Planchette- Part 44


Ava stood quietly  in the entrance of the living room. “Here sit on the sofa Ava.”

Oscar beckoned, Ava obeyed without so much of a word. Oscar gently covered Ava with the fleece blanket which was draped over the back of the settee. “There this should keep you warmer.”  He sat there, glancing at her with his pain filled eyes, riddled with guilt. Oscar left her side, brewing the kettle returning swiftly with two cups of tea, handing one to Ava, who paid careful attention to keeping her hand hidden with the sleeve of her cardigan.

“How do you feel?”

“Not too bad, just a little shaken.” She lied.

“That’s hardly surprising. Please let me call the police, it was assault!”

“Absolutely not Oscar.”

“Why not? Sebastian is a threat, he’s already hurt me twice! God knows what he could have done. Please, we should have acted months ago. Now is the ideal opportunity!”

“I said no! You have to be rational about this, no one will believe us! It’s fine, I’ll be okay, really. I just need some rest. I think I’ll go up to bed for a bit, I need a nap.”

“Alright, I’m not going to lie, I’m not happy about your decision, I really hope you’ll change your mind. Do you want me to come with you, to your room I mean?”

“No, no I’ll be alright, I’m not in the least bit scared. Just wake me up after an hour or so, otherwise I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight. You know me!”

“Ava, I’m really worried about you! It’s a fairly traumatic thing to happen to someone. What about the baby?”

“It will be fine! Will you just give it a rest and stop harassing me! I actually think you’re more concerned about yourself!”

“I’m not harassing anybody! At least, not intentionally! Why would I care about myself? What a thing to suggest! I love you so much Ava, you’re carrying a child, our child. If anything were to happen to either of you then…” Oscar did not finish, turning paler.

Ava downed the remaining tea in her cup, denying Oscar the opportunity to complete his sentence and wandered into her bedroom. ‘How gullible’ she thought, lying on top of the duvet, gazing up at the high ceiling. A small shadow inside her cheap bedroom light caught her eye, a small moth fluttered frantically, trapped helplessly inside.Ava shook her head, closing her eyes and drifting into a deep slumber.

Meanwhile, a concerned Oscar sat alone upon the sofa. Determined not to wallow in self-pity and guilt, he took it upon himself to tidy downstairs, not that there was much to tidy but it was something to take his mind off his troubles. He removed the contents of the fridge gazing at his empty shelf. Food shopping simply had to be done, the grumbling sensation within his empty stomach reminded Oscar of the importance of eating regularly, almost an impossible task for Oscar of late . He closed the fridge door, wandering into the hallway to gaze at his own reflection in the small mirror. He was faced with an image of a young man with tearful eyes, an ever thinning face and prominent collar bones. Ava was right, Oscar was beginning to waste away.

To be continued…

Planchette- Part 43


“It?! Our baby you mean? Lots of women don’t bother to conceal the fact that they’re even pregnant. You shouldn’t feel that you have to hide your baby bump you know!”

“I suppose. Wow I’m going to look so attractive aren’t I” Ava stated,  sarcastically rolling her eyes.

“There’s nothing unattractive about being pregnant!”

“Except the fact that I feel completely rubbish all of the time.”

“Perhaps. Ava when did you last eat?”

“Oh Oscar you’re sounding like me now! Okay I have a question, when did you last eat?”

“What does that matter I’m not the pregnant one here am I?”

“No, but I’m becoming increasingly convinced that you have an eating disorder!”

“What! Come on! You’re not serious?!”

“Oscar you’re skin and bone. When did you last eat a proper meal? It’s not very attractive. Actually, I’m finding it increasingly unattractive!”

“Woah hang on one moment there! That’s quite a harsh thing to say!”

“Well Oscar you know it’s true! Sort it.”

“Right that’s enough Ava! You’ve said what you felt you needed to say. Just stop okay. I’m sorry that I made the comment about your jumper. You’re obviously hormonal, don’t inflict your bad mood upon me !”

“I’m not hormonal! You’re the one needs to pull yourself together! All you ever do is moan Oscar about absolutely everything! Belt up!”

“Have it your way. I need space; I’m going for a walk.”

Oscar, sensing the anger brewing inside of him, grabbed his coat and marched out of the door. The bitter cold was a shock to his system making him immediately regret not taking his scarf and gloves. He didn’t dare to go back. He made his way along the cobbled paths, sticking to the street lamp lit routes feeling ever so slightly vulnerable, recalling the memory of being assaulted by Sebastian months back. The cold air caught sharply in the back of his throat, causing a painful stabbing sensation in his chest. Oscar wandered to the nearest bench, the cold metal structure numbing his body but this could not even begin to match the bitter pain inside. Head in hands, he closed his eyes in desperate attempt to find inner peace but it did not come. ‘Ava is just hormonal, it’s nothing personal’ he tried to convince himself. ‘Stop taking everything to heart’ Oscar scolded.

