Planchette-Part 14


Ava was the first to awaken the following morning, all was so still, so quiet. Her heart skipped a beat the first thought crossing her mind being “Is Oscar alright?” Much to her relief he was still laid beside her fully clothed, with the exception of his shoes, breathing ever so gently. Ava gazed over at him resting her chin on a bent elbow. He looked incredibly young, wrapped gently in the safety of his dreams. Sensing that someone was staring at him, Oscar opened his eyes, groaned and closed them once more.

“God! My head feels like it’s been hit by a sledge-hammer. That guy has some strength. Where did he go last night anyway?” He mumbled.

“I don’t know or particularly care, so long as he’s not lying dead somewhere after choking on his own vomit. If I was him I certainly wouldn’t have the nerve to show my face after his psychotic behaviour last night !” Ava snapped.

“Hmmm. I feel like I need some painkillers or something.”

Ava nodded. “Let’s go downstairs and get you some.”

It was still dark outside, Ava presumed that is was before 8am as the ever drawing in winter meant they were waking up in darkness. They pulled on their dressing gowns to take the edge off the chill and crept down the staircase. Ava flicked on the living room light, jumping as she caught the first proper sighting of the damage to Oscar’s face. Her eyes squinted in the bright light.

“Is it bad?” he sighed.

“He’s given you one hell of a bruise. We should have put some ice on that last night to help with the swelling. Your nose looks okay though, at least it stopped bleeding. I’ll go and get you a bag of peas or something for your head.”

Ava made 2 cups of steaming hot coffee and returned with a small bag of peas under one arm which Oscar placed upon the side of his face. Ava pillowed Oscar’s head in her lap as he lay upon the sofa, gently stroking his hair. She could feel the numbing sensation of the frozen peas against her legs. Ava felt grateful for her thick dressing gown.

“Do you reckon Seb’s actually in his room?” Oscar queried.

“Probably. Although I’m not going to check, he can come down in his own time if he dares. I don’t particularly want him living here. If he’s hit you once he’ll do it again Oscar.”

“Perhaps.”

“No I think he would. I’m going to get you some arnica cream to help with the bruising wait there. It may be too late now but it’s worth a try.”

Ava quickly ran upstairs routing around in her little box of supplies carefully placed next to her mirror. She was swift to return, applying the cream to the worst area. It was noon before Ava and Oscar heard the footsteps of another coming down the stairs. Sebastian gazed coldly at them with his vacant, hung over eyes, without mentioning so much as an apology for his appalling behaviour. Ava held Oscar’s hand, she couldn’t help but feel frightened after being betrayed by someone she used to call her friend. A moment later he noticed the prominent damage to Oscar’s face.

“God! Oscar what happened to your fa-?” then he remembered last night’s argument, his aching bruised fist wouldn’t let him forget that moment of madness for a while. “Shit. I’m stronger than I thought.”

“Yes, yes you are!” Ava snapped. “Who do you think you are picking on people and knocking them unconscious? You disgust me. You have a real cheek showing your face in this house.”

“He lost consciousness?”

“Yes, yes I did.” Oscar retaliated.

“Shit.” Sebastian sighed. “Well if it’s any consolation to you I’m sorry. But I was drunk.” Oscar felt furious. What kind of pathetic excuse is that? You’re not sorry in the slightest! He cursed. He had never felt so betrayed.

“You were DRUNK!” Ava yelled. “You’re surely not blaming the alcohol are you?”

“Yes! And I cracked my Rolex watch! ” Sebastian snapped.

“You’re not in the least bit sorry Sebastian. You’re always thinking about number one, yourself! God how did we not see it last year Oscar? His violent irrational behaviour.”

“Calm down Ava.” Oscar stated softly. Sebastian stormed back upstairs.

“Oh my god!” Ava stated. “The Ouija board! ‘Watch’. Not only did Sebastian break his watch but it was some sort of warning, something like watch how you behave! I’m sure of it!”

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 13


Oscar thought it might be polite to inquire whether Sebastian was okay. “Is everything alright Seb?”

“Yes why?!”  He demanded.

“I was just wondering, because I care and I’m a friend.”

“Are you, are you really?”

What’s going on? Oscar felt taken aback by the sharp remark. He and Sebastian had been good friends for a while, the insensitive comments stung badly. ‘It’s the drink inside him making Sebastian act this way’ Oscar reassured himself, ‘nothing more.’

“After all” Sebastian continued “you did steal the fu****g girl of my dreams from me!” Sebastian slurred, leaning towards Oscar, his body language bold and threatening. “You really have it all.”

Oscar gasped not entirely believing what Sebastian had just said. Sebastian really felt that way about Ava? He had certainly never shown it. Ava and Oscar gawped at each other with matching facial expressions.

