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This page last viewed: 2017-11-17 and has been viewed 876 times



By Georgia Bentz









The two weeks went by fast.  Soon it was time to resume their normal lives.  They all went by plane too.  Including BA.  Although he was still reluctant about flying. Especially since it was Murdock whom was flying.  The plane was big enough to hold everybody. 


Taking the controls in his hands, Murdock had Erin by his side.  She took after him because she loved to fly.  "Oh Dad this is soooo cool. Teach me to fly one day?"  "I don't know Erie you know how your mom is about even me flying....  His voice trailed off. Besides she's hoping one of you will turn out to be a therapist." 


Erin rolled her eyes.  "Right the day I become a therapist is the day when Uncle BA actually flies without being scared."  Murdock chuckled.  Erin continued.  "Besides I love to fly I feel so free like everything even your problems are left on the ground.....  Anyway one of these days you're gonna have to teach me. 


Promise?"  Murdock nodded.  "Of course.  How can I refuse the request of a lady?"  She smiled and they continued through the air.  Soon she went to the back to see what was going on.  Ceceily and Carmen were enjoying the flight.  But Jessica was as motionless as her dad.  She didn't like flying at all either. 


But for a totally different reason.  Her stomach was doing flip flops.  She gritted her teeth and closed her eyes.  Erica was reading and Charlotte had her eyes closed as well.  With her head leaned a little towards the wall. She even trembled a little. 


Her mom did not like flying all that much either.  Flippantly Erin sat next to her mom.  "Hi Mom, you should be up in the front.  It's so awesome up there, and Dad's not even doing any of his loop de loops this time either."  Charlotte glanced at her daughter before re-closing her eyes, and she spoke.  "N-No Th-Thank you Dear. 


I think I'll just sit here and wait til the plane lands.  Okay?"  Erin nodded and decided to go back to the cockpit.  She put on the headphones again.  "All is a-okay back in the back.  Jessica's almost as motionless as Uncle BA, and so is Mom. 


Well she's closing her eyes and mumbling.  She's a little white....."  Murdock nodded.  "How are Hannibal and his girls? 


Are they okay?"  "Yep.  They're looking out the windows with Carmen and Ceiceily.  Gran'pa Hannibal's smiling like he's on the Jazz and Gramma Maggie's asleep." 


Murdock smiled again and kept nodding.  "Tell 'em we'll be landin' soon."  Erin nodded, and just as she was going to the back to break the news, a sudden explosion made everybody jump. 


Including the pilot himself.  Turning he noticed that Erin had lost a little color in her cheeks. "It's okay it's only a minor problem Sweetie.  Go tell 'em that things're fine.  We'll be landin' real soon."  She slowly made her way towards the back of the plane, when all of a sudden another explosion rocked the plane. 


Murdock took the microphone in hand and talked into it.  "Ladies and Gentlemen I am sorry for the delay it seems our plane wants

to take a detour.  So to comply we'll be landing among the trees.  Everyone brace for impact.  NOW!!!!" 


Everyone did as they were told.  Half an hour later they were in the middle of a forest.  They were stranded.  They all got off

and stared at their surroundings.  Hannibal seemed undaunted as usual, and he looked around at his friends and family. "Are you all okay?"  They all nodded and that's when he started grinning. 


He asked Face for a cigar, caught Maggie's disapproving look, then he looked around again. "All right it's almost sunset.  We need to find shelter. Food too.  We need to find shelter and food...."  His voice trailed off as he looked at Face and then he glanced at



"Face you and Murdock go see if you can find shelter and food for everyone."  The kids did not know what was going on and why their adopted grandfather was choosing Murdock and Face to go find them food and shelter.  Even the other two wives were confused.  Amy and Maggie smiled, they knew exactly what the colonel was doing. 


Amy kissed Face, and promised him she'd keep the girls safe.  She gathered Ariel and Amanda close to her, while Charlotte kissed Murdock, and promised she'd keep their twins safe as well. She and the others waited for an hour and a half until

finally Murdock and Face came back.  They were breathless, but soon they asked their families to follow them a short

distance away. 


They did so, with Hannibal, and BA at the rear keeping their eyes and ears open for any kind of trouble.  They arrived at a cottage.  It looked as though it were abandoned, but much to their surprise there was an elderly couple there.  They welcomed the families in, and soon everyone had lunch, and the younger kids were laid down for a nap. 


They chatted for a little while, when all of a sudden a ten-year-old sauntered in.  She was dressed in blue jeans, a red t-shirt and white Fila shoes (well they'd been white once), she looked as though she was carrying something in her arms. 


