“Helloooo, yes hello, it’s the king of Scotland here, and whom am I speaking to? Doooo tell!” sang the well-to-do voice of Sebastian’s favourite patient.

“Hi Richard, it’s me, Sebastian. I’m calling about the meeting you missed with me yesterday afternoon…”.

“Richard!?! Who is this Richard you speak of?! I’m afraid you’re mistaken Sir, I am the king of Scotland, and only my friends dare call me by my christian name, which is Donald as you already know!!”

Shit! Sebastian thought to himself, angry at his own negligence. Sebastian knew better than to not think carefully about what he would say when calling Richard. Richard was one of Sebastian’s more fragile patients, and any attempt to break down Richard’s delusional world was a big no-no.  Sebastian winced at the raised voice that followed on the phone. 

“You Sir, do not know ANYTHING about me!!! I have claimed these lands for myself and if you DARE question me again, YOUR HEAD WILL ROLL!!!”.

“My apologies, I.. uh..got a little confused there. So Donald, may I call you Donald?” Sebastian put on his most charming voice to try to win Richard back.

“Hmmm I suppose so… you were saying something about a meeting?” Richard replied nonchalantly.    

“Yes, as we did’t get to meet yesterday, would you like to meet with me tomorrow, to discuss your…plans?”  Sebastian was treading carefully this time. 

“Will there be a round table?” Sebastian was rarely thrown by any of Richard’s questions.

“I only meet at round tables..” Richard was calming down now.

“Uh, yes, we can arrange a round table for you..how is 2.00pm..I’m looking forward to meeting with you Donald", Sebastian knew how to get Richard back on side, by playing the friend, which he could always do very well. It wasn’t even that hard to play Richard’s friend as Sebastian was actually very fond of Richard, even though he was what you’re not supposed to refer to him as… ‘Mad’.     

Richard was certainly one of the maddest patients that Sebastian cared for. But he was imaginative, and daring, and revelled in his change of identity which he believed he lived up to, a great king in this case. Sebastian could relate to this feeling of being someone greater and grander than people perceived him to be. Sebastian just didn’t have the guts to shout about it or really believed in it like Richard did… But then Richard was mad

Is madness such a curse as it’s made out to be? was often a question that Sebastian would ask himself after talking to Richard, to believe that you are something much greater than you actually are, in the eyes of the world…

“Okay Sir Sebastian, the king will be there! I will see you at the round table at 2.00pm, SHARP!” and with that last decisive outburst, Richard hung up the phone. 

Sebastian scribbled down the 2.00pm appointment in his diary, and then continued to doodle on the next page whilst just staring at the paper. Sebastian was entranced by the spirals he drew on his page. The sudden loud ringing of the phone made Sebastian jump straight back into reality. He picked up the phone and went straight back into work mode… “Hello, Dr. Batt speaking..”

Immediately Sebastian was hit with a tirade of obscenities being spat out at him that was usual for this time of day. 

“Amy…Amy…AMY, I’m going to put the phone down if you don’t let me speak….Amy! Right, goodbye Amy”, Sebastian hung up the phone, just for it to ring again within a few seconds. Amy called every afternoon around the same time, to release all of her anger, confusion and well.. madness to Sebastian. She was certainly not one of Sebastian’s favourite patients, she was not creative in her insults as they were the same every day, and just plain rude. He looked at the phone and just let it ring. It rang for a good few minutes before falling silent again. Sebastian then picked up his pencil and continued to draw the spirals that he had started. As he drew, he fell into his usual daydream… His favourite daydream of being a great magician on the stage.

The daydream always started the same way, with Sebastian emerging from heavy velvet drapes, the deep red hue served as the perfect background for his black elaborate suit that consisted of a black bowler hat, a Victorian-era mourning jacket with matching waistcoat underneath, and pinstripe trousers over highly polished black brogues. Of course his pièce de résistance was his perfectly sculpted full black beard that finished in a point, complete with his perfectly waxed moustache. On that decadent stage, Sebastian would wow the audience with his wondrous tricks and illusions. He bathed in the awe that his audience showed him. They cheered and clapped and threw roses onto the stage.

The loud ringing of the phone made Sebastian jump again, shattering his daydream like a smashed mirror. Sebastian looked at the phone and paused for a second, considering whether or not to pick it up. He looked at the clock. It was 4.07pm. Sebastian sighed and picked up the phone..”Dr. Batt speaking..”, as the earlier tirade continued from where it was abruptly cut off, Sebastian caught his reflection in the mirror that hung on the wall facing his desk.

As he stared at his reflection, he leant back into his chair and stroked his beard, paying attention to mould it into the perfect point at the end. He then went onto sculpting his waxed moustache into neat half circles. Sebastian’s eccentric facial hair was the only thing that he had managed to take with him between the real world and his fantasy. It was the only thing that he really felt was his own, a representation of the man he wanted to be, that great magician on the stage.