“Why him!!” Sebastian snapped now directing his anger at a frightened Ava. “You little bitch, you led me on and chose HIM!”

“I-I didn’t lead anyone on Sebastian! You’re a friend, Oscar and I had a connection. I’m sorry but I just never saw you in that way. Now you’re just being very irrational. We need to go home now, take a breather Seb and we’ll discuss this properly when you’re sober.”

Ava and Oscar hurriedly left the almost empty pub, a move which they would always regret. Sebastian was hot on their heels storming behind them aggressively up the cobbled, darkened street.

“What happens if I want to talk about it with your boyfriend now ?”

“Don’t you dare lay a finger on him!”

Ava drew a very pale Oscar to her side. Sebastian turned, appearing to walk away. Then the unexpected happened. Sebastian swung around with a terrifying look upon his face. He tightly grasped an unsuspecting Oscar by his shirt collar, who let out a frightened cry. Ava shrieked as Sebastian struck Oscars face with his strong, tightly scrunched fist with tremendous impact. Sebastian fled like a cowardly lion. Oscar immediately sank to the pavement falling upon the cold flagstones, a jet of blood running from his nose. His lips were ever so slightly parted, revealing his white teeth. Ava gasped and gently shook his shoulder.

“Oscar, Oscar can you hear me?!”  To her great relief Oscar groaned placing a hand to his head, his closed eyelids slowly flickering open. “God! That bloody hurt.” He moaned.

“Your head?”

“Yes and nose. I’m okay” Oscar reassured. “He’s stronger than I thought.”

“We need to get you home, although I think the hospital would be a more suitable place for you at this moment in time. Christ! How hard did he hit you?  You have a bruise emerging already.”

“Hard. Please, no hospitals.”

“I’m worried Oscar, but okay for the time being I’ll just call a taxi to get us home. You ought to get checked out though! You were out cold momentarily.”

“Lets go home Ava.”

“Okay.” Ava handed Oscar tissues helping him to clean off the worst of his blood spattered nose as they sat together on the edge of the curb. She dialled the number of the local taxi firm and held Oscar to her in her free arm. Much to their relief, it arrived. She helped a dazed Oscar inside. He appeared to shiver, Ava held him tighter still and wanted more than anything to get him back to the safety of the house, she couldn’t help but worry about the whereabouts of Sebastian. Shortly the taxi swerved outside their terraced house. Ava payed the driver and helped a dizzy Oscar step out of the cab door. They walked slowly into the house; Ava sat him down upon the sofa.

“How do you feel now?”

“Honestly?” he paused. “Dizzy and my head is pounding, but for once it’s not the alcohol. ”

“I wish you’d let me take you to A&E!”

“Ava it’s 2am. We wouldn’t get seen for hours anyway. You’re exhausted, this evening has taken it’s toll on the both of us. Please can we go to bed?”

“Yes. I need to clean your face up a bit first.” Ava grabbed a spare blanket from upstairs placing it around Oscar’s shouldersShe took a clean piece of kitchen roll and dampened it under the tap and wiped away the dried blood from Oscar’s nose and cheek.  He sat there as still as a statue, while Ava gently attended to his injuries.

“I wish I had something antiseptic to clean your cuts with. My first aid kit isn’t very efficient for what we need.”

“I’ll be fine. My nose has stopped bleeding, the rest are just bruises.”

“How about some ice then for the bruising?”

“Ava stop fretting, maybe tomorrow but now I need my bed.”

Ava nodded and helped a weary Oscar up the staircase, propping him up against the plain pillows in his room. Ava gently stroked his hair, covering him with a duvet.

“I’m worried about leaving you alone. What happens if you are concussed?”

Oscar sighed “Don’t then.” Ava slipped under Oscar’s duvet, nestling close to him. It was a great comfort to feel his chest rising and falling, the warmth of his body next to her, the gentle reassurance that Oscar was going to be okay.

To be continued….

Planchette-part 12


The next day came around rapidly with very little thought given to the Ouija board. Just half a day of lectures meant that the day flitted by, Ava couldn’t help but feel excited about the prospect of a night out. She sat ever so silently in the sanctuary of her own room after submerging from a divinely refreshing shower. Ava, now wrapped in her fluffy dressing gown gazed into her small mirror. Ava sighed, ‘my skin always looks blotchy and uneven after a shower still, it’s nothing that a touch of foundation won’t solve.’ Ava blow dried her hair in sections, preventing the long tendrils of hair from knotting together like unruly dreadlocks. She carefully moisturised her face, applying a small touch of makeup to even out her skin tone. Ava dressed in a new plum coloured dress and proceeded to tease the knots from her almost dry hair, a task which was proving itself to be impossible. There came a gentle knock at her door.