Or someone.  She kept talking to the air, like she had a child in her arms.  The elderly couple looked at her for a minute, then introduced her to the Team, and their families. 


"Everyone this is our granddaughter Melisa.  Mel for short.  Mel these are our friends."  Mrs. Adele Simkins stated.  Melisa looked up, and went back to talking to her 'little sister CK'.  "CK I'm only gonna put you down for a minute. 


There are some nice people here that Grandma and Grandpa want me to meet.  Here go play with BJ.  Now don't get into trouble.  I mean it...."  She put the air down, and soon was looking at everyone.  Melisa smiled at everybody, including all the kids.  She asked her grandparents if the kids could all play with her. 


Her grandparents nodded their consent.  Then all the grownups watched as all the kids left with Melisa.  Once all alone, Mrs. Simkins tried to explain her granddaughter's behavior.  But before she could say anything, Murdock asked if he could speak.  Adele and Henry nodded.  He explained their granddaughter's strange behavior. 


"She is suffering from Secondary Personae Replacement Disorder.  She feels the need to talk to her invisible friends, because she doesn't feel that her peers or even her parents or grandparents will listen to her or encourage her in any way.  That's why she reverts to talking to her 'friend' CK." 


He was about to expound on the rare condition further, when all of a sudden Melisa entered again.  Tears on her face.  "What's wrong Sweetie?"  Asked Henry.  "CK strikes again!  She threw out all my Hawkeye pictures.  Then she threw out all my Starbuck pictures. She's mad because I stopped talking to her for just a few seconds. 


Geez!"  Abruptly she stalked back out of the room. he grandparents shook their heads.  Mrs. Simkins seemed beside herself.  She took a handkerchief from the nearby table, and spoke again. 


"She's been 'talking' to 'CK' for years now.  If only there were some way we could convince her that we'd be able to understand?"  Murdock asked if he could speak again. 


When they nodded he started up.  "First of all she's got to come to the realization that others are willing to listen to her all by herself.  She needs to feel that she can trust again. 


Somehow along the line he trust was broken, and now she's talking to CK."  Henry spoke up. "Her father died a while ago, that's when this whole condition started up. 


We've been trying to be there for her, but she still talks to CK.  My Adele and I are beside ourselves.  We don't know what to do...."  His voice trailed off as he gathered his wife in his arms.  She dabbed at her eyes with the handkerchief she'd picked up off of the table.


Before anything else could be said Murdock's kids rushed in. They looked scared they told the grownups that Melisa was sitting sideways on a tree limb.  Not only was she sitting there, she was arguing with herself and she looked like she was about to fall. 


The grandparents didn't look too worried, but their faces went ashen as soon as the others trooped in.  "MELISA FELL!!!!!"  Was the unified scream among the others.  "What happened?  How did she fall?"  Murdock asked.  "Oh Uncle Murdock it was horrible."  Started Tessa. 


"Yeah."  Said Ariel and Amanda.  Ariel started talking again.  "She was arguing with herself and all of a sudden it looked like she was pushed.  She fell right down." The grandparents looked at each other.  Then Henry spoke.  "She'll be fine.  She usually falls from the trees around the farm. 


I'm sure she'll be okay."  But Jessica spoke. "No way.  She wasn't movin' after she fell.  Her leg looked really twisted.  You have to come and see...."  Her voice trailed off as the triplets, the twins and Ariel and Amanda all nodded their heads. 


Nodding in unison, the grownups all leapt from their places and went to go check on Melisa. 


As was said, Melisa was definitely knocked unconscious.  She was lying unmoving on the ground, her eyes closed her breathing shallow, her leg twisted underneath her.  Hannibal knelt beside her, and cradled her head in his arms.  He tried talking her back to consciousness, and suddenly she was mumbling a little bit. 


"CK! You Are In So Much Trouble!!!  You won't be able to hide forever.  Hey! I Don't Like That Laugh."  Then her eyelids fluttered open.  She looked around at the others and finally her gaze rested on her grandparents.  They looked at Melisa too.  "Melisa dear. What happened?"  Adele asked.  Henry said, "Go on.  You can tell us." 


They looked expectantly at her asking with their eyes.  Melisa tried to straighten herself up, but her leg was hurting her and she groaned.  She felt really dizzy and raised a hand to her head.  Suddenly she passed out again. Hannibal gathered her into his arms and carried her inside.


Everybody followed them in as well.  Hannibal laid her down on the nearest couch.  Adele placed a wet rag on her granddaughter's head.  "She usually doesn't hurt herself this badly when she falls from the trees.  She's barely scraped herself even." 


