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Ghost Counselor: Some of us are haunted from within.
by Cori Laraway

A counselor learns that her patient has been molested for years, and feels compelled to help her, but must track down the young woman, who has been taken hostage on a killing spree across Texas.

Chapter 1
Daddy's Little Girl

Bonnie didn't even notice the tears running down her face as she scrubbed her young flesh clean of her father's cheap aftershave again. The only thing different was that the rage she'd felt for so long didn't dissipate into helplessness this time. Instead, it spiral...

Chapter 2
Another First Day

“And, here’s your immediate caseload,” said Alura’s new boss, Mrs. Elrod, as she plopped five hefty folders and at least ten slender ones into her waiting hands. 

“We have a meeting every Monday morning at 10 a.m., which is m...

Chapter 3
Bonnie Makes Plans

Bonnie was cleaning the kitchen, scrubbing it down, getting all traces of her father’s mess off of the Formica and the sink with diluted bleach, when she started talking to herself. 

It was in her head, though, so it was just a mental conversation, ...

Chapter 4
Alura Meets Bonnie

Alura Watkins opened the waiting room door and said “Bonnie Prescott?” 

A tall, slender brunette walked to her, and Alura led the way to her office. She motioned the girl to the more comfortable chair in her tiny space, and waited as she settl...

Chapter 5
Bonnie's Yearbook

Bonnie wandered aimlessly through the house, looking through the rooms after having cleaned all morning. The house was spotless, just as Daddy liked it, and she had gone to the store and made sure he was stocked up on his favorite beer. It was a catch-22, where he m...

Chapter 6
Alura Prays for Clarity

Alura was still concerned about Bonnie’s situation when she arrived home that night. She fixed herself something to eat and it was tasteless with her inattention, but it filled her stomach, and that’s what she needed at the moment. Her mind was worrying ...

Chapter 7
Alura's Reading for Bonnie

Alura laid out the cards and was amazed at all the negativity. She’d been doing Tarot readings for over 5 years, and this set of cards was the most unrelentingly dark spread she’d ever seen. She hesitated, then noted down each of the cards and their posi...

Chapter 8
A Perfumed Letter

Mike was lying back on his bunk, reading a dog-eared thriller when mail call came. He didn’t expect anything. Nobody had sent him any mail for a year now, since his mother died. There was nobody waiting for him to get out anymore, and he had no idea where he w...

Chapter 9
Ranger Refreshed

Rick Rios didn’t expect much in the way of a greeting when he walked back into the Ranger station after his vacation, and he was right. Besides a few smiles, curt waves, and a lot of nods, nobody even seemed to acknowledge that he’d been gone for a coupl...

Chapter 10
Bonnie's Second Counseling Session

The second visit with Bonnie Prescott went a little more smoothly, but it was even weirder. This time Bonnie wasn’t as guarded, and let her vulnerability show more, letting Alura in. But she also showed more signs of serious personality disturbance, with behav...

Chapter 11
Frustrated Counselor

(NB: I realize that there are some professional / counseling ethics issues with this scene, but I will fix them in the rewrite.)

Alura passed out the copies of Bonnie’s case history at the staff meeting, as requested by Mrs. Elrod. Alura would have preferred to have watched at least o...

Chapter 12
Alura Becomes Popular At Work

The next week went by quickly for Alura. She was called first to present her case study at the next staff meeting, but she knew what was expected now, and picked an easier case to work with, one that she did “right” from the start, using the counseling s...

Chapter 13
Researching Bonnie's Case

Alura made a detour on her way home to the University library, relishing the familiar feel of the towering shelves as she searched for the texts she needed, and sitting down at her favorite computer terminal to search for and print out journal articles relevant to h...

Chapter 14
Bonnie's Third Counseling Session

Bonnie Prescott looked different when she walked in for her third counseling session with Alura. She was wearing a dress and heels instead of jeans, and she was wearing makeup, which made her pale eyes stand out even more against the light tan of her skin.


Chapter 15
Alura's Case Study About Bonnie

The next staff meeting was tense. Alura went first with her case study, this time having rewritten Bonnie’s case study as Mrs. Elrod requested. 

Alura was eager to share Bonnie’s case so that she could get feedback from the others, but at the ...

Chapter 16

It seemed to take forever for Mike to go from his cellar of a cell to the outside world, and the sun was shining so bright he had to shade his eyes. It was right in his face. Freedom. The prison gates shut behind him without the heavy “clank” he’d ...

Chapter 17
Dinner at Bonnie's House

Having Mike over for dinner was a little more stressful than Bonnie had anticipated. 

She didn’t worry about how clean the house was. She kept it spotless, and you could eat off the floors. But the furniture was shabby and worn, and some pieces were...

Chapter 18
Alura's Premonition

Alura couldn’t stop thinking about Bonnie’s last counseling session. She had never felt such an ominous feeling around a client, and she didn’t know what to make of it. 

She felt, for a few moments at the end of the session, as if her li...

Chapter 19
Alura Checks on Bonnie

Alura felt dread when she parked in front of Bonnie’s father’s house and got out of her car. Why did she feel this way? She was only checking on Bonnie. 

Of course, she might be meeting Bonnie’s father, too, considering that there was a ...

Chapter 20
Tying Up Loose Ends

Bonnie caught Alura as she fell from the stool, and she laid her out neatly on the floor. Her father didn’t even notice, his TV show was so loud. 

She looked down at Alura, who was probably lucky she’d turned at the last minute. If she hadn&rs...

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