“Come in!” she stated, not glancing over her shoulder to see who it might be. Oscar stood rather shyly in the doorway, resting against the cheap wooden door frame, his eyes immediately lighting up on seeing Ava, she looked perfectly radiant tonight.

“The colour looks beautiful on you.” Oscar smiled. Ava grinned, her heart fluttering a side effect from the compliment. He strolled closer to her and gently placed a soft kiss upon Ava’s smooth cheek.

“Thank you, you smell divine Oscar! I’m nearly ready now. Is all okay?”

Oscar stepped to the side of Ava neither shaking nor nodding his head. “Not bad, I just needed to escape from Seb for a while. He’s being quite intense. I don’t know what’s got in to that man lately, hopefully tonight will help him relax.”

“I really hope so; I can’t help but worry though. He’s caused friction lately. A part of me almost wishes that we could leave him at home, but we can’t seeing as though this night out is for him!”

“Hmm. Well I did rise to it, however I don’t really appreciate him telling me that I need to get a grip.” Oscar sighed.

Ava shook her head. “Not really. You were pretty composed.  If he’d said that to me I would have bloody punched him!”

“Well in the past I might have, but not now.” Oscar smiled a small sad smile. Ava was positive that she could see the evidence of traces of tears in his eyes. He laid his head upon her shoulder, Ava held him close to her, feeling him breathe softly.

“Heard anything more from your Mum?”

“No not today.”

“Well Oscar, I think we both need cheering up. Your Mum will be fine I’m sure of it. Let’s not keep his lordship waiting any longer” Ava grinned. With that, they walked hand in hand down the staircase and entered the living room. Sebastian sat brainlessly flicking through television channels with a bottle of beer clutched tightly in one hand.

“Finally!” He huffed. ” I thought you two would never emerge. Ava how long does it take you to get ready? I mean really!” Ava blushed.

“Ahh it was worth the wait. You look stunning.” Oscar whispered, placing a hand on Ava’s shoulder. Sebastian pouted, he hated others whispering in his presence, but decided there was great need to break the rather awkward atmosphere between them.

“Come on Revs is awaiting our presence!” He smiled.With that Sebastian enthusiastically led the way, while the other two followed a couple of steps behind him hand in hand. They entered the bustling bar , rammed full of young adults all noisily waiting for their drinks to be served.  Eyeing the only small free table in the corner near some leather sofas, she led the way. They sat, Ava and Oscar engaged in friendly conversation, trying to include Sebastian in every subject.

“So has anyone looked at our assignments for this year?” Ava smiled. “I’m going to to into the library in the next couple of days and get the books I need to make a start.”

Oscar nodded. “You’re always so much more organised than I am. I’ve looked over the brief and I’ve made some notes. That’s about it.”

Ava smiled “Ahh that’s not bad. How about you Seb?”

Sebastian meanwhile had been staring vacantly at one of the quaint wall pictures in a brassy frame. “Hmmm what?”

Ava shook her head. “Honestly Seb! You’re not with us tonight. We were discussing the assignment.”

He shrugged. “Oh, I haven’t looked at it yet.” He glared at Oscar menacingly. Oscar jumped ever so slightly. What was wrong with him? Sebastian seemed so un easy about something. Normally he loved nothing more than to take the lead, as it would give him an opportunity to talk about his favourite subject, himself. An opportunity which he’d gladly bask in. Not tonight, his mind appeared to be wondering else-where.

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 11


“I’m not!” Sebastian snapped. “How am I insensitive? Some people just can’t handle the truth. Now can we do this Ouija board instead of just staring at it?!”

Oscar gazed at the floor. He was seeing a side of Sebastian which had never properly been unleashed before. Of course when a person keeps part of their personality concealed the tiniest glimpses start to show, the odd cruel infrequent comment, and snide remarks uncover subtle hints but sometimes it takes more for it to be fully unleashed. Oscar badly wanted to be out of the room, away from Sebastian’s glare but he daren’t leave, it would only cause another one of Sebastian’s outbursts .

“We don’t need the glass anyway” Oscar sighed “It comes with a planchette, the wooden pointer.”

“Place it on the board then” Sebastian ordered. Oscar did so not uttering so much as a word. “Now what?”

“Ava we need to place our finger on the planchette on top of the board.” They did so and waited for a matter of moments with little avail.

“Nothing’s happening” Ava sighed.

“Shhh!” Sebastian hissed, “Give it time, the board needs more time.”

Oscar sat in a defensive position with his arms wrapped around his knees squeezing them tightly to his chest. “Can I go first?” Sebastian queried. “After all I am the most up for this. Don’t let go of the planchette Ava whatever you do. Why isn’t it working?”

Oscar tutted. “Maybe it does need more people to take part. Fine, I’ll give it a go but I still think it’s a creepy concept.”

