The Cure

A medical condition can hurt a girl in the most vulnerable place -- her confidence.
And hurting a girls confidence?
This girl isn't going to recover anytime soon.

Three years after being diagnosed with the unattractive, torturous tourettes, an impulsive action that must be done or the person gets wildly uncomfortable and stressed, Thalia is still searching desperately for something to reduce the impulse.
But it's harder than you think when the antidote is being calm - and in a world Thalia thinks is against her, she battles to keep her head above the waves of a storm she'd been expecting for so long: but an unexpected person changes all of that, and Thalia finds everything she's worked so hard to build up, to protect herself until she's cured, come crumbling down around her.
And then somebody tries to kill her.

Based on true medical issues.


7. The Killer


Alec wasn't at the Sessions on Monday.

Or Wednesday.

Or Friday.

By the time next Monday rolled around, Thalia was itching all over with the feeling of something bad of happening to him; and she was ready to visit him after session forty nine (including the ones she'd been at by herself), but he appeared within the last five minutes.

He didn't come into the class, however.

Just stood outside.

And when she emerged from the room, did she see him push off from the wall, and move towards her. Thalia hitched her bag higher on her shoulder, and her eyes rested on the bruise on his face. She didn't say anything about it, and when he stopped in front of her, she was so relieved to see his face, she almost wanted to hug him.

But she didn't, because he had that look in his eye.

The distant killer look; and Thalia took a step back automatically.

"Are you okay?"
"We need to talk."

"Okay then -"
"Not here." And he reached out and forcefully took her hand. She gasped, and tugged it back. And strangely enough, he let her, starting to walk on without her.

She hurried to catch up a few seconds later, and they darted out of sight of the hospital: and nearing the school Thalia attended.

Her heart jumped to her throat as he lead her into the nearby park, and remained five paces in front until they arrived in the middle.


And then he turned towards her.

Thalia grimaced, and waited for him to attack, or try to kill her, but he did none of the sort.

Instead, he took her hand.

And he squeezed it tight.

"Are you okay?" Thalia stopped flinching away, and she froze. She looked at him, closely. His eyes had soften, and he looked paler with the bruise on his face. She couldn't help but stare at it.

"I'm fine," She croaked. "But you're not ... Was it my fault? Did I cause you to get that?" Alec shrugged, and for the first time since meeting him, he looked something other than strong.

He looked frighted.

No longer the one in charge.

"My little sisters in trouble." He spoke quietly, quickly, like he was afraid to be overheard, and her hand was getting clammy in his tight grip. "Her tourettes are kicking up, and it's - it's not good. I need ... help. I need your help to stop her."

"I can't do anything! I can hardly control my own -"

"Please, Thalia!"

"I can't! Dr Grant is who you need to go to! Or your dad -"
"My Dad is an abusive asshole, and I need to get her away from him." He took her other hand. "Thalia, come on. Please. For me. All you need to do is just see her. Just for half an hour: that's it. Maybe if she met somebody else with her condition, she'll calm slightly." Thalia cracked her neck, and instantly pulled her hand out of his grip, to rest it against her neck, in a way to try and suppress the motion.

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"Because I can't! And why should I? All you've been to me is mean, and horrible, and sick, and just - just plain rude! You always take the piss out of my my coping techniques! Why should I help you?"

"You're not helping me, that's the thing! You're helping a younger, more innocent girl. Somebody who deserves help! Somebody who deserves somebody better than me!"

"Everybody deserves somebody better than you!" And she ripped her other hand out of his grip, but it went to his face. She traced the bruise with the tip of her finger, frowning slightly. "What happened?"
"I fell over." Alec pulled back quickly, and looked to the ground. "Just say you'll help her. Please."

"Fine - IF," And she looked for a long time at Alec. The older boy flinched under her stare.

He looked younger today. Vulnerable. "If you promise not to kill yourself."
"I wasn't going to."

"Promise me. Promise me you weren't, and you won't. Never ever, okay?" He scowled, and then, stuck his hand out.

"I promise." Thalia nodded, and blanked his handshake.

"Where is she then?" Alec nodded towards the lonely park a few meters away, and only then did Thalia notice the small girl sitting on the swing, staring straight at them.

She was out of her nightdress: she had on a baggy top that looked like it belonged to Alec, and jeans that had been rolled up a thousand times to fit her. Her hair was mangled, and pushed behind her ear in a knotty, greasy mess: and her eyes were sunken in to her head. She couldn't make out any facial features, but she could see the bruise on her forehead, and it didn't look old.

Thalia swallowed hard.

"What happened to her?"
"Long story - but just, just don't judge her for what she says, okay?"
"Huh?" Thalia turned to look at Alec, but he was gone, already halfway across the field to get to the park, and Thalia had to jog to catch up. When she arrived, she saw the two exchange a quick hug, and then Alec pulled the young girl towards Thalia.

"Thalia, this is my younger sister, Flou. Flou, this is the girl I was telling you about." Telling you about? That doesn't sound good.

"She's doesn't look mad?" Alec looked slowly over at Thalia, and he shot her a halfhearted smile.

"Oh, don't worry. She is." He had a slight prick of his cockiness back, but it was still feeble, and weak; so Thalia ignored it.

"Hey, Flou. From what I hear you have tourettes too?"

"And I'm crazy."
"Like your brother?" And the two siblings exchanged a little smirk.

"Not that crazy!"

"Hey!" But Alec ruffled her hair lovingly, and then quickly spun on Thalia, as if he just remembered she was here. He cleared his throat, and looked to the ground. Thalia looked at him for a long time, and then back to Flou.

She smiled, and knelt down to her height.

"How are you coping with it so far?"


"Don't lie, Flou - she's not fine. She gets upset by it." Thalia didn't look at Alec, and waved a hand for him to shut up. He did, irritated.