Oscar returned after an hour he gently opened the door, peeping into the living room expecting to find Ava resting upon the sofa. He stood on the bottom landing calling up the staircase.

“Ava!”

No reply. “Ava are you in?”

“God Oscar is that you! Oh thank god!” A small teary voice came from Ava’s bedroom.Oscar raced up the staircase, gently opening Ava’s bedroom door. She was nowhere to be seen.

“Where are you Ava?”

“Here.”

Came a small voice from underneath her bed. Oscar gently crouched beside the bed so that he might gaze underneath. Ava lay on her side, curled up into a small ball.

“Shit what happened Ava! Are you hurt?”

“A little. He was here.”

“Sebastian! Oh my god. What did he do? Has he hurt you? Please come out.”

Ava slowly crawled from underneath the bed, an obvious hand mark forming on her cheek.

“Oh god he hit you?!”

“It wasn’t that hard, I’m fine, really.”

Please let me see. God this is my fault. Why on earth did I leave you? I was so sure that the door was locked when I left. Did he break in?”

Ava shook her head. “No I heard the door, it must have been left open.”

“How could I have been so careless, especially all that’s happened. I’m so, so sorry Ava! Anything could have happened to you or our unborn child!” Oscar couldn’t help but notice how exceptionally calm Ava seemed  given the situation. Oscar helped Ava to her feet, they were both seated upon the bed. Oscar gently placed his hand upon Ava’s back, she brushed it away.

“Please don’t. I feel sickly.”

“Sorry. Is he gone for definite?”

“Yes I heard Sebastian leave.”

“Okay, if you’re sure. I’m going to make you some sweet tea. It will help with the shock. Will you be okay to walk downstairs? We need to call the police! The evidence is as clear as day upon your face.”

“I’ll follow you down Oscar. Don’t call the police, there’s absolutely no need!”

Ava concealed her freshly reddened hand in the pocket of her cardigan, exiting her bedroom. It was a lie, Sebastian hadn’t been there at all.

To be continued….

Planchette-Part 42


“Too much for one day.” Ava mumbled, resting her head upon the arm of the sofa.

Oscar raised an eyebrow “I’m sorry?”

Ava stared at him anxiously. “Oscar today has really shaken you up. I can tell. You’re a trembling mess!”

“I don’t think you could have put that any more bluntly if you tried Ava.”

“Sorry.”

Oscar sighed. “It’s fine. I can’t wait to see the back of it, but listen to me moaning! How are you feeling today?”

“Reasonably well , I’m not feeling too sickly actually.”

“Good. I’m glad.” Oscar forced a smile.

“Oscar you need to stop keeping your emotions under lock and key.”

“What?”

 “Your heart is aching.” Ava pressed the palm of her hand gently upon Oscar’s chest. “You’re hurting so badly inside. I saw the tears in your eyes earlier; you need to let them fall. Crying helps, it really does. When my parents died I cried every single night for the first year or so.”

“That’s different!”

“Yes, yes I know it is! I can never see my parent’s again but you can see your Mum no matter how awful her behaviour is. You’re lucky, so lucky.” Ava closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, biting her bottom lip.

“Perhaps. You know that you were loved Ava. Your parents aren’t gone forever; they’ll always be with you! I really do believe in the afterlife. They’re there in your heart.”

“Oh Oscar! Yes I know they are. I hold all the memories of them so close to me and all the remaining photos I have. Would you like to see them?”

“I would, I mean if you’re sure that it wont hurt you too much.”

Ava shook her head. “No I need to cherish their memory. In the bottom of my wardrobe there’s a plain brown shoe box.”

Oscar nodded, padding gently upstairs into the soft tranquility of Ava’s bedroom. He opened the wardrobe door, crouching carefully. Immediately eyeing the object, Oscar grasped the shoe box carefully returning to the living room to a teary Ava.

“Thanks.” She gently opened the lid. “Here they are.”

Oscar laid eyes upon a wedding photo. On it was a beautiful woman , almost an exact replica of Ava. “My god! You are the spitting image of your Mum Ava ,but then you have your Dad’s nose I think and a similar smile to his. It’s a beautiful photograph.”

“Hmmm. Yes I do look like my Mum. I didn’t as a child, I was really quite ugly.” Ava sniffed.

“I highly doubt it!”

“No, I was. I had so many freckles; if you joined them up with a pen most of my face would have been black. That’s how many I had. I wasn’t in the least bit attractive as a child!”

“Well you have obviously grown into your looks then!”

“Perhaps.”

“No not perhaps, it’s a fact. You’re really stunning, but more importantly your true beauty shines from within. Here have a tissue, sorry I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“Thank you. Can I ask a question?” Ava asked sheepishly.

“Absolutely!”