Sebastian’s face softened “Good man, that’s what I like to hear” Oscar placed his slim index finger upon the glass. Almost as if the board had been waiting for another contender, the glass began to move proceeding to spell the very first word on the bizarrely carved letters. W- the 3 of them gasped it jerked to E and continued to spell the remainder of the word. -L-C-O-M-E

“God! It’s actually welcoming us? How?” Oscar gasped.

“Shhhhh!” Sebastian’s eyes grew wider, shocked by the sudden movement of the wooden piece. “Ava and Oscar you were pushing it weren’t you?” They shook their heads. “Sebastian we’re focusing on you. Afterall what it’s spelling out at the moment is only aimed at you!”  Ava stated. The planchette jerked once more across the Ouija board. W-A-T-C-H

“Is that a threat?” Sebastian snapped completely un-nerved. “Oscar this is your idea of a sick joke isn’t it? Pretending to be all disinterested and then trying to scare the life out of Ava and I?”

“No I promise that I didn’t push it!” Oscar sounded exasperated, his heart pounded in his petrified, defined chest. Sebastian appeared clammy, his breathing increased.

“L-lets leave it for tonight.”

Oscar smiled. “Now who’s scared?”

“Oh Oscar shut up! I need a drink and quickly.” Oscar shivered at Sebastian’s statement. He despised those words more than anything, they reminded him of his unruly Mum bring the memory of her instantly into his troubled mind. Oscar shook his head.

“Well I’m a bit skint. I have enough money for food, that’s it.” Sebastian gritted his teeth, ‘Oscar’s lack of money always holds us back from everything’ he cursed in his mind and swung his head to the side to glare at Ava.

“Ava?”

“Maybe tomorrow Seb. I’m tired now and I want to read over my notes.”

“FINE!” Sebastian thought momentarily. “What did the board mean by watch? I hope it doesn’t mean something is going to happen to my Rolex. It was a very expensive gift from my Dad.”

Oscar pursed his lips, materialistic comments like this niggled at his patience, but he was determined to clear the air and make amends. He felt a peace-offering was needed. “Nothing will happen to your watch. Tell you what we’ll go out tomorrow. You two can enjoy yourself and I just won’t drink to save money. How does that sound?” Sebastian was indeed satisfied with the offer, his pouting mouth finally cracking into a smile. He nodded happily, Ava smiled at him politely.

“Yeah okay it sounds like a decent plan. Can we put the Ouija board away now?” Ava slid the board back into its box and nothing more was said on the subject for the time being.

To be continued…..

Planchette-Part 10


Oscar felt it necessary to remove himself from the situation. He rose to his feet gently. “I’m going to ring my Mum to check she’s okay. I won’t be long.”

Sebastian rolled his eyes. “God any excuse Oscar. You’re such a wimp.”

Ava glared at him with sharp over-bearing eyes. “You’re so unsympathetic Sebastian! It’s important that he rings his Mum okay!” Oscar did not hear Ava’s outburst, as he had already returned to his bedroom. As he lay on his front on the bed and dialled the number, he could hear the faint sound of his house phone on the other end ringing 8 times, each bleeping sound becoming more and more nerve-wracking. Finally a small voice answered the phone.

“Hello?” Janet croaked.

“Hiya Mum. It’s Oscar, I was just giving you a quick ring to check that you’re okay.”

“I don’t need checking upon. I’m an adult”

Oscar sighed. “I know Mum, but I care that’s all.” From what Oscar could gather Janet seemed relatively sober. Maybe she hadn’t found the alcohol he had hidden from her yet. Hopefully her supplies were running lower Oscar thought.

“Anyway, this year of university is going fine so far. Do you still have enough food in and everything?”

“Yes” Janet’s response was vague and heartless. A lump rose to Oscar’s dry throat sensing that his Mother was not welcoming the phone call.

“Okay Mum. I’ll leave you in peace now, any problems please ring me or the neighbours. I love you. Bye.”

The phone went dead on the other end. Oscar walked shakily down the stairs, re-seating himself with a heart as heavy as a lump of lead. Ava stroked his pale cheek immediately sensing his dramatic mood change.

“Oscar is everything okay? With your Mum I mean.” Oscar did not reply but placed one hand to the side of his face, leaning upon the bent elbow propped up on the chair arm. Ava took his free hand and kissed it.

“It’s only natural for you to worry. Things could be far worse, at least she actually answered the phone.” Ava reassured. This was true Oscar thought. Janet could have had more than enough time to drink herself into a coma right now however; there was no denying that she needed further help. Oscar squeezed Ava’s slender hand.

“You’re so sensible” He smiled weakly.

Sebastian fidgeted groaning impatiently. “Are we going to have a look at this board or not? I literally can’t wait any longer. I’m dying to see what it actually knows! Ava? Oscar?

Oscar shrugged. “Whatever you want.” He whispered. The Ouija board was the least of his worries at this point in time, or so he thought.

