X’s Photo

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In the doorway of her apartment, X shivers. She can’t put her finger on it, but she senses something’s wrong. Well, not wrong exactly, but there’s been a change. It’s in the air, and deeper than that, she feels it in her bones. Sniffing, she can make out the smell of wet fur. Wet fur and, and, the moon? Is it possible to smell the moon? She doesn’t think so, but in her mind’s eye, she can see it so clearly it makes her cross herself without realising. Stepping foot into the hallway, she kicks her way through a pile of flyers and bills and heads to the kitchen. Removing little Herbie from her pocket, she places him on the counter and gives him a few chocolate drops which he stuffs into his cheeks. Pointing her finger at him, his eyes grow wide and fearful. No moving from this here counter, you hear? You need anything, you squeak, ‘kay? Herbie understands. At least he does in his own little way. Letting out a squeak, he waddles over to the biscuit tin and sniffs. Happy with what he finds, he disappears behind it. Smiling to herself, she opens the fridge, and there it is, the unopened bottle of wine, just as she’d seen it in her dreams all morning long. Was it too early to drink? Glancing at the clock on the wall, she sees the time as being just after one. Looking back to the wine, she decides the answer is no and takes it in her hand and with the other twists off the cap. Tilting back her head, she downs a quarter of the bottle. When she’s done, she lets out a burp loud enough to make Herbie jump. Laughing to herself, she shrugs her shoulders and has some more. Well, I am thirsty, after all. Leaving the bottle out, she checks on Herbie and finds him curled into a ball behind the tin of biscuits. Taking the wine cap, she washes it beneath the sink and then fills it with some water before leaving it by his side. In case you get thirsty too. She needs a shower, and yet all she can do is plonk herself on the sofa in the living room. Sprawled out before the TV, she kicks off her shoes and closes her eyes as a breeze comes in through the window and dances upon her bare legs. She feels squiffy from the wine, and yet she can’t rest. Sitting up, she looks out the window unable to shake the strange feeling from inside of her, and at that moment, her attention’s drawn to cupboard in the corner of the room where her eyes rest upon his photo. Getting to her feet, she walks over and picks it up. She’d taken it not long after they’d first started dating. Some restaurant where he’d spilt a plate of curry in his lap. Studying that silly grin of his, she turns it over and reads the message he’d written on the other side, and then inspects the small sketch he’d left underneath. He never was much of an artist, she thinks, and yet as the face of the whiskered fox looks up at her, she feels lightheaded, and the photo slips from her fingers to the floor.

A Journal for Damned Lovers UK

A Journal for Damned Lovers US

Anthology UK / Anthology US

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