Bjorn Ironbaum, Fantasy Therapist
The Stone Sentinel of Telos
Session in Progress
The Stone Sentinel looms over my desk, his jackal-head nearly touching the ceiling. I watch and wait as he pours bottled water onto his face. He cannot eat or drink, but making the attempt is a part of his long road to self-actualization. I encourage him to experiment with the trappings of the organic world. I just wish he could experiment somewhere other than on my 900 electrum carpet.
"I do not recall what we were speaking about," He explains.
"Ah," I glance at my notes, "you were telling me about your difficulty in social situations."
"Yes," he nods slowly. "These situations are my greatest difficulty. It is obvious I have the self-image issues we talked about earlier."
"Breaking the chairs and doorways."
"Those and other things. I broke my neighbor's steps last week when I tried to give him a gift of fine stones. He appreciated neither the stones nor his broken steps."
"You feel these self-image issues are the root of your social anxiety?"
The Stone Sentinel shakes his head slowly and with a ponderous grinding sound not unlike the opening of a crypt.
"It is not my body that does me the most harm," he says. "It is the riddles. These damned riddles."
"You mentioned them last session," I page back through my notes. "You said your creator, Valos the Wizened, forced you to ask riddles of trespassers."
"Yes," he replies. "If they answered them correctly I was still forced to strike them down."
"He was a sadist?"
"That word seems correct. They were not even very good riddles. What is black and blue and red all over? Do not answer. I am a simple golem, Dr. Ironbaum. I have difficulty with my memory and obeying all but simple commands. At all times I have to fight the urge to ask riddles and strike down people."
"I think you're doing a very good job of suppressing your urges. You have made a lot of progress."
"It is not easy. I hold myself back by never posing questions of any sort."
"If you're able to function like that, I think in the short term it's the way to go. We can-"
"You do not understand. I require a wife immediately to attempt erotic congress. I cannot do this without asking a question."
I tap my pen on my chin and try to avoid making contact with the Stone Sentinel's glowing gemstone eyes. My gaze drifts down to the larger red ruby embedded in his chest and an idea strikes me.
"Can you remove that gem on your chest? What did you call it?"
"My Hwa Stone. Yes, I can remove it briefly."
"Great," I slide my prescription pad out of my desk drawer. "Have you ever heard of Lexapro?"
"Well, it comes in a liquid now and I think we should try a little experiment. Have you ever dyed Easter Eggs?"
"No, but I have cast a hobbit into a vat of magma."
"Close enough, but I'll write you some step-by-step instructions for this."