15 April 2007

Oxford Ostinato - Chapter 1 Part 3

Stan went back downstairs to the kitchen and a few moments later Ned let himself in through the back door.
"OK?" he asked as he filled the kettle, then took a plastic bottle of milk from the fridge.
"Yep." Ned was a taciturn man, a few years younger than Stan. He was solidly built, but it was all muscle that made up his bulk. He also kept his ginger hair very short, and his dark clothes were tidy but a little shabby.
"Go and have a look to see if our other guest is awake yet downstairs, will you?" Stan asked. "Then I'll fix us a meal."
Ned nodded and went out down the long passageway that ended in a staircase that led into the basement. He opened the heavy oak door quietly and looked over at the hospital trolley, then flicked on the overhead fluorescent lights. The figure lying on the trolley was almost as still as death, only the slight rise and fall of the sheet over her chest showing that she was actually alive. He could see that the woman's eyes were closed. He turned the lights off again and went back to the kitchen. He had no interest in the dark-haired woman who was strapped to the trolley, beyond the interest that was required of him by his master.
He went back to the kitchen where a mug of tea was waiting for him. Stan was busy frying eggs and bacon. Ned sat down at the table and drank some of his tea, before pulling a loaf of bread on a board towards him. He began cutting thick slices from it, which he buttered and piled onto a plate.
"I presume she's still sleeping then?" Stan asked as he lifted the eggs and bacon from the pan onto two more plates.
Stan served up chips and baked beans as well, then they settled down to their meal in silence.

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