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by Kathy A. Fisher

"I hate you!" I  spat, as I squirmed in agony.

"I hear that a lot," the Marquis de Sade with hair gel chuckled.

"Does this hurt?" he asked, secure in the knowledge that it did.

I screamed, "Yes, you sadistic son-of-a-bitch!  It hurts!  Are you happy now?"

"I'll only be happy when you're happy, Kat.  How does this feel?"

I was pinned to the table by my own sick willingness to endure pain. I wouldn't give the jerk the satisfaction of letting him know how much I suffered.

Through clenched teeth, I replied, "It feels wonderful.  I'm in a state of complete bliss. Are we finished?"

He made that condescending tsking sound. "Now, Kat. You knew what you were getting into when you came here. Didn't you?"

I choked back a sob. "I thought I did. I really, truly thought I did. But I think I've had enough."

"Well, if you only think you've had enough, you can probably take some more. Tell me when the edge is off."

I howled, "Are you using a knife now?"

My face was buried in leather and I couldn't see, but I was sure of it. He was actually using a knife. I hadn't bargained for this.

He sounded sympathetic as he said, "No, Kat.  I'm just using my thumb."

In his sick world, thumb must be a euphemism for knife.

I tried to go to my happy place. Trouble was, I didn't have a happy place. If  I did, it would have to be a million miles from here. Maybe even light years away from pain so excruciating, if the fate of the country depended on my silence, I'd be singing like I was auditioning for American Idol.

My doctor removed his thumb from my heel and said, "I know you don't believe me, but a few more treatments and your plantar fasciitis should be gone."

I sat up, begrudgingly thanked him, and surreptitiously looked around for the knife.