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She Murdered Mortal He

When the fight was over she left the salon tent and walked towards the beach. The way through the jungle was signposted. It was not yet dark. She was not sure what to do. Everything was out of control. She wanted to think clearly, get her bearings. She wanted not to feel so lost, or to feel so lost that nothing more could be taken. Mostly she just wanted to leave their room. She followed the path through the bowed and necking trees. The air was heavy, greenly perfumed, and the avian calls were loud and greasy. The dust felt cool against her feet. She turned left, then right. The path wove through the brush. She stooped under low branches, careful, despite the surging recklessness, where she trod, not wanting to disturb snakes coiled under the leaves.

What’s wrong, she had asked him, stroking his back as they lay on the bed after their trip into town. You seem distracted.

Nothing, he had said a few times.

But she had persisted. What? What is it?

After a while he had turned.

Something feels different, he had said. Don’t you think so?

They had been together a year. He had said nothing like this before. She had knelt at the corner of the bed and put her arms round herself. He had begun breathing hard, blowing out, as if what he was saying, or was about to say, was heavy labour.

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