Drawing of a room with an armchair, a side table with a drink and a stool. Caption reads: "What exactly was in that drink?"

Hypnotherapy short story by Iris Carden

Hello dear reader. I invite you to get comfortable now, while I tell you the strange tale of Elizabeth, who went to get help with a bad habit, and developed another instead.

Elizabeth had a terrible problem with falling for the wrong men, the kind of men who would take advantage of her and mistreat her. She decided the problem was her lack of self-esteem, her willingness to accept less than acceptable behaviour from the men she allowed in her life.

Friends recommended a hypnotherapist who had a reputation for being sympathetic, and providing a great deal of help to clients.

The hypnotherapist welcomed her, and offered her a comfortable arm chair. He got her a coffee while they talked about what she wanted from the session.

Then he pulled a stool over closer, and sat directly in front of her. He began speaking in a slow, gentle, melodious tone, and Elizabeth felt herself drifting into another state of consciousness.

Now, dear reader, they say you can’t be hypnotised to do something you don’t want to do. But what was in that drink the hypnotherapist had given Elizabeth? It certainly wasn’t only coffee.

As if from a vast distance, Elizabeth heard the hypnotherapist’s voice instruct her to go to a certain place, and shoot a man he described.

Elizabeth felt a handgun pressed into her hand. She wanted to say “no”, to resist his instruction, but her body seemed to act of its own accord. Even in her disassociated state, Elizabeth felt her heart beat faster, her stomach tighten, her bowels turn to water and demand the release they were not granted. She poured sweat, but still her body obeyed the instructions.

She walked into a crowded coffee shop, and saw the man the hypnotist had described. She wanted to yell a warning, but her throat was closed up and would let no words escape. She wanted to turn and run, but her feet would not obey her command. She was desperate not to do this, but she did it. She fired the gun, saw the man go down, and she turned and deliberately walked back to the hypnotherapist’s consulting room.

She sat back on the comfortable chair. The therapist removed the gun from her hand and placed on a cabinet in the corner of the room.

The slow, melodious voice said, “I am going to count down from ten when I reach one, you will be fully awake and you will remember nothing of what has happened.”


Elizabeth still felt her heart beating, seemingly a thousand times its normal speed.


She still wanted to run, but her body was still frozen in place.


How could this supposed professional abuse his trust in this manner?


Fear was turning into rage. Her heart pumped yet faster. But the weak, watery feeling in her gut was turning to cold, hard, steel.


Once more she’d trusted a man who mistreated her and used her for his own ends.


Her mind closed on a simple idea: it stops now.


No-one would ever take advantage of her again.


She would see to it that everyone who had abused her trust would pay.


And it would start with this man in front of her.

“One. Wake up. You do not remember anything.”

She remembered everything, but now she had control over her body. Before the hypnotherapist could register what was happening, she’d run across the room, grabbed the gun, turned and shot him.

She opened the drawers of the cabinet and searched until she found extra bullets for the gun.

There were a lot of men who had taken advantage of her, and they were all going to answer for it.

So, dear reader, we leave Elizabeth, who really was cured of her tendency to fall for the wrong kind of men. No-one will ever take advantage of her again.

I invite you, dear reader, to look out for more:

Strange Tales

While you’re here…

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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