I have been out of bed two days, and I am exploring the château today, it is awesome I never thought I would actually get to look around a real château I say real sort of loosely, as it is actually one of those mock stately homes built as a castle by someone with lots of money and a large ego. I am in the back wing wandering down a corridor admiring the paintings, I love art and I recognise some of the artists I am currently stood back admiring a really stunning landscape.
‘It’s fabulous isn’t it,’ I jump slightly; I thought I was on my own. I look round to see Rita. She like me is dressed in jeans and a shirt her pale hair in platt down her back. Her hands are clasped behind her back.
‘Yes, it is,’ I answer as she moves closer.
‘Do you like paintings?’ she asks smiling as her deep blue eyes study me.
‘Yes,’ I answer.
’The best ones are in the east wing; in grandma’s apartments would you like to see them. She has a Monet you might like,′ She gazes at me with her blue eyes waiting for my answer.
‘I would like that,’ I manage and smile.
‘May I,’ she indicates my arm and I nod she grins at me and then links her arm with mine. ‘Grandma said you don’t like being touched that I had to ask first,’ She gazes at me again. ‘You don’t say much do you,’ I burst out laughing and she stops walking and laughs as well. ‘I talk to much don’t I.’
‘Um yes a bit, but it’s nice, I haven’t talked to anyone normally in ages,’ I smile as she leads me along the corridors. I have no idea which part of the château I am in now and I am glad Rita is with me.
‘Oh yes I heard you have been kept on your own. Not in a home with other boys,’ she gazes at me.
‘Yes, I was in a home once when my brother was with me,’
‘Here we are,’ Rita knocks on a green door and then pushes it open and walks in. It is much lighter in here and the décor isn’t as heavy not so much chintz it’s plainer. Rita leads me into a little sitting room and shows me the Monet, it is stunning, I have only seen paintings like this in books and to see it for real is awesome. I stand and gaze at it smiling. ‘Do you like it?’
‘Oh yes it’s amazing,’ I breathe completely captivated by it.
‘I think it’s a bit splodges, he went blind didn’t he,’ Rita cocks her head to one side as she gazes at it.
‘Splodges? It’s brilliant,’ I answer still transfixed by the painting.
‘Yeah, do you want to see the dungeons?’ Rita turns to look at me. I can see she doesn’t find the painting as interesting as I do.
‘Yes okay,’ I reply as she pulls me away from the painting and toward another door. We descend a set of stone steps I feel the temperature drop as we go lower. I briefly worry I won’t be able to get back up them. Rita leads me into a large stone room it is cold and damp and smells all earthy. I gaze around taking in the cobbled floor and the vaulted stone ceiling. The walls are lined with row upon row of wine bottles, all dusty.
‘This is awesome,’ I mutter as I slowly turn, my mouth slightly open, it is just like how I imagined a dungeon to be, apart from the wine.
‘Oh, this isn’t the best bit, come on,’ Rita takes my hand and drags me further in. We enter another large room but this one has metal bars splitting it into a series of small prison cells. I walk up to a metal door and run my hands over it. I give it a shake like they do in films. It makes a satisfying metal clanging noise and I grin.
‘Amazing,’ I mutter, walking around imagining prisoners in here. I run my hand over the rough stone walls. I wonder how many other people have touched these walls. As my fingers run along the rusted rings attached to the walls and I imagine what it must have been like to be chained to these walls.
‘You are so funny,’ Rita giggles. ‘No one was ever imprisoned in here it was built just for show and to store the estate wine,’ Rita explains sort of ruining the illusion, but I don’t honestly care they are still awesome.
‘What, no I’m not, this is awesome I have only read about dungeons in books and this is real,’ I beam at her as I walk around stopping next to her. ‘Thank you for showing this to me,’ I say gazing at her. She moves nearer and then I feel her lips over mine. I kiss her back. My hands on her hips her hands in my hair.
Pulling back she gazes at me. ‘They will be looking for you,’ Rita takes my hand and pulls me back to the stone stairs. Oh hell, I had forgotten about them. I start to climb them slowly, I let go of Rita’s hand as she charges forward. I get halfway and have to stop, holding my chest, wheezing. I bend over trying to catch my breath my vision has black edges as my brain is pounding in my skull.
‘Aaron, are you okay?’ Rita asks, a worried frown on her face. I can’t speak and just put my hand up indicating I need a minute, I try to take a deep breath, my chest really hurts, and I gasp in short breaths. This is the sort of pain that truly focuses the mind, I start the climb again. The pain in my chest is awesome and I feel lightheaded as sweat breaks out on my forehead. I will myself not to pass out, as falling down these stairs would make the pain in my chest the least of my problems.
‘It’s not far now Aaron,’ Rita puts her arm around my waist as I trudge slowly upward. I get to the top and sink on to the carpet Rita sits next to me and peers into my face as I take deep breaths, I manage to nod and finally manage a smile. Before the darkness closes in as I can’t breathe. I have no idea how long I lay there until I feel strong arms lift me up and a voice I recognise as Andrea, she is telling Rita off as she carries me back to my room.
‘Sorry Naomi I didn’t mean to hurt him,’ Rita sobs she holds my hand.
‘Rita we told you he was fragile,’ Naomi replies, her voice sounds annoyed.
‘He liked the dungeon, I forgot about the steps. I didn’t realise he wouldn’t be able to get up them again, I am really sorry. Will he be all right?’
‘Yes, he just needs oxygen again,’ Naomi sighs as Andrea kicks the bedroom door open and strides to the bed she lays me down and puts the oxygen mask over my face, I open my eyes and smile before drifting to sleep.