Henry said.  Looking bewilderingly at his granddaughter.  Soon her eyes opened again, and Melisa sat up.  She looked around at the others and seeming to spy her invisible little sister she started glaring.


"CK! That wasn't nice.  You shouldn't have done that in front of all the other kids.  Yes I know you were mad, but just because I was playing with the others shouldn't have made you that mad. 


You shouldn't have acted up! That was uncalled for."  Soon she seemed to sense that everybody was looking at her.  She tried to grin but it faltered slightly. "She was mad because I wasn't paying any attention to her."  Melisa touched her head and winced. 


It hurt.  She could feel a bandage that was wrapped around her head.  She glared at the corner.  "CK.  You're gonna pay!"  The Team stayed for a few days, and Murdock monitored Melisa's daily activities. 


She couldn't walk that well on a broken leg, but the other children helped her with her chores, and helped to pass her things at dinner.  Murdock decided one day to have daily counseling sessions, but only if she was willing. 


Melisa thought for a little bit, she liked Murdock's quirkiness and decided that MAYBE just MAYBE she'd be willing.  Then she asked if CK could come too.  Murdock nodded.  He remembered when he'd had Billy as his constant companion, Billy had all but disappeared from his subconscious. 


But a visible dog had come to their household, and strangely enough he looked the way Billy had in Murdock's imagination.  "Of course she can come.  I don't want to exclude her.  She's an important part of the puzzle." 


So, while the others tried to fix the plane, Murdock PHD set to work.  He set up a temporary office in the Simkins' den, and Erica was his assistant.  He folded his hands together and reached for the extra things of fun stuff to play with, along with his yellow notebook, and assorted pens and pencils. 


Trying to make Melisa as comfortable as he could, he watched as she drew on some paper that he'd put on the coffee table.  He tried to make her feel comfortable. 


He pretended to study his notebook while Melisa drew.  She was an amazing artist.  He smiled and asked what she was drawing.  She looked up and showed him a drawing of a very small girl in pony tails and some sort of ceremonial robes.  "This is CK.  She and I are Red's daughters. 


Red's the high priestess of Kion."  To Murdock, she seemed to think she was actually living in this world of fantasy.  But Murdock had never actually LEFT the world of fantasy either.  He just nodded, and asked how old CK was.  "She's four years old and talks baby talk.  Don't ya Squirt? OW! Don't punch that's not nice." 


She'd looked beside her when she was talking.  Murdock watched as Melisa talked.  He would ask her questions, she'd answer then go back to talking to CK.  Mostly 'CK' would pound her 'older' sister. Melisa would grimace. 


Finally it was over and Murdock asked if she would talk to him again the next day.  She'd nodded of course, and she and 'CK' went out to play.  Murdock studied his notes.  No doubt about it, she definitely suffered Secondary Personae Replacement Disorder.  She needed to learn and to trust. 


He was not expecting what came later that day.  Melisa came in through the front door, and was dragging behind her a very nice looking person with red hair.  The person was smiling.  She came and stood in the living room as if she belonged there.  Apparently she did belong. 


Because Mr. and Mrs. Simkins smiled and invited her to sit down.  She smiled and gratefully accepted their invitation.  She was introduced as Susan Simkins, Melisa's Aunt.  Better known as Red.  At that Murdock's eyebrows rose. 


He nodded as he got a good look at her.  There was definitely a resemblance in Melisa's and Red's faces.  He nodded again and asked to speak with her privately.  She nodded and they went to the dining room.  He asked her to sit at the table, then he asked her all sorts of questions. Finally he asked the ultimate question. 


"Ms. Simkins do you know what Melisa has been saying about you?  About CK even?"  Red nodded and was smiling.  She answered in a soft voice. "Why yes.  Yes I do.  She's right about CK.  I know she's not said this before to you, but I've seen CK as well.  CK's real.  She's just invisible to whomever she wants to be invisible to." 


Murdock's eyebrows rose again.  "Oh?  Well that's very interesting...."  His voice trailed off as she spoke again.  "Yes in fact I've adopted CK.  Of course Mom and Pop don't know about this.  I've also adopted Melisa so they really are sisters."  "Why keep the adoptions a secret?  Why not just tell them point blank?"  Murdock asked. 


A smile touched Red's lips.  "Why should I?  I'm considered the Nut of the family anyway.  You think I want to spend my

WHOLE life as a certified nut?  I mean I do have a job you know.  A paycheck every week.  I am stable that way.  Just

not in here. 


At least not according to my family."  She pointed to her head to illustrate her point.  She then smiled again and noted with humor that he was somewhat taken aback by what she'd just told him. 


