“You did really well” exclaimed Ray. Ray turned his head towards Henrik who was holding a switch blade to Helen’s throat, and nodded for her release.
Helen was once again in shock, shivering firstly from the feeling of cold, sharp metal resting hard against a main artery, and shivering from the cold wet droplets trickling down her body. Henrik had been sent into the bathroom to pull Helen out of the shower to both call Michael, and keep to Ray’s schedule.
“Now go and get dressed and I’ll see you in the parlour in two.”
“But where are my clothes?” Helen asked.
“Oh right, I forgot, your old clothes were thrown away… they had been spoiled by blood. But, if you go back into your room and open up the wardrobe, you’ll find a pile of clothes…” Ray stopped, smiled and gave a cheeky laugh “…and they’re just your size” he ended gazing in a different direction. “Now, one and a half.”
Helen flew into action, running down the passageway with a dripping towel, into the bedroom and over towards the wardrobe. Upon opening the doors, to her amazement was every style of clothing she could possibly want, stylishly cut jeans, fitted tops, shoes, skirts, dresses… “How the hell did he measure me so quickly?” Helen whispered. Yet, aware of the time she pounced into a shorter, cargo-style summer skirt, navy blue fitted top, and pulled her hair back with a hair tie that had been placed neatly on the dressing table. Without looking in the mirror, or making any final adjustments, Helen was back in the parlour, ready to find out what was going on.
She entered the room to find Ray sitting in a large arm chair, quite close to an over extended window. Behind where Ray was sitting stood his loyal watch dog Henrik. The contrast in the two was quite astounding. Henrik must have been in his mid-thirties, with the hair and physique to have passed him for a modern day Viking. Ray on the other hand, had been softened by the years. His middle-aged face showed the lines of his years, his once dark hair was now filtered with grey, but his eyes, his eyes were huge hazel green pools of knowledge, and something else.
Ray noticed her dreaming and began impatiently “sit down Helen.” Helen sat on the nearest chair obediently. Ray turned towards Henrik, “Henrik, you can go and make us a cup of tea”, immediately he left. Ray remained relaxed in his chair “move your chair closer Helen, I want to speak with you.” Once again Helen followed his directions obediently. “Now, why do you think we have brought you here Helen?” the professor in Ray began to shine through.
“To be very honest sir, I really have no idea. I mean I’m flattered and…”
“Flattered, even though we kidnapped you and shot two of our drivers?”
“Oh, but you didn’t shoot them, Henrik did. I just feel perfectly safe.”
“You do?” Ray smiled “who do you think Henrik is? He’s a puppet, my puppet, nothing more, nothing less, and if he’s shot anyone it’s because I told him to.” Helen remained seated and calm, not quite computing what Ray was trying to explain. “Do you understand?”
“Yes, but… no, but…” Helen still didn’t quite get it.
“You have something I want Helen.”
“But I returned your book.”
“It’s not a book Helen…” Ray was quite astounded, and somewhat disappointed that she was not, what he had believed to be conniving and intelligent. To try a different tone this time Ray pulled his own chair towards Helen and took her hands in his, resting them on her knees. “Now Helen, what I want is inside your head,” for some reason, staring into Helen’s vacant eyes, this statement seemed painful to utter.
“In my head, but what?”
“Precisely…” Ray coughed. Ray had completely switched to imbecile explanation mode by this time. “Now Helen, you know the book that I lent you the time before last?”
“Your journal or the photographic text?”
“The journal I am meaning. Would there be any chance that you would be able to type up what you can read from that book?”
“But Ray, I had a problem with it. The book seemed to skip every other page. If I type it, it just won’t make any sense.”
“Just type it anyway.”
“Can’t you get a secretary for that?” Helen started feeling quite insulted that she was put through this hassle to do data-entry.
“No actually I can’t, I need you to do it for me.”
“But I need to finish my picture” Helen complained.
“Don’t stress about that, it’s here in the drawing room. When you get tired of typing you can work on your artwork.”
“You’re very organised, aren’t you?”
“I’ve planned this for a long time Helen.” With that, Ray sat back to observe her in wonder. “Helen, what did you think of me the first time you saw me?”
Helen blushed and smiled “that’s a really straight forward question, and I’m not generally the type of person to actually tell people how I feel.”
“Just say… I’m sorry that it’s rude, but I’m just curious.”
“Well, I thought you seemed kind, intelligent, I don’t know… just that.” Helen was about to end her sentence in “I guess” but became aware of how stupid she had already sounded up to this point.
“You do really well in all your courses, don’t you Helen?”
“I do fairly alright” Helen’s demeanour began to change, studies, work and art, she took intensely seriously.
“What spurs you on?” before Helen had a chance to answer, “You really do a lot don’t you? You exhibit, work, study until all hours, do you have a life?”
“Art is my life!” Helen snapped with emotion, she then calmed down a bit “this is my life. That’s why I can’t believe that I’ve been brought here… You’ve…” she began pointing “you’ve killed two people, and for what, for me to type up your fucking diary. There’s got to be something more to it than this. And, what about all these fucking bat-arsed questions?”
Ray sat back once again, this time much more satisfied. Helen was here. “Well?” Helen demanded. “You can’t read the pages I can in the journal can you?” Ray sat up in surprise. “Isn’t it true?” Helen gave a measured pause then leant in to whisper “if you had have known what was written on those pages, you wouldn’t have lent me the book.”
Ray was struck by silence as Helen sat back in her chair. At that moment Henrik entered with cups of tea and cake. Henrik bent down to fix Helen her tea, he began to ask “how would y…” and Ray interrupted “white with one sugar… for Helen.” Ray looked over at Helen as if to say, “isn’t it?” at this Helen slightly nodded in response. The two did not break eye contact. Both were painfully serious.
Ray finally removed the silence “why didn’t you say anything?”
“I thought it was fantasy and that there was nothing to say. I thought it may have been your sick form of code language, possibly lent to me by mistake…. And, I don’t know… in a way I felt too ashamed to tell you that I had noticed. But you can’t read it, can you? I don’t know what I’m asking, but I have to hear it.”
“No, I can’t. I can read the other pages, the ones that you can’t. By the sounds of it they seem to be of the opposite nature. Half is good and the opposite half evil.”
“Can’t anyone else read it? Why me?”
“Whoever wrote it can read both parts. Why you, I… I think you know.” Ray began to become restless. He picked up his tea, drank a large gulp full and placed the cup on the table.
Helen stayed silent, she didn’t know, but she too was tired of sitting. She finished the rest of the tea she had been holding in her hands for the past several minutes, put the cup down, clasped her hands on her lap and waited for instructions. Ray stood up and started moving towards the door “follow me.”