In Maybelyn's nightmares for the next week, the stars fall out of the sky that also rains acid and her sleep is never peaceful.
Thunder strikes people dead while sea creatures crawl out of the sea for prey, as pets turn on their owners like a switch has been flipped inside them; all the sun melts people to ash, and the most infamous serial killers have risen from their death sentence.
The best word for Maybelyn's nightmares is chaotic.
Prayers and indulgences never seemed to help Maybelyn be free from her personal Hades, but she never gave up hope, because The Lord will free her from her suffering whenever he sees fit, and that is what she firmly believes.
Business is more frequent as Halloween draws nearer and nearer, due to the superstition of many onlookers into the unnatural world.
A skeptical elderly man is brought in by his fanatic daughter in law, a single man comes in just after being fired from his job, in hopes of finding what the future holds, a teenage couple visit to try and consult the spirit of their dead friend, and dozens more of people just like these.
What's left of the regulars come still, and Maybelyn tries as hard as she can to keep her regulars away as of lately, because she can not handle any more death.
"Listen, Peter, I applaud your consistency, because you've never missed an appointment and I appreciate that, but I think you should take a break for awhile, maybe sit back and relax and try to see if what we are doing here is working" Maybelyn suggests to one of her new favourites; Peter.
"I get what you're saying, May, and I also appreciate it, but I feel like even one month without it would start me back at square one, and I wouldn't know what to do with myself" Peter explains.
"Please, Peter, take a vacation from me for awhile. Lately I've been quite the toxic person to be around, and I want to keep you safe, but please just come back in three weeks at the lest" Maybelyn practically begs.
"What did I do? Why do you want to get rid of me?" Peter says through a laugh, but his laugh being laced with hurt feelings and sadness.
"Peter I told you, I'm just a bit of a toxic person to be around, it's got nothing to do with you!" Maybelyn tries to explain.
"It's not you, it's me!" A mock-female voice comes from the shadows.
"Who was that?" Peter jumps.
"I'm the ghost of your dead mother, Peter, you're a failure!" Mitchell mocks again.
"My...my mother is s...still alive" Peter chokes out.
"Not anymore, Peter" Mitchell scoffs.
"Who is that?" Peter asks again, through glossy eyes.
"Mitchell" Maybelyn simply states.
"Listen Peter. Time to go. See you in a month" Maybelyn says and moves from her chair behind her desk to where Peter sits, grabbing his arm and guiding him speedily towards the door.
When Maybelyn reaches her hand out to the door it closes shut and locks violently.
"I want to know who that is and what he's talking about!" Peter exclaims.
"Calm down, woman, why so eager to get the young man out? Tell him what he wants to hear" Mitchell calls.
"Mitchell is my son. He's a psychotic necrophile and a serial killer. I wanted you to leave because he is killing all my clients and there's nothing I can do about it" Maybelyn explains.
"Wow, had to add the necrophilia in there, huh, ma?" Mitchell scoffs.
"Am I going to die? Is my mom dead like he said?" Peter asks sadly.
"Click bait, my friend, click bait. You would've left if I didn't say that your mother was involved because she is your weakness. You're frail and soft spoken, you don't have brash hands, your button up with the semi casual shoes but sport jeans say you shop like you were dressed up by someone as a child, you sit up straight, and you have high emotional levels.
You're a mommas boy, and it was the easiest thing to spot.
Now to address if you're going to die, that would be yes.
Don't worry, it'll just be a pinch" Mitchell says, slowly walking into the light until he is fully exposed, holding toothpicks, needles, a bear trap, and barbed wire, and Maybelyn's heart skips a beat, and then all too suddenly is pounding in her chest so hard she feels like she'll die from impact.
"Why do you have to do this, and in such horrid ways? People's lives matter. I'm here to try and help them but you are taking their lives! I just want to understand!" Maybelyn shouts through tears pouring down her face.
"I don't have to have an explanation. And I'm a serial killer, not a psychiatrist, go tell someone else about your problems" Mitchell snaps.
"Now, if you would be so kind as to step into this bear trap, simply for my comedic pleasure... Failing to comply will result in needles in your gums" Mitchell says and Maybelyn shakes in horror.
"Mitchell, I didn't raise you this way, what is wrong with you?" Maybelyn screams.
"You didn't raise me at all! Ghosts raised me, and killers raised me!" Mitchell yells back.
Peter has tears welled up in his eyes, but bites his lip so hard it bleeds just to keep from crying.
"You're trying to buy time for him, but he can't escape anyways, so your efforts are useless" Mitchell says as he impatiently paces.
"Do it, Peter. Your family doesn't like you anyways. They'll be thrilled you're off their hands, because you were always an inconvenience to them" Mitchell says and Peter slumps over in pity.
"Mitchell! Why?!" Maybelyn screams.
"Peter, put your foot in that trap. Stop thinking about that guy you met in the lecture hall, stop thinking about your roommate and what he's doing, stop thinking of your secret daydreams of being a singer, because it's not going to happen! Just put your foot in the trap!" Mitchell yells over Maybelyn.
Peter slams his foot in the trap all too quickly and cries out in pain as soon as the trap grips his ankle.
"That's good" Mitchell says calmly as Peter tries to muffle his sobs.
Maybelyn stares in horror at both her son and poor Peter's bloody leg.
"Here, use this for your leg" Mitchell says softly and pushes a bucket of water and a rag over to Peter.
Peter wastes no time grabbing the rag and ringing it out only slightly before putting it on the open wound and then crying out loudly again.
"Is that saltwater?!" Peter screams and Mitchell's lips curve into an evil smile.
Peter tries so hard to take the trap off his leg but can't.
When Maybelyn goes to help Peter she feels a hard thud to her head and then falls over from blacking out.
Sometime later, when Maybelyn wakes up, she is met by the sight of Peter tied to a chair, with his leg now completely clipped off from the trap, and his mouth is a pool of blood held open by toothpicks that punctured the roof of his mouth and his gums, and his face is contorted by needles that are stuck into him from all different directions, and for his sake, she really hopes he is dead.
Maybelyn rolls over to see the metal bar that mitchell knocked her out with, and almost goes to reach for it until she hears his voice.
"Leave it. He's almost dead and you can't even stand up" she hears, and again gets knocked in the back of the head to pass out for eighteen hours.