The mental health of Michael Yetts. A short story fragment.

Michael Yetts went to see Doctor Thorne because one morning he looked out his bedroom window and there was a face looking at him from out a large fern in his garden. The face identified itself as Prince Albert and then began to yell abuse at him. Even after he had closed his window he could still hear the voice and when he eventually called his sister to come into his room and look out the window she could see no face in the fern.

The Doctor’s room was nothing like they looked like in the movies. This one was plastic and cheap looking. There were pictures on the wall but these were all cheap prints of waves crashing into lighthouses and forests covered in fog. Michael instantly hated these pictures and he began to feel a deep regret at having come to see the doctor.

“Hello Michael.” The doctor greeted him and sat down in a chair that was also made of cheap plastic and it groaned, threatening to collapse as he sat down. The Doctor did not seem to notice how cheap and horrible the chair was.

“Hello.”

“Can you tell me what happened to you this morning.”

“What part?”
“Anything you think that is worthwhile telling me.”
“There was no rain.”

“OK.”

“That is important.”
“Why?”
“I went on the internet, I looked up the national weather thingo, you know the government has the weather website?”
“The bureau of meteorology?”
“Yes, that’s it. They said we should have rain this morning, from six to nine. I woke up and the sky was blue and the sun was coming up clear.”
“Why did that worry you?”
“The government tells me that it’s going to rain, so I decided the night before not to go for my morning walk.”
The Doctor looked at him for a moment.
“They ruined my walk, on purpose.” Michael went on.

“Your sister mentioned something about a fern, a face and voices.”

“Yes. That was a hallucination. I know that. I don’t need you to tell me.”
“Good. What happened, can you tell me?”
“I looked down into a large bird’s nest fern I have been growing under my window and there was a face. An ugly little spiteful face, a man, he had a big mouth and little eyes and he said he was Prince Albert and then he started swearing at me. He told me all this bad stuff while using really bad language. He said I was useless and of no good to anyone.”
“I know you have been on medication, have you been taking it?”
“I stopped.”
“Why?”
“When ever I take the medication, I’m not joking…” Michael looked the Doctor in the eye, “When ever I take it, bees start to follow me.”
The Doctor was quiet for a moment. “What do the bees do to you?”
“They are bees, they follow me, sometimes they settle on me and I have to brush them aside and when they get inside I have to take them out.”
“Do they sting you?”
“No, I think it’s the smell of the medication I take, I think it smells of the hive.”
“Do you like bees?”
“They’re fine. They’re hard workers and everything, perhaps they’re a bit stupid.”
“Why do you think that?”
“They do all the hard work for some Queen, they never get a holiday, they can’t fly in the rain.” Michael stopped and watched the Doctor writing in his black book. “Hang on, forget that last part. They can’t help it if they can’t fly in the rain.”

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