“Only, I’m scared to ask you because I know it might hurt you.”

Oscar frowned “Go on.” He stared at her with wide eyes, willing her to continue.

“Okay.” Ava exhaled loudly before proceeding. “Why does your Mum resent you so much?”

There was an awkward silence momentarily. “Because she said I’m like my Dad Lee.”

“But you’re not are you?”

“Not now. I used to be. In the past I was angry, but not physically aggressive like him. No I’d never hurt anyone in that sense but verbally, well I guess I upset a few people. I’ve certainly never touched drugs!”

“No I know.”

“Ava why did you always hide your amazing figure under those huge, unflattering jumpers in the past?”

“Well that’s a drastic subject change ! But yes I know, what was I thinking?  I was just trying to hide behind them.  I don’t need to any longer.”

“Yes, your clothes are flattering these days, I’ve noticed.”

“Oh you have! Good! Yes I threw those jumpers away a month or so ago. You won’t be seeing them again ever! Oh god! Yes you will, I’ll have to hide our little friend when it grows!”

To be continued…..

Planchette-Part 41


Oscar closed his eyes inhaling deep breaths through his nose and exhaling from his mouth, running a hand through his hair. He sensed the shape of his mobile phone in his pocket and dialed the familiar number.

“Hello?”

“Hi Mum its Oscar.”

“Oh .”  Her blunt, melancholy reply stung Oscar somewhat.

“Hi just wanted to ring to make sure that you’re okay. I haven’t heard from you in a while.”

“Yes I’m fine.”

“That’s good Mum.”

Silence. One so awkward that it made the empty space in Oscar’s chest ache more than ever. He swallowed, coughing nervously.

“I’m also alright, university isn’t going too badly, but it’s just me and Ava now erm…”

Another silence followed. He could hear Janet’s soft breathing on the end of the line. Oscar prayed for a rational response, for Janet to say something heartfelt or meaningful, but she did not.  Oscar’s patience snapped like a fragile twig.

“You really don’t care do you? What about me?! Who looked after you when you were so intoxicated that you couldn’t even take care of yourself?! I did. Do I get so much as a ‘thank you’ or ‘how are you Oscar?’ no I don’t because you’re so incredibly selfish. Do you have any idea how it makes me feel to know that I’m so unloved. No you don’t! You’re unbelievable. You don’t even have a clue what’s gone on do you? I’m ashamed to be related to you, let alone call you my Mum! I’m very lucky that I have Ava, for once in my life I’ve found someone who actually understands me and do you know what? We’re having a baby! ”

Without waiting for so much as a response, Oscar cancelled the call, dropping his phone. How his heart raced, Oscar’s whole body trembling with fury. Ava hearing Oscar’s unusually raised voice dashed into the room, finding him lying on top of his bed on one side, his face cold and clammy. She perched herself on the end of Oscar’s bed, stroking his hair.

“Oh Oscar I’m really sorry about what I said earlier! What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost! Please tell me what’s up!”

“Mother troubles.”

“Is she okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not particularly, except to say I’d probably be more successful having a conversation with a brick wall.”

“That bad eh?”

“That bad.” Oscar bit his bottom lip, willing the tears not to fall.

“Please don’t cry Oscar.” Ava begged. “None of this is your fault. You’ve been an amazing son,  I don’t know what she’s playing at but you don’t deserve any of it. The way she’s treating you is verging on mental torture. Don’t let it get to you. Just like everything that’s gone on with Sebastian. We need to stick together.”

“I know, god what’s happening to me! I’ve turned into such a drip.”

“No, you’re a darling and you mean the world to me. I’d be lost without you these days so please don’t go anywhere. You feel like you’ve got a bit of a temperature.”

Oscar managed to laugh, patting his slender stomach. “No I’m fine, just a little stressed. I’ll soon cool down . As for my weight, well I’m disappearing before your very eyes. 

“Hmm yes you are you skinny thing! But let’s not have this argument again. I’d offer to make Hot Chocolate but you seem to be burning up.”

“No it’s fine, I’ll just get myself a glass of water and make you a hot drink while I’m there.”

Ava raised an eyebrow. “I’m pregnant, not an invalid! I said I’ll make the drinks. Do you want me to make yours with milk? I’m avoiding the stuff, I just can’t stomach it at the moment. Come into the living room, I’ll put the television on.”

Oscar nodded, rose to his feet and followed her through. “God it’s chilly in here! How does your bedroom stay so warm! It’s baltic. It’ll certainly help me cool down, but I don’t want you catching your death!” 

“Put the thermostat on Oscar. We shouldn’t really turn it off anyway or else we’ll get damp in the house.”

Oscar did so, then seated himself in the corner of the sofa; Ava came through with the two mugs in her hand and carefully placed them onto the table.

