A huge flight of stone twisting steps out in the open stood in the middle of a darkened setting. Was it a field? Where on earth am I? He thought. Oscar’s unconscious mind was unsure. He climbed the steps ever so carefully, feeling the cold and uneven texture of the stone beneath his bare feet. Oscar’s trembling hand glided up the hand rail. The steep climb he had just endured left him breathless. He paused momentarily, catching a glimpse of two silhouetted shapes at the very top. Ava and Sebastian. Oscar stared at them with panicky eyes his heart going into over drive. Ava strutted towards him, her lip curled and mocking, so out of character. She laughed coldly.
“I don’t want anything more to do with you and your problems any longer. Sebastian is all I need now, I can rely on him completely. Now Leave!”
Sebastian stepped forwards maliciously, grabbing Oscar’s shoulders as he had done previously, forcefully thrusting him down the stairs. Oscar as a last resort tried to grasp the banister but missed, plummeting headlong down the staircase. Oscar writhed, his head moving jerkily from side to side in the bed, his arms and legs thrashing casting the blankets covering him to the floor. He let out a desperate cry, awaking abruptly his brow covered with dew droplets of sweat.
“Oscar! OSCAR! Christ are you okay?”
He stared at Ava with weary, semi-sleeping eyes, his chest rising and falling rapidly. “B-bad dream” Oscar mumbled.
“Shit. I thought you we’re fitting or something! I think you have a temperature.”
“No, not a fit. Just a nightmare. Sorry I scared you.”
Ava took a baby wipe from the packet she kept on her bedside table and dabbed Oscar’s scorching brow, wiping the remainder of the sweat droplets away from his face. “It’s okay. Do you want to tell me what happened? I think you should. Was you know who in the nightmare by any chance?”
“Did he hurt you?”
Ava cradled his shaking, clammy body. “Well you’re awake now. I’ve got you. Take deep breaths and slow your breathing right down. That’s it, that’s it.” She coaxed.
“How long have I been asleep for?
“Not long enough, um 3 hours?”
“Oh really it felt like an age. Did you tell my Mum in the end? On the phone I mean? ”
“No, you should tell her yourself.”
“I’d really rather not Ava!”
“Fine, but you do need to in your own time. Would you like another drink? You need to keep your fluids up. How’s your head?” Ava placed an arm gently around Oscar’s neck, planting a gentle kiss upon his cheek.
“My head’s still aching. Yeah another drink would be good. I feel a bit warm, so just some water would be nice please. I feel mean making you run after me like this!”
“Oscar I’m not running after anyone. I want to take care of you.”
“Thank you and I you.” Oscar sighed.
“Now, I’ll go and get you some water.”
Ava left Oscar’s side to fetch his drink. On her return he was asleep once more. She shook him gently.
“Sorry you were asleep.”
“No just closing my eyes, my head really hurts.”
“Okay. I’ll go and get you some ibuprofen, it will help and you can wash them down with your glass of water.”
Ava returned with the tablets “You’re not allergic to these are you? ”
“No , don’t worry I’m fine.”
She popped two pills into Oscar’s hand and handed him the cool water. He took them slowly in his hand shaking ever so slightly.
“In A&E we really should have told them the full story. The truth. The police should be involved. Technically there is a psychopath on the loose.”
“What did he look like and how did he get in?”
Oscar hesitated. “Maybe through a window or something. He looked so odd. I remember it quite clearly now. Sebastian was rugged and unkempt, so unlike him and he stank like he hadn’t washed in a good few days at least. God knows where and how he had been living. I’d say he was sleeping rough, he looked like he’d lost weight.”
“You’re right it’s not like him at all, he was pretty obsessed with his appearance.”
“Oscar do you think he was on something?”
“On drugs? Possibly. He’s so changed. In fact he makes me sick.” The last three words of the sentence triggered the memory of the night he was attacked. The terrifying vision of Sebastian’s wild, psychotic eyes flashed before his very imagination. Ava was un-nerved by Oscar’s sudden vacant expression, she stared at him with large glassy eyes, filled to the brim with tears of concern.
To be continued…….