Jamie has an intense nightmare
|Recap: After escaping from Pedro and Delilah Jamie headed for a nearby house, where he was reunited with Oscar. Things then took an unexpected turn for the worse when Evelyn and Diego announced a money making scheme at his expense. Their plan entails making Jamie’s abductors pay a ransom to get him back but never actually handing him over. It’s a risky plan which Jamie wanted nothing to do with.
He was introduced to a couple of Ukrainian friends of Evelyn and Diego’s; Anastasia and Dymtrus. They have agreed to act as Jamie’s protectors throughout the fake ransoming procedure. However, when they put him on the phone to talk to Pedro Jamie became suspicious that the person on the other end of the line was faking Pedro’s voice.
Fearing Eve and Diego might be lying about the fake ransom, and maybe have a more sinister reason for keeping him against his will, he escapes through their grandson’s bedroom window. He almost got away but got re-caught when he tried to retrieve his shoes from the veranda. As punishment for his desertion Eve confiscated Oscar for the night and slapped him across the face when he tried to stop her.
“Long before the universe began there was nothing at all,” regaled Anastasia, sitting on an arm chair she had borrowed from Eve’s living room. “Even though the nothingness was infinite, it actually had a centre; a midway point named Midi. Though all powerful, it only had itself and the nothingness to talk to.”
“Must have really sucked,” commented Jamie tucked up snugly in bed, wearing Grayson’s Toy story themed pyjamas that Eve had allowed him to borrow.
The ease with which Jamie almost fled had highlighted the need for tighter security. After much discussion it was decided someone should keep a constant eye on him to ensure he did not flee again.
Anastasia’s inflatable airbed had been strategically set-up parallel to the door way impeding the inward opening door. His only other means of escape was through the windows, but that meant somehow cutting through the wire mesh that Diego had covered them with.
“The more Midi thought about how lonely he was the worse it got, and then one day, unable to cope any more, he created an imaginary friend...can you guess what it was?”
“Something made of nothing?”
“No, he wanted something that was not made of nothing…so he created a teddy bear from his imagination to keep him company.”
“A teddy bear?”
“This was not just any old teddy Bear; it was a special teddy bear that would always be his friend. Midi named the bear Serenity.”
“Why did Midi call the bear Serenity?”
“Because that was the bear’s name…anyway, Serenity enjoyed having such an important and powerful friend like Midi. He tried hard to distract Midi from his pain with large sparkling diamonds that twinkled and massive balls of fire and colourful round rocks.
“Midi had never seen any colour other than that of the nothing. He begged Serenity to make more and more objects and cast them far and wide so all the nothings could enjoy and share the same experiences as he had. Serenity worked very hard but it was soon clear he could never make enough of these objects to fill infinity.
“Putting his thinking cap on, He came up with the idea of each one of them spinning round and even made large collection of them also spin as they were spinning, and this allowed the nothings to see all sides of most of the objects without having to go this that and the other way to enjoy a good look at them…”
Jamie’s eyes drew heavy and he felt himself drifting off to sleep. It had been a trying day. Contrary to his expectations, Eve’s apology never came; leaving him with the impression that her abuse was not the one-off over reaction he had assumed.
Anastasia’s voice faded. The room seemed to vanish and his subconscious transported him an expansive green pasture. Around him ambled a multitude of cows and nanny goats, chewing on the lush grass. His feet were shod in thorn jandals and pajamas had been usurped for a chocolate brown hooded robe. It hung down just above of his unclad knee caps, and was fastened in the middle by a length of white cord; like that of a monk’s.
“Come along Jamie, we can’t stay here too long” urged a familiar voice. He looked round and was surprised to see a much larger manifestation of Oscar, standing beside him on all fours. Its girth and size was comparable to that of a grizzly bear cub.
“Oscar?” muttered Jamie. “Where the hell are we?”
“Where it all began,” said Oscar.
“What’s with all the cows?”
“Part of the Milky Way construction Project…come on we’ve got to get out of here.”
“They’re after us.”
“The Wolverines of course,”
“There’s no time to explain. Quick, hop up on my back and we’ll be away.”
Though confused and full of questions, Jamie felt compelled to comply. He grappled with the bear’s thick fur whilst climbing up upon its back and settled into an elevated cantle and stirrups; pre-adjusted to accommodate his own stature. There was also a leather dog leash extending from one side of the bear’s neck to the other, which he gripped.
“Giddy up, go!” he cried.
“Hold on tight, my little friend.”
The bear gave a bellowing roar before heading off; slow and steady at first, negotiating its way around the cows, and then picking up speed when it reached an open rural landscape. Jamie tightened his grip on the reins as he bounced about in the saddle.
A low rumble sounded in the far distance. He peered over his shoulder and could see a small cloud of dust tailing them. His heart pounded and he felt apprehensive; but about what, he could not be certain.
“Are they the wolverines, behind us?” he asked.
“Yes and they’ll rip us apart if they catch us,” affirmed Oscar.
“Can you out run them?”
