Chapter Twenty Two

‘Argh,’ I groaned, as I attempted to move my aching body. Bright light lit the room, painful to the eye. I blinked several times and pulled myself up. Trying to find my bearings, I immediately thought of the previous event.

I began looking around, quick steps from one end of the room to the other. That was when I noticed the little boy again. This time, he was dressed in green. With his collar covering his neck, but he was hiding again.

I rushed towards him and tilted my head to the side. Another scene? How many of these scenes would I be witnessing? But wait, it was not with the man I saw previously. This was a large man. Being bloated seemed natural to him. His hat was tipped to the side and his jacket lay on the floor. Clearly he was drunk.

I did not try to get involved, but this time willingly stood as a spectator.

The man started coughing loudly and swinging the half empty bottle in his hand. He was a mess. I can now safely state that this beautiful woman was the little boy’s mother.

‘Mother,’ I heard the worry in the little boy’s voice.

‘Everything could have been mine,’ the man slurred. ‘Everything! Where is that little brat? I want him dead,’ he continued.

‘Sir, I must ask you to leave right now,’ the woman stated. She stood straight, but there was a sense of fear. Her voice shook.

The man grabbed her by her hair and pushed her against the counter. ‘I could ruin you!’ He fumed. ‘You’re only here because of that rodent.’

The woman tried to remove herself from his grip. I watched as she smashed a glass and stabbed his hand. There were no tears on her face, just a splutter of blood. The man started yelling, and yes, she coward a little, but still remained calm.

The man tried to drape his injured hand. ‘You just watch,’ he seethed as he continued wrapping a towel around his hand.

‘Lady Williams!’ I swivelled at the voice. The butler from my dreams began running towards us. Behind him was a flurry of maids. The maids grabbed the woman and moved her along. Things were happening so fast. No one had seen the little boy, so I just stood next to him.

The butler grabbed the large man by the collar and pushed him up against the wall.

‘Get your filthy hands off of me,’ the large man struggled.

The butler took in a sharp breath. ‘Sir, I believe that you are the filthy one. You are also carrying an insufferable stench around with you. We have a place for such things,’ contempt laced his words.

‘You-you-you-you, I will not let you get away with this!’ The large man stuttered through.

‘I know you will not. But as long as we are here, we will not let anyone intimidate Lady Williams,’ I was surprised at how intimidating this butler could be. I always assumed that they were submissive. Here, everyone looked as if they were the woman’s protector.

The large man spotted us. ‘I know exactly who to call,’ he said with a smile.

‘No more!’ The butler dragged the man and pushed him out the door. Locking the door, he turned around and picked up the little boy. ‘Are you alright, Master Michael?’ He softly asked.

The little boy hid his face into the butler’s chest.

I followed the butler to the connecting room. The woman sat in the middle with the maids surrounding her. Blood was still dripping down her hand.

‘Lisa, why has her cut not been bandaged yet?’ The butler asked sharply. He did not seem pleased.

‘Brennie has gone to get some bandages. We could only tie some cloth around it,’ she answered.

‘Michael!’ The woman breathed out and rushed to the little boy. Holding him tight, she began weeping. ‘He will be back,’ she let out.

‘We will deal with it. I should have realised that it was a set up before I walked out. Please accept my sincere apologies, Lady Williams,’ the butler stated.

I stood there and watched his facial expression. He seemed hurt, distressed and fighting within himself. Maybe he was blaming himself? Can someone be intimidating yet fearful?

I looked at the little boy. This time, time truly froze. He looked back at me with those deep blue eyes. He was passing on a message to me and for once, I understood him. I knew what I had to do.

The feeling was strange, but I was determined to fulfil his wish. I was willing to do it.

I walked off towards the door on the left in a daze. Opening it, I was back in the original room, with the rusty yellow brick wall.

The painting still hung up, the table remained black and the lamp still shone. The door that I had walked through had disappeared. Was there even a door there? I lightly slid my hand across the wall.  I could not remember how that happened, but that was the last thing on my mind.

I picked up my lamp, made my way along the passage and climbed the stairs. I had no idea what time it was, but I knew that tomorrow was going to be very different.

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