“Thank you my darling.” Oscar smiled, kissing Ava’s smooth forehead, gratefully taking a sip from his hot chocolate.

To be continued…

Planchette-Part 40


The sickness eventually ceased. Oscar stayed by Ava’s side gently rubbing her back. He handed her a baby wipe. “Shh it’s okay, come with me.” Oscar offered Ava his arm which she took gratefully.

“It just came on very suddenly.” Oscar nodded “Don’t you fret. You need rest that’s all, the stress and morning sickness is probably taking its toll on you.”

Oscar Ava led  into her bedroom, propping her up against the many pillows upon her bed. “I’ll go and get you some water, I’ll be back in a second.” Oscar paced downstairs , fetching a glass from the kitchen. He returned, handing it to Ava.

They sat upon Ava’s bed, engaged in their thoughts, Ava inhaling and exhaling deeply, much to her relief the nauseous feeling was soon to leave her body. Oscar sighed . “Just to change the subject. Have you made notes from the power point for the lecture?”

Ava took a sip from the crisp, cool water and nodded. “Why of course.” She grinned.

“Might have known!” Oscar grumbled. “Swat !” He laughed mischievously.  “I swear university is a waste of money. ¾ of everything we learn is guided study, we’re never in! Right I need to make notes and prepare myself.” Ava nodded.

“Can I get you anything Ava? How much have you eaten today?”

“Probably not as much as I should have” Ava admitted rather guiltily. “I’m not sure what my stomach can manage”

Oscar nodded “Some toast normally does the trick. It should help to settle your stomach.”

“Thanks Oscar. Please make yourself some too! You’re looking very skinny.”

“Hmmm.”

“Oscar!”

“Yes alright I will have some. Happy?”

Ava laughed “Yes! Then I think I’ll have a little nap. You can work at my desk if you like.”

Oscar agreed and crept downstairs to the kitchen. He stood at the sink, gazing out of the small window into the darkness. On placing some bread underneath the grill,  Something glinting through the darkened atmosphere, swinging to and fro in the strong wind caught his eye. Gingerly, Oscar opened the back door, not hesitating to pull on a coat , he crept outside, a feeling of dread filling his entire body. He already had inkling.

It was Ava’s necklace alright, just as he had thought. The ST Christopher pendant swung like a small pendulum, from it hung a little figurine. What was this? Oscar shuddered, feeling physically sick. It was a voodoo doll with a small photograph covering it’s face. It was him. Oscar grasped both items in his hand and in attempt to divert himself by returning inside. He removed the toast from the toaster and carefully buttered it. Oscar poured the tea shakily and walked up the stairs with the tray. Ava lay resting on the bed. She gazed up and smiled, her face falling immediately upon seeing Oscar’s chalky face.

“My god what’s happened?!”

Oscar said nothing, avoiding all eye contact and placed the tray upon the bed.

“Oscar talk to me!” Ava placed her hand on top of Oscar’s. “What’s that in your hand?”

“I’d rather not say.”

“Tell me NOW! You simply have to! You’re shaking like a leaf!”

“Ava I found this.”

“What is it?”

“I think it’s a voodoo doll. Of me.”

Ava gently took Oscar’s wrist, unfurling his fingers so that she might see it, revealing the small photograph over it’s face.

“Oh god! Where did you find it?”

Oscar did not answer her question. “I also discovered this.” He dropped the silvery necklace into Ava’s hand.

“Where on earth  was it? Were they together?”

“Yes.”

“ In what way?”

“The doll, well it was hanging. It was hanging from the tree with the chain wrapped around it’s neck!”

 “Shit Oscar! What does it mean?”

“Probably just a sick joke of Sebastian’s, but I don’t know.”

Ava held Oscar. “You’re trembling I can feel it, don’t be scared. We’re a team now you me and soon our baby. We’re here to protect each other.”

“I know. I shouldn’t have told you, stress will do you no good. I’m sorry.”

“No, no I needed to know. You can’t suffer alone.  At least you found my necklace, thank you.”

“Hmmm.”

“Just try and eat something.”

“Ava I’m really not very hungry. I’ll try, you must eat though!”

“Yes I’m eating for two now.” Ava forced a smile, but could not hide the anxiety upon her face. She took a piece of toast, chewing it slowly. “Oscar stop watching me eat! You’re making me feel paranoid. Eat!”

“Okay fine.” Oscar slowly took half a slice of the bread, glancing at the rough crust and took a small bite. He sighed deeply, the stodgy bread  lodging in his throat. He took a mouthful of tea in attempt to wash it down, placing the piece of toast back onto his plate.

“That’s it?” Ava stated, un impressed “Oscar you’re practically wasting away. For god’s sake will you please eat properly! I’m really worried about you! You’re so bloody skinny, just look at you, your clothes barely fit anymore!”

