Le Démon et L'Hypnotiseur
Ne Plus Jamais Dormir (Never Sleep Again)
Cina somberly tidied up her empty shop on that peculiar windswept day. A hypnotist with an attached apothecary wasn’t exactly in demand in the year 2009. People just weren’t interested in the mystical arts anymore; technology and science had become their new forte. No longer being a spring chicken, she was dismayed at the thought of turning fifty the subsequent week. Vitality and a youthful appearance never hurt in gaining customers. She sighed as she disposed of a jar of herbs that had been sitting on the shelf so long that they no longer emitted any scent, and were certain to no longer contain any beneficial properties. If business kept going like this, she would be forced to close her doors before long.
The thought of leaving Woonsocket wasn’t so awful though. A bigger city, with different vibes, and more density might be just what a business like hers needed. She didn’t much like the people there. Most had determined her work quackery, and they often had an air of superiority when speaking with her. Finding the resources to start up her shop somewhere else was really the only concerning aspect.
The front door swung open and a local doctor with disheveled hair and a prominent scowl entered the shop. Dr. Yoptas, a woman who conducted herself as if the queen of the town, and demanded everyone else treat her accordingly. Years ago, she had endeavored to have Cina shut down when her business had been flourishing. Discussion of locals turning to natural remedies for their aliments and no longer needing to frequent the doctors infuriated Dr. Yoptas. She started a campaign to drive the shop out of town, labeling Cina a snake oil salesman and referring to her methods as scams.
Her philosophy like many doctors was to keep the patient sick with various pharmaceuticals and invasive procedures so they would keep returning. There was no profit in cures. As the saying goes, nine out of ten doctors agree with the methods that line their pockets. The doctor hadn’t succeeded in having Cina shut down, but she had surely slandered her name and work, in turn swaying many in the town away from ever considering a visit.
“I need assistance!” Dr. Yoptas squealed.
“How can I help you?” Cina hid the contempt in her voice. Doing so had become ridiculously easy. She often thought the best customer service merely required the best acting, and she had become an excellent performer.
“Well, you probably can’t help me”. She scanned the shop with a look of revulsion engulfing her face. “But see, I am quite desperate. I have spoken to several colleagues and have even seen a specialist in Providence, but none have been able to fix my problem.”
“What problem is that Ms. Yoptas?”
“Doctor,” she interjected insolently. After taking a second to give Cina a spiteful glower she continued. “See I have been having sleep problems. Quite strange ones actually. Visits.”
“Yes. At first, I thought it was just your basic sleep paralysis and that it would resolve on its own. Yet it has continued to become more dreadful! A creature keeps bothering me. One with large malevolent eyes, a disintegrating face, and the smell of a hundred deaths. He seems so much in my room. I can feel him sitting beside me on my bed. He sometimes likes to sit on my chest so I cannot breathe. I have even woken up with scratches on my arms. I took some pills thinking it was caused by anxiety. I had a PET scan. I even went as far as drinking some of that silly chamomile tea! Nothing has helped, and I fear to go to sleep again as it only seems to be getting worse!”
“Of course, I personally believe that this screwball baloney hypnotism stuff is a farce, but I am that desperate that I am willing to try it. If only in an attempt to establish that is all just a bad case of sleep paralysis, that I scratched myself, and that there is no creature actually visiting me. Even though I know there is not, of course”. She laughed feverishly. “Preferably you can just give me one of these absurd herbal concoctions to stop the experiences and I can be on my way.”
“Going under hypnosis could be beneficial.” Cina remained professional even in the presence of such disrespect. After all, she did need the money. “Perhaps we are dealing with a case of trapped negative energy, or an unconscious barrier arising when you are transitioning between stages of sleep and wakefulness. After we attempt to determine that, then I may be able to recommend some beneficial herbs for the situation. I can setup an appointment for you tomorrow if you’d like?”
“Tomorrow? Oh no! This needs to be down tonight! It is an emergency for goodness sake! You don’t understand! At night I can feel him breathing on me, his smell lingers in my room. He has even seemingly dropped saliva on me, and it is there when I awaken! Please we must do this now!”
“Okay… sure let’s do it right now then,” Cina shrugged.
She placed a ‘Be Right Back Sign’ on the counter and procured her little black notebook before they disappeared into the back area.
“What is that for?” Dr. Yoptas pointed at the leather notebook.
“It is so I can take notes during our session.”
“Is that really necessary? I do not want there to be a record of this.”
“It can be beneficial to take notes and lay everything out so that I can come to a proper conclusion on your situation. It will be purely confidential and I will not list any identifying information”.
“Very well.” The doctor interlaced her fingers and looked around the backroom as if it was an alien planet.
