A Pit Stop

“Are you embarrassed by me, Grant?”

Josh’s voice is quiet; that low, growling pitch that, depending on the circumstance, either has Grant pleased he’s rarely on Josh’s bad side, or falling to his knees in reverent worship the way only he gets to worship Josh.

“What? ‘Course not,” Grant replies quickly, wondering where Josh is going with this, and also what he’s done wrong. He’s been so tense about taking Josh home to meet his family, that he’s spent the week leading up to it overthinking every step, and overplanning every word.

“Then why,” Josh continues, slowly, making Grant’s heart thud loud, “do you repeatedly keep stepping away from me, as though I am not to be seen with you?”

Grant darts his eyes down the aisle of the supermarket they’re in and steps away from the cart he’s pushing, hands dropping to his sides. “Josh,” he begins, guiltily, trying to work out what to say, and coming up with nothing.

He feels tight, on edge being in his hometown, that’s full of narrow-minded people he’d avoided as much contact with as possible when growing up. And though his parents and sisters have welcomed Josh with open arms, there’s been several sets of other disapproving eyes on them wherever they’ve been. So perhaps he is holding back; not reaching for Josh in the usual affection he does when they’re back in their own home. He’s not meaning to do it, but if he’s hurting Josh by doing it—which Grant knows he must be doing from the look on his face—then he’s got to snap out of it, meant or not.

“Shit. Sorry, Josh. It’s not intentional at all,” and to prove his point, Grant leans over to Josh and gives him a sweet, apologetic kiss. Josh remains as still as stone.

“I’m sorry,” Grant whispers against Josh’s lips, then kissing along his cheek, and the edge of his jaw where he feels it clench beneath him. He has no problem with being seen with Josh in public, not one.

Josh nudges him until his back is against the shelves behind him, and Grant is convinced the entire thing rocks from the force of it. But he’s not caring at all; he’s too busy trying to keep up with Josh’s tongue as it fights its way around his mouth, and Josh’s hips as they grind up against him in claim.

Here? Do you have to, Grant?”

Grant feels Josh’s mouth pause, feels the indignance of being interrupted churning through his entire body, before he steps away from Grant and straightens his shirt for him from where he’s rucked it up. Josh turns away, indifferent, walking down the aisle behind Deacon, the owner of the store, who stands, glaring at Grant.

“Grant,” Deacon hisses, reaching up and covering his eyes in a sure sign of trying to keep his tongue in check. “I’ve got no problem with you or your boyfriend. But that shelving’s on its last legs; getting the whole place refurbed next month. And if that thing collapses on someone the other side with you two doing… whatever you were about to do, it’s on your head.”

Grant’s face burns with how much he’s blushing. Deacon’s been serving him since he’s been old enough to go to the store by himself. He mumbles an apology, bows his head to avoid eye contact, and pushes the cart to the checkout, where Tina, the store assistant helping Deacon, beams at him in mirth as she rings up his purchases.

Josh is folded armed and flush-cheeked against the side of the car when Grant gets outside, glancing at him guiltily as he begins to fill the trunk.

“I didn’t mean to embarrass you in front of—”

Grant presses Josh up against the car and kisses him hard, humming softly as Josh’s arms loop around him.

“I know you didn’t,” Grant agrees when they pull back, nuzzling against him.

“I know I shouldn’t let myself get insecure about this kind of stuff, and—”

“Don’t worry about it,” Grant smiles, kissing him again. “I’m sorry I did anything to make you feel insecure.”

Josh sighs, nodding, fingers toying with Grant’s shirt as they always do when he’s feeling a little out of his depth. But then he’s kissing him again, and this time it’s gentle, taking what they need from each other and forgetting everything else. And when they pull back again, there are easier smiles for them both.

“I still want you,” Josh tells him with a squeeze around his waist, and intent in his eye that leaves Grant swallowing awkwardly.

“And you can still have me,” Grant promises with a wink. “Just… maybe not right here.”

“It’s not like we can go back to your parents and disappear upstairs with some lame excuse,” Josh sighs, his thumb sneaking in between them, discreetly brushing along his length.