“Ava get of your high horse okay! I’m not a child, I’m an adult in my own right! Just leave it okay. I need space!” Oscar groaned, exiting the room and running a hand through his hair in his exasperation.

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 39


Hand in hand they exited the bath. Oscar paced into his room, pulling on a pair of navy cotton track suit bottoms and returned to Ava’s bedroom bare-chested, his hair still damp and floppy after being rough dried. Ava grinned.

“What?” Oscar smiled.

“You look rather lovely!”

“Thanks.”

“Sit on my bed and lean forwards. You still want this shoulder massage don’t you Oscar?”

“Yes please!”

“Okay.” Ava gently kissed the side of Oscar’s neck and grabbed a small handful of body lotion, proceeding to massage Oscar.

“Hmmm wow! That’s amazing; I swear that you’re a healer.” Oscar mumbled, now sleepily lying on his front upon the bed, with his head resting on the pillow. Ava smiled, planting a kiss upon Oscar’s bare shoulder.

“Oscar!”

“Hmm!” Oscar’s eyes flashed open.

“You fell asleep!”

“Oh sorry! I must have been very relaxed. That was wonderful thank you! I feel like all the tension in my body has been washed away. Okay, now it’s your turn. Where do you want me to massage?”

Ava grinned “Probably the same, a shoulder and back massage would be great, I’ve been feeling rather anxious of late.” Oscar nodded and continued to massage Ava who closed her eyes, relishing the moment. The sound of Oscar’s gentle voice pulled her back into reality. “Ava we need to have a good look for your necklace now okay?”

“Fine” Ava stated rather reluctantly. ” I’ll just get my ring from the windowsill.” Ava carefully placed the ring into it’s box into her dressing gown pocket. They scoured Ava’s bedroom, glancing into every possible nook and cranny. Oscar took out the final draw in Ava’s bedroom.

“What do you keep in here?”

“Oh just bits and pieces;  pens and stationary items.”

“Right, okay.” Oscar searched the contents anyway, his eyes casting over Ava’s lecture notes. On the first page was his name, surrounded by the love hearts, the very page that she had been designing in a lecture a few months back. Oscar chuckled.

“What are you finding so funny over there?!” Ava glanced up from her cross-legged position on the floor.

“Ava this is hilarious, but cute! My name is tattooed over about several pages in this note-book! Someone was clearly paying attention in the lecture that day!” Oscar rolled his eyes and stared at the colourful page.

“Aw look my name has a little heart around it!” 

Ava sensed the hot blood flooding into her cheeks. “Oh god! I’m so mortified!”

Oscar smiled. “Don’t be, I’m very flattered. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. Well, it certainly doesn’t look like the necklace is in this draw! I still don’t understand what Sebastian was talking about. Remember the day when he upturned part of the house mentioning something about a black book? We never did get to the bottom of that did we?”

“Thinking about it now, the drawing in the notebook well, I hope Sebastian didn’t see it.”

“What difference would it make if he had Ava?”

“Oh I don’t know, it might have aggravated and been a trigger for his disgusting behaviour. Why didn’t report him? What on earth were we thinking!” Ava sighed solemnly.

“But what proof did we have?”

“The blood in the bathroom and the marks upon your face?”

“Yes well they’re gone now.It’s too late.”

“You think it’s too late for us?” Ava’s large eyes filled with tears. Oscar shuffled across the carpet to her side, holding Ava in his arms. “God no! I didn’t mean it like that, I meant with the evidence gone we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on! Please don’t cry Ava, we’re going to be fine, just the three of us you’ll see. There’s no sign of your necklace in there, come one we’ll look in the other rooms.”

Oscar helped a shaky Ava to her feet. “Ava you’re looking weary. Do you feel nauseous?”

Ava nodded honestly “A little bit.”

Oscar stroked her hair “Probably the morning sickness starting, take it easy.” With very little warningAva’s stomach churned as she was washed with a wave of nausea. As quick as a flash she darted into the bathroom, violently vomiting into the toilet.

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 38


Oscar knowingly gazed into the horizon, feeling this would be the ideal moment .

“Ava, we have grown so incredibly close over the past few years, but particularly in recent months. What I’m saying Ava is,  I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I cherish being in your company more than anything. I want for nothing, which is why- ”

Oscar took the delicate box from his pocket. Ava placed a gloved hand to her mouth and gasped as Oscar crouched down upon one knee, opening the small case.

“Ava will you marry me?”

Ava’ s heart fluttered in her chest as she  jumped for joy, throwing her arms around Oscar’s neck “Yes! Oh my god! Yes I will!” She squealed. “My god it’s so beautiful.”

It was true, although the ring had not cost a great deal, it was elegant and incredibly dainty. Oscar smiled as he gently held Ava’s hand and slipped the ring onto her slim finger. It fitted perfectly.

“Wow! Wherever did you get it?” Ava outstretched her fingers to admire the beautiful ring.

