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“It was the only place I felt really safe in all of Dodgey City: Charlotte’s dust filled attic with the telescope that she often pointed to the Moon, Mars and other heavenly bodies to also escape the stardust glitter all around.”

“Stardust,” said the doctor, now a therapist. “Interesting term. Can you elaborate further?”

—–

“They made… *cartoons* out of me. It was awful.” The sobbing began again. The doctor-therapist offered her another kleenex from the second box used today. “They thought it was *funny* (sob sob sob, blow nose, sob sob, sniff).”

“There there,” said the dr.-therapist. “Take your time.”

“I — (sniff sniff) don’t *want* to go back.”

“No one’s sending you back, Jem. Take your time,” she or he emphasized again. Probably a she… because of the nature of the events that took place there.

“Those cartoons you spoke about,” she started carefully once more. “Did you…”

“*NO*,” stated Jem firmly, guessing what the doctor-therapist was going to ask, an almost prescient moment. And perhaps it was.

The doctor-therapist decided not to bring John L. Brown of the Browns into the picture today. She looks up at the clock, pretends the session is over even though it is 12 till the hour. “That better be it for today. You can take that box home with you.”

“Thank you,” BLOOWWW.

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