Chapter 10

Why you little…

paintings-on-the-wall.jpg

Well it turns out La Morte is really fucking stupid for a building. I had four weeks of blissful, undisturbed slumber and then last night the bitch broke the truce. I am now sitting here nursing a broken left hand. It should have been my right, but then again it might have been my neck. I can’t complain too much. I thought this old girl had gotten the message. I’m not to be trifled with. I guess she thought she was clever. Breaking my hand. Thinking I can’t do her any more damage with my hammer and nails. Ha! I would walk over a bed of hot coals if I thought it would make this damned place leave me alone for good. I’m not even 2 months into my stay yet. I’m not putting up with anymore crap. Today a doctor is coming to set my hand. I’ve told them I’m agoraphobic. Can’t go outside. So they’ll come to me. Lucky. Anyway. At least I can still go to the toilet by myself. I’m not risking anything tonight though. Two weeks ago my brother dropped off all the artwork I own. As soon as the doctor has gone I’m going to hang me some pictures!

The doctor is 15 minutes late. Not too bad really considering. He meets us out back of the café and looks me up and down. I’m sure I seem pale and sickly. Thankfully I can blame this on “pain”. He sits down across from me and examines my hand, while his nurse gets everything else ready. 

‘Yep, definitely broken, good call there,’ he smiles.

‘Yeah I figured when I couldn’t move the fingers….’

‘This won’t take long. I’m just going to give you something local for the pain and then we can sort this out. Are you sure you don’t want an X-ray first?’

‘Can you do that here?’

‘No,’ he laments, ‘I wish I could but the law would kill me,’ he smiles again. I like him. He does things outside the box. Hence I’m not being dragged screaming out the door. To a hospital. Where I should be. 

‘I appreciate you coming out to do this though.’

‘Don’t thank me until you heal straight, otherwise you will have to come into hospital and they’ll have to break and re-set your hand.’

I shudder. Fuck that.

‘I’m sure it will be fine. I’m a good healer,’ I smile weakly. 

‘Can I get you a drink, anyone?’ pipes up Erica, popping her head around the door. 

‘No thank you,’ reply the doctor and nurse as one. Luke chooses this moment to appear.

‘Well my goodness what has happened!’ he feigns surprise. I know nothing surprises him really. 

‘Had a bit of a fall,’ I lie, obviously. 

‘Yes, I can see the stairs there, had a few too many?’ he smiles awkwardly. That was an odd thing to say. 

‘Uh… yeah sure.’ 

‘Well just sit tight, I’ll be done soon,’ he says getting to work finally. He dips his head and concentrates on my hand. Doing his best to get it right. 

‘He likes to focus,’ says the nurse out of nowhere.

That was also weird. Who are these people? 

About 20 minutes later he’s finished setting my hand. He leaves me with a pile of painkillers. 

‘The cast will take about 30 minutes to set, so just sit tight for a while, and then you can start moving around. Call me if you have any issues, but you should be fully healed in about 6 weeks.’

‘Thank you again doctor …. oh, how do I pay for this?’ I ask. I knew I had forgotten something important. 

‘Don’t worry about that, Luke will take care of it,’ the doctor looks up suddenly as Luke walks in. 

‘Hello Jim, well, what do we have here?’ he asks the doctor. 

‘Fell down the stairs, broken hand,’ said the doctor, obviously uncomfortable. I wonder how they know each other. 
‘You need to be more careful, Damian,’ says Luke smiling. I know he knows what’s going on. Somehow I think the doctor does to. 

‘Well, I better be going,’ says the doctor getting up too quickly and stumbling slightly. The nurse now looks uncomfortable too. 

‘Yes, it was good to see you Jim,’ says Luke, his voice a low rumble. I shiver. The doctor starts back involuntarily. 

‘Thanks doc,’ I say, sticking out my right hand. The doctor looks at it but doesn’t take it. I take it back. Awkward.

‘I’ll show them out,’ says Erica, trying to lighten the mood. It’s a bit too late for that now.

‘No need,’ smiled the doctor, gathering his things quickly. Moments later he and the nurse were out the door. 

I looked down at my hand in its cast. I could barely pinch my thumb and forefinger together, but it would be enough to hold a nail. I smiled to myself.

‘You’re in good spirits,’ said Luke. He had no idea.

‘No use crying over broken hand,’ I said, ‘plus they doctor gave me some pretty strong pain killers.'

‘Back to bed you,’ said Erica interrupting firmly. Obviously she didn't like where this chat was going. 

‘No, no more sleep. I want to stay up. I’m going to watch some TV down here… it’s safer,’ I looked up at Luke, raising one eyebrow.

‘Do you need anything from the store? I’m going,’ he said, conveniently changing the subject. I guess he could also feel the heat rising from me as I grew more agitated by the second.

Good. I wanted him out of the way. I needed some space for what I had in mind, I didn’t want Luke there to stop me.

I waiting about an hour. The plaster had dried and Luke had finally gotten moving after taking his sweet time having coffee and reading the paper. Almost as soon as he left I jumped up and raced upstairs. Grabbing a sheet from the linen closet I piled on a bunch of framed paintings and photos, folding the sheet over them so I could carry a whole bunch at once. I thought I felt the room shudder as I worked. She knew what was coming, but oddly nothing happened. Perhaps she had no power during the day. I smiled devilishly to myself as I picked up a hammer and a bunch of nails and put them in a pillow case. I was ready. But where to start? I figured the hallway outside our bedrooms where I had put the first nail. Walking over to the end of the hall, dragging my stash of artwork behind me, I started planning how to hang my art. I didn’t want this to look like a mish-mash-hash job. I wanted it to look good. Opening the sheet I took the pictures out one by one and walked the length of the hall, placing artwork on the floor as I went to mark the positions I wanted hang them. I started a separate pile for the works I wanted to hang in my room and downstairs. I might save those in case La Morte tries to get funny with me in the future. It also depends on how generous I feel when I have finished with this lot. 

Once all my artworks were in place I returned for my nails. Taking a bunch and holding them with my lips, I picked out a good one, placed it on the wall and hit it with all my might. A devastating scream ripped through my head. I felt it more than heard it. Of course La Morte couldn’t draw attention to herself to the public. I had a feeling she was calling for Luke to come and protect her. I needed to work fast. Not stopping to hand the pictures, I continued along down the wall. At each incision the nail had made in the wall a trickle of blood flowed. I kept working. After I finished the hall I headed for my room. Fuck it. I would keep plugging in nails until Luke came back. But he never came. La Morte screamed and screamed, but he left her to my wrath. Perhaps he knew. She had been giving me such a rough time, perhaps he felt it was justice. I moved down the stairs, taking more nails. I had enough large pieces left to make a decent impact on the lounge room there. I finished up with my nails and returned upstairs. I savored my task as one by one I hung each piece, knowing the weight of the frame would add a little extra pain. 

I had nearly finished when Luke returned. Looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs, he seemed neither angry or … well I had no idea how else he would feel. I walked slowly down the stairs, meeting him at the bottom. 

‘Been busy I see?’

‘Yep.’

‘Ok, I think it’s time we had a chat,’ he said, turning and heading back into the café