It took awhile to put the doctor under as she was resistant to the process, but eventually the session proceeded glowingly. Cina scribbled in her notebook ardently before finally bringing the doctor back to consciousness.
“Well, were able to figure anything out?”
“Yes Dr. Yoptas. It appears your sleep paralysis is triggered due to poor sleeping positions that are exacerbating neck pain, and negative energy trapped in your muscles.”
“I said all that?”
“Yes, you mentioned excruciating pain in-”
“What about the scratches?”
“It is likely that you scratched yourself in a sleepwalking type state following a sleep paralysis incident, in an attempt to defend yourself from the visions you were having.
“So, there is no creature actually visiting me?”
“Of course not.”
“Ha ha, well then! How can these episodes be stopped?”
“Well, I am going to recommend drinking a strong cup of entada rheedii before bed and sleeping on your back to alleviate the neck pain.”
They proceeded to the front room where Cina packed up the herbs and wrote a quick note of dose and brewing instructions.
“All right.” The doctor examined the bag incredulously.
“Also,” Cina disappeared behind the counter and tore a page from a large book which had accumulated a hefty amount of dust. “Put this by your bed before going to sleep. It is a symbol of healing that will help release the negative energy accumulated in the body.” Cina copied a Latin phrase from her black notebook onto another piece of paper. “Also be certain to say these words before you go to bed tonight. I know it may sound wacky but it is essential to helping you end this sleep disorder.”
“Hmm.” Dr. Yopatas examined the paper with skeptical eyes. “Why not?” She finally exclaimed.
Cina sat in her apartment later that night with a sort of restlessness encompassing her. She alternated between observing herself in the mirror and examining the clock. When the hour reached 2:00am, she hopped in her shabby vehicle and made her way to Dr. Yoptas house. She paused upon arrival to affix her hair into a bun and pull on a pair of leather elbow length gloves.
Entering through the backdoor which had been left unlocked, she proceeded to the doctor’s bedroom. There she found her lifeless with a look of terror frozen upon her face. She had been clawed to death with particularly inherent gashes that stretched from her collarbone to her stomach. Blood had been strewn across the walls and even extended to the ceiling. Her nightstand held the papers containing the symbol and Latin phrase, an empty teacup, and a lump of cash. Cina acquired the cash and the papers before hurrying back to her apartment.
The next morning the chirping of birds stirred her from a revitalizing slumber. She cautiously walked over to the mirror and inhaled deeply before gazing into it. She rejoiced upon seeing herself. Her skin was reminiscent of a porcelain doll, her hair akin to the finest silk; years had been swept from her age. She couldn’t stop smiling and was hesitant to cease looking in the mirror for fear that it be only a dream or delusion. After several minutes of self-admiration, she dashed to her desk full of energy and counted the money she had collected last night. She nodded her head approvingly when she ascertained that she had obtained $20,000.
The truth was that she hadn’t exactly been honest with the doctor. Upon hypnotizing her, she had found a fascinating truth. She had indeed been having visitations, by a French demon named Pyuteré. Cina had remembered reading about him in a book many years prior. He was a lesser-known demon that enjoyed terrorizing people in the space between wakefulness and sleep. He was seldom able to do physical damage, aside from a significant rampage in the 18th century, but had definitely induced his fair share of mental distress over the centuries.
He had been thrilled to be able to utilize Dr. Yopta’s hypnotized body as a vessel to communicate with Cina. He recognized that she was a wily woman who had woes about aging, and whom had been slighted by his target. He found that a simply delightful coincidence. They had made a deal. Cina would arrange from him to be able to pass into the physical realm to collect the doctor’s soul in exchange for youth and beauty. If all went well, they would continue working together thereafter.
The task had been simple enough. To begin with, directing the doctor to sleep on her back, which was exactly the opposite of what someone with sleep paralysis should do. Then instructing her to take a dose of entada rheedii twelve times stronger than advised. The plant, also known as African dream herb, assists in keeping people unconscious, usually for lucid dreaming or astral projection work. In this case it lived up to its reputation of allowing the user to create a line of connection with deities from other realms. Finally, she convinced the doctor to put Pyuteré’s sigil near her bedstand and use an incantation that invoked his presence. Perhaps knowing all that was going to happen, she had also instructed the doctor whilst under hypnosis to empty her bank account, place the cash on her nightstand, and leave the backdoor unlocked.
Cina smirked as she eyed the sigil lying next to the heap of money. She was ready to skip town and start a new life in the big city. There was undoubtedly an exhilarating future ahead of her. She was an excellent actress who now had an amazing agent who’d be sure to find her plenty of gigs.
About the Creator
M.R. Cameo generally writes horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and nonfiction, yet enjoys dabbling in different genres. She is currently doing freelance work for various publications.
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