With only five days to go, it's time for another taste of Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer. For those who haven't read it yet or find the beginning of the book a little confusing, I'll let you in on a little secret – Chapter 2 and the other, very brief chapters are neither poetry nor quotes. They are accounts of very real nightmares.
Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer – Chapter 2
They had a red Mercedes.
Hit me, pulled me in, drugged me.
Eyes like saucers. Pervert.
Sorry. Oh God, so sorry.
Let me go, you bastard.
Fighting the drugs.
Clawing at my throat.
Fighting the darkness.
The pain in the darkness.
Don't let them win.
Nightmares of Caitlin Lockyer – Chapter 3
I woke in daylight and glanced at my watch. Early afternoon. My shoulder ached and more besides. It must have been time for more pain medication. Please, please let there be more pain medication.
A smiling woman set a tray of lunch on the table next to my bed. She returned to the trolley for Caitlin's lunch, which she placed hesitantly on the table beside her.
“One of the volunteers should be along shortly, with the book and magazine trolley. Your roommate's on the front cover of today's paper – you might want to keep a copy for her.”
I thanked the woman.
“When she wakes up, can you tell her I've given her today's and tomorrow's menu, so she can pick what she wants? Yours is on your tray, too.” She lowered her voice. “The ice cream is really good.”
I smiled and thanked her again as she left, my eyes straying to Caitlin. I slid out of bed and made my way over to her.
She was tucked tightly in her bed, still asleep, her face and hair all that showed. She looked as if she hadn't moved since we were brought here early this morning. With the amount of sedative she'd been given last night, she wasn't going to be awake for lunch today, nor dinner – I figured her first hospital meal wouldn't be earlier than breakfast tomorrow. I had until then to work out what I wanted to say to her when she woke up.
I headed past her, to the bathroom we shared, before I went back to sit on my bed to eat lunch for breakfast at lunchtime. I didn't taste any of it, from the first bite 'til I'd finished the ice cream.
When did I last eat? I wondered, realising that I couldn't remember. No wonder I'd been hungry. I'd last had a drink more than twelve hours ago, a sip on the beach, before I gave the rest of the can to Caitlin.
Almost without thinking, I pushed myself off my bed and settled into the visitor's chair beside her, so I could see her face. For the first time, I felt self-conscious that I was only wearing my shorts. They were the only item of clothing I had left – I'd handed the rest over to the police, her blood on everything else. I'd have to call my sister today and ask her to bring some fresh clothes, before Caitlin woke up. I didn't want to frighten her any more than she had been already.
“You'd have to be the first pretty girl I'd rather woke up to me fully clothed than in just my underwear,” I told her. I laughed quietly.
Caitlin neither replied nor moved, she was so deeply asleep.
“I never wanted to see you hurt. I'm sorry I didn't help you sooner,” I began hesitantly. No, that wasn't the first thing I wanted her to hear – reminding her of what had happened to her. I stared into space, my eyes focussing on her untouched meal tray. “Do you want your ice cream?”
When she didn't respond, I helped myself to the little cardboard tub, lifting the lid with a slight sucking sound. The ice cream had already started to melt in the warm room.
In between bites, I voiced the things I could say to her when she woke.
“Hi, remember me? I was oblivious to you getting hurt, so you're in hospital now.” No. Could I sound more callous if I tried?
“I'm Nathan, I stole a shirt from a corpse and stuck it on you.” Lovely.
“I wish I'd never seen you and then neither of us would be here. I wish none of this had ever happened.” True, but still not something I should say to her. If I hadn't seen her, she might be dead now instead of in hospital.
I scraped the bottom of the cardboard container for the last melted drops. “I'm sorry – I finished your ice cream. When you wake up, I'll owe you one.” I stood up and took the empty container to my meal tray.
All that I'd said should have been funny, given my dark humour, but I had no laughter left. I only felt empty. Not even my stolen ice cream could help to fill that void. What kind of person stole a sleeping girl's ice cream?
I made it to our shared bathroom before I threw up – her ice cream, mine and probably most of the lunch I hadn't tasted. When I was done, I rinsed my mouth and left the bathroom, closing the door hard behind me.
I returned to my own bed and stretched out on top of the covers. I folded my arms behind my head and stared at the ceiling for a moment, before I spoke again.
“I'm sorry, Caitlin. I'm so sorry.”
My eyes started to water, probably from staring at the room light, so I closed them.
For those who can't wait until the paperback is out…the ebook is on sale at Amazon for 99c while the countdown is on.