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Rated: 13+ · Prose · Drama · #1972056
A war hero visits his psychiatrist after cracking up

"Welcome Lieutenant, please do come in and have a seat."

"No, no not at the desk over here by the fire, I find in my old
age I catch quite a chill, these Scottish Winters do me no favors."

"Firstly let me say it is quite an honor to be meeting you.  It
is an unfortunate business that it is under these circumstances." 

"Anyway, shall we get started then?  What brings you here to our

"Y-y-y-you k-k-know very well what b-b-brings me to your
establishment, sir" stammered the lieutenant, after an
uncomfortably long silence.

"Interesting, your file does not mention your stammer."

"Y-y-y-you think I-I-I am here f-f-f-for my stammer?"

"No, no Lieutenant I know you are not here for your stammer, I
just find it interesting.  When did it start?"

"F-F-France.  W-w-w-what is so i-i-interesting about it?
I-I-I-I h-h-hate it!"

"Well, we have found most people who stammer are...how can I put
this delicately.  Umm gentlemen."

"Mostly the common men are struck mute."

"I-I-I a-a-am not f-f-f-following, sir, I-I-I t-t-think I am
beginning to take offense."

"Please, please no offense is intended.  We just, and by we I
mean the medical community, have found public school gentlemen
stammer due to not being able to say how they feel.  You know stiff
upper lip old boy.  Do not show your true feeling.  The other ranks
know better than to speak their minds and feel they need to have a
physical symptom, so alas are struck mute."

"I-I-I am s-s-still not f-f-following..."

"Well lieutenant we both know you are no gentleman.  Your father
was a mechanic I believe?"

"H-h-he was, r-r-right up 'til he d-d-d-died, my m-m-m-mother
r-r-raised us best she could."

"So again, I say your stammer is curious."

"A-a-a-are you s-s-s-saying I am n-n-n-not a g-g-g-gentleman,
sir.  I-I-I-I w-w-w-will r-r-r-remind y-y-y-you the K-K-K-King deemed
me worthy enough a gentleman to grant me a commission."

"In deed, he did, I am merely saying you were not raised a
gentleman, and your stammer is curious.  Now please do tell me about
how you received your commission."

"R-r-r-read a-a-a-about it."

"Well, it says here you took command of your machine gun section
after the officers were killed and put up a valiant defense, allowing
the rest of your command to fall back to a better position.  You were
the only one in your section to survive."

"Oh my, no, that was your Military Medal citation.  Your
commission was for that bit you performed at the battle of Ypres.
Yes, yes that was fine work as well.  Again as a private soldier, you
found yourself in command.  Managed to save a nephew of someone
rather important."

"S-s-s-so they say.  I-I-I d-d-don't remember m-m-much of it.
I-I-I-I w-w-went back t-t-to find my mate.  I-I-It w-w-was s-s-so
m-m-muddy I couldn't t-t-tell who I was grabbing."

"Well, it says here you saved five lives, did you manage to find
your friend?"

"Y-y-y-yes, w-w-w-what was left of him."

"Oh I am sorry, to hear that."

"N-n-not as s-s-sorry as his mum."

"So then with your newly appointed commission you volunteered
for the Flying Corps?"

"Ha, v-v-volunteered, if that's w-w-what you want to call it."

"It says right here in your record volunteered for Flying

"S-s-sure t-t-that's what it s-s-says.  I-I-I got b-b-back to
my u-u-unit and my c-c-commander said he wouldn't have his m-m-mess
contaminated by the likes of me, s-s-since I-I-I am not a gentleman.
S-s-sent me a-a-away that night."

"Well, you have certainly done a fine job, since.  With the
exception of the last bit, Can we talk about that?"

"N-N-No, I do not r-r-remember."

"You do not remember?"


"What is the last bit of flying you remember?"

"Climbing into my plane, for the dawn patrol."

"Do you remember the patrol?"


"Says, here you landed your plane alone and it was so full of
holes it was a miracle you came back.  You don't remember any of


"You refused to come out of your plane, you just sat there and
had to be pried away by mechanics and fellow pilots.  At one point it
says you pulled out a pistol and threatened your commanding officer.
Gave the poor chap a fright.  Fortunately for you, he thought very
highly of you.  Still nothing?"


"How about this last incident at the flying school?"


"You apparently frightened your student to the point he was a
blathering idiot, says here he even urinated on himself.  He
volunteered to go back to the trenches rather than fly for another

"I-I-I don't remember, but good for him.  He would just end
up torching in to earth anyway."

"I personally cannot blame him, you'd have to be mad to fly in
one of those contraptions anyway."

"S-s-so y-y-you do think I am mad?"

"Yes, quite frankly I do, but no more than any other pilot I've

"T-t-then why bother trying to help me.  I-I-I'll n-n-never
fly a-a-again."

"We don't know that, lieutenant. Maybe just maybe we can
change that.  The Flying Corps needs good men and pilots like

"I-I-I am n-n-not a good man, o-o-or p-p-pilot anymore!"

"I-I-I am a coward and apparently mad"

"Well, lieutenant your Military Medal, Military Cross with a
bar, and that French award, blast what's it called Croix de Guerre,
say otherwise.  You are an ace with 13 kills to your credit. How
would you think you are a coward?"

"I-I-I f-f-feel like one, I am here aren't I?"

"Well. I certainly look forward to talking more with you, but
this unfortunately is all the time we have for today.  While you are
here you will please keep a journal.  Feel free to write anything you
wish.  Lets try and get your memory back and if you feel more
comfortable writing about it than talking that's fine as well.
Have a good evening lieutenant."

"I-I-I have one question, sir.  T-T-There is no lock on my

"Well, no there won't be.  The only door here with a lock is
mine.  Have a good evening and I hope to see you at dinner."

"Oh one more thing lieutenant, next time I would like you to
tell me some stories about your time as a pilot before this last
unfortunate business."

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