws pad across the ground with silent strides. I stop, sniff the air.
Dr. Vincent’s words carry to me on the breeze that bends the grass. “Gracie, John Black will be led into the courtroom. He will not be able to touch you again, but you will have to look at him.”
The fur on the scruff of my neck bristles as the skin below it prickles. I move one cautious paw ahead and freeze, crouched. I hear the gurgle of rushing water. My yellow eyes fix, unblinking, on movement up ahead. With slow, feline grace I stalk the enemy. Belly low to the ground, I reach the stream bed. Across the way, a lone gray wolf laps up the water. I leave the safety of the my hiding place in the grass and step into the rushing water, never breaking my gaze. The wolf looks at me, greedy jowls dripping.
“You’ll tell the truth about the night John Black attacked you…”
I stare at the wolf’s jowls and he begins to growl; his snout curls back barring sharp white teeth…
“…First your lawyer will ask you questions, and then the defense attorney…”
…and the wolf grows bigger before my eyes; his legs elongate and his back curves up toward the sky. And I realize I’m shrinking, I’m not the tiger. I'm just a small striped cat. I’m the cat I had when I was a child; the cat that was killed by a car when I was eight years old…”
I’m roused by the sound of my whimpers and Dr. Vincent’s gentle hands stroking my arm. I open my eyes and she hands me a Kleenex. My heart races and I struggle to slow my breathing.
“It’s going to be okay, Gracie. Just relax. You did well today.” She jots down something on her clipboard. “We still have four sessions before the trial begins. You’ll be ready.” And she smiles at me.
I cover my mouth with the tissue and turn my head toward the wall.