tagRomanceCybertherapy Ch. 02

Cybertherapy Ch. 02


Special thanks to my special friend and editor


Ben knew that his curiosity about Cathy's reading habits would have to remain unsatisfied. He could not legitimately explain looking at her laptop without permission and she would undoubtedly -- and reasonably -- claim he had breached her privacy.

His one hope now was that he could find some clues from KillerBitch. It took four days for a reply to come. Four days of fresh insults from Cathy whilst he did everything he could to try to crack the shell of bitterness that surrounded her.

Then came the evening he logged on to his new anonymous email account to see the name KillerBitch appear in his inbox.

Sent 15 Mar 17:47


You arrogant, presumptuous, blow-hard. Do you think there is anything that you can teach me about writing? I see no evidence of your stories - perhaps joined-up writing and words of more than two syllables are beyond you.


Ben smiled, his strategy seemed to be working. KillerBitch did not like attacks on her writing style. If he could sustain this plan, he might get her (him?) to talk. Polite abuse seemed the most effective -- he knew he couldn't win a swearing, cursing fight. And smiling, he typed his response.

Sent 15 Mar 18:33


I'm sorry that you have misinterpreted my offer to help. I sought only to act in a spirit of friendship. I'm surprised that no-one has mentioned the problems that exist in your style. Do you think it might help if you changed the settings in your grammar checker?

By the way is the spell checker turned on?


The reply was almost immediate.

Sent 15 Mar 18.42


Are you mentally deficient? I thought I made myself clear in the first email -- you have nothing to teach me. I find it incredible that anyone as stupid as you could be allowed to own a computer.

Don't bother replying.


Ben decided to wait a day before trying again.

Sent 16 Mar 20:44


I really would like to understand your writing better; to explore characterisation and plot development with you. I feel sure that your stories would benefit from some input from an editor.

It might make it easier if I could see the stories before you publish them so that I could point out some of the simpler errors to you.


There was no reply the next night. Ben pondered what to do next. Either she was ignoring him now or there was another reason for the lack of response. There had to be some way he could irritate KillerBitch without driving her (somehow he was sure the author was a woman now) away.


I must admit to being surprised that you haven't answered me, I hadn't realised you'd be sensitive to a little mild criticism. I haven't even touched on your questionable choice of subject matter -- although obviously that is something that will need to be addressed.


That should do it, Ben thought with a smile, hitting 'Send' with relish.

It did.

Sent 19 Mar 18:36


You really are a persistent asshole. How much clearer do I need to be?

You must have skin like a rhinoceros. Perhaps you're gay and that's where you got your tough hide. With a name like CareBear it wouldn't surprise me.

I have my reasons for writing what I do. They are my reasons and I see no reason to share them with some sad old queen.


Ben grinned. Gay, huh? That was a new one. Well, if it piqued her interest, there was no harm in her thinking he was...

Sent 19 Mar 20:47


So, you couldn't stay away then? Maybe you're not so confident as you try to portray. Are you beginning to see that there's a point in my telling you your writing is in need of a good editor?

I am sure that I could assist you; I feel certain that you would understand some of the easier concepts quite quickly; many of your stories are actually quite readable.


Sent 20 Mar 18:49


Am I supposed to be impressed that you know what the semicolon key is for on your keyboard?

Quite readable? Have you seen my reader scores?

You could never understand what it is that inspires my writing so please don't bother to try. Just go away and leave me alone.


Ben decided that if she found the semi-colon impressive, a colon ought to blow her away...

Sent 20 Mar 21:09


I am sure that your readers find your stories excellent. However, I might question the:

•educational standard

•intellectual capacity

•emotional maturity and

•mental age of the people

who read this kind of story. But please don't let this detract from your fairly good writing style.

I expect that once you've had a little more practice you could make a reasonable attempt at a more serious type of story, something with some real emotion.


Sent 21 Mar 18:55


What the hell? Maybe a dose of the truth will get rid of you. You're like a sodding limpet.