Sebastian grinned. “Excellent!” He exclaimed. “Ava?”

“Fine, whatever floats your boat Seb.”

“Lovely it’s nice to have a bit of a say in something.”

Sebastian’s eyes danced as he gently pulled the lid from the nondescript box, revealing the object once more . The Ouija board was definitely a thing of beauty, yet deep mystery, perhaps something which shouldn’t be meddled with by people who have very little knowledge of such things.

“Where’s the glass from earlier, who touched it?”

“For God’s sake! It’s behind you Sebastian. It hasn’t moved from the place we put it 10 minutes ago!”  Oscar snapped. Ava squeezed his knee as a prompt for him to pacify his tone. Sebastian frowned un impressed at the underlying sharpness in Oscar’s voice.

“Don’t take your personal issues out on me! Get a grip Oscar!” Oscar felt an overwhelming sense of anger pulsating through his veins. ‘Issues!’  Oscar cursed in his troubled mind. ‘You couldn’t even begin to imagine you sheltered little shit!’ As a younger child Oscar may have verbally retaliated and now, a part of Oscar wanted to strike Sebastian down then and there in dire attempt to wipe that smug curling smile from his pampered face. Oscar bit his bottom lip instead and remained silent, although his knuckles whitened as his grip tightened upon the chair arms. He counted to 10 inhaling and exhaling discreetly, filling his lungs to the brim with fresh oxygen.

Ava intervened. “Oscar calm down okay and Sebastian shut up! That was harsh, you really are so insensitive sometimes.”

To be continued…..

Planchette-Part 9


Sebastian decided to take Ava up on her offer and upon arriving home, quickly cast his coat aside and plodded into the living room where Oscar and she were already planted upon the sofa. He gazed at them, tilting his head to one side in envy of their naive bliss.

“Ava can I borrow your notes?” Ava gently raised her head.

“Oh yeah sure Seb, they’re in my bag in there.” Ava pointed to the small angular cupboard under the stairs. Sebastian shivered; the small space was always hoatching with large spiders. He himself wouldn’t dare to leave any of his belongings in there. He eyed Ava’s small denim bag hanging on one of the pegs and grasped the note-book, avoiding the large sticky web intricately knitted in the corner of the space. In it lay the unfortunate dead victims of one of the many household spiders. The flies hung there in small white mummified bundles. Sebastian screwed up his nose and exited the cupboard.

“Found them! Can I take your notes upstairs? I can focus far better in the silence of my room.”

Ava nodded giving him her permission to do so and lay her head upon Oscar’s shoulder once more. Sebastian stomped back up the staircase to the sanctuary of his bedroom. Efficiently Sebastian noted down everything in his own way. Upon turning to the fifth page his heart sank. In the corner was a little diagram, it was Oscar’s name placed in the corner of a perfectly rounded love heart. ‘Jesus! That girl acts like a love-sick teenager, she’s obsessed with him’ he thought. ‘Why Oscar?’  Sebastian cursed. ‘I could offer her so much more and I’m from a  secure background.’  He had the niggling urge to tear the page out, but then that would be far too obvious. Sebastian sighed hopelessly and snapped the small notebook shut having completed his note taking. There was an overwhelming silence in the living room, normally it would be filled with the sound of Ava’s giggles. The pair were pouring over what seemed to be a board game. A suspicious Sebastian raised one eyebrow.

“What the hell is that?” On closer inspection the identity of the object became clearer.

“Christ is that some kind of voodoo practice?” A startled Oscar gasped echoing Sebastian’s tone and laying his chin upon Ava’s shoulder. The box had looked so plain, not giving any hint to what it actually contained.

Ava rolled her eyes. “Oscar relax, it’s a Ouija board. What’s up?  You were as cool as a cucumber a moment ago.”

“That’s because I had no clue what it was. God Ava! Are you mad? Where on earth did you get it?!”

“I found it in the summer.”

Sebastian turned a little paler. “Ava, I’m not sure if we should be messing about with things that we don’t fully understand.”

“Listen to you two old women! It’s probably just superstion. I don’t think I can do it without you. Can we at least take a proper look at it? You never know it might be fun!”

Oscar and Sebastian looked at each other. Oscar shook his head. “I’ll watch but you can completely count me out in doing it.”

Sebastian sighed deeply and then an idea crossed his mind, this might be a change to make a subtle dig at Oscar and regain some control. “I’m game if Oscar isn’t manly enough to do it with us then that’s his choice.”

Oscar shook his head. “I’m sorry I really don’t want to, not yet anyway. Like I said I’ll just observe.”

Ava carried the box to the small table in the dining room. Her nimble fingers placed the board to rest upon the flat surface. It was indeed beautifully crafted, a product of great workmanship. Ava ran into the kitchen and fetched a small tumbler glass.

