13 Nov 1997
Short Story Challenge
A story for the challenge. No matter how I revise it, it insists having exactly 531 words.
Rated PG for non-steamy adult themes
OK to archive to MKRA
Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Alex Krycek, and "The X-Files" belong to Chris Carter and 1013 Productions. No copyright infringement intended.
Special thanks to my beta reader Boadicea!


The Dream
by Ellen Smithee
<esmithee@yahoo.com>

"Tell me about the dream," the doctor said in a thick Viennese accent.

Mulder observed the psychiatrist through narrowed eyes and sighed. Beating up that suspected serial killer had definitely *not* been a good idea. Now he was stuck in mandatory counselling with this prop from an old movie, and somehow he could not manage to convince himself that this was better than losing his job. The man was a Freudian, for Christ's sake!

"I'm in a dark alleyway. The buildings seem to be caving in on me. A man is there..."

"What kind of man?"

Mulder sighed in exasperation. "I don't know! Wait... it's Krycek."

"Krycek? Ah, yes, this would be the other man you *like* to hit."

Mulder bristled at the implication and just barely managed to refrain from jumping across the desk to take the shrink in a headlock.

"*Yes*," he growled.

"What is he doing?"

"Nothing, he... he's naked. And he's holding an eggbeater."

The doctor's eyes lit up at the mention of the eggbeater. Now this was a symbol to which he could relate. He removed his meerschaum pipe from his mouth, weighed it in his hand, nodded, and said, "Aaah."

"'Aaah'?"

"Yes, Agent Mulder. Everything is quite clear to me now."

"Fine. Do you want to explain it to me then?"

"Agent Mulder, it is not up to me to explain your dreams to you. I am just here to help you find the meaning within yourself."

*@#%$!* thought Mulder in annoyance. This shrink was not as easy to manipulate as others had been. Mulder decided to play dumb. "And how?"

The doctor tugged thoughtfully on his tobacco-stained white beard and smiled enigmatically. He was not about to reveal trade secrets to a *psychologist*. They stared at each other for a long moment, each attempting to determine what Mulder would say next.

The psychiatrist finally broke the tense silence. "What do you feel, Agent Mulder?"

"What do you mean?"

"Before you is a naked man. How do you feel about that?"

"I feel... rage. The bastard killed my father! He betrayed me! He's smiling at me in that insinuating way. I clench my fists. I want to kiss him."

"Pardon?" said the shrink, raising a bushy eyebrow.

"I said, I want to hit him."

"That is *not* what you said -"

"It doesn't matter what I said! Look, I know what you're getting at. You think that my compulsion to hit Krycek every time I see him stems from repressed homosexual feelings. But that's not it! He represents my dark self, my violent side that I have to learn to control, the dark alley is my rage and fears pressing in on me, threatening to crush me."

The shrink smiled complacently. "That is all well and good, Agent Mulder, and I would accept this theory if not for one thing..."

"And what's that?"

The psychiatrist was now smirking. "The eggbeater, Agent Mulder. The eggbeater."

Mulder opened his mouth to protest, but the doctor raised his hand.

"Time's up."

After Mulder had fled from the office, the psychiatrist removed the video from the hidden camera and presented it to the one-armed man waiting in the anteroom.

The End