Don't you suggest to me that I don't understand real emotion. You know nothing about me.

Look, I did something wrong. I made a big mistake and broke the law. As a result I hurt a lot of people. Everyone knows what I did and I can see in their faces when they look at me that they still remember and hate me for it. I hate myself. You couldn't imagine pain like mine.

Now fuck off and leave me alone.


Ben stared at the screen in surprise. That hadn't been what he was expecting at all. Now he really would need to tread carefully.

Sent 21 Mar 21:58


I hear your pain. Is that why you write that stuff? You know, you could do so much better.

Why not let me help you? Help me understand?


Sent 22 Mar 18:15


Oh no gay boy, no details. I'm not that stupid. You've had all you're getting from me. Look I'm doing my penance. I've been before the courts and I've accepted my sentence. If my writing helps me to come to terms with the world then so be it.

I've learned to express my hatred for the shits that surround me with their fake concern. At least I can imagine what I'd like to do to them all. They smarm around me all day every day. As fast as I can get rid of one, another appears. They're like flies on a fucking corpse.

I'll be punished for a long time yet and I deserve it so don't start with the fake concern. Please just go away and leave me alone.

I'll tell you that I've only told you this much because you'll never know who I am and I'll never know you -- thank God. At least where I'm locked away now, I only have to suffer a few well-meaning prats. I'm quite prepared to stay locked up for the rest of my life.


She was a prisoner? That explained a lot. Ben knew that now he had to be careful. This was the point at which KillerBitch would either keep talking or stop altogether. He tried to phrase his next message as neutrally as possible.

Sent 22 Mar 20:24


If you're doing your penance, isn't it time to let go of some of that pain?

You haven't been able to do much with your stories. I could help you to express your feelings more eloquently..



Ben wasn't entirely sure how he'd got into this. Instead of learning more about Cathy, he'd managed to find another damaged soul in need of help.

As he drove to work he tried to make sense of everything he knew about KillerBitch.

What had she done? What sentence was she serving? Did people have access to the Internet in prison then? Or maybe she wasn't in prison. Certainly she was some kind of criminal, she'd admitted as much. Perhaps she was in a medical facility; he wouldn't have been surprised.

As he pulled up outside Cathy's house, he noticed a silver hatchback parked on the driveway. A woman got out of the car and approached him before he reached the front door.

"Hello?". She looked at him quizzically. "Are you Ben?"

"Yes." He frowned. Now what was going on?

She smiled. "I just wanted to say thank you."

"What for?" His confusion increased. "I'm sorry but who are you and what's this all about?"

"I'm sorry young man. I should have introduced myself first. Gloria." She held out her hand and he instinctively shook it. "I'm Cathy's mother."

"Oh!" It was Ben's turn to smile. "I'm pleased to meet you. But you don't need to thank me for doing my job."

"Oh it's not the job so much as the way you do it."

"I'm sorry?"

She laughed. "Cathy absolutely hates you."

"Really?" He tried to look apologetic. "You'll forgive me but Cathy hates everyone."

She shook her head. "Oh no. She used to hate everyone, then as time wore on she just disliked them and that was when she lost the will to live. But you've given her reason again. I can't remember the last time I heard her curse anyone as much as you." Then she grinned. "Honestly, Ben. You're so good for her. It's wonderful to see her feeling anything, even hate. I just hope that in time she'll feel other things."

"Well this is a first for me," Ben said, feeling rather uncomfortable. "I never expected to be thanked for making someone hate me."

"I just had to say thanks. Now I must get on. I pop in to see Cathy before I go to work and then again in the evenings, and I'm here with my husband at the weekend. If you ever need to talk to me, here's my number." And giving him a small card, she walked away, shooting him one last smile over her shoulder.

Ben's sense of euphoria wasn't to last. Cathy was at her vehement best. "Oh it's Mrs Bridges," she greeted him sarcastically. "What's on the menu today, loser?"

He sighed. Business as usual, then...


Sent 23 Mar 18:10


You don't give up do you?

