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Batch 2, story 6




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Happifarm Private Residential Hospital

Dear Mr and Mrs Beigh,

In response to your request I enclose my annual psychiatric report on the progress of your son Eustace or Mr B.E., as he likes to be called, who has been held in Buttercup Secure Ward for fifteen years, since he was sectioned. The report has been transcribed for you into layman’s terms:

As usual, the abiding question - as to how your son escapes from his secure accommodation, and where he goes when absent - remains. As you are aware, food is left in his empty cell three times daily, the closed circuit TV tapes record nothing, and his plate and cup are found cleared when staff collect them. I continue to be the sole person to whom he agrees to show himself.

During my visit, Mr B.E. still insisted on speaking in Backlatin, but he appeared extremely fit and well, as he always does. As ever, he proceeded to demonstrate to me his excellent wardrobe of Armani suits, Rolex watches and the like – and offered me two a Faberge eggs which he asked me to send you with his fondest regards, and which I am pleased to enclose with this report.

He also pointed out the imminent structural problem being caused by the weight of the gold bullion under his bed. I was able to persuade him, with a little effort, that it would be more expedient to place the bars in a vault than to reinforce the floors of this elderly Victorian asylum. Your son’s gold currently lies in safekeeping in my bank account, awaiting your instructions.

In response to your annual request, I of course proceeded to question him as to the origin of his wealth, the method of his coming and going from his room, and the matter of where he spends his days.

His delusion on this account sadly persists. However on this occasion the details of his mind’s unfortunate fabrications do give us a clue to the direction of his obsessions, and for this reason I have asked the hospital secretary to enclose herein his story, transcribed and translated from your son’s tape-recorded Backlatin:

You always arks me that, don’ you, then you don’ listen. I got a shed, ain’ I, and I rent it, don’ I, and people sell space-junk in it don’ they, and I put the rent under me bed and I spend some on nice gear and that, don’ I. Don’t kick the po under me bed. Why do you medics always kick the po?

‘Ow do I get to me shed? Well as soon as you wipe that knowin’ grin off your face I’ll tell you. ‘Ere you are, you can play with them two Fabergé eggs, and maybe for once you’ll listen. Like kids, these medics.

OK. Details. Where’s the shed? In space, innit. Sixty-two thousand, one ‘undred and forty miles up, to be precise. In orbit, see. It’s geostationary at that ‘ight: it ‘overs nicely over this loony bin, dunnit, very convenient. Whatcha mean ‘ow do I get there? That’s the easy bit, innit. I got a lift, ain’ I.

‘Ow’s it work? Oh you are full of questions today, doctor, well at least you’re listenin’ for oncet. Got a nanotube ribbon, ain’ I. Where’d I geddit? Out o’ that instruction book I was readin’, just before you sectioned me. Fountains of Paradise, it was, by this bloke Clarke. Just fell out, it did. Carbon nanotube ribbon: three foot wide and as thin as thin. It jus’ ‘appened to be 66,140 miles long. Reached up to me shed, it did. I keep the bottom end of it in the wardrobe. Nice one.

Do I climb up the ribbon like a monkey? Are you takin’ the mick? I got mechanical lifters, ain’ I, powered by laser light. Sorted. Punters go up the ribbon in the lift, catch the space junk going by and flog it. You fink there’s just bits of ol’ satellites and comets up there. That’s only the ‘alf of it. There’s gold and diamonds. Saw a London bus once.

Wanna sell summink in me shed, do yer now? Whatcha wanna sell? You can sell anythin’. No, Doctor, we don’ sell grandmothers. It’s illeg - [Interview terminated]

I am sorry to have to conclude from this interview that your son’s unfortunate condition persists, and this conclusion forms the basis of my request to the Authorities that Mr B.E. be sectioned for a further year.

My regards and sympathy to you both. I sincerely hope that my next report will contain more helpful news. Please find attached my account for the above private medical treatment.

Yours sincerely

Hugh Anchorweigh, HPR Hospital Psychiatrist.

Copyright © 2003 LS


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