(continued from part 3)
“How extraordinary.” I muttered dejectedly, mouth falling open slight. Merric raised a brow and laid a firm, finely manicured hand upon my shoulder.
“Are you feeling quite alright?”
“I… no. I don’t know what came over me. Its like… damn it. I can’t explain. It were as a fit of… of-”
“You’re overworked and underpaid. I’ve seen it before. The stress. Being around this madness. The darkness. Strange noises in the night. You start jumping at shadows.”
I nearly laughed, for I had just said as much to Derren. I stifled my black humor and nodded gravely instead as Merric continued.
“Imagination runs wild you never know what you’ll see and hear. Ghosts, hobgobs and lights in the sky…”
“Yes. You’re quite right. Creativity is a peerless weapon. Irksome when it turns against its wielder.”
“I think I know your problem, Wayer.”
“What is that sir?”
“All that poetry. Literary sensibilities. You’ve the training of a medical man but the soul of an artist. Minds such as yours are, in their essence, more susceptible to fancy such as those on which you fly tonight.”
“Yes, yes I think you’re quite right. I’m sorry to have troubled you, sir.”
The older man clicked his tongued and smiled faintly.
“I’m but ten years your senior, hardly enough for ‘sir,’ at any rate, no trouble at all. Why don’t you come for a drink.”
I knew that drinking on-premise was strictly forbidden, but Merric, as Psychiatric Director, sat upon the top of the active asylum hierarchy – how could I refuse, especially when he had been so accommodating, so measured in his visement? I acquiesced and followed the man down to the main floor, to the southern-most corridor of Ward M-A and sat down in his office as he set himself gently down into his large leather chair and produced a bottle of bourbon from a drawer in his large brentwood file desk.
“You like bourbon?”
“Much as anyone.”