My latest writing project which I am hoping to publish either by the end of this year or very early in the next is going to be a collection of short stories. I will be calling the work: Dreamscapes.
Dreamscapes is a work in progress and has become a struggle primarily due to my main story. The main story which will be by far the longest is called The Girl Who Waves. It is actually about a young boy with terminal cancer and the constant struggles his mother faces both coming to terms with her son’s condition and the changes it has brought to their lives, but the title will also lend to something mysterious and supernatural going on as the reader will soon find out. I have written quite a bit of it but still have a long way to go as I have changed my mind about it’s structure and content a couple of times. I am still unsure if this will end up in Dreamscapes when I am done with it… It may end up being published as a stand-alone novella or full-fledged novel. I simply do not know at this stage.
Anyway, I digress slightly. One of my stories which will definitely find a place in Dreamscapes is Doolally Tap… Please let me know what you think of it. Thank you in advance.
The warden rang the bell at number 11 Hopewell Close. Upon receiving no answer, she knocked before entering the bungalow. It was one of several bungalows that were part of a sheltered community for the elderly and disabled. Each had been fitted with life-lines, and the wardens made regular visits a couple of times each week to look-in on the residents. The warden called as she entered the doorway, ‘Hello Mr Days, it’s Jackie, the warden. Is everything okay?’
Receiving no answer, Jackie walked down the short hallway and opened the living room door. ‘Mr Days… Oh my God!’ Mr Days was lying on the floor unconscious. Jackie pressed the life-line button and searched for a pulse. The intercom burst into life almost immediately. ‘Mr Days, is everything okay?’
‘It’s Jackie, I’ve just entered Mr Day’s and he’s on the floor unconscious. I checked and he has a mild pulse.’
‘Okay Jackie, I’ll contact emergency services and let the family know.’
‘Thanks Dillon, I’ll stay with Mr Days until they arrive.’
Jay Days lay there trying to open his eyes but he couldn’t. He was lying in a bed, but it wasn’t his bed, and it most certainly wasn’t the bed his granddaughter’s kept for him at her house where he went to stay for the holidays. The mattress felt thin and cheap. Where the hell am I? He could hear incoherent voices all around him. Whisperings. Somebody was holding his hand. The hand holding his was small and slender. More whisperings. He managed to open his eyes slightly but could only see shadows before tiring and closing them again. He drifted into unsettled dreams.
Jay woke up but dare not rise… no, could not rise… a combination of both perhaps? The hospital bed was stood on end, the foot of the bed elevated several yards above the door to the ward. He dared a peek from side to side. There were no other beds, just a small cupboard of sorts and a couple of chairs perpendicular to the bed. Their positioning told him that the floor must be behind him. He couldn’t see the wires and tubes were connected to machines above the head of the bed which read his vital signs. What the hell is going on? Where am I?
A nurse came through the door holding a tray. On seeing him awake she quickly placed the tray down and made a u-turn back through the door but forgot to close it. The door now looked like a vertical shaft that dropped down several meters to another one. Oh my god, I’m going to fall through it! A couple of minutes later the nurse returned with a doctor walking up the shaft until they reached the foot of the bed. The doctor walked around the bed making it kind of awkward to see him properly.
‘Now then fellow, good to see you’re awake. I’m Dr Joneson. We had to operate as soon as you were brought in, it was touch and go for a little while and we almost lost you. Everything should be fine now, but we’re keeping you in for a while to see how you do.’
‘What happened to me?’
‘You had a ruptured aneurysm. You’re very lucky. They got you here just in time. A few more minutes and it would have all been over.’
‘I don’t understand, how…?’
Dr Joneson cut him off with, ‘Shh, right now you need to rest. We shall talk more about this later. Nurse.’ Without more ado, the nurse took something from her tray and injected the fluid into one of the tubes. Jay drifted away.
Jay forced his eyes open as wide as he possibly could but all he could see at first was shadows moving around him, making incoherent noises. After a few minutes, things started to clear a little and as the shadows began to take form, sounds became more coherent. ‘Mom, I think he’s waking up!’ But with that, the effort proved too demanding and he slipped away again.
Mr Days lay awake listening intently. Most of the machine had been turned off and a drip had replaced it. The room was the right way up but seemingly deserted and he didn’t like what he was hearing. After a few more minutes of listening, he pressed the buzzer for the nurse to come.
‘What can I do for you, Mr Days?’
‘Do you hear that?’
‘The banging on the roof, do you hear it? Somebody is trying to break in.’
I don’t hear any banging Mr Days, and it can’t be the roof because we are only on the fifth floor and this tower block has thirteen floors.’
‘Are you sure?’
Yes, Mr Days. I am quite sure.’
‘I must be going doolally tap.’
‘It’s probably just the medication dear. I’ll ask the doctor if we can reduce the dosage for you.’
Jay awoke to find a man of the cloth sitting beside his bed praying.
‘Oh, hello my friend, it’s good to see you awake. I’m Father, Augustus Breem. I was informed that you are a fellow Catholic and came to perform your last rights. Would you like me to continue?’