“No, it’s not,” Grant agrees, wide-eyed that Josh would even do that in the middle of this parking lot when he doesn’t ever do stuff like that back home. But then he gets an idea that’s likely to get them both into trouble, and he can’t think of anything else. “C’mon.”

Grant drives them to the edge of town where there’s a mid-sized restaurant sharing a parking lot with a new supermarket he’s adamant wasn’t here the last time he visited. Grant grabs Josh’s hand the moment they’re out of the car and tugs him forward, keeping his head down, determined not to see anyone he knows. He drags him inside, then once more into a restroom, and firmly bolts the door behind them.

Josh’s eyes are wide in surprise for all of a second, but then there’s a triumphant smile on his face. And as he saunters towards Grant he’s already unbuttoning himself, never taking his eyes off Grant’s, pressing on his shoulders wordlessly asking him to kneel, then utters a single instruction. “Suck.”

Which of course, Grant does, more than willingly. He pushes down Josh’s jeans and boxers further, gripping his fingers into his cheeks and kneading one minute, then cupping his balls gently the next. He licks, sucks, and teases in all the ways he knows Josh likes, then pulls off him to suck his own fingers into his mouth, and slowly presses one into Josh’s hole as he takes him back in his mouth.

Josh grunts, rocking forward a little as Grant strokes his finger slowly in and out whilst lapping his tongue over his head. But Josh wants more, apparently, because he pulls Grant up abruptly, backing him against the door and kissing him hungrily, as he unbuttons Grant’s jeans and shoves them down, boxers and all, as far as they will go.

He strokes him a little, grinning at the groan Grant gives in response, and then turns to look around the room in a sort of panic. Relief is instant; his eyes fall upon a vending machine, and he hits it in a way that makes a packet of lube and three strawberry flavored condoms fall out into the sink below. Grant’s cock twitches at the sight.

Josh tosses the condoms away—one of the many perks of being in a committed relationship for coming up to three years now—and turns back to Grant with a look of pure intent. Grant gulps at the sound of the packet being ripped open, and Josh does this magic thing that Grant loves; at least, he thinks it’s magic, it feels magic even though it’s probably not. But Grant is babbling to himself either way as Josh systematically slips his fingers slowly inside him one at a time, in time with his tongue thrusting into Grant’s mouth. Grant rocks down on Josh’s fingers, giving a little whine when the angle strikes just right against his prostate.

“I need to see you,” Josh says hastily, before somehow pulling one of Grant’s legs free so he’s standing with his clothes flapping around the other leg only. And then Grant’s holding on to whatever he can, as Josh lifts and spreads him wide open, slowly pressing into him with a long, appreciative groan.

Josh pauses for just enough time for Grant to adjust then is staking his claim, as fast and hard as he can without breaking either Grant or the sink he’s somehow gripping on to and fucking Grant up against. It’s not the most comfortable of positions, but it works. It’s efficient, hitting all the right angles in all the good spots, with them both muffling their groans in each other’s necks, just about conscious of the noise traveling beyond the door of the restaurant bathroom.

After, when Josh wipes Grant down, swiping away his come from between their chests with the bathroom tissue that’s sticking to him in chunks, the look in Josh’s eye is smug and thankful. They straighten each other up both grimacing at the mess they’ve made of each other, mumbling about how good a shower would be right now if they could only find an excuse for it when they get back to the house.

When they’re outside, Josh presses Grant gently against the wall outside the bathroom with one last long kiss, humming against his lips before pulling back with a smile.

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Baggage

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This room is bare now. The stripped bedding lays at the foot of the bed, the curtains sit drawn back into their ties, and the thick pine wardrobe looms ominously as though it will topple at any moment.

My luggage is packed and out in the hallway, and the tied-up bin bag waits to be deposited in the refuse bin at the end of the gravel drive.

I sigh, and reach my hand down to the baggage at my feet.

“What are you doing with that?” you say, accusation in your voice.

I feel my throat seize up against the words that want to retaliate something snappy. I swallow, and settle for, “You know.”