“Argos.”

“Really?!”

Oscar chuckled “No of course not! My girl deserves far better than that. I found it in one of the small antique shops purely by chance.”

“How could you afford it?”

“What does that matter? I have been trying to save some money for a little while.”

“It means the world! Oh Oscar I’m so happy right now, you’ve just made me the happiest girl in the world. No in the universe!”

They kissed once more and sat hand in hand for half an hour or so, reminiscing in their thoughts, enjoying the quiet reassurance of each other’s quiet company. Darkness came quicker than they had initially imagined. Oscar got to his feet, offering Ava his hand.

“Come on, it’s getting dark now, we’d best be getting home.” Ava nodded and they paced hand in hand back to the house.

“You feel cold Oscar are you okay?”

Oscar nodded “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind a hot bath though. Want to join me!”

Ava grinned “Oh absolutely. We might be able to have a decent chat this time, last time you kept falling asleep every two seconds!”

Oscar laughed. “Well I was concussed, but yes I was a bit useless!”

“You’re never useless. I’ll run the bath, do you still have the box for my ring?”

“Yes I do, but we still need to look for your necklace Ava!”

“I know. Shall we do that after the bath?”

“Yeah.”

They crept up the staircase. Oscar felt in his jacket pocket, producing the small box once more, Ava slipped the ring carefully inside and balanced it  on the windowsill.

“Shall I light some candles? It will be far more romantic.” Ava suggested and went to fetch four small vanilla scented tea lights ,balancing them on the white porcelain edge of the bath. She exited the room and swiftly returned dressed in her dressing gown. Oscar was crouched  beside the bath carefully testing the water temperature, as the luxurious bubbles rose to the water’s surface. Ava nealt beside him, placing an arm around his neck and kissing his forehead. Oscar turned very pale, his breathing increasing, Ava immediately sensed what was wrong and helped him to his feet.

“Sorry, did that trigger that memory again?”

“Yes.” Oscar shuddered. Ava intertwined her fingers in his hair and rested Oscar’s head against her shoulder.

“Let’s get in the bath. ”

They lowered themselves into the foamy bubbles, sitting opposite each other. Ava slipped the hair elastic from her wrist and tied it into a high bun. A smile creased across Oscar’s lips, the colour returning to his ghostly white cheeks. Ava glanced at him.

“What?!”

“That’s a very interesting hairstyle you have there!”

“Oh shush!” Ava flicked her hand from under the water, spraying droplets over Oscar’s face. He gasped.

“Oh you’ve really asked for it now!” He quickly splashed her in return, with a great deal more water than he had in mind.

“Ow! You’ve got soap in my eyes!” Ava exclaimed in alarm. “I can’t see a thing!”

“Sorry!” Oscar grabbed a flannel. “Here, it’s a flannel wipe your eyes with this. I think I went a bit too far then.”

“It’s okay. As it’s you I think I’ll let you off.”

Oscar laughed. “Ava! You STILL owe me a massage! Am I right?”

“Yes I think you actually are. Okay, okay after this I will give you a massage.” Ava sighed. “But I am pregnant! You should be the one massaging me!”

 

To be continued…….

Planchette-Part 37


Ava cleared her plate once more, glancing over to Oscar who still hadn’t touched the remaining half of his dinner and sat there staring vacantly at the table.

“Oscar are you alright? You look a little bit peaky.”

“I’m fine. I’m feeling quite tired, that’s all.”

“Hmm that’s come on very suddenly. Are you sure everything is okay, you’re not coming down with something are you?”

“I’m not sure how I feel.”

“You look troubled. Please tell me what that matter is.” Ava outstretched her hand across the table, stroking his arm. Oscar took her hand, smiling feebly.

“There’s nothing in particular. I just feel odd, it’s hard to explain. I’m not un well.”

“Is your Mum okay? You don’t talk about her much.”

“She’s fine, same old.” Oscar gazed up, glancing at Ava’s bare neck, taken aback.

“Ava why aren’t you wearing your necklace? I don’t think I’ve seen you go a day without it!”

“I couldn’t find it this morning.”

Oscar jumped to his feet. “What! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“ I’ve probably just put it down somewhere.”

“It was definitely on your necklace stand, where you always put it.”  There was no denying the anxiety in Oscar’s voice.

“Oscar sit back down. We’ll find it! It belongs to me after all, I was probably just being clumsy!”

“You’re not a careless person Ava! Things don’t just magically go missing, not unless they’re moved by someone.”

“Okay! Now you’re scaring me!  You’re implying that Sebastian has been here again?”

Oscar swallowed. “I wouldn’t put it past him.”

“Oscar, I think you’re being paranoid.”

