The scene: a psychiatrist’s office.
An elderly tweed-suited doctor with a pointed goatee beard sits in a leather chair, notebook in hand. He looks severe and very Germanic. On the wall behind him is a Diploma in Advanced Jungian Psychoanalysis from the University of Heidelberg. A marble bust of Sigmund Freud surveys the room sternly from its vantage above the open fireplace.
Abowie lies on a leather couch by the curtained window. He is facing the wall in the foetal position. He rocks from side to side gently. His clothing is filthy, his hair dishevelled and he doesn’t look like he’s slept for a month. A GPS unit is clutched in his hand.
The analyst shakes his head pityingly, takes a deep calming breath, adjusts his pince-nez glasses, checks his pocket watch and then picks up a pencil from his green baize covered antique desk.
“So Herr Bowie, let us recommence. How have your delusions of persecution been this week?”
Abowie turns to face him. His eyes are red rimmed but intense and his voice is flat but with a hysterical edge. “It’s NOT a delusion. He’s real. It’s real. He’s trying to kill me.” He starts to sob quietly.
The doctor sighs deeply and shakes his head. The duelling scar on his right cheek twitches ominously. “I thought that we had agreed that you would no longer be doing this, this… geocaching. I thought that at long last we had made some real progress.”
The sobbing intensifies, then stops. “I can’t stop it. It’s an irresistible compulsion. You know that. HE knows that. I can hear him laughing every time I log on to GC.com.”
“He is not real, you know. He only exists in your mind. He is simply ein gestalt construct, an extension of your own subconscious id. He is a reflection of that part of all of us that which wants to commit acts of unspeakable evil, but which most of us suppress, thereby enabling us to live in society. You must accept this as truth if we are to continue with your therapy.”
“But he must be real. He leaves messages for me on the internet. He makes me go to places with this,” he shakes the GPS under the doctor’s nose “and when I get there I find things that he’s left to torment me. It started about a year ago when I found White. Such a clever puzzle. I didn’t realise the danger I was entering into. Then Dam the Foxes. I cracked that one and went walking on my own to find it. Had a few close shaves on a steep hillside but because I happened to approach the cache from the wrong side I escaped the traps. I got the first to find you know. I was hooked.”
“Then Black. Exhaustion nearly got me there, and but for the Fairy Dust I probably wouldn’t have got back. The plants were horrific. He knew he had me by then, and he sent me an email taunting me to test my mettle on The Slot.”
“Stop there! No more of this nonsense!” shouts the doctor. A tiny drop of spittle hangs from his lower lip. “We have been through all of this before. Think of your poor family, man! The countless hours wasted on the internet, scribbling rubbish on scraps of paper, downloading coordinates into that GPS.”
“He does not send you special messages. He does not contact you! What proof do you have? Have you ever seen him? No! Has anyone else been with you to find these, what do you call them, caches? No, I say, no! There is no proof, no evidence, no shred of reality. It is all a twisted fantasy, a horrible dream. We have been over this so many times, and you had been making real progress until now! HE DOES NOT EXIST!”
To be continued in instalment 2…