Dr. Rosenberg’s voice was low and monotonous as Evil Editor slipped deeper into trance. “You are going back…back…to when you first became evil.”
He moaned and shifted restlessly.
“Relax. You will feel no emotions. It will be like watching a movie. Are you there yet?”
“Yes,” came a piping child’s voice.
“How old are you?”
“It's my seventh birthday. I wanted cake and a party, but Mommy made me dress in a white shirt and trousers—and put a blindfold on me. She took me to the car, and I sat in back while Mommy and Daddy sat in front.
“When we got out, Mommy and Daddy took my hands and we walked awhile. Finally we stopped and they took off the blindfold. We were in the woods. There was a fire, and a stone altar. On it was a Hewlett-Packard printer and a dead cat and a pile of paper.
“Surrounding the altar was a crowd of people wearing white robes with ink stains all over them. Mommy and Daddy were wearing them, too.
“It was then I realized my parents were—writers!”
He sobbed pitifully; Dr. Rosenberg comforted him, leading him back into the hypnotic regression.
“A tall figure came forward, obviously the leader. I recognized him from the back covers of my parents’ books.”
“‘Is the initiate present?’ he asked solemnly.
“‘Yes, O Final Proof,’ the others answered.
“‘Let the Published Ones come forward.’
“The people in the most ink-stained robes came forward, my parents with them. When we reached the Final Proof, he said, ‘Place the initiate upon the Writer’s Block.’
“My father lifted me up. ‘Read aloud the first page of the Sacred Writing,’ intoned the Final Proof, ‘to prove you are worthy.’
“I picked it up and read: ‘Renowned curator Jacques’—Hey! Wait! There are at least two dangling modifiers in this paragraph, and way too many adjectives! And there’s an unjustified point-of-view shift in—
“The screaming started. ‘Editor! EDITOR!’ The printer on the Writer’s Block exploded; the dead cat yowled and ran off; and everyone fled into the darkness.
“I never saw my parents again.”
Dr. Rosenberg closed her notebook as Evil Editor sobbed. Yet another young life tragically ruined by childhood abuse by a satanic cult.