“You haven’t suffered the wrath of his fists, twice! I’m bound to be slightly scared. I’m worried about you and our unborn child! It was clearly him who was moving the planchette the whole time as part of his sick and twisted little game plan. He’s not finished yet! I feel like I need to go for a walk and clear my head, but I don’t want to leave you here alone! ”

“I’ll come with you. We needn’t talk.”

Oscar nodded “Alright.”

The pair stood hesitantly in the small hall way. Oscar glanced up from fastening his coat with his large expressive eyes, which were glistening with tears. Ava felt over run by guilt.

“Oscar I’m sorry, I’ve been really sharp with my words, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“No no, it’s not you. I’m just having quite a strange day, I feel like I’m losing control of my emotions.  I can’t quite explain it. No matter, the fresh air will do us both good.”

Ava and Oscar stepped outside into the icy air, laying eyes upon the beautiful orange haze which had gently etched itself across the sky, highlighting the high treetops like burning beacons.

“My that’s so beautiful! Not something you get to witness every day. The sky looks like it’s on fire!” Ava exclaimed.

Oscar squeezed her hand. “I’m glad I’m here to share the moment with you and I’m sorry for the way I behaved earlier.”

“Why are you apologising? You haven’t said or done anything to upset me, you were only telling the truth.”

“Hmmm.”

“I love this walk”

“Me too Ava, shall we sit down? I don’t want you to get too tired, it’s getting later now!”

“Oscar I’m fine it’s only 8.30pm, but yes I think we should sit down for a little while to admire this glorious sun set.” Oscar gently took Ava’s hand, leading her to the lichen-covered, rough wood bench.  A secret smile creased over Oscar’s lips as he ran his thumb along the smooth, velvety edge of the small box which sat comfortably in the corner of his jacket pocket.

To be continued….

Planchette- Part 36


“I’ll cook”  Oscar smiled “I don’t know what we’ve got in food-wise. It might have to be a random creation!” Oscar routed around the cupboards, sighing at the serious lack of fresh ingredients . He selected the most suitable items, placing them on the work surface, eyeing them, clearly unimpressed. “Well I’ve managed to cobble together three onions, two tins of tomatoes, a small packet of mince and one pepper which surprisingly looks alright, despite being out of date. So I guess we’re having spaghetti bolognaise.”

“Sounds excellent to me. I need something carb-y” Ava grinned.

Oscar rolled his eyes. “Since when have you ever been bothered about stupid things such as calories and carbs? You’ve lost weight recently with all the stress. That’s not good, especially with a baby growing inside you. You need good nutrients to enable the fetus develop. If anything, you should be eating a tiny bit extra okay?”

“I need to start eating now, before the morning sickness starts, which probably won’t be very long.” Ava shuddered. “Oscar, I have to say you’re looking quite thin yourself.” It was true, of late Oscar had needed to tighten the belt on his jeans. Oscar did not reply, but set to dicing all the vegetables. He sniffed as the strong juice from the onions made his eyes water. A delicious aroma filled the kitchen as Oscar fried off the onions and mince. “That actually smells amazing” Ava grinned. “How much longer will it be?”

Oscar laughed. “My goodness you are impatient! Another 20 minutes or so. Everything must be cooked properly! Patience is a virtue my love! I hope the baby inherits a calmer nature from me. I can’t have two demanding people in my life.”

“I’m not demanding!” Ava frowned. “At least I don’t think I am.”

“I was just pulling your leg Ava.” Oscar smiled. “No you’re not in the least.”

“Well I guess I should set the table while I’m waiting, that will help to kill some time. I might even sweep the kitchen floor when I’m at it. ” Ava smiled. Oscar nodded in agreement.

“Okay, but just go slow.”

“Oscar I’m pregnant not an invalid!”

“I know, but be careful okay. Oh and don’t cut your hand. It’s healed well by the way. It hasn’t even scarred.”

“Yeah I heal quickly” Ava agreed. “But your head will too, if it doesn’t well it’s pretty much hidden by your hair anyway so that doesn’t matter too much.”

Ava grabbed a sweeping brush and carefully swept the kitchen floor.“It barely needed doing. I’m surprised.”

“We certainly haven’t eaten down here for a while.”

“Oh yeah. That’s very true!” Ava swept the small pile of bits up with a dustpan and brush, carefully placing them into the dustbin. She set the table efficiently. Oscar smiled. “You’re going to make a very good housewife.” He laughed. Ava wrapped her arms around Oscar, kissing him softly. “And you will be a decent house husband. I have you well-trained. Now is dinner nearly ready?”

“As a matter of fact it is. Now sit down I’ll serve.” Oscar dished the food, sitting opposite Ava at the small dining room table, the extra seat remaining empty. “It feels quite unusual just the two of us sitting here, but lovely all the same. Thank you for making dinner Oscar it really is delicious!”

“I’m glad. It won’t be long before you get sickness and then maybe some weird cravings. My Mum had a bizarre one with me. Erm I’m trying to remember. Oh yes, pickled onion and jam sandwiches.”

