The Thunder of Nautilus

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The Lord of the Manor

Dr. John Byron didn’t consider himself to be a vain man, but he thought his features to be pleasant and his body well proportioned. He was in the habit of going to the gym once or twice a week, and he hadn’t sculpted his body too much, just enough to look trim. When he looked in the mirror, he was pleased with the aesthetics of the muscles he had formed. He dressed well, deliberately conservative and manly. His suits were grey or navy blue, and his carefully chosen shirts were of the best quality. His colleagues at the clinic considered his manner to be professional and friendly, but a little too standoffish for those who liked to socialize outside of the workplace. Fact was, his occupation as a forensic psychiatrist had taught him to keep his work where it belonged and his privacy carefully guarded.

John had contemplated putting more distance between himself and the clinic in Bristol for some time and considered buying a place in the country. However, the premature death of his favorite uncle changed his life. He’d inherited his uncle’s manor house, which stood on 800 acres of half-cleared and half-forested land. Included was a cottage, which had once housed the manor’s caretaker, but it had been uninhabited for some time.

After his uncle was buried and the will was read, John wasn’t sure if the inheritance was a blessing or a curse, the manor being in great need of repair and his uncle having left him no ready cash. However, his uncle’s solicitor suggested selling three-quarters of the land to a local farmer who was interested, and he had a buyer for the cottage, an interior designer from London. John thought this was a perfect solution to the problem of not having money to restore the manor to its former glory.

John had taken a week off in order to arrange the funeral and discuss matters of sale with the solicitor, and when he returned to work his mind was still preoccupied with the recent turn of events in his life. He’d been in a session with a particularly violent psychopath, who obviously enjoyed describing the act of killing in great detail, when it occurred to John that he didn’t have to listen to such shit anymore, and he very unprofessionally told his patient that he hoped he’d burn in hell, got up from his chair, and walked out of the clinic, never to return.

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