‘Damn, but even though you’re a creepy bastard, I must thank you.’ I offered the still busy doc.
He looked at me, eyes magnified through the glass device craning from his forehead. The crinkle around his eyes told me that he was at least pleased. Without a word he looked down and continued to stitch my left foot to the bottom of my leg.
It had been a few hours since my throat had healed enough for me to make sounds.
The doctor had been occasionally pausing in his work to feed me a sickly sweet slurry, which if I’m being honest, which I am, was bloody good, however the warm water wasn’t. It was cloudy and it tasted like a puddle. I drank it anyway, I had a serious thirst on me as I’m sure you can appreciate. On several occasions I had attempted to converse with him. The most I had achieved was a prolonged grunt. The grunt told me he was displeased, I’m sure of it.
It seemed that the stronger I became the faster I healed, and now I could move enough to prop myself up, almost into a full sitting position, almost, but not quite. The pain across my waist line was tremendous.
From my elevated position I could see a lot more of my surroundings. The first thing I noticed were the heavy metal boxes of different sizes and shapes. Some rectangular and arm length, some small and box-like, you know, head size. I deduced that these were the boxes that once contained my severed and estranged body parts. I shuddered. I at least took comfort in the knowing they were lined with a soft looking material. Probably fucking imbued with itching powder though, eh? I wouldn’t put it past the fuckers, I wondered if it were le French who had constructed these boxes, of course it was, superstitious bastards they are. Still, I was grateful. Either way, they did cut me into several pieces and separate them. That’s how you keep me down, in case you were wondering, assuming of course you don’t have an Angelic blade, or items made in that vein. Hopefully you don’t.
Back to the story, yes, looking around myself I discovered I was in a very old building, I suspected I was in a tower of some description, probably because the walls formed around us in a circular movement. Also the walls were bare and comprised of random stone. The eaves of the pitched roof bared their rafters in a shameless fashion, flirting with the pigeons. I licked my lips. I had to be in a tower. Still the wind and rain howled beyond the stone and slate shelter. Through the narrow slit in the stone work, probably an arrow-fire window, yet more evidence of why I was in a tower, I could see the overcast dark sky, the type that is synonymous with northern England; – “If it ‘ent pissing down with rain, it’s just about to’ lad.”- they would often say.
Looking over at the doctor again I “ahemed” as loudly as I could manage. I was dangerously close to being bored, I needed answers, namely why was I back?
He stopped his stitching and looked at me, all of me. Then, giving a peculiar grunt he stood from the end of my stretcher and finally wiped the snot from the tip of his nose. Gripping my foot between a long and bony forefinger and thumb, he gave it a turn and another satisfied grunt.
‘Seriously now, I need you to talk to me.’ I tried. My words were once again met with a groan. This groan reeked of frustration, I tried to follow him as he stalked away behind me. I groaned myself as I accepted that my head could not fully turn yet. After a moment of scratching and equipment crashing he reappeared by my side; chalk and slate in hand.
‘You can’t talk?’ I realised, finally as his eyes crinkled around the edges again.
Lifting the glass away from his face he started to write on the slate: Dr Kratzenstein.
‘Henry Game.’ I offered, stupidly.
He frowned at me.
Of course he already knew my name! I asked the next most important question I could think of, ‘what year is it? How long have I…’ I trailed and almost choked as I saw the chalk scratch a number into the slate. I had been ‘dead’ for almost 250 years. If Dr Kratzenstein was telling the truth then the year was 1811. Fuck, no wonder I was so thirsty.
The sounds of a key scratching in a lock drew my attention as a look of horror crossed the Doctors face. He dropped the slate to the stone floor as he stood and stepped away from me. The door opened revealing a figure, a large and round looking fellow wearing a large black trench coat.
I decided that my arm was aching and had to lie back down as the person entered, still unannounced, as the sounds of the door swinging shut and the lock clicking bounced around my circular purgatory.
The doctor shuffled forwards and away as the stranger approached and sat down in the doctors seat by my head.
I could turn my head just enough to look into his face. He smiled at me, I recognised him. It was Claric.
With a drunken flourish he produced a stoppered wine skin from inside of his coat and offered it, very briefly I might add, in my direction. I barely had the chance to refuse before he removed the bung with his teeth and gave it a long and satisfying chug. ‘There ye are, darlin, it’s bin to long.’ He declared.
Looking over I realised he was addressing his wine skin. I laughed, or I tried to but my stomach hurt.
‘Powerful enemies, Henry Game, power-full names.’ Riddled Claric, his jewelled eyes finally seeing past his drink to rest on me.
‘Yes, nice to see you too, Claric, to what do I owe the pleasure?’
Now it was Claric’s turn to laugh, blue liquid spraying out of his nose and mouth. ‘To what indeed. Nothin makes more of an enemy than your greatest friend.’