‘Aye, he does look better, best stop licking his hand and let him wake normally.’
I opened my eyes and saw the biggest man and dog sitting next to me. He filled the space normal people would leave and all was him and his dog.
‘Just take a while to get your senses back laddie.’ He gently urged. ‘You just need sometime and then you will be fine.’
What was the name of his dog, my lips would not say the words but it was important just then to know.
‘Baxter, son, that is his name and you know who I am.’ I did and that seemed very important.
Do they know it is Christmas was playing somewhere in the space beyond him. Is it Christmas already?
‘Thank you.’ I said from deep down and I was suddenly very happy I could say just that.
‘Oh you finally have your voice back, which is good now it is time to try and get you on your feet and out of here.’ Standing up he brought back that greying darkness.
Christmas time, don’t let the bells end. Home for Christmas. But how many mountains to cross, how many days will it take to be home? Home, that special place, safe a shelter from the war.
I need to try and find a way out from here, it is too dark and when I look I see no doors but I know he is still sitting next to me, shining like the sun and it is up to me now to find the exit. How many images will it take to finish the story and tell the truth? How many nightmares, tears, to have had enough?
‘Grandfather, where is Baxter?’ He does not hear as he sleeps in the chair next to me, hand down waiting to feel the touch of the softest, warmest animal a man would ever love. He does not seem so big now and the blur seems to be lifting. I remember the fall, the coming home party.
What a night. This pansy takes the photographs you want on you television and in your newspapers, this pansy has had to grow up into a man to take those photographs and people have had to die.
‘Wondeful, you are awake, you had us worried, how are you feeling?’ someone asks.
‘I feel strangely better, what a night.’
‘Four nights and at times you seem to want to leave us.’ different nurse explained as I realised I was very thirsty.
‘May I have some water please?’
Giving me the water I noticed Grandfather was no longer there but that I knew.