Although he wasn't letting on that it surprised him, but even for a former certified nut, a person that had talked to an invisible dog,

this was hard to swallow. 


He didn't say anything though, because she spoke again.  "I'm sorry if I upset you...."  Her voice trailed off as Murdock began to speak again.  "You didn't upset me Miss.  I'm just tryin' to figure this all out.  I just can't believe what I'm hearin'.  I mean I for

one used to be a nut myself. 


But ya know goin' from talkin' to an invisible dog, to adoptin' an invisible four year old girl... Well Ma'am it's an awful big pill to swallow."  Red nodded.  "It's perfectly understandable.  I couldn't believe it at first myself.  Then she started showing herself to me. I was moved to tears...." 


Just then she looked beside her and another smile touched her lips.  "How's my baby girl?"  She smiled again and picked up the air.  Suddenly the little girl WASN'T invisible anymore, at least not for but a few seconds. 


CK was dressed in purple and red overalls and she had ponytails in her hair, as well as some bells entwined between the ponytails.  The little girl smiled and waved at him, and then looked up at Red.  "Hi Mommy I bein' a dood giwl.  I pwomise.  I not even mean to Mewisa.  I pwomise."


Red smiled a little then frowned.  "Well I heard differently CK.  I heard you pushed Melisa out of a tree just because she was playing with the other kids.  Now why did you do that?" 


"Betause Mwommy I was mad.  I told hwer dat I was mwad, but her not lissen ta me.  So me an' hwer was argwuin' an' I pwushed hwer outta da twee."  The conversation lasted but for a few seconds, and that's when Murdock fell out of his chair. 


The others hearing the commotion rushed in, and CK suddenly made herself invisible again.  BA entered first and he caught one glimpse of Red.  He smiled, and she smiled back at him.  Red and Face got a glimpse of each other, and they too smiled at each other. 


Hannibal meanwhile was helping Murdock up from off of the floor.  His jaw had dropped to the ground.  He was more flabbergasted then he'd been, since he'd seen the Maltese Cow.  He pointed at the air, then he pointed at Red.  He was so shocked he could barely speak. 


"I-I....Sh-She....C-CK i-is r-really r-real. Sh-She t-talked t-to Red an-and everything...."  BA answered, "Man you Still crazy.  Ain't nothin' there Murdock.  You musta been 'maginin' things ag'in."  Murdock shook his head. 


"No I wasn't.  Honest."  Hannibal who was standing beside Murdock, spoke too.  "Of course you weren't imagining things Murdock.  But I'm sure you're tired why don't you go lie down for awhile?"  Face put in his two cents. 


"Yeah Murdock taking care of Melisa has probably been a little more then you can handle, you're probably stressed out.  That and you're probably still shaken up by the plane crash...."  His voice trailed off as Murdock again shook his head stubbornly. 


"No way.  I ain't stressed.  I was talkin' to Red an' all of a sudden CK appeared.  She was talkin' about pushin' Melisa from the tree...."  He looked at Red and she looked at them all nonchalantly.  She said, "Of course CK's real." 


Face's eyes bugged out, and BA grumbled.  BA said, "Great I'm surrounded by nuts.  This whole place is nuts! I'm gonna be glad ta get away from this NUTHOUSE!"  He grumbled under his breath and went to fix something on the plane. 


Red looked at her lap and smiled. Murdock saw the mother and daughter smile at each other. Soon, Melisa entered the dining room as well.  She hugged Red and then she looked at Murdock and the others.  "She showed herself didn't she?"  Melisa asked looking at Murdock the whole time. 


Murdock nodded, and the others just at each other flabbergastedly.  Hannibal, Face and the grandparents just looked at each other, their mouths wide open.  "Well if there's nothing further, I'm going home.  Come on CK it's time for your nap. 


I understand that you're not tired, but I'll read you a story.  How would you like that?  Good."  Taking the bundle of air, she kissed her Mom and Pop on the cheek and called for Melisa.  The trio went to her house. Murdock muttered, "Curiouser and curiouser.  This little mystery's gettin' good.  Wonder how a little girl can get invisible...." 


His voice trailed off and he went outside. The next day as promised, CK and Melisa arrived for their session.  Red came as well.  She sat between the two girls to make sure they weren't going to go into any fighting. Murdock asked Red how CK had been when she'd been adopted. Red smiled and answered,


"Oh about two years.  Melisa of course came when she was eight.  But they're really well-behaved girls."  She smiled the air beside her and smiled indulgently.  "Of course I've got eight others. Flight, Fancy, Jade, Lani, Fanny (She bites), Nikie and

Nutty and Nastia. 