"What tics have you got?" The younger girl gave her a long look, and then shrugged.

"I don't know."
"Do you make humming sounds? Grunting? Swear? Or is it physical? Is it last touch? Jerking of the head?"

"I don't -" And she looked at Alec, suddenly distraught. "I don't know -"

How don't you know what tics you have?

Thalia stood slowly, cracked her neck, hummed in annoyance, and look over at Alec, confused. But the older boy wasn't looking at her. Just staring at his little sister with such intensity, it frightened Thalia.

And she stepped in front of the younger girl quickly.

"Alec," She said slowly. "If she doesn't have tourettes, why am I here?"

"She does have it -"
"You sick bastard! I can see she doesn't! Do you think it's funny to play around with medical conditions? You spiteful -"

And he attacked her.

Just like that.

She fell flat on her back, and he was on top of her in seconds, pinning her down.

His eyes were alight with anger, and scary; and he lifted his arm to punch her: but Flou was there, and she was stronger than she looked.

"Alec," She muttered. "It won't go well. You'll kill her." Thalia felt light headed and dizzy, and it wasn't just the force of his body on hers. "You'll kill her if you punch her. Or you get up, and you're both fine."

His eyes were still dark and angry; and his bi-polar was definitely kicking in, but his voice was abnormally calm.

"Flou," He spoke without removing his gaze from Thalia, and the girl cracked her neck several times in a row, struggled hard underneath him at his touch - which he seemed to enjoy in a twisted way. "Go home, and lock your door."
"But Dad's home -"

"He's not your dad, and never will be - just go. He's not home anyway ... I made sure of it." And, with slight hesitation, Flou pulled her hand back.

"Alec, just don't hurt her -"

"Go!" And without angering her brother any more, she turned, and ran across the park, fast, nimble, like she was used to sprinting away from situations.

With her brother? She probably was.

"Alec -" Thalia gasped, and she drew him away from his dream world, and back to her. He gave her a funny look; and she breathed in sharply. "Please. Please just get off." She didn't expect him too - but he did. Quickly. And then held out an outstretched hand.

Thalia swore, and rolled onto her feet. "I hate you," She gasped. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!! Why did you call me all the way over here just to see your sister, who hasn't even got tourettes, and talks about you killing me!"

And then she realised they were alone again.

She went silent.

And took a large step back.

Alec laughed, but it was dry, and lacked humour, as he held up his hands. "I'm not going to kill you. Not here anyway. If I was, it'd be in a public place, so I get the satisfaction of the horror of everybody else as well -"

"You're sick!"

"Oh, I know." And his face went slack as he looked at her, suddenly nervous. "Did you - did you notice anything about Flou that may not be ... you know ... right?"

"Except the fact that she's related to you? No." Alec brushed off the comment, and even smiled slightly, but then it was gone, and he was staring at her, hard.

"She's psychic." He finally said. Thalia raised an eyebrow, taken aback.

"Excuse me?"

"Psychic! Can see the future, crazy, dangerous: all of that crap!"

"Psychic? That's why you called me over? Not to help her with tourettes? Just to tell me your little sister's psychic?" Thalia stole a moment to compose herself, and then she scoffed in his face. "Yeah right. Just like she has tourettes? Like I believe you." Thalia tried to walk away, leave while her head was still intact to her body, but Alec stepped in her way, and gave her a look so chilling, she froze.

"She is. And, in her visions, she keeps seeing you. The girl with long brown hair; dark, protective eyes; shy looks, and personality -"

"Hate to break it to you, but there's a lot of shy people with brown hair round here. I think you've got it mistaken -"
"She sees you. And me. And we're together. And I know it's you, because I haven't spoken to anybody in a long time before the counselling. Just my dad and Flou. Only Dr Grant, Sheila and you!"

"Me?" Alec's jaw set in place, hard, angry: and he glared hard.

"She told me that Dr Grant was going to hurt you the first day I joined the Hospital. Described your looks: what you had." And his gaze seemed to shift over her body, not in an intimidating way, but in a show that he remembers what she said: and it was right.

Thalia, now slightly uneasy, laughed again, but it didn't reach her eyes.

"Anybody can predict a bi-polar, crazy Doctor freaking out -"

"She's seen all your nightmares; your dreams; fantasies; past, future, and I don't like what I hear."

"What? Don't you like the rainbows and fluffy unicorns in my dreams?"

"You're going to die."

"Oh, goodies."
"You're not taking this seriously, are you?"

"Oh, no I am!" Thalia burst into laughing at his cloudy face. "Oh, come on, Alec! You don't expect me to believe that bullshit, eh?"

And he stepped close, unnaturally close even for Alec's standards, and gripped tightly on her wrist.

"You're going to die." He hissed. "And I need you to believe me, and trust me on this -"
"Why?" Thalia glared sharply at him. "Why should I believe you? Why should I trust you? What's in it for you?" Alec froze, and then he swallowed hard.

"Nothing." He said slowly. "Nothing's in it for me. I just don't want you to die if I'm not the cause."
"I'll take that as a compliment, I suppose, yeah?"

"I would ..."

"Who - who would be the one to do it, then?" The younger girl swallowed hard, and crossed her arms protectively. It was oddly chilling to talk about dying after dreaming of it so often. "Kill me, I mean? How do I go? Gently? Cause I'm not good with pain, to be honest, although you seem to love to put me through it -"

"Flou can't see. She says it's too blurry, but you're definitely dead. Blood everywhere, a murder scene."

"Blood everywhere? I die on my period?"

"Thalia -" And Alec's scary face was back again, so she shut up quickly. "Come on. I shouldn't have sent Flou away. We need her."
And he took off back towards his house, briskly.

And, stupidly, she followed after.

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