Ava wrinkled her nose “Urgh that’s pretty vile. I’ve heard of stranger things mind you. I hope I don’t have to resort to eating weird things. At the moment I’m very much enjoying just ordinary spaghetti bolognaise.” Oscar laughed and tucked heartily into the meal, impressed by his own efforts.

 Ava effortlessly cleared the contents of her plate leaving the bowl of Parmesan cheese untouched. Oscar raised an eyebrow, glancing over at Ava who was carefully scraping the last few specks of mince from the plate with her fork.

“It’s not like you not to have Parmesan cheese!”

“Oh it smells really odd. Did we buy a different make? A cheaper version perhaps?”

Ava inspected the bowl, digging the spoon into the contents and playing with the snow-textured cheese. She stopped very quickly.

“I don’t know why I did that. It’s just made me feel quite queasy.”

Oscar laughed. “You’re bound to become more sensitive to strong smells.”

“Okay Mr pregnancy expert.”

“Sorry. You ate that pretty quickly would you like some more?” Ava thought for a moment, it was true her appetite had changed quite dramatically of late. For once, she was still hungry.

“Erm yes please.” She blushed.

“Don’t be embarrassed just say!”

“But I am. I eat more than you these days!”

“Ava you need a few extra calories now. Here, pass me your plate.”

Oscar paced over to the cooker and dished another smaller portion of spaghetti bolognaise which Ava gratefully devoured in complete silence.

To be continued…

Planchette-Part 35


Oscar tenderly stroked Ava’s hair only to sensing her falling tears once more. “Shhh it will be alright” he coaxed. “I think the news of your pregnancy is the best thing I’ve heard this year and I mean it. Especially after all the bad happenings.”

Ava momentarily composed herself. “Really? I’m not so sure.” She sniffed, her stomach tightening into knots at the thought of it. “We’ll have to keep the news quiet until I’m further on. I mean, most people wait until their 12 weeks or so. Until then can this just be our secret. After all the baby is a little accident.”

Oscar glared at her. “Ava! You can’t blame the baby!”

“I know, but it was unintentional. I didn’t want children for at least another few years. I’m still very worried about my degree. How am I supposed to do my essay’s when I’m throwing up in the toilet?”

“We’ll manage…somehow. My biggest concern is that Sebastian’s still out there somewhere. Ava he’s surely not finished with us yet. He just keeps coming back.” Ava nodded, rubbing her toned stomach, which was no signs of her pregnancy.

“I know, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to the little blip would we?”

“Don’t ! Ava when all this is over I really do want to move in with you. Just you, me and the baby. I want us to be a little family. Things are going to work out in the long run, I’m sure of it.”

“You- you really mean that?”

Ava’s bottom lip trembled. Oscar gazed at Ava with sincere, loving eyes. He placed both his hands onto her soft cheeks, kissing her forehead tenderly. “With all my heart. I have no money, you know that. What I can offer you is all my love and friendship.”

Ava held a hand to her mouth, the tears flowed down her cheeks, she had never been more touched. “I would love nothing more than to live with you. I mean technically it’s just the two of us living together at the moment. I really want to get away from here as soon as our degrees are done. We should move somewhere not too far from your Mum and my Aunt Olive. So you don’t have to worry about your Mum all the time, you can simply pop in and see her whenever you want.”

Oscar nodded. “I’d love that too. You’re so thoughtful. You’re going to make an amazing Mum. I will try to be a half decent Dad. One the opposite to my own. I just want to be responsible. I guess I still have a lot of growing up to do.”

Ava hugged him “I think you and I have grown up a heck of a lot within the past few months. It’s made us a far stronger couple hasn’t it? We have a far greater understanding of each other.”

Oscar laughed. “Yes you’ve definitely seen me at my very worst! Confused and covered in blood, what a pretty sight that must have been! I really am very sorry.”

“I think you’re really brave Oscar. If that had happened to me I’d be constantly paranoid and looking over my shoulder. It must have been so scary.”

“It was. But I thought of you and that helped me, it all happened so quickly.”

Ava smiled. “You’re, so in touch with your feelings and emotions. I could never go out with a Jack-the-lad type. They’d probably scare me to death. You’re slightly in touch with your feminine side!” She grinned.

Oscar frowned, not exactly knowing what to make of her final comment. “Erm thanks.”

“Oscar I mean that you’re kind and caring. I wasn’t implying that you come over as being camp!”

“I know.” Oscar smiled. “Gosh that was quite a deep conversation! Now can we get off the sofa and make some dinner?! I’m actually starving. I can’t remember the time I had a proper meal!”

“Oscar! You and your stomach!”  Ava laughed, but she agreed with his decision and followed a hungry Oscar into the kitchen.

To be continued….