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Page 2

Angela McMurray

Elsie was trapped… or so they thought. She nestled her chin into her collarbone and giggled. It was time to execute her plan. Her toes tingled knowingly and her pulse told her it was now or never. She stepped forward. Launching herself from her lookout and toward the thicket, her brittle body jolted down stone steps and across the warm asphalt of a near-empty car park. She quickly moved past the skip, piled high with twisted wheelchairs, dirty bed sheets, old mementos too distressed for the local Salvo’s. Gaining momentum, she slipped into the green and brown and grey of the trees.

She walked for a minute but couldn’t go at this pace for long. Stopping and gasping for breath, she ducked down behind a rose bush. It radiated strong perfume and snagged her pale blue nightie, the one Roger gave her on their last Christmas together. He’d chosen it after realising it perfectly matched her eyes. It seemed a lifetime since they were last together; God, she missed him so much.

Face wet with nostalgia, she blinked at the sunlight, remembering why she was panting. She reasoned with herself to stop just for a minute, lowering gently onto the cool grass, hiding. Just a short rest, she thought. A size fourteen cloud lazily hovered over the sun, blocking the warmth to her aching back

Inhale for three, exhale for six. The longer exhales slowed the heart rate; Elsie knew that from nursing school. She smirked. She was out! She’d been planning and scheming with Roger for months, years even. And now she would meet him, under the clock at the station where the memory of their first kiss was created, moments after he’d said “I’m with you for life”. Carol had already started to grow behind her navel at that point but that was never the sole reason they sealed the deal. Never.

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