My eyes are averted but I can feel you frown.

“I do know. That wasn’t my question. My question was, what are you doing with that?”

My fingers close in tight as if to grip a handle and I look down at my white-knuckled fist. “You know exactly what I’m doing with it. This goes wherever I go.”

I raise my eyes defiantly to yours; it doesn’t last long. You step closer, a gentle hand catching me just below my elbow and warming my skin as though I were standing out in the sun. But it’s not quite enough.

“We’ve been over this. It doesn’t need to go anywhere with you. You don’t need it, it doesn’t help you to keep carrying this around everywhere you go.”

“Oh yeah?” Now I’m angry, and rapidly justifying my reasons for it to myself. “I’m just supposed to leave this huge part of my life here and walk away, like it’s no big deal?”

Your face grows sad, your hand slips away from my skin, and now I feel nothing but guilt.

“That’s the point. You don’t need to keep dragging this with you. It doesn’t need to be a part of you anymore. Any loyalty you feel to it is unnecessary and you know that. Why won’t you let go?”

“Because. Telling me to leave all this stuff behind is a bit like telling me to cut off a limb or tear off my skin. I don’t know how.” I feel my voice breaking and hate myself for it, especially as tears threaten an appearance.

“You do know how. You do. You just keep giving it what it wants. You keep fueling this fire and you let it engulf you time and time again. Why do you need to keep burdening yourself with this? Why won’t you believe that you deserve better?”

The baggage, which up until this point has remained dormant, decides to make its point.

You don’t deserve better. You are worthless. And you know, you aren’t anything without me. I’m the only thing that stops you from being the complete retard you actually are. I’m the only one who knows you, the real you. And if you think for one stupid second that you can just discard me after all this time, you’re a bigger fucking idiot that I ever took you for. I AM you. You don’t get to let go of me.

I swallow uncomfortably, avoiding your gaze, but it finds me anyway. You hands are suddenly somehow resting on either side of my face and you hold me there as though I were something precious.

“I know that look,” you say. “I know you’re hearing something. I know something is belittling you and fighting with you. Your eyes flicker like there’s an alarm sounding every single time it happens. Don’t you think I know you well enough by now to know when it’s happening?”

What does he know about you? He knows fuck all about you, or how ridiculous a person you are. If he knew the real you for even a second he would turn and run away from you in disgust. You are nothing. A big fat waste of space nothing that has just managed to fool him into thinking you’re something you’re not. And you, you believe him. Fool.

The conflicting voices confuse me, as they always do. So I do what I always do in this situation: I say nothing, and hope the conflict goes away.

You sigh, and the sound of it pierces as though you had rained shattered glass down on me. I watch as you rub a tired hand over your face. I wait for you to tell me you’ve had enough, to admit I’m too much trouble, and that you’re finally, finally giving up on me like I always say you will.

But you don’t.

You smile, and nudge my arm with your elbow.

“Well. If you’re insistent on taking this with you, then I insist on carrying it with you.” You wag a finger in my face and wink, and I grab it, twisting it round so that your hand slides into mine. “For now,” you continue. “But it’s going. It’s getting left behind at some point. Deal?”

The baggage does something it rarely does; it feels panic. It feels fear, and for once, it knows what it is to be threatened with being left behind. But it’s cocky.

Yeah, but for how long? He won’t put up with your shit. And I can shout louder and scream harder than anyone. I’m not going anywhere. Don’t you ever, ever think you get to be rid of me. You don’t deserve happiness and you never did.

I feel another surge of anger. I look at you watching me, reading my face, waiting.

We’ll see, I tell the baggage, we’ll see.

I smile, brighter than I feel, and head out of the room, followed by both my past and my present.

Tainted By Our Choices – Extract

 

Tainted By Our Choices Edit 2

Jack stretched up just enough to peek down through the tinted glass of his office window at the protesters gathered outside holding hand painted placards and could only bring himself to sigh. They had moved in that morning, encroaching on all the best parking spaces in the parking lot and chanting angry slogans that Jack thought perhaps were kind of funny but would do nothing to stop what was going to happen.

