Great Granny Webster

Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood

Book: Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood Read Free Book Online
Authors: Caroline Blackwood
using my private room as if it was his private brothel ...”
    Apart from her need for a telephone, Aunt Lavinia had been very keen to get out of the public ward. “It could hardly be described as paradise. I was wedged between an old woman who was suffering from senile dementia and not at all attractive, with her toothless gums and her non-stop threats and mutterings, and an Armenian alcoholic who was exhibiting severe withdrawal symptoms which made her howl all night like a wolf ...”
    Once Aunt Lavinia was moved to her private room Dr Kronin soon came to visit her. She was asleep when he came in, because she had been given sedation, which made her feel very tired.
    She woke up to find herself in what she described as “a situation of total and unexpected nightmare.” Dr Kronin was bending over her bed. He was breathing heavily and kissing the bandages on her wrists. “Little fool,” he kept repeating in throttled amorous tones. “What made you do it?”
    She thought of screaming. She thought of slapping him across the face. But she felt too stunned to do anything. She closed her eyes, lay completely still and pretended she had gone back to sleep.
    â€œI think I must have been paralysed by rage,” Aunt Lavinia said. “I’ve rarely felt such secret fury as I felt at that moment. I literally wanted to kill that doctor. I’ve never felt quite such a strong blood-lust for any other human being. If I’d had a sharp implement to hand, I know that nothing could have saved Dr Kronin.”
    She had experienced his behaviour not only as a medical, but as a personal, violation of the most unforgivable nature. “He made me think that I was just about to burst a blood vessel,” Aunt Lavinia said. “It made me apoplectic to think that the same vile little man who had forbidden me to have a comb and a lipstick had dared to enter my private room in order to cover my bandages with his lascivious and perverted kisses.”
    In retrospect, Aunt Lavinia felt she had probably made a mistake in lying there for so long making no protest and pretending she was in a coma. She had hoped he might get bored and go away if he got no reaction from her, but her lack of response had in no way had the effect on him that she was praying for.
    â€œYou know how some men seem to find unresponsive women very arousing. We must never forget about necrophiles. Well, unfortunately Dr Kronin seems to have been a man of that inclination ...”
    Dr Kronin had started imploring her to open her eyes, to say something to him. He told her how beautiful she was, that he had wanted her from the first moment he had seen her in the public ward. “Poor sick soul. You need help. And I’m just the one who knows how to give it to you. I’ve helped other women in the same state as you—they loved it ... If you just relax and let me do what I want to do to you I can make you feel much better.”
    Aunt Lavinia gave an exaggerated shudder. “Can you imagine the horror of having to listen to all that kind of insanity. I didn’t know how far he would dare to go. But I can tell you, darling, I felt petrified ...”
    Despite her shut eyes, it had been all too clear to Aunt Lavinia from the sounds Dr Kronin was making that he was working himself up. His breathing was becoming increasingly heavy and impassioned. He kept lifting her deliberately lead-heavy arms and covering them with his hot wet kisses. “Damn you,” he whispered. “Why do I find women suicides so exciting?”
    She said that having first felt she was burning up with rage she then started to feel ice-cold. She had the sensation that she was lying naked in the snow somewhere near the North Pole and that any part of her body he touched might easily drop off from frost-bite.
    She kept wondering whether it would bring Dr Kronin to his senses if she started screaming for the nurses.
    â€œBut I was in this

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