To Die For: Fruedian Slip
copyright 1999 by S. Daniel Wilson
All Rights Reserved.
Doctor Who is copyright blah blah blah...
The psychiatrist bent over his desk, tapping a pencil on a long, yellow
legal pad with one hand, molesting the pointed end of his
salt-and-pepper grey goatee with the other. 'Now then... you believe
that this girl--what was her name again?'
'Nyssa,' Adric murmured.
'Nyssa. You believe that this Nyssa girl's only purpose in life is to
keep killing you, over and over again, is that right?' His voice was
deep and replete with an Austrian accent so thick that it threatened to
downsize the conversation into a mere handful of discernable words.
Adric listened to the doctor as he lay on the patent leather sofa,
staring up at the ceiling, trying not to concentrate on the ominous
ticking of the huge Grandfather clock behind him. The noise was
reassuring in a way, but it detracted from his concentrating on trying
to understand the doctor's words through his accent.
'That's right. She kills me in some nasty fashion--her methods get more
creative each time, too--I die, I come back, I go to work, I get killed
again. It's a viscious circle. Like that movie, "Groundhog Day," except
it happens on different days, not just one that repeats itself.' He cut
himself off before saying more--he caught his tone changing, becoming
angry. Nervous enough as he was, he didn't want to slip up with anything
and have this psychiatrist read more into him than was necessary.
'I see...' The Shrink continued stroking his beard, scribbling notes
down on his pad. Adric stared at him inquisitively, not sure if the guy
was paying any attention to him at all. 'You know, it sounds to me like
you suffer from acccute paranoia, young Adric. Your fear of this girl
leads me to wonder if, in fact, you have negative feelings about your
Adric slid himself into an upright position. Was this guy nuts? 'I don't
'Ah ha! You see? And this nonsense about the girl--I'm sorry, what was
her name again?'
'Nyssa,' Adric repeated, a sure sign of annoyance and discomfort mixed
into his voice. The mere uttering of the name sent glaciuresque chills
up his spine.
'Nyssa, yes. This Nyssa, killing you over and over. This does not make
any sense to me. I think that you believe this happens because of some
psychological trauma resulting from emotional detatchment or perhaps
horrible physical abuse you may have experienced as a child.'
'I have been suffering horrible physical abuse!' Adric blurted out,
totally fed up now. 'I keep getting bumped off again and again!'
There was a lengthy pause, filled only with the psychiatrist sitting
back in his chair (mussing with his moustache now) thinking about the
problem at hand; Adric, quite pale and sweaty, sitting on the sofa
looking expectantly at the Shrink; and the timeless ticking-away of the
grandfather clock that loomed in the corner like a bodyguard for the
Finally the psychiatrist broke the long silence. 'Normally, in
circumstances such as these, I would prescribe long periods of rest in a
state-sactioned mental facility--they have the best mashed potatoes, you
know--and possibly, in extreme cases such as yours, weekly electroshock
Adric was on the edge of his seat now. 'But...?'
'But for you,' the doctor began with a grin that totally betrayed any
professionalism or innocence he may previously have feigned, 'I am going
to make the big leap into controversy and recommend that you commit
Another long pause, this one brought on by the sheer amount of boggling
going on in the young Alzarian's head. 'You're joking.'
'You think I should kill myself? That I'll get rid of my problems by
blowing my brains out or slicing my wrists with a piece of dirty glass
from a broken gas station restroom mirror?'
The psychiatrist harrumphed for effect, and said, 'Actually, you'd be
better off stepping out of this window here,' pointing at the open
window. 'We're twenty stories high in this office.'
Adric stood and made for the door.
'You must think of it on a rational wavelength, my boy,' the Shrink
pleaded after him, and Adric stopped reluctantly and turned to face him.
'Psychotherapy teaches us that we must confront our fears and battle
them if we can. You fear that this girl--what was her name--oh, Nyssa,
right-- you fear that this Nyssa will just go on for all eternity
killing you over and over again. But it is obvious that your true fear
is that of others having the power of life and death over you.'
Strange, Adric thought, this is making an awful lot of sense.
The Shrink continued. 'For you to take that great leap of faith and kill
yourself is to say to the world, "I am Adric and I have the power of
life and death over myself, and nobody can take that from me! I can
choose to live or die, and there is no one person anywhere who has that
power all to themselves!"'
'Yes, you're right!' Adric exclaimed. He was surpised to hear himself
say it. He wasn't sure if he was convinced or not.
Five minutes later, as he stood in the window sill with his hands
gripping the sides of the window in a white-knuckle-fear fashion, he
still wasn't convinced.
The psychiatrist stood behind him, cheering him on like a football fan
on the sidelines at the Superbowl. 'Who's got the power over Adric's
life and death?' he shouted.
'I do...' Adric said quietly.
'I can't hear you!' the doctor screamed.
'I do!' the boy cried.
'AAAAAAAAGH!' In the excitement, Adric realized he'd let go of the sides
of the window, his cold, sweaty hands having slipped off. He fumbled for
something to grab onto as he tipped foreward and into the sky.
The psychiatrist dipped his head out the window and watched as the
flailing Alzarian plummeted twenty stories to the concrete below. Even
at such a long distance from the ground, he still heard the audible
crack of a body breaking in several places all at once.
Nyssa reached up and pulled the wig from her head, then slowly peeled
the latex mask of the Psychiatrist from her face. 'Well,' she commented
to herself as she removed the suit and tie that cconcealed her usual
attire, 'that was interesting.... I wonder to whom I'll send the bill?'