DOC: I just want to let you know this is a judgment-free zone,
and you can feel free to speak your mind. This is a safe
CLAIRE: I appreciate your intention, Doctor, but unfortunately
for me there is no such thing as a safe space.
DOC: Oh, I am constantly updating various defenses and
technology to help protect-
CLAIRE: What I mean is there is nowhere I can go where my dark
master cannot find me. No hole I can hide in to avoid him or his
DOC: Oh, I see. And which dark master is that?
CLAIRE: He goes by many names, but I believe you’d recognize
the name Satan?
DOC: Just so we’re clear, your master is… the literal
CLAIRE: Lucifer, Shaitan, the Fallen Angel, Beelzebub… again,
DOC: I see. And you serve him because…
CLAIRE: I sold my soul in exchange for the ability to avenge my
sister’s killer. As decisions go, it was not my finest moment, but
I am beholden nonetheless.
DOC: OK. Is he in here with us now…?
CLAIRE: Are you an agent of evil?
DOC: Certainly hope not.
CLAIRE: Then you have nothing to fear.
DOC: So says YOU.
CLAIRE: If you like, I can enter your mind and assuage your
fears in another way.
DOC: Thanks, but I don’t care for anyone poking around
upstairs. Plus it’d violate patient-client confidentiality in ways
I don’t even want to imagine. So let’s just stick to chatting, and
I’ll do my best to ignore the presence of the literal devil.
CLAIRE: So that’s your solution? Pay no mind to the evil that
surrounds us at all times?
DOC: I never said that. Trust me, every day I go to work I’m
confronted with the evils humanity is capable of. But one of the
benefits of this job is the ability to do something about it, and
to help people address some of their… less beneficial
CLAIRE: Interesting outlook. Do you fancy yourself a
DOC: Goodness no. I simply try my best to be a net positive for
good in the world.
CLAIRE: Do you have any powers?
DOC: I think that’s enough questions about me for now. Let’s
refocus the discussion a bit. Do you struggle with having to serve
CLAIRE: *hesitates* No.
DOC: Forgive me for not believing you entirely.
CLAIRE: It’s just… I was frozen in time for sixty years. When I
awoke, I thought maybe… I would be free of my burden. But it seems
that I will have to do this forever.
DOC: And, at the risk of sounding cliché, how does that make
CLAIRE: It’s… complicated. I can rid the world of evil. I’ve
avenged my sister’s killer, and so many others who would do harm to
the innocent. I have powers most would only dream of. My looks will
never fade nor tarnish. And still…
DOC: You question whether it was worth it.
CLAIRE: Every day.
DOC: What do you dream about?
CLAIRE: I don’t sleep. At least… not in the way normal people
do. It’s more of a recharge after using my abilities.
DOC: On one hand, I’m tempted to go down the rabbit hole of how
your lack of full sleep cycles can destroy you as a functioning
person, but you’re probably immortal so…um…I won’t. Forget the
literal. What are your wishes? What’s your next goal?
CLAIRE: I don’t think I have any. There’s not much room for
that sort of thing. The next soul, I guess.
DOC: And how do you build your life around that?
CLAIRE: I kill them. *awkward pause* Is there supposed to be
DOC: *exasperated* ANYTHING else. Does your boss have a quota
CLAIRE: He keeps track, but I don’t…not really, I had a gap of
DOC: Then there are no excuses. You’re the ultimate freelance
worker. Cater your time to your whims. Relationships, hobbies, I
don’t care. Experiment.
CLAIRE: You can sit there with a straight face and tell a
psychic succubus to get a life?
DOC: *gulp* Well, I…um…
CLAIRE: As if I could randomly find meaning in unimportant
human things anymore. What, you’re going to try and be a
matchmaker, too? Tinder takes on a whole new meaning around
DOC: I don’t know about any of that, but is there anyone you’re
the least interested in?
CLAIRE: No… maybe. It’s complicated.
DOC: You don’t want that person to get hurt in the end.
CLAIRE: *pause* So it’s not so complicated. Stop shutting down
everything I say!
DOC: I’m not shutting anything down. You put barriers up the
moment you sacrificed everything so long ago. That was a temporary
view you decided to make permanent for whatever your reason, and
I’m sure it was good at that point. You’re beyond that now, but
you're still trying to make everything in the world fit inside some
tiny dark space in your mind. I can flip it around so your powerful
mind can master what the world can offer.
CLAIRE: So you’ll turn me into the greatest supervillain ever…
I think my boss already has that title.
DOC: OF COURSE NOT! I’m saying…think Goth Influencer, or
Demonic Consultant. You have so much to offer to society besides
knocking off the next pedophile or mass murderer or
CLAIRE: But what if I don’t want that attention? I don’t
necessarily want to be publicly known as an agent of Satan. The
internal pressure is bad enough.
DOC: Then be in the background; just don’t bury your talent
because it’s based in darkness instead of light. I don’t have all
of the answers, but I refuse to let you wither away like a soulless
husk. Plus if I’m honest, you scare me. The patients I’ve had who
didn’t try something new, just…well, it wasn’t good.
CLAIRE: This whole time, I’ve been studying your mind. Your
soul, even. I can’t find a bit of insincerity in anything you say.
I find your view to be naive…but I can work with that.
DOC: Thanks…? So does this mean you’re not going to send me to
CLAIRE: You’re safe. For the time being, anyway. Thank you
Doctor, I look forward to a future discussion.
DOC: Excellent. You can talk to my assistant and schedule your
CLAIRE: I think I’ll just come find you if and when that moment
arrives. Shall we shake on it?
DOC: Y’know what, let’s just wave and call it a day.
Saving the world doesn't necessarily mean you go home happy. How's the mental health of your favorite superhero? A comic aficionado and a board-certified psychiatrist look at the various neuroses of your favorite heroes and villains and provide options for treatment.