The fracking would be going ahead, whether anyone objected to it or not. Works had all been approved, reams upon reams of paperwork signed and countersigned, and if some bureaucracy involving clandestine deals and exchanges of money between those further up the chain and the local authorities had happened, well. It was absolutely nothing to do with him. Jack had done his job. He had produced the environmental report that had helped win them the contract, carefully detailing all of the possible risks and hazards involved, right down to potentially affected species in the local vicinity, and models indicating the likelihood of contaminated water coming into contact with nearby residential supplies.

With another sigh, Jack looked over his mostly-completed work for the morning and pushed himself back from his desk, spinning one full circuit on his chair before coming to a stop, then doing the same the other way. He stood with an exaggerated stretch, wandering over to rattle the cafetiere and frowning at its betrayal when he found it to be empty.

With every intention of topping up from the coffee machine in the break room, Jack made his way there, the voices drifting out to him immediately changing his mind. He took a brief stop in the restroom and gave himself a quick glance over in the mirror as he washed his hands, tugging at his hair and telling himself that lighter color was definitely blond, not gray, in his usual brown.

Biting down on his lip as he debated with himself with himself, Jack decided on a local bakery with excellent coffee and even better cakes, then shrugged into his suit jacket and headed out. If he was staying late as usual to go over those complex habitat surveys for their most recent site acquisition, and had to survive the dreaded afternoon meeting, caffeine and sugar would be essentials to get him through his day.

With a carefree jog, he took the stairs down, noting with no real surprise that the chants outside grew louder and even angrier the closer he got to the exit. Giving a brief nod to the receptionist Jack stepped out into the bright, sunny morning, shielding his squinting eyes behind sunglasses from both the sun itself and the attention of those protesting. His face became a neutral mask as he passed the group buzzing like irate bees over to his right, hoping they wouldn’t pay him any attention. This wasn’t his first experience with opposition against what the company did and he’d learned early on to feign indifference, despite what he might really think.

A mop of messy black hair caught his attention, though, as it always did, whispering to him to take a look just in case. Jack’s gaze turned casually in the group’s direction as he continued walking, coming to a complete, shuddering stop and ripping his glasses off in disbelief as he watched pale blue eyes look him up and down in contempt, then spark with recognition before narrowing in quiet fury. His stomach sank and his mouth grew dry, and the only sound Jack could hear in that moment was the misplaced shriek of the crashing of waves.

1993

On a clear day, when the sky was the brightest blue and the reflection the sea gave back just as vivid, it made Jack feel like he could stare out at the horizon forever and never know where one started and the other began. The waves roared away any sense of unrest he might be feeling, waxing and waning with soothing sounds that never ceased to keep him calm.

Jack had been visiting this beach since before he could even walk, crawling along the sand and fisting it up into his chubby palms, squealing at the crunch and squeak of it between his fingers. He remembered helping his little brother build his first sand castle and watching the water lick it away one misshapen turret at a time. He remembered a red checkered picnic blanket pinned down beneath a cooler box to stop it blowing away, and laughter as he chased a corner of it that got repeatedly caught up in the breeze. Happy memories were what Jack had when he thought of this place. Happiness and home.

Today was not a clear day. The normally creamy colored sand was painted with jet black slickness, foam churning up gray against the shoreline. As if in sympathy the sky was dull and flat, clouds outlined with dirty smudges that bled into one another. It seemed to Jack in that moment as though all the color had been drained from the world. The waves rolled in as they always did, as they always had, but on that day, could do nothing to bring stillness to Jack, as each crest spewed out further victims of the oil slick everywhere he looked.

Though surrounding him was a flurry of activity, with rescue workers rushing about clad from head to foot in once white hazmat-like suits and carrying bird after bird away to cleaning stations further up the shore, the only noise that got through to him, that broke Jack’s continual horror at what he was seeing all around him was one of heartbroken, hiccupping sobbing.

