Crouching down to stroke the head of an inquisitive cat, I’m at first reminded of you, and then of the Croydon Cat Killer. What if someone looks out their window and thinks I’m him? What if an unruly mob forms and beats me to death on the streets where I spent so many days of my childhood living a blessed existence free from all that now ails me? This cat killer, y’know he cuts off the limbs of his feline victims then places them on the lawns and porches of their owners? He comes in the night, kills the little ones, and then scarpers. He’s done in more than four hundred now, including swans and owls, and his reign of terror stretches the length and breadth of the country. But he’s been stalking the local towns around me for some time. Harpenden. St Albans. Luton. It’s nothing to do with me, though, I swear. I like cats, and as mentioned, they remind me of you, which is why I seek them out and pamper them at every opportunity. So yeah, the other night I was watching The NeverEnding Story and remembered the time we watched it while spooning in my room. I had you by the throat and was choking you but you liked it so it was okay. You were struggling to breathe, but every time I loosened my grip, you would place your hand over mine and squeeze it tight again. The morning after, we were both covered in bruises from where we’d been pinching each other. I’d gone for your hips and breasts while you’d targeted my arms and legs, and of course, your throat looked as if you’d tried hanging yourself. Which wasn’t a million miles from the truth. What was the name of that flying thing? That big white goat thing from the movie? And that cat killer. You reckon he’ll start targeting people next? They almost always do so it wouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s still snowing outside, and somewhere out there your shadow’s calling for me to come out and play. Begging and pleading with those big, pretty eyes shining all obsidian-like in the darkness.