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The cord cuts into my wrists; he’s been practising new knots, I muse.

I watch him as he ties the last of them with a tight tug; such an innocent face when smiling, yet so cold when in repose.

I swing my hips around; at this very moment there’s a look of determination in those vagarious blue-green eyes, a sumptuous self-satisfaction verging on smugness.

Yes, he’s clearly not just pleased to see me in this . . . pressing position, he’s pleased with himself too.

I find myself laughing at this notion and he shoots an artfully raised eyebrow at me whilst tilting his head: a rhetorically questioning pose.

Now he’s double-checking his work off with purse-lipped force married to a sideways grin divorced of concern for me.

I smile and flex my fingers a little, their tips almost touching the damp old caravan’s sagging ceiling; pins and needles fizz as the circulation restricts.

This is new territory, boundaries are about to be crossed.

Somewhere in these woods.

I lift my right hip a touch and feel the sheathed stiletto tucked into the back of my jeans. Its blade rotates a little, uncertain what flesh it next might find. I have no such dilemma.

But such are the vagaries of a hyper-vigilant mind . . .

. . . that I wonder if we’ll ever find our way back home again, relive in exquisite detail the banal arrhythmical clack of recycling bins the neighbours put out on Tuesday evening whilst I scribbled a blue Post-it note to get the damn tumble drier fixed again.

Now damp towels lie abandoned in steel drum stillness . . .

. . . and something tells me that — much like the crocked Zanussi — there’s no turning for us.

A vixen screams and his stare turns to the filthy-curtained window.

Catching his lickerish gaze again, I realise I don’t care.

I rile him, play wicked as we rock on two flat tyres. Stiletto confidence is double-edged, though, and he knives me sardonically . . . ‘Huh, your looks are laughable’.

‘At times, unphotographable?’ I whisper, as he whips my belt away.

Safety here rides a thin grey line between the black and white . . .

That’s just how I like it.

An owl hoots eerily as an ownerless mouth — one which only after it has spoken reveals itself to be mine — cold and fierce in its perfunctory confidence, says:

‘Spin me’.

For those who are new to the Cloud, please read the information at the following link regarding the Simulcast Fragments. Thank you – Esme