“Are there instructions?” Oscar queried peering carefully at the unusual object. Sebastian shook his head.

“It doesn’t appear to be. They’re not complicated to do.”  His tone was very matter of fact, Ava and Oscar shrugged neither in agreement nor disagreement.  At long last Sebastian had been granted the chance  to take charge. It was there and then that he decided to fully bask in the opportunity .

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 8


The enthusiastic chattering in the lecture hall ceased immediately, as their lecturer Kevin entered. He was a smallish man of 55, with square black rimmed glasses and short dark grey hair. As always there was a gentle lingering sound of giggles echoing softly, the utterances unable to escape through the thick walls. Alas, Kevin was famous for his dreadful taste in ties. In this instance his choice was especially bad as he donned a bright pink tie with orange coloured flowers scattered upon it, it really was an eye sore. Kevin clicked on the PowerPoint presentation without batting so much as an eyelid and swayed ever so slightly on the spot at the front of the room. Ava rummaged in her bag, pulling out a large new notebook with a post stick note boldly stating “KEVIN’S LECTURES” attached to the front. Oscar and Sebastian gazed at her hopefully with large expressive eyes.

“I might have known!” She whispered. “You two are so disorganised!” She pulled out some sheets of paper and distributed them between the two boys. They glanced at her once more.

“Yes I have spare pens!” Ava hissed throwing a black pen at them. Sebastian, seriously lacking in hand eye co-ordination dropped his and it rolled rapidly underneath the row of seats in front. Groaning, he bent down in attempt to retrieve it. At last he grasped the biro tightly between his thumb and index finger and sat down in his seat once more. Kevin glared as him as the whole room silenced awkwardly.

“May I begin Sebastian? We are all waiting to start while you seem to have lost all focus.”

“S-sorry Kevin”

Sebastian sighed glaring at the floor. Kevin shook his head ever so slightly and switched on the overhead projector which whirred loudly, having not been used in a few months. The first slide fluttered against the white wall appearing to be ever so slightly out of focus. Kevin slowly adjusted the image proceeding to explain the slide. The next 3 hours dragged pathetically, the whole group slumped carelessly in their chairs praying for time to hasten but it did not. Ava sat primly between Oscar and Sebastian paying full attention to what was being said, scribbling down appropriate notes frantically for each slide until her right wrist ached terribly. Sebastian’s head dropped onto his chest. Ava noticing, poked him sharply in the ribs.

“Ow! Christ!” He exclaimed noisily, only to have the embarrassment of 80 people gazing at him. Sebastian placed his head in his hands and turned a shade of beetroot red, with only enough courage to peep cautiously through the gaps in his fingers. Kevin’s patience was wearing thin.

“Sebastian! Please concentrate on the lecture. Yes I know you’ve had a long summer but we’re all adults here. You are not back at high school , so kindly stop behaving in such a childish manner!” Kevin snapped, peering over the rim of his thick spectacles.

“You’re looking a bit flushed mate!” Oscar whispered gritting his teeth and trying his hardest not to laugh. Sebastian gave Oscar a cold hard stare. Ava and Oscar smiled at each other, momentarily held hands. They regained all focus, proceeding to take notes. There was no denying; Sebastian felt like an outcast, a spare part perhaps, for as it is often said ‘3 is a crowd’. Each day Sebastian felt like he was being swept away in a similar fashion to an unwanted piece of driftwood riding upon a tidal wave as Ava and Oscar grew closer. Sebastian decided to divert his focus to elsewhere. Upon eyeing the majority of the room he noticed the obvious damp patch which was appearing upon the white plaster ceiling of the lecture theatre. The plaster crumbled away like flaky pastry, snowing down and leaving remnants upon the cheap vinyl floor. Ava’s brain was completely switched on today. Determined to control her wandering mind, she continued to scribble frantically devising spider diagrams which she would read over later in the evening. Oscar meanwhile, made concise bullet points, breaking down the huge chunks of text into simplified notes to use as revision guides as the January exams neared. As the clock chimed 4pm, the student’s lept from their seats. Sebastian groaned and crumpled his piece of un touched lined paper into a ball, casting it into the waste paper basket on the way out.

“Well that was a bloody waste of time.” He moaned.

“It wouldn’t have been had you actually paid attention.” Ava tutted in disapproval, denying Sebastian any sympathy. Oscar smiled and decided to opt for the softer approach.

“I agree it was crap but I’m still so determined to get through this year. You can copy from mine or Ava’s notes later. I’d go for Ava’s, my handwriting is spidery.”