Are you a gay masochist? You remind me of someone else who won't leave me alone. He's an unremitting sanctimonious turd as well.

I don't want to let go of my pain. I don't deserve to let go of my pain. Leave me alone with it please.


Ben sighed and found himself having to think long and hard about what to write next, deciding at last to keep it simple.

Sent 23 Mar 22:50


No I won't give up. Live with it.

I shall keep coming back until you accept that you need help with your stories.



"What now?" Ben demanded, seeing his friend's face had glazed over the moment he'd started to tell him about his day.

"You're sounding worse than you did last week," replied Dave. "You are attracted to this woman, aren't you? Why the hell else would you put up with the sort of crap she's dishing out?"

"It's my job," he replied, putting his drink down a little more firmly than he had intended and spilling some on the table.

"Crap! You don't even need to work. You choose to keep going back."

"She needs me!" Ben found he was almost shouting. He hadn't been this emotional in years.

"Says who?" Dave was unrelenting.

"Her mother."

"So you've met her mother?" Dave was grinning. "This is getting serious."

"No." Ben rolled his eyes. "She waited outside to see me the other day to tell me how much I was helping Cathy."

"So she likes you then?"

"Just the opposite. She hates me. But her mother said that was an improvement since she hasn't shown any real feelings for anyone for such a long time." Ben couldn't help feeling rather proud he had achieved something with Cathy. "If I could just do something positive with that emotion now."

"So what will you do? Get her to hate you more?" Dave still looked amused.

"I don't know what I'm going to do yet." Ben sighed. He'd been going to tell his friend about KillerBitch, but that seemed rather unwise now. Dave didn't understand about Cathy; he certainly wouldn't understand a writer of twisted erotic stories.


There wasn't a message from KillerBitch on Saturday. But then, she hadn't sent him a message last Saturday either, had she? Reviewing all the emails, he noticed that every one of hers had been between six and seven o'clock in the evening. None had been sent at the weekend.

He decided to wait until Monday before writing again. If he was right, KillerBitch wouldn't be able to reply until then anyway.

Having asked to work part-time he only had two clients now. An elderly man, Charles, whom he visited every morning, and Cathy with whom he spent the remainder of the day. Strictly speaking he was supposed to finish work after he'd finished Cathy's lunch but he often stayed on, sometimes cleaning, sometimes just sitting in case she needed anything; she never did.

Charles was the perfect gentleman as always, Cathy was at her acerbic best.

"Here's the not-so-naked chef -- thank God!" she exclaimed. "Who'd want to see a podge like you naked? What slop are you serving today, chubby?"

"Filet of pork en croute." One of his favourites, but he felt discretion was wiser.

"Oooh poncey Frog food eh."

But for the conversation with Gloria, Ben felt he could have easily given up on her by now. He said nothing and left -- that always seemed to annoy her.

She ate all the food as usual.

He started the email program on his computer that evening, feeling apprehensive. As soon as he saw the name KillerBitch appear, he exhaled noisily . He hadn't even realised he'd been holding his breath.

Sent 26 Mar 18:31


Why am I writing to you?

I don't know.

Maybe it's just that this bloody man is getting to me. He turns up every day, treats me well and is always a gentleman. I don't want that -- why can't he understand?

This doesn't make sense to me. He's nice and I hate him, you're a bastard and I'm talking to you. Perhaps I want to be punished for my stupidity. When I'm rude to him he's polite, when I'm rude to you, you're rude back, it makes sense.

It's a shame you're gay. We might have had a good relationship, but I don't date fags.

What's happening to me? Only a few weeks ago I'd have told you to fuck off, now here I am writing to you. My life is getting more confused. My family won't listen either, I don't want or need their damn forgiveness. I want to be punished -- no-one will do it.

I'm so confused, don't you dare be fucking nice to me.


Ben stared at the screen thoughtfully. Nice guy wasn't going to work here. But he'd spent his life being a nice guy -- how could he be anything else? What if he tried to imagine this was a story and cast himself in the part of villain? Then he could be harsh with KillerBitch without driving her away. And it looked as though he'd been right—KillerBitch was a woman. Her remarks about dating seemed to confirm it. It was time to get into role...


