Would Be King

Entry by: Seaside Scribbler

23rd September 2022
The man who would be king circles me like a shark; watches me through his tiny flitting eyes and waits for the moment I am weak to strike, drag me down and drown me, before finishing me off with his nasty pointy teeth.

I exaggerate, a little, but this is how it feels as I go about my kingly business and he exists and covets my life. It's always been like this even before I was made king - him, and me, caught in an endless power struggle to get to the top.

I made it first. I won over the people and their tributes reflect their respect for me and all I do for them. He isn't to be trusted. It's in those eyes I mentioned, the ones that flit about, looking for danger - or opportunity - his furtive whispers, his quiet meetings when he thinks I'm not watching. He thinks I'm stupid and that I don't have a clue about what he's trying to do. He wants my job, the one I was given by birthright, and he's not getting it.

I'm safe. I have loyal bodyguards; he has acolytes who follow him about and try to be like him, even to the point of flicking their eyes about. It makes them look like they're having some kind of episode, but they think they look like him, and that's fine. The weirder they look, the better it is for me and the people who follow me.

Our country is small. I watched The Godfather once, and it reminded me of us and our endless circular power struggle, caught in the tides of our lives. None of us has any power or choice, not really, even kings are bound by laws. The Godfather and all the dark cinematography reminded me so much of our country it made me cry. My two most trusted bodyguards, who were with me, subtly pulled tissues from their pockets and handed them to me.

My rival is called Angus. King Angus. He things it has a ring to it but I think there are far too man gs in there. If you say it with a Liverpudlian accent, like the doctor, it sounds like you're choking.

My name is Jon. Simple, strong, and chosen by me. For the longest time it was my secret name, but now I get to live it every single day, live Me. King John. Biblical, almost. If I had the power to start a religion I would, because I live a life of kindness many would benefit from , if we all chose the same way. I'd call it Jonway, my religion. It's how I try to rule - Jon's Way. King Jon's Way. Angus's jealousy and meanness make him ugly; Jonway makes you beautiful inside.

It has been a beautiful year. My reign. Things have been better here; the people happier. If it weren't for Angus, I would feel entirely safe, and so would everyone else.

Only lately, the last few days... it's hard to explain. I've not felt myself. I've felt like Old Me, Jon-before, when I had the name I hated. I don't know why. I don't tell anyone, because kings have to be strong. They hide their feelings. They have to, to rule with equity and


Two days until I expose him. Literally. I have had to plan it right, so the correct people are watching and the right backs are turned. If not, at the last minute my carefully laid plans could be ruined. The overthrow of a king is no easy business. It's taken months of careful planning and secret meetings and whispered promises. My new PM. My new Doctor in charge. My new Princes.

I began slowly. A bribe to an unscrupulous Princess Nurse (leading to a cut in the royal dose "Jon" was given); some acting on my part (just enough to unsettle him and freak him out with my Freaky Eyes); a few promises to the hard bastards like Grainger (I will need his protection, and I can give him much much more than "Jon" can. King Jon. What a load of shite.

King Gus - almost like a new word in itself. Kingus. A way of being. A way of living. A leader who's not paranoid. A leader who is a true man, not a fake one.

Joan was her name, but I'm guessing you guessed that already. I mean look at him. Her. Some trans men are just so manly. Jon is just... Fake. I'm a bloke's bloke. I'll be the proper king.

I knew Joan before we came here. Joan does not remember. I knew Joan when Joan was just a worn out crazy shell of a woman, beaten by men, mistrusted by other women. I'd have felt sorry for her if I had that capacity but I've been told I'm a psychopath, and incapable of mercy. That's fine by me - how many benevolent kings do you know anyway? They're all completely up themselves, so it'll be the perfect job for me. I've been told many a time how selfish I am. Fine. I do not have a problem with that.

Joan does, though. Joan thinks she's a bloke - not just that but a king - and Joan's biggest problem, out of all of them, is that Joan sees me as a problem. That does make sense. To me, anyway.

So. Joan's royal meds got cut, and suddenly Joan's not quite so comfortable. The royal nurse looks almost as uncomfortable, but the royal nurse is on a shitty wage and I'm rich. All it took was a couple of phone calls and the promise that when I'm king, everything here will be calm and controlled, not the chaos and riot it is under "King Jon".

