The horror room

Southwick

I slide a key into the lock and turn the handle. I go inside. The horror room. The room where I exist.

There is a CircOlectrio orthopaedic bed, a chair and a small table. An en-suite bathroom contains a sit-in-bath, a toilet with a raised seat, a red emergency cord and a saucer of pot pourri. This extension to the bookshop had been added to house Ruth’s mother, who died a few days after moving in, having funded its construction. I’ve been here for the best part of three weeks. I’ve seen Ruth’s certificates. She wanted to look after me. She felt as if she had been chosen for the task because she had saved my life after the hit-and-run.

‘I found you on that B road, just on the edge of Bailey’s Hollow,’ she told me. ‘It was a miracle I was out at all that night. I shouldn’t have been. My God, neither should you. Terrible storm. Winds gusting hard, fast. Trees down all over the county. A Range Rover, or something similar I think it must have been. One of those big 4x4s anyway, going too fast, drifting out over the middle of the road. It clipped you. You flew through the air. It was hard to believe you broke so many bones when you looked as if you didn’t have any.’

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