But they're not here right now."  She watched as Murdock looked up at her in surprise.  She smiled again.  He smiled back, but he still wasn't so sure.  He shook her hand, and indicated that the session was over for the day.  She nodded and again took Melisa and CK home with her. 


Another day another session, Red brought in the others.  Identical twins a younger girl who was introduced as Jade.  Another young Lady introduced as Lani, a five year old introduced as Fanny, then came Nikie and Nutty and Nastia. 


Adele and Henry obviously had seen the others before, because they greeted them all warmly.  Especially the twins.  The children all greeted their grandparents warmly.  Red sat down in the living room, and just as she'd done the other day she sat between CK (now visible) and Melisa so they wouldn't fight. 


Murdock was nervous.  He didn't know where to start.  He'd never in all his fifteen years of being a psychiatrist ever done this procedure before.  He glanced at Melisa, then CK, and then back at Red.  He cleared his throat.  He couldn't begin to know

where to start. 


Red nodded ever so slightly, and he tried to begin again.  Meanwhile CK was fidgeting, and she reached over to poke Melisa.  Seeing that maneuver, Red held her baby daughter's hand firmly and shook her head.  CK pouted and sat still.  "Okay. I'm going to ask y'all a few questions.  You have the right not to answer. 


But Please I need your help.  This is a joint effort after all."  He coughed a little, and despite Red's encouraging smile he was

still nervous.  He wondered briefly where his wife and children were.  They were probably with Adele in the garden picking the vegetables. 


Or with Hannibal, BA, Face and Henry fixing up the plane, from the old spare parts Henry had laying around.  A little cough got him out of his daydreams.  "Oh right.  Now where was I?" 


Fancy answered, "Well you were just about to ask us some questions.  Which we didn't have to answer if we didn't want to."  She replied somewhat sarcastically.  Murdock replied.  "Oh right. That's where I was.  I apologize my mind tends to wander...."  Shooting Fancy a warning glance, Red shushed her with a look. 


Fancy immediately started to murmur under her breath, and she briefly stuck her tongue out.  A couple hours later the session was over.  Mainly because Fancy and CK nearly got into a fist fight, and also Fancy tried to noogie everybody in sight. 


And Flight when she got scared dived under the couch, and nobody could coax her out.  Not even her mom. 


The troupe left and Murdock felt drained.  He mopped his brow with a handkerchief.  He sat there for a minute, and then his wife and kids trooped in.  He smiled at them, and then shooed the kids out.  He rested his head on Charlotte's back, and he sighed.  "Did the session go *THAT* badly Dear?" 


He sighed again.  "I Feel like I've been turned inside out.  I feel drained.  Those ladies are a handful.  I wonder if Doc Richter could take them on.  They definitely need some counseling.  Fancy has anger issues, Flight has abandonment issues and is scared of everything. CK likes to egg everybody on, and pick on Melisa.  And the rest? 


I can't begin to explain...."  His voice trailed off as she turned around and faced him.  She kissed his forehead and said, "It's okay Dear.  I completely understand.  Can you believe Adele has a crazy side herself?  She alphabetizes everything.  Even in the cellar.  I couldn't believe it." 


Just then Hannibal and the other grownups appeared, and the kids all went to play together.  Hannibal was smiling, and said, "I've got good news and Better news."  "Go on Colonel. 


Spill.  What's the news?"  Asked Murdock. Before Hannibal could reply the others came into the living room.  "We heard there was a big news announcement.  And we all wanted to come see."  Said Face.  The others nodded and they all sat down. 


Hannibal smiled at them all.  He started pace for a little bit then he abruptly stopped.  "Okay okay.


This is the big news.  The plane's finally fixed.  We can all start heading for home again.  The Simkins are probably tired of us hanging around."  Hannibal grinned as Adele and Henry smiled. 


They hadn't minded in the least.  Hannibal continued.  "Tomorrow we'll start out.  Since it's near evening we'll get a good night's rest and start out early tomorrow morning."  That said, Hannibal released them to do whatever it was they wanted to do.



It was the next day.  Face of course was hard to get up. Except until Ariel and Amanda jumped on the bed and woke him

up.  Murdock was up bright and early.  As usual Charlotte and the twins were sound asleep. 


Until Hannibal decided to play reveilry.  Whoever else was still asleep were wide awake by then.  They all said goodbye to Adele, Henry, Melisa, Red and the others. 


As soon as they were in the air, Murdock Let out A HOWL.....Today was going to be a wonderful day. As soon as the plane was out of sight, Adele, Henry, and the others went back inside their house with Melisa and CK arguing....



The END.



The Shrink - The Next Adventure by Georgia Bentz



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