Castor sat on the creaking bead and stripped his clothing. The blood from his wounds had already soaked through the bandages. Castor sighed. Every movement, every breath was painful. He wanted to sleep but even lying down would be too uncomfortable. Anneli sat beside him and held Castor’s hand.
“She was quite cruel to you. She knew you were hurt but she was still rough.”
“Yeah,” chuckled Castor, “that’s just how she is.”
“You should sleep Castor,” said Anneli softly. Castor looked at their entangled hands and a warm little light flickered inside him. “Alright,” he whispered and placed his forehead against Anneli’s. Anneli was not sure how to respond but nuzzled Castor back for a while. He placed the pillow against the wall for Castor to lean on.
“Does it hurt?” asked Anneli, fluffing the pillow.
“Yes, but I don’t think it can hurt any less,” remarked Castor with a weak smile.
“Do you want some water Castor?”
“No, it is fine. But come sleep,” Castor outstretched his hand to Anneli who hesitated.
“Helen does not want us to sleep in the same bed,” replied Anneli.
“Just ignore her, there is only one bed.”
“But you are hurt.”
“I doubt you will hurt me more than I already am.”
Anneli did not need a lot of coxing. He had been awake for over a day and the adrenaline had diminished. His body was tired and his eyelids grew heavier. Anneli crawled into the bed and lent against Castor, nestling his head in the crook of Castor’s neck. Castor’s warmth and the sound of his beating heart lulled Anneli to sleep.
BANG BANG BANG
Anneli woke up with a jolt. He had no idea where he was or how long he was asleep.
BANG BANG BANG
The sound again thundered at the door. Half asleep Anneli crawled over Castor and hopped to the door. He slowly unlocked the door. The door flung open and Helen marched into the room. She gave the tray she was holding to Anneli and slammed the door close. Anneli placed the tray on the small table and ate one of the small purple fruits. It was sweet but somehow both fibrous and gelatinous.
Helen stomped up to Castor, “here,” she said, placing three white tablets in Castor’s palm.
“What is it?” asked Castor, drowsily inspecting the pills.
“Hey Anneli, bring some water,” growled Helen. Anneli quickly poured some water, brought the glass to the bed and handed it to Castor.
“These are just painkiller. I’ll come later to re-dress your wounds and apply some more disinfectants.”
“Thank you Helen,” replied Castor weakly and drank the medicine. Helen placed her forehead against Castor’s for a moment. Anneli’s head constricted for a moment watching them. He did not understand this dark feeling but he knew he hated it.
“Sleep a bit longer and eat something. I talked to the captain, he said we can leave tomorrow morning. Lock the door behind me please, Anneli.”
Helen stomped out of the room and Anneli locked the door behind her. Anneli climbed onto the bed but Castor was already asleep so he curled up beside him.