“Thanks.” Sebastian nodded forcing a weak smile

To be continued…

Planchette-Part 7


The following morning proved to be miserable as the unforgiving rain pounded down upon the un even flagstone pavement outside their house. Ava always being the earliest riser took full advantage of the fact that the bathroom was free and took a 20 minute leisurely shower to start her day. She stood there under the luxuriously warm water mulling in thoughts. After quickly dressing she crept quietly down the wooden staircase and eyed her un-packed food hamper which sat invitingly in the corner of the kitchen. Ava pulled open the black plastic lid  casting the top to one side she grasped the edge of her favourite strawberry crunch cereal which was carefully wedged in at the back. Her Auntie Olive didn’t stint on food that was for sure. On balancing her cereal upon the work surface. She clicked on the lime scale filled kettle which slowly began to bubble like a brewing potion. Ava made herself a strong coffee and pulled up a chair by the cheap kitchen table, desperate to have her morning caffeine fix.

The sound of gentle footsteps could be heard coming down the staircase. Oscar stood in the entrance of the kitchen, his hair looking ever so slightly damp and disheveled. Ava’s heart skipped a beat.

 Didn’t you have time to dry your hair Oscar?”

“I was going for the sexy natural look.” Oscar grinned his freshly brushed teeth dazzling. “I see that it was completely wasted on you Ava!”

“No not at all!” Ava gasped. Oscar laughed.

“Good! Is Seb not awake yet?”

Ava shook her head. “I haven’t seen him, you know what he’s like. He’s forever sleeping in!”

Oscar sighed “Even though he sets 3 alarms? I swear that guy must go into a coma. I’ll give him a knock, I’ll be back in a minute.”

Ava nodded. He plodded back upstairs and knocked 3 times upon Sebastian’s bedroom door.

Whaaaaaaat!?” Came the sleepy reply.

“Seb it’s 8.15 we’re setting off in 15 minutes hurry up or you’ll be late.”

“So? Does it matter?”

 “In this instance yes! Don’t take too long getting ready or you’ll make us all miss the start of our lecture.”

“Okay okay! Who are you my Dad? Chill man.

Oscar sighed. On re-entering the kitchen he rolled his eyes at Ava who giggled and beamed at him mischievously.

“Oscy I haven’t had my morning kiss!”

“Morning kiss? Whenever did we ever start that?” He laughed holding her close and gently kissing her full, beautifully formed lips.

“Jesus! Will you two find a room!” Came a grumpy voice in the back ground, making the pair jump.

“Oh look whose risen from the dead! Lighten up moody git!” Ava joked, staring at a sleepy Sebastian over Oscar’s sloping shoulder. He rolled his eyes at her.

“For gods sake are you two ready?! ” Sebastian continued.

“Erm I think you’ll find we were waiting for you mate. Wind your neck in!” Oscar sighed. An unimpressed Sebastian pouted like a spoiled child, but said nothing. An unexplained feeling of frustration seemed to circulate within his insides, he turned his back to them as the tears prickled in his eyes. Sebastian grabbed his leather jacket which was draped carefully over the bottom stair banister.

The 3 friends made their way towards Chester University. It was a fairly scenic walk through the quaint historical streets of the old town. They meandered without a care through the ancient side streets. Ava and Oscar walked arm in arm, while Sebastian walked one step behind them like an outcast. He buried his hands deep into his pockets in attempt to protect them from the harsh wind. Not particularly paying attention, he narrowly missed a lamp-post by a matter of inches, jumped and tiptoed around it looking flushed. Oscar and Ava couldn’t help but to laugh out loud.

“Sebastian look where you are going! You’re going to knock yourself out or fall over if you carry on!”

“I’m tired!” He grumbled.

“We noticed!” Oscar chuckled.

“You’re more of an evening person aren’t you Seb! Well I have something which might be interesting to do this afternoon. It’s sort of a game!” Ava stated.

Ava offered Sebastian her free arm which he took gladly, the corner of his mouth curled ever so slightly into half a smile . With no further ado, the 3 friends walked arm in arm towards the University of Chester.

To be continued…..

Planchette-Part 6


Oscar sat in a vacant daze upon the sofa not really engaging in much conversation. His troubled, tired mind was swimming full of other more important thoughts, ones of his Mum. It was true that he probably need not worry as other family members and the few friends she had left would be checking up on her daily while he was away, but this was beside the point he thought. She was almost incapable of looking after herself and Oscar couldn’t help but fret about her well-being. What if something happened to her while he wasn’t there? He felt the need to ring his home phone but then quickly decided against it. After all, it was now after midnight. Oscar had taken care to rid the cupboards of any dangerous substances while he was away the anti-freeze in particular. He shuddered at the thought at what it might do to someone’s insides should they drink it, it would mean liver failure almost for certain.  Ava who had been making Oscar a drink as promised in the kitchen crouched gently beside him and placed the warm mug into his icy fingers, breaking his cynical chain of thoughts. Oscar smiled and laid his head gently upon her shoulder. How he craved human contact, a warm hug was what he needed to take the sharp edge off his sadness.