A boy knelt off to his right, gently stroking his fingers over a bird whose head, he had rested across his lap at an unnatural angle. The oil from the bird’s feathers left glossy rivulets of black running down the sides of his thighs, and he continued his gentle path along its back as though touch alone could bring it back to life. A trembling hand ran over the flat of the bill, tracing against the curved tip that suggested a hint of its natural red color beneath the poisonous black that every other inch of the bird was coated in like a terrible second skin.

Jack looked at the boy’s mass of messy hair and decided it was the exact same shade as the oil staining his fingers. He stepped closer to him, his own heart heavy despite what he’d been witnessing all morning. His footfall caught the boy’s attention, and when he looked up at Jack with a quivering lip and piercing blue eyes rimmed red with tears, Jack felt an inexplicable need to bring him comfort.

Now

“Dylan,” Jack choked out, utter disbelief rippling through his voice as he continued to stare at him open-mouthed. Dylan glowered back at him, dropping the oversized placard he was holding down to waist height and resting his hands along the top of it in a fierce grip. He glanced up behind Jack at the office complex snorting in derision before dropping his eyes back down to Jack’s face in blatant scorn.

“You work here?” he asked, incredulous, a furious glare pinning Jack in place.

“Yeah,” Jack mumbled, and for a second he felt determined not to show any of the shame that surged through him just from being in Dylan’s presence. He managed a full three seconds of maintaining eye contact then found his gaze dropped to the tarmac beneath their feet.

“How the hell did you end up in Houston? Working here of all places?” Dylan demanded, so full of anger Jack struggled not to take a step back from it.

“I-”

“So, this is what you’ve become, huh?”

“Dyl…” Jack pleaded, lost for any other words to say. What was he supposed to say? What could he, after all this time, without it sounding like a string of poor excuses?

As though reading his mind Dylan rolled his eyes, glaring back at him with ice lighting those eyes that Jack had first stared back at so long ago. “Thought you wanted to change the world, Jack? Not rip it apart from the inside out,”

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Whatever Comes First

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Matthew isn’t looking for a relationship. Ask him, and he’ll say it’s because between work and studying there’s just no time. Ask his best friend, Sarah, and the story is a little different and involves a failed relationship that left him raw. 

Enter Joel, a childhood friend of Sarah’s recently back in the area. He’s not looking for love, either, but he’s not adverse to the idea of a little fun. Uncomplicated and on the same page: what could possibly go wrong?

Whatever Comes First. New book on Less Than Three Press.

 

As Nature Intended

 

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

Read here

The Forest

Bark and branch and trunk and twig and leaf and phloem. Trees are more than these component parts, as are we. Skin and synapse and cell and cilia and membrane and muscle; the sum of us. And we as people become communities, societies, civilisations. Yet we are not trees. We do not flourish if we are not forests. We do not grow taller by blocking out the light of others. We do not suffocate neighbours with our roots. And yet we do. Weeding out what is different, then fighting with ourselves for what remains. We could be so much more.

In The Car

They have Josh’s younger brother staying with them for a long weekend, and in a surprising display of modesty, Grant had arrived home Friday night to a murmur from Josh about adjoining bedroom walls, barely able to contain a burst of laughter for Josh acting so out of character demure and only greeting him with a brief kiss on the cheek. But Josh’s comments about needing to keep their hands to themselves in Toby’s company, is apparently easier said than done for Josh. Because every spare second Toby’s been out of their sight, Josh is on him like a man starved. Grant’s not complaining, obviously, but he is thoroughly amused.

Toby hasn’t been out the car more than a second to pick up a book he’s ordered when Josh’s hand is in Grant’s jeans. Grant gulps in surprise, but he can’t help respond to Josh as he does, every single time. Besides, it’s technically been a few days.

Josh smirks knowingly over at him, pauses for a moment to lick his hand, then starts again, squeezing and pulling and stroking Grant in all the ways he’s learned will make him whimper the most. Grant’s head thumps back against the seat, his half-hearted protest long dead in his throat. His eyes drift down to watch Josh’s hand on him, and he moans, spreading his legs as far as the denim and confined space will allow.

Josh smears precum down his length, and Grant lets out a mumbled curse. He has a single thought of what a mess he’s about to make, but it seems