After weeks of the Mesmerist's "animal magnetism" sessions, Ditta ought to have been cured, and yet the Mare returns every night. She fights off sleep as long as she can, but eventually darkness descends. Terrifying creatures chase her through forests as she fights them off breathlessly.
Perhaps the doctor's approach has been too subtle. When he pushes Ditta closer to her animal nature, will they fight off the Mare together... or submit to its salacious whims?
Warnings: This short story contains torn gowns, gothic nightmares, shapeshifter sex, and fear. Appears in the anthology "Blood Addict."
Word Count: 3,900
“Good afternoon, Doctor Jesper.”
“Ahh, Ditta! My favourite patient.” The mesmerist bowed deeply. “Please, take a seat. Be comfortable.”
Ditta sat at the edge of the familiar chaise longue. “I am relieved you could see me on short notice, Doctor. The mare has returned.”
“Ah, yes.” The doctor puffed reflectively on his pipe.
“You said I would be cured after last week’s session.” Ditta cocked her head. “Perhaps my faith in your methods has been… misplaced?”
The doctor’s moustache curled fiendishly when he grinned. “Not at all, dearest Ditta. If anything, my approach was perhaps too subtle.”
Ditta’s heart raced. “What do you propose, Doctor Jesper?”
“The Mare is guiding you in one direction, and our treatment has attempted to rein her in. This course of action has been ineffectual, as you say. Instead, we must provoke the efforts of Nature. Rather than drawing you away from the Mare, we must push you forward, into her lair. You must surrender yourself.”
“But Doctor!” Ditta clutched at her breast. “I could do no such thing. Her ways are sordid and sinful.”
“Yes,” Doctor Jesper agreed. “And if you wish to be rid of her, you must submit.”