“I hope so, for both our sakes. “
They progressed swiftly; keeping a suitable distance from the wolverines. The terrain started getting steeper, but Oscar maintained his steady pace. Jamie continued bouncing and griping the reigns, pretending to be Gandalf on Shadowfax out on an important quest to save Middle Earth.
A sprawling flat wasteland came into view just over the crest of the rise. Its perimeter was barricaded with millions of orange road cones and danger tape. In the middle of this was a huge crater from which a web of conveyer belt protruded. Around the rim of this a fleet of trucks were -parked; similar to the ones Harvey, Deacon and he used to play with back at the Radcliffe household.
“Is this part of the milky way construction too?” inquired Jamie.
“No they’re mining for diamonds to take to the star factory,” explained Oscar, veering east of the barricade.
“That’s just silly.”
“You tell that to the ten and a half million diamond-miners.”
They continued on and as they did so, Jamie noticed a number of trees dotted about the landscape. Their numbers grew and before long he found himself in amongst a dense forest. Sunlight dimmed; obscured by the thick canopy of overhead branches. The temperature dropped and a frigid breeze cut through the robe; chilling him to the bone.
“Why are the wolverines after us?” asked Jamie.
“Midi threw you to them because you broke his camera” explained Oscar. “But I helped you escape.”
“How come I don’t remember any of this?”
“I have no idea how your absent minded brain works.”
“True that, but I just want to know…”
Jamie’s sentence was cut short as something snagged the back collar of his robe and lifted high up into the boughs of a Yew tree. Vines and gnarly limbs reached out and wrapped themselves around his arms and chest, leaving his legs dangling in mid-air. He struggled to free himself but the more he wriggled and twisted, the tighter the limbs became.
“Hold still Jamie; or it’ll squeeze the life out of you!” beseeched Oscar.
“What the hell is it?” cried Jamie.
“It’s called a Yew Crane. They snatch unsuspecting prey and trap them in their branches. Try to stay calm and I’ll summon a giraffe.”
“Illar, Narnu, Oompty-char!”
“This is insane…stop this nonsense and help me down from here.”
“Illar, Narnu, Oompty-char!”
“Stop it Oscar!”
Oscar’s chanting ceased and was replaced by the chaotic din of their pursuers. He stared down in horror as a sea of wolverines filled the forest floor; overpowering the bear before it had a chance to escape. Fluff and kapok showered in all directions.
The limbs and vines around his chest and arms slackened. He heard the sound of tearing material and he started slipping through the ill-fitting robe. Seconds later he plummeted toward the waiting wolverines.
Jamie woke with a start. His heart pounded and cold sweat seeped from his pours, saturating his pajamas; whilst welling tears spilt down his cheeks. He hated nightmares and this had been a particularly intense; the sort he used to be able to count on Catarina’s patience and empathy to settle him down from.
The room was strangely quiet. His mind briefly toyed with morbid notion Anastasia may have passed away in her sleep, until he noticed that the door was open ajar, letting in just enough light to display her now unoccupied bed.
“Anastasia?” paged Jamie in a loud whisper.
He waited a few seconds without response, and then tried again with the same result. She was no longer in the room; that much he was sure of. Quietly, ever so quietly he drew back the covers,climbed out of Graysons bed and headed for the door.
Jamie peered both ways down the darkened hall. He saw that the upstairs light was on and assumed Anastasia must have made a late night visit to the bathroom. Just how long she had been there and how long he had to her return was impossible to predict. Haste was imperative, but at time noise would draw unwanted attention.
After checking his surrounds again, Jamie started down the hall as fast as he dared. An unsettling aura loomed, as if forewarning him of some hidden danger. He felt like a luckless protagonist in a horror movie, exploring a haunted house; all that was missing was the spooky music.
A sudden faint whispering bought him to an abrupt halt. It seemed to be emanating from the living room, despite the absence of any lighting in that part of the house. He glanced back down the corridor and was relieved to note Anastasia’s continued absence. The darkest recesses of his mind suggested she may have been devoured by the wolverines.
His confidence in pulling off a successful escape was waning but he knew he had to at least try. Jamie took a few tentative forward and peered into the darkened living room. He could see a tall figure standing beside the window, clutching what appeared to be a teddy bear.
His love for Oscar was undeniable, but his present need for freedom had more prevalence. After all, Oscar was little more than imitation fur and kapok, as his nightmare had clearly demonstrated. His estranged family was real and he would willingly sacrifice any number of cuddly toys to reunite with them.
“Sorry buddy,” he thought to himself.
Jamie managed to sneak past the living room and made to the end of the corridor without being noticed. His trembling left hand reached up and carefully unlocked the front door and stepped out onto the veranda. He was pleased to note that the rain had ceased, though an icy breeze lingered, cutting through his pajamas and chilling him to the bone.
Then he was off. Leaping from the veranda he hastened down the pathway, scrambled over the gate and started down the road in the opposite direction of Pedro’s house. Seconds later he was dazzled by a pair of approaching headlights.