A man goes to the hypnotherapist and gets more than he expected
|The worst thing for Harry was the waiting. He was alone in the dowdy little waiting room save for the wall-mounted TV turned to a talk show and the stink of artificial rose scent that hung in the air. The digital clock on the wall seemed to run on Pluto time, with each minute ticking up after what felt like ages. One one wall of the waiting room was a portrait of a king cobra rendered with the kind of flourish that one would expect from a painting of a queen. There was a fat little brown spider crawling around on the leaves of the artificial lily plant in the corner of the room, Harry didn't normally like spiders, at all, but at that moment it was the most interesting thing in the room. After twenty arduous minutes, the door swung open and a mousey looking woman stepped out.
"The doctor will see you now." she said, with a slight stutter. Harry sat aside his magazine, a dog-eared baseball weekly that was a couple years out of date, and stepped inside.
Harry should have known something was up when he went into the hypnotherapist’s office and saw the tail of a huge python coiled in her chair. Atop the tail was the upper torso of a woman in professional garb: suit jacket and high-collar shirt, both the color of desert sand.
She looked up from her book; her jungle-green eyes met his.
“Oh, Mr. West” She said with a slight hiss, “You’re early.”
“Err… Yeah.” He tried not to stare at the snake tail as he spoke. “My doctor referred me to you; he said you’d help my insomnia?”
“Of course” She pushed off the chair and slithered over to him with disconcerting speed and grace.
“I’m Dr. Khala, Hypnotherapy specialist. He told me about your…” she got even closer to him, her slit pupils glaring through her spectacles into his own eyes. “…your problem.”
Harry looked down at her tail and was quite struck by how beautifully the light reflected off the shiny brown-and-black reticulated scales.
“Do you have any questions before we being?”
Harry snapped out of it.
“Uh… Does this make me under your control or whatever?”
She laughed. “Oh no, I can’t do anything you didn’t want to. That’s a common misconception. Hypnosis only really gets results from willing patients.”
He became aware that she was wrapping her tail around his legs.
“Shall we begin?” She said, and Harry couldn’t help but find her green eyes very pretty, like a pair of gemstones.
“Good boy.” She said. “Please let me know if you at any point feel uncomfortable. “
She smiled, her forked tongue flicked out of a gap between her front teeth.
“I will.” Harry said; he not entirely certain if he should ask why her tail was up around his waist. Dr. Khala took her glasses off and stared into his brown eyes. If her eyes were magnetic then, they were inescapable now. They were such a rich shade of green, with flecks of yellow like leaves in a forest stream. He felt her tail coil up around his chest, holding his arms gently but firmly to his side. The tail had such a smooth pleasing texture.
“Look into my eyes, Harry.” She said, and he already was. An easy start.
“I can feel the tension inside you. Clear your mind for a while. Forget the world.” There was something about her voice, it made him feel safe. He felt himself being drawn into her eyes more and more, noticing more of the color, that brilliant yellow-green.
“Relax and listen.”
He felt numb to the world, like his entire existence was suddenly constrained to just the little office, and her eyes, the tight embrace of her serpent tail.
“You are relaxing and listening.” He indeed was, on both counts. The whole thing felt cozy, like slipping under a fleece blanket. He blinked and discovered that he could still see her eyes with his own closed. Her mind echoed through his mind like footsteps in an empty concert hall.
“I want you…” She said with a tantalizing pause. “To picture yourself as a lizard.”
As oddball as it was, it worked. Harry’s mind blinked to an image of himself as a fat, contented gecko in a glass terrarium. No worries, just a heated rock and a dish of water. Sleeping all day when it’s cold outside… Not a bad deal. He continued in this fantasy unaware of a scaly rash that had started on his shoulders.
“Don’t you think you’d be happier as a lizard? Smooth, scaly skin, not a care in the world.”
He didn’t voice his agreement, but she had somehow picked it up.
“You are a lizard. A happy little gecko.”
Had Harry been in any other situation, he’d have been quite concerned with the scales spreading over his back and neck. They started out thin but grew steadily thicker, taking on a rich green hue.
“You feel your humanity slipping away.”
A comfortable feeling of disconnection spread over him, mind and body. The tips of his fingers felt numb, and they seemed like they were wider, flatter than before but that matter was only on the very edge of his consciousness and quickly fading as the naga continued with the procedure.
