Disclaimer: I own Professor Whittinham, Moira and Nigel
And How Do You Feel About That?
Professor Nicholas Whittingham was a psychiatrist. He had signed up for the job of psychiatrist. He wanted to help people overcome their mental problems and make the world a better place.
Nowhere in this job description had it stated looking after fully grown men in capes.
He looked across at the masked fellow who was perched on the couch and glaring at everything in the room. Apparently the lamp on the mantelpiece was particularly offensive. He had been giving it a nasty look for the past four minutes.
"Mr Destler?" Professor Whittingham said, trying to catch his patient's attention. The glare went to him immediately. "How are you feeling today?"
"I feel irritated by being forced to participate in this mockery." Mr Destler snapped.
"I do not need to see a psychiatrist. I am of a perfectly sound mind."
"I'm afraid your family feels otherwise, Mr Destler." Professor Whittingham sighed. "Would you like to talk about your family?"
"My family hates me!" Mr Destler spat, rearranging his cloak.
"No, Mr Destler. They simply want to help you feel better."
"I feel fine. And they do hate me." He pouted. "My mother loathed me!"
"Your mother came to see you yesterday. She brought you a lovely cardigan." Professor Whittingham reminded him. Mr Destler's glare went to the potted plant in the corner of the room.
"None of them understand me." He said after a few moments. "They don't understand that I need to fulfil my love of music and that I can only achieve that with Christine by my side."
"Ah yes, Christine." Professor Whittingham jotted the name down. "Tell me about her."
For the first time since he had entered the room, Mr Destler's glare ceased to exist, replaced by a dreamy look of distant happiness.
"She's an angel on earth… an angel of music…"
"I thought you were the angel of music?"
"I am hers and she is mine." The dreamy expression did not budge. Professor Whittingham watched him for a moment.
"I see. And how do you feel about that?"
Mr Destler suddenly snapped back to attention.
"I feel fine. Can I go now? I have to finish my opera before those moronic managers get too comfortable."
"Mr Destler, you don't write music. You're an accountant."
"Don't be ridiculous!" Mr Destler exclaimed. He reached into his cloak but Professor Whittingham quickly carried on.
"Now, Mr Destler, why don't you tell me about your job?"
"It is not a job." The patient said crossly. "It is a calling."
"Really? And how do you feel about that?"
"I feel that if you ask me that question once more your receptionist will find you hanging from the ceiling by a catgut."
Professor Whittingham swallowed hard.
"Moving on then. Might I enquire as to how long you have been doing this?"
"Doing what?" Mr Destler said, his glare now burning into a painting of a boat on the wall.
"Doing… what you do. Haunting."
"Since I was a child and was forced to take refuge beneath the Opera Populaire." Mr Destler announced. The Professor noted that down and said,
"Why is it that you were forced to take refuge?"
"My face, you imbecile! This loathsome face!" Mr Destler shouted, jumping to his feet in a rage.
Professor Whittingham waited until Mr Destler had composed himself before continuing.
"Why don't you sit down, Mr Destler?" He did so, his glare returning tenfold as he carefully patted his hair, to make sure it was nice and smooth. Professor Whittingham waited a few further moments to make sure he had calmed down properly before saying,
"And how do you feel about that?"
Mr Destler scowled furiously at him. The Professor decided to press on.
"Why don't you tell me about your decision to change your name?"
"What decision? My name is Erik Destler!"
"No, you legally changed it to that a few months ago, remember? Your name was Nigel Horton." Professor Whittingham said kindly.
"I have no idea what you're talking about, you ridiculous man." Mr Destler said snootily.
"Do you recall the conversation we had last week about this?"
"What did we say?"
"You said that I was suffering from delusion and I threatened to stab you in the eye with your Ballpoint pen." Mr Destler said, turning his glare to the water jug on a nearby table.
"That's right. And then what did we decide?"
"That I should stop threatening people."
"Correct." Professor Whittingham beamed.
Mr Destler rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath ominously. The psychiatrist inwardly groaned. What he wouldn't give for a manic depressive or a nice case of schizophrenia. But no. He was stuck with a man who thought that catgut was an enjoyable pastime for the whole family.
Professor Whittingham glanced down at his notepad.
"Well, I think we're almost finished. Have you got any questions?"
"How long must I continue to humiliate myself like this for?"
"You will come to the sessions until I've helped you to overcome this obsession." Professor Whittingham said calmly.
Mr Destler snarled and stood to his feet, his cloak billowing around him. Professor Whittingham went to the door and held it open.
"Same time next week?"
"If necessary." Mr Destler said grumpily, sweeping from the office. Professor Whittingham sighed and looked at Moira, the secretary."
"Arnold Barnstrom, Professor Whittingham." Moira said in her best chirpy-secretary voice. Professor Whittingham went to the door of the waiting room and opened it.
Three more men were sat in cloaks and white masks, all glaring at each other and lovingly caressing Punjab lassoes. Professor Whittingham looked at Moira who shrugged and giggled. He sighed heavily.
"That's Destler, if you don't mind." The man snapped, getting to his feet and rearranging the papier-mâché mask over his nose. . Professor Whittingham made it a point to a) inform his supervisor that he was quitting and b) send a formal letter of complaint to Andrew Lloyd Bloody Webber.
A/N: Lol, it may have been written for the MFN humour contest, but it sure didn't do well - 10th out of 11! Lol. but what the heck. I enjoyed writing it!