So you do want to be punished! Then you'd better be ready for your punishment.

You need help with your writing - but you're still fighting me. That too will result in punishment.

Now I don't know what happened in the past or why you're blaming your problems on what happened then. I think you're just avoiding the real issue here. I'll be on chat tomorrow evening at 6.00.

Talk to me then. Do not be late.


Ben laughed out loud when he finally pressed 'Send'. He'd never written anything so outrageous in his life. Surely she'd never agree to chat?

But at ten minutes to six the next day, he found himself waiting expectantly in front of his computer. Licking his lips, which for some reason seemed very dry, he took a sip from the glass of water beside him. This was so out of character for him, he wasn't sure that he could do it. If he could just force her to face whatever demons plagued her.

What would he say to KillerBitch? What if she didn't agree to chat? What would he...?

The 'ding' from the computer speakers made him jump. The small chat window appeared with a message and Ben resized it to fill half the screen.


Relieved, he started to write 'Hello! Glad you could make it' then realised that wasn't the right thing to write at all. " In character, Ben," he murmured as he hit 'delete', and started all over again.

CareBear:On time. I like that. It's a good start. Are you ready to begin?

KillerBitch:Begin what?

CareBear:Whatever I tell you to do. I thought that we established you wanted to be punished?

KillerBitch:What sort of perverse rubbish is this?

CareBear:It's about you learning to write.

KillerBitch:I told you I can write.

CareBear:Then why are you here?

KillerBitch:I don't know.

CareBear:You seem very indecisive. No wonder you struggle with your stories. It's time you introduced a more disciplined approach to your work. You will write the stories I tell you to write, and you will send them to me to edit.

Ben felt sure she'd call his bluff. He had no real idea how to write and even less about erotic stories. How he would edit her work was something he still hadn't considered.

KillerBitch:You are very arrogant. What makes you so much better?

CareBear:Oh dear. You have got a lot to learn.

Don't argue with me.

If you are so fucking good at writing you won't have a problem doing what I tell you to do.

He flinched as he typed. The use of profanities was alien to him. But he couldn't let her guess he wasn't the guy she thought he was. Not now, not yet.

KillerBitch:I'm not scared of you.

CareBear:Perhaps you should be. You may not be good enough to meet my challenges. I wouldn't want to have to punish you.

KillerBitch:Don't threaten me, tosser. There's nothing you can do to frighten me. You don't know anything about me.

CareBear:You have no idea what I know.

KillerBitch:You creepy pervert, what do you know?

CareBear:You'll know when I want you to. NOW DO AS YOU'RE DAMN WELL TOLD.

KillerBitch:Please, what do you know?

For a moment, Ben wondered whether he'd gone too far. It seemed he was rather better at playing this role than he thought he'd be. But it seemed to be working well. And taking a deep breath, he started typing again.

CareBear:Forget it bitch. I know more about you than you do about me. And you won't know anything if you don't do what I say. I'll just disappear and leave you wondering if I might turn up one day, when you least expect it.

KillerBitch:Please. What must I do?

Ben could feel his resolve weakening. Whoever she was, he seemed to have her worried; he was unhappy at the thought he might be scaring her. If he weakened though, she'd stop the conversation. He'd thought hard about what she should do. It had to be a task that related to her situation without probing too deeply into the background of why she was there. His solution seemed outrageous; but then so did the whole scenario.

CareBear:You will write me a story. It will be about a woman who has become a recluse and about what she wants. You will detail all her sexual desires and how she can satisfy them.

There was a considerable pause before the next words appeared.

KillerBitch:I've never written about something like that.

CareBear:Then it'll be a challenge. Unless of course it's too difficult for you. Maybe that's it -- you're not good enough.

KillerBitch:I'll do it.

Ben found he was smiling.

CareBear:Good. I want to receive it by Friday. Goodbye.

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