Ten – a short story published daily – Part 18.Author: Gordon | Filed under: Uncategorized
Ten – part 18.
‘Happy Christmas.’ The Bearded Man has a brightly wrapped present under one arm, silver bow and all. He passes it to me. I drop it on the floor. ‘Open it.’ I don’t move. He glides over the room in an instant, drops his bulk on my outstretched arm and places his knife across the second knuckle of my small finger. ‘I’ll not ask twice.’ I nod and he gets up.
I take the parcel and open it. Inside is an old Barrat’s shoe box. I pull off the lid. Lying inside is small calendar courtesy of the distillery.
‘So you know the date.’ He smiles as he says it.
I’m sick. Burning up sick. My head is grinding out a headache that threatens to open up my skull and my guts are a toxic acid bath. Skin hot to the touch I shiver like a bike on a cobbled street. The mound of aspirin and five two litre bottles of water left for me are all gone.
I want to die.
The fever has gone. I’ve lost more weight and the Bearded Man isn’t happy. ‘You need to eat.’ I feel so far away from eating.
‘You’ve lost too much weight.’
I look at him. So what? ‘I…’ It’s the first word I’ve uttered in months. The Bearded Man does his ghost move trick and pain screams up my arm as the top of my small finger on my left hand is removed with a practiced slice of his knife.