When Joan feels bad enough, Joan's paranoias will really kick in and she'll be back in the soft room for a bit. I'll step in then, to my rightful shoes.


I've done a bad thing. Angus the terrifying offered me money to cut the dose of another patient. He said it was because the other patient has been bullying him and he's sick of it not being dealt with by the doctors, and could I do him a wee favour? I didn't want to, but I really really want a new car and Angus set up a few quid (turns out Angus is loaded - who knew?) to go into my bank account each week if I help. A few quid. A few hundred, actually. Angus also promised to make my life easy and not tell the world who I really am (he may be bluffing, but I really need this job and if my PVG is exposed as being fake, I'm done.) Looking after crazies doesn't pay that well, but it's not bad either. Crazies. I should not call them that. But honestly, man, if I told you some of the stuff that goes on in here your eyes would pop out of your head. It's pretty mental. Scuse the pun. Living on site means I have a house and a job, all in one. And I'm allowed a fair bit of freedom, even when I'm working.

Some of them are convinced they're in other places. Bit like that Leonardo DiCaprio movie where he thinks he's a copper and he's actually an inmate. Honestly.

It's a mixed ward, which brings its own difficulties. This is where my conscience really gets pricked - I know how hard it's been for Jon, and here I am helping destroy his Self. The drugs he's on keep him being a bloke, and keep him in his happy place (which has been as God, Jesus and once, Prince Harry's secret dad), and without them, he'll be back in the locked ward, which we all call Lala Land because nobody knows where they really are in there. I was in there for a bit before my shift pattern changed. Once Jon is in there, Angus will stop paying me, which is a bugger, but at least I'll be able to sleep at night. Cutting his dose is not easy. I take the meds from the doctor and give him a lesser amount without the doctor seeing. I'm good at my job, though. Derek, you're the best, is what I hear from docs and patients alike.


I'm worried about one of my patients. Jon, once Joan, isn't doing as well as he was. He's been in a great place for almost a year; so fully, finally in his own skin he almost looks regal. yes, that's the word. He looks Regal. And people follow him. Jon as his true self is a beautiful gentle giant of a man, not an awkward and unhappy cross-dresser. We have been talking about an operation to finalise things and I thought he was There. Ready, soon, to be rehabbed back to his proper life. The that asshole (should not call patients that) Angus got involved and winds him up constantly. I have fought for his transfer to The Sands but the cogs of the NHS move far too slowly and he's still here, in the wrong place. Keeping him and Jon apart has become my biggest challenge when I'm on shift.

Another recent issue is Angus's relationship with Derek. Derek used to believe he worked here and it took months to reinstate him to his proper station in the world, so to speak. he used to turn up to staff meetings and changeovers, with his own notes and everything. It seemed as the moment we got him 'right', so to speak, back in HIS right skin, he developed this shift friendship with Angus and I see the two of them plotting all day long in corners. They pick on Jon, no matter how hard I try to protect him. Jon's always been a favourite.

I like to think I know everything that's going on in here, more than anyone else. I take time to talk to the patients, see, and the others just treat them as if they're Things to be kept in order. Like books on a shelf. But open any one of those books and inside is all this LIFE. Dr King, who is the top doc in this place but has a God complex (maybe needs some treatment himself?) says I care too much and it'll be my undoing but at least I know what's going on in here. He has not got a clue. He may be in charge, but what is he in charge of? he hasn't a clue, not really. He doesn't talk to people. He doesn't know them.

I do. I understand everyone. I should be running this place really. Get rid of Doc King and his grand gestures of fakery, when he smiles and puts a hand on a shoulder... The people here are people, still people. Not patients, commodities, Things to be fed and medicated.

Take Jon. Gentle, lovely, caring Jon. If he wasn't here as a patient, he'd be a great Dr King. He'd have the place running so much better. He'd probably start by moving Angus, before Angus stabs us all in our beds (OK, I'm a bit over-dramatic there, but he freaks me out, and I would not put it past him to be able to sneak a knife into the hospital.)

I can dream. And in my day time job, not dreaming, I can try to help, understand, and medicate. And wish there was another way.