“Thanks Ava.” She swiftly kissed his cheek and placed her arm around his neck.

“Oscar are you sure that nothing is the matter? You seem so distant!”

Oscar slowly nodded and cleared his throat. “I’m fine, just really tired and needing my bed! I always get really exhausted after long drives.”

“Are you absolutely positive that nothing more serious is bothering you?”

“No, really I’m okay.” He lied, the aching empty space inside of him yet to be filled. Ava was always so supportive but he didn’t like to say much in front of Sebastian. Sometimes his words could be harsh and unforgiving. He just didn’t understand after having such a straight forward life style (or so most people thought) . Oscar certainly wasn’t in the right mind-set to listen to any of that. Not tonight anyway.

Ava sighed unconvinced. “Okay but you know you can always talk to me if something is worrying you. Well I have something which might interest us all tomorrow. The weather forecast is absolutely rubbish so it will be something to do after our morning lecture. I’m off to bed! Good night!”

“Night Ava” They echoed.

Upon being in the safety of the bedroom, Ava pulled out the white box from her suitcase and placed it upon the cheap synthetic carpet. She knew full well what the item was, but was very unsure of why and how it had been in her Aunt and Uncle’s loft. She opened a corner and gazed suspiciously inside, a smooth gleaming wooden board which looked something of witchcraft. Ava was particularly cynical about such things. It would be a bit of fun for them tomorrow she thought. It could be something to pass the time on yet another rainy afternoon.

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 5


Oscar’s full attention was upon the motorways. Then it happened; bumper to bumper traffic stretching for around 5 miles or so. Wonderful! ‘This is the very last thing I need’ Oscar cursed angrily drumming his fingers upon the steering wheel. A part of him hoped that there hadn’t been a terrible accident and that the awful conjunction was due to bad road works. The old car engine coughed and spluttered desperately. Oscar knew full well that the vehicle was on its last legs. ‘Don’t do this, not now, not here’ he prayed silently. The traffic continued with little avail, Oscar decided that the best way to find out what was happening was via the radio. It was no use, he was out of signal. How is this possible? He thought. Still, now was not the time or place to become angry or frustrated. He decided upon using a couple of relaxation techniques he had been taught as part of an anger management course. Breathe in white light and breathe out black smoke. He repeated this 5 times and immediately felt better. He drummed his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel and flicked the heating on in attempt to warm his ice box car.

Sebastian and his Dad Zane were first to arrive having set off early enough to escape the hideous onset of traffic. The student house seemed odd, almost abandoned. It was true, it hadn’t been accommodated for around 3 months while they had all been on their holidays. Now the October weather was starting to take it’s toll on the property. On entering the living room Sebastian immediately noticed a damp patch appearing behind a gap in the bookshelf which was nailed sturdily to the wall.

“Great !” He sighed. “Look at that damp patch already!”

“Don’t worry Seb!” His Dad reassured kindly. “Put the heating on and it will soon dry out. You should let your landlord know though. He might have a dehumidifier to sort it.”

Sebastian nodded. “I’ll give him a ring first thing tomorrow. Thanks for the lift Dad and please drive safely.”

His Dad nodded, gave him a swift manly hug and exited out the door. As the house was empty Sebastian took it upon himself to give the house a quick hoover. After all, it is quite surprising just how much dust a house can collect after a matter of weeks.  He clicked the thermostat on to 18 degrees in desperate attempt to cure the damp problem. Around half an hour later there was a knock at the door. Ava and Olive stood chirpily in the entrance.

“Hi dude I’ve missed you!” Ava exclaimed, throwing her arms around Sebastian’s cold neck. Sebastian grinned feeling valued and hugged Ava in return.

“I missed you too! Where’s my Oscy?”Ava joked.

“Oh Oscar isn’t here yet. I think he must still be stuck in traffic.”

“Ah yes. I heard there was a conjunction the way he was coming, road works or something. Well I have no energy to unpack much tonight. We should wait up for him.”

“Good idea.”

The pair waited up with a hot chocolate to warm their cold hands, not bothering to unpack and chatting happily about their holidays. At long last there was a gentle knock upon the front door. Ava lept up from the sunken sofa and ran to greet him. Oscar stood there with a half-smile upon his face.

“Oscar! We thought you’d been eaten by wolves or something!” She laughed, gently taking him by the hand and leading him into the hallway.

“Jesus! You’re freezing. I hope you don’t catch your death. Come and sit in the living room I’ll make  you a hot chocolate to warm you up.” Oscar nodded through chattering teeth, it was true. He was indeed chilled to the bone.

“There are no wolves in England.” He smiled weakly, seating himself in the shabby second hand armchair. Once again the three friends were re united.

To be continued….