Contract – Part 2

A large, chipped china bowl sat on the floor by the side of the bed. It contained a rag soaking in bloody water. There were shadows. There were odd sounds. He was now writing down what he wanted them to know. And, of them all, she was the one he felt best with. The others, he didn’t know. And, though he didn’t know her, he felt that she would not try to kill him. Now that he was blind, he felt sure that, of them all, she would be least likely to smother him in the night. He took to pointing in the direction of her voice. He heard murmuring, questions whispered. Later, a piece of paper was placed on his chest. Then a pencil. Then, to his left he heard a voice. Her voice. ‘Okay’, it said. His writing must have been large. They went through lots of paper. Sometimes she had to move his hand to the correct position on the page; to start a new paragraph, for instance. As for food, his instructions were, as he wrote, ‘you prepare it for me please, I would but I’m blind and, anyway, I could never cook’. And so she did, over months it seemed. She must have been of a slight build; he couldn’t remember ever seeing her and, even if he did, he was likely out of his mind on drugs when he did; yet it seemed as though he could hear her feet, tapping on the stone floor. Yes, the floor is made of stone, he remembered. And he would feel small, delicate fingers touch his forearm, skilfully avoiding the cuts, when she was at his bedside. Piece by piece, he was assembling his guardian. As she spoke he imagined her teeth, even, strong, pretty. Her lips, he felt sure, were beautifully formed. There were things they kept between themselves and, as she spoke to him, her voice took on a wispy, fleeting quality that made him want to listen. Made him want to talk to her. He felt, though, that if he spoke, the world would stop in an instant. So, in his fear, he continued to write down what had happened and she, patiently, would move his hand when it was required. Once, feeling as though others were in the room watching, he spat to when he thought they were stood and tried to scream. His terror held his voice and only a tiny, pinched screech wheezed from him. A small hand touched his forehead and he lay back down. A voice called up from the gardens outside the place where the breeze came. They were alone.

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