Week eight bought with it a flicker of hope. He heard whispers in the corridors, he heard his name echo through the halls and there was a rumour that Billy would be going home.
He had been through painful physiotherapy, he had been introduced to his wheelchair; or his throne, as he liked to call it. Billy would pretend to be a wise old king; looking down on his subjects as they begged and fought for his attention. However, the nightmares were still constant and terrifying. The ghosts and ghouls were haunting him, their beady red eyes piercing his troubled soul. The janitor in the hospital was taunting him, whispering that he would kill him when he was asleep. The tall surgeon, who had chopped off the remainder of Billy's leg, mocked him whenever Billy's back was turned. He would tell his doctor friends that Billy's leg was on the mantle piece at his country retreat; pickled in a large glass jar for generation after generation to stare at.
Billy hadn't showered for nearly two months, his hair was getting long and matted and he refused to wash. His mother would beg Billy to brush his teeth, wipe his chin or even change his underwear, but Billy refused. He was ashamed of what he had become and felt no need to pamper himself with the cleansing and drying of a body that he despised. The anger inside him was bubbling, and the ghouls and ghosts that had once haunted him began to talk to Billy softly and respectfully. And he began to listen to them. He agreed with their whisperings; everyone was mocking him, everyone was looking at him and everyone was laughing.