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Another camera-less attempt at the WordPress Photo Challenge…

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Doctor Groves looked at his patient. He took in the rubber suit, the black utility belt, the bar-eared mask, and he sighed.

He had already seen a Superman and a Spiderman this week. He had also seen two Napoleons, a Cleopatra, three Simon Cowells and a guy who claimed to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The difference between them and his current patient, though, was that this was the real Batman.

He had first been referred to Doctor Groves, Gotham City’s most eminent psychiatrist,  by Chief O’Hara, who was worried about this guy who had turned up at Police Headquarters claiming among other things that he fought with a penguin. But over time Groves had realised that he genuinely was a Super-hero. Yet still the Caped Crusader was here, lying stereotypically upon the psychiatrist’s couch.

Because Batman’s problem was not that he thought he was Batman.

“He helped me again last night,” said Batman.

“No, he didn’t,” said the Doctor gently. “We’ve been through this. Robin doesn’t exist. He’s your imaginary friend.”

“He’s not imaginary,” snapped Batman. “I told you, we fought side by side only last night.”

The Doctor leaned forward. “Tell me what happened,” he said.

“Well,” said Batman, “I was fighting Catwoman’s goons, watching the words “Biff!” and “Thwack!” appear in the air (curing Batman’s belief that this actually happened was a problem that Dr Groves was leaving for later sessions) when he suddenly appeared beside me, yelling “Holy Goon-Show, Batman!”. Then he got punched in the face.”

The Doctor was startled. “What, one of the goons could see him as well?”

“No, I punched him in the face,” said Batman. “Sometimes all that Holy This and Holy That gets on my nerves.”

He looked off to one side. “Sorry,” he said. Dr Groves felt the hairs rise on his neck.

“He’s here now, isn’t he?” asked Groves. Batman nodded. “He says “Holy Nut-doctor, Batman!” said Batman.

“I’m not a nut-doctor,” said Dr Groves. “They deal, er, down lower. Look, you’re Batman. The Dark Knight. You have the coolest car on the planet, your own signal in the sky, you can fight your way through a whole roomful of villains. Why would you need a side-kick who has no weapons, no special talents, and who spoils any element of surprise that you might have when approaching a villain’s lair by wearing something so bright that you can see it from two miles away on a dark night, if you’ll pardon the pun?”

“Er, well,” said Batman, looking, for the first time in many, many sessions, as if he had lots to think about.

“Seriously,” said Dr Groves. “If you want something red-and-green with a gift for repetitive phrases, then you should get a parrot.”

Time was up, so Batman stood. He paid for the session in cash, saying as he always did that it was lucky that he was carrying his Bat-Cash-Holding-Device with him. Doctor Groves actually had something similar, though he called it a wallet.

At the door Batman turned.

“See you next week,” he said. “Same bats time, same bats channel.”

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