‘Yes, please, Father…
Can I go back to sleep now?’
‘Rest in peace, my friend.’
‘Can I help you, Mr Days?’
‘I need to use the toilet please.’
‘Not to worry, I’ll send in an auxiliary to assist you.’
The auxiliary came with a portable chair commode and wheeled it beside the bed before assisting him to a sitting position.
‘Easy does it, Mr Days. Steady now. On the count of three… That’s it! Let me know when you’re done and I’ll help you back into bed.’
‘Okay, I’m done now.’
‘Here we go then… Oh no!’
‘What is it?’
‘I forgot to put the commode into the bottom of the chair!’
Mr Days laughed, ‘You’re doolally tap like I am! We’ll get along just fine.’
The auxiliary laughed with him. ‘You’re right. I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on right! Let’s get you comfortable first, then I’ll get something to clean this all up with.
People were chasing Jay down the corridors. Drs, nurses, auxiliaries were all trying to catch him. He reached the elevator but the number 13 was lit up. Damn it! He made his way to the stairs. ‘Stop!’ shouted Dr Joneson who was just coming around the corner as he reached the double doors leading to the stairs. Jay ignored him and fled through the doors.
He managed to get down to the fourth floor but found that he had to go down another corridor to get to the next set of stairs. Dr Joneson was on his tail with nurses and auxiliaries close behind. ‘You cannot leave.’ Dr Joneson called after him. Nurse, alert the other wards!’
‘Yes, Dr Joneson.’
Jay made it to the next set of stairs which took him down two more floors before he had to reroute to another corridor. He was about to enter the corridor but heard steps running towards him from that direction. Frantically he looked around and noticed an auxiliary cupboard. He quickly hid in the cupboard, careful not to knock anything over or make any other sound. Footsteps ran past him. Still, he waited, knowing others were coming from the opposite direction.
‘Did you see him?’ It was Dr Joneson’s voice. They were only a few meters from the auxiliary cupboard.
‘No sir, he must have taken another corridor.’
‘It’s a long way around to the back stairs, we’ll get him. You two, stick around this stairwell just in case. He must not get away!’
Shit! Once the Dr has gone, I need something to distract those two.
Jay carefully looked around the darkened cupboard, for something to throw down the corridor, but couldn’t find anything. Slowly feeling his way around his hand inadvertently stroked a maintenance cover-all. He slipped it on carefully, peeked out to see a male and female nurse facing the stairwell while talking quietly. He thought for a minute and then decided what to do. Carefully, he exited the cupboard and then pretending to be stepping in so most of his face was shadowed, he shouted to the two nurses, ‘Dr Joneson wants you to dash over the bottom of the back stairwell.’
The two nurses thinking he was one of the maintenance crew took off without a word. As soon as they were out of sight, Jay fled down the unguarded stairwell. He was half-way down when a friendly voice stopped him. ‘Where are you going to in such a hurry, my friend?’
Directly below him and blocking his path was Father Augustus Breem. Jay breathed a sigh of relief and said, ‘Oh Father, Thank God it’s you. You’ve got to help me get out of here.’
‘You cannot leave my friend, Dr Joneson needs you so he can finish his medical research. And besides, You’ve already had your last rights.’
‘Thank you, Father, we’ll take it from here.’ Said Dr Joneson as he appeared from the steps above with his nurses and auxiliaries. ‘Nurse.’
‘Yes, Dr.’ And with that, the nurse injected, Mr Days, sending him into the void.
‘Morning, Mr Days. Today’s your big day.’ Said the nurse.
‘Has Dr Joneson finished using me for his medicinal research?’
‘Medicinal Research? What are you like?’ She laughed.
‘That’s what Father Breem told me when he said I couldn’t leave.’
‘Who on earth is Father Breem?’
‘Father Breem from the Catholic church. The one who came to read my last rights.’
‘There is no Father Breem, you must have been dreaming about it.’
‘How about everybody chasing me down the corridors when I tried to leave?’
‘Let’s think about this. Could you run around this room?’
‘Don’t be daft, it takes me all my time to walk with my walking stick!’
‘That settles it then, you must have dreamt it.’
Jay laughed. ‘I never thought of that. Aren’t you a clever girl?’
‘Well, you have been on a lot of meds, they can make you think all sorts.’
‘Oh, I don’t need meds for that love. I’ve been doolally-tap for years.’
‘Anyway, I need to get you ready. You’re going home today, remember? Your granddaughter is on her way to pick you up. Dr Joneson has signed your release notes and I’ve come to get you ready. As soon as your granddaughter arrives. You can go home.’
‘Sarah, Oh, thank God!’
‘Let’s get you home grandad. You’re staying with me for a while until you’re well enough to be on your own again. By the way, what’s all this I’ve been hearing about you from the nurses?’
Why? What have I done now?’
‘Nothing wrong, but they say you’ve been having some wild adventures in here. You’ll have to tell me all about it when I get you home.’
‘Oh that. Just get me home before this place sends me completely doolally-tap!’