“Your cares, your worries are disappearing from your mind. Only lizard thoughts remain. Think lizard thoughts.”
The scaly rash had now spread to his arms and legs. They were now unmistakably lizard scales. A small knot was pushing out at the end of his tailbone. But the only thing Harry could think about was sleeping in treetops, the tropical sun on his back.
“As you listen to these words, your body is changing.” His mouth and throat felt funny, swollen.
“Embrace the change. Embrace the lizard.”
His hair felt like it was thinning out.
“Your shirt looks so uncomfortable. Lizards do not wear shirts. Don’t you want to just not bother with it?”
The way she said it, it made so much sense. Harry pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on the floor, not breaking eye contact with Ms. Khala. His belly had taken on a waxy white color as the scales made their journey across his body. He felt so soft, so smooth…so relaxed. Khala took the chance to coil her tail further up his bare chest, holding his arms lovingly to his sides; her grip was so soft but firm as steel.
“You are embracing the change. You feel so much more comfortable without the rest of your clothing. Your inner lizard is telling you to let it out.”
And so Harry felt his pants travel down his legs, Khala turned him on his back so he rested on her coils, giving him plenty of room to kick them off, showing his now-completely scaly legs. He felt something push against the waistband in the back of his boxers; a quick adjustment and his whip-like tail came free, where it linked itself around Khala’s own.
“You feel your new paws growing in. Lizards need big, strong paws to climb with. Your fear of heights is not even a memory. Lizards like climbing. You like climbing.”
His shoes were much too small now, he pulled them off, not even bothering with trying to undo the laces; then he pulled his socks off. His feet felt so much better now that they could breath, he flex his toes, admiring how adorably round his toes were, how perfectly suited for climbing.
“You see a mirror in your mind’s eye. You look into it and see a lizard looking back at you. This is your new identity. Your new self…Your new face.”
Having said that, Harry’s face finished pushing out into a sloping reptilian muzzle; human nose becoming a pair of nostril slits. He opened his mouth and a long, sticky tongue lolled out, he took a moment to experiment with its new shape, it felt so much more flexible. His throat felt different, savoring the pleasurable tingling as it reshaped itself to work better with his new anatomy.
“You feel your inner lizard crawling up to the surface, with every passing second it becomes more dominant, more in control… until it is the only part of you. Let it take over.”
He felt claws, tiny delicate little toes crawling all over his brain. Playful long tongs caressing his gray matter, exploring him, becoming one with him. Why was he ever unsure of this? Why did he ever doubt the good doctor Khala?
“When I give the command you will wake up. Are you ready?”
“Then you are waking up.”
“You are awake.”
Harry found himself on the carpet of the office, feeling like he had just woken up from a long night’s rest.
He turned to look into the mirror on the side of the room and found a very handsome lizardman staring back at him with big, golden yellow eyes. Pine green scales that flowed perfectly into creamy white. A physique that was lithe but toned. He turned around and admired his tail, three feet long and decorated with purple horizontal stripes; he couldn’t help but sway his hips and watch it move. His tiny ear holes picked up on an errant buzzing, the black blurry shape of a fly darting about the room. One snap of his tongue and it was dealt with.
“How do you like it?” Khala said, there was a glint in her eye that made him get down on his back, without conscious thought. She caressed his soft white belly sending electric waves of pleasure through him.
“This is perfect.” He said, unsure if he meant the transformation or her attention. "I had my doubts about the lizard thing but this... this is fantastic!"
“Same time next week?”
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Khala stopped, leaving him slightly disappointed.
“You know, you could refer a friend to me next time.”
Harry smiled.“I think I’ll do that. “
Khala took his paw in her hand, giving it a firm, professional shake. He felt her slip something to him. It was a cassette tape, "Session One" written on it in rich green ink.
"Just lend that tape to a good friend of yours..." she said, her voice taking on an almost naughty tone."...and that should get them plenty interested. "I've always wanted to make a crocodile."
"Now..." Dr. Khala said, clearing her throat. "There's the small matter of the bill..."
And then she saw that the window was open, catching just a glimpse of Harry's tail as he climbed down the outside wall out of sight and out of reach.