Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

Patient Number 666

Yes, I used to work in psychiatry. No, the potted history of Bartholomew is entirely fictional. Even so, I’m going to add a disclaimer: in a world with a population of almost 7 billion, there’s a slight chance of a coincidence.     


cook cutting carrots

Who says children are born innocent? Bartholomew – named after a saint and born years before Bart Simpson – had nothing in common with either celebrity.

Son of the First World War hero, Major Stanley Templeton and twenties’ flapper, Beatrice Morgan, Bartholomew embarked on his torturer’s career at an early age. Aged two, he drained the fish bowl of water and chewed its occupant to death. And aged five, he plucked legs off spiders, singing…

  Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout

down poured the acid and burned poor Incy out

out came the sun and dried him to a husk

Incy Wincy Spider, scrummy toasted rusk

To celebrate his first decade, he decided to prove that cat tasted of chicken. Exit Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.

Six years later, he borrowed his baby niece for an afternoon’s biting practice and discovered a taste for humans. He had not meant to kill her.

He celebrated his twenty-first birthday on D-Day by cooking a head with carrots and potatoes in a boiler house oven. A month earlier, the pilot had parachuted into the grounds of Shadyreach Institution for the Criminally Insane and demolished Bartholomew’s vegetable patch.

Thirty years later, when all Bartholomew’s teeth had fallen out, a nurse took him to France on a day-trip. A rabid dog had the audacity to bite him. He said, ‘Ouch, that hurt,’ and burst into tears.

As he lay dying, with NIL BY MOUTH pinned to his bed, he thought the ward sister the most sadistic person he’d ever met.

(c) Sarah Potter, 2011

Funny cartoon of cat and dog annoying the surgeonsCrying Man clip art

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2 thoughts on “Patient Number 666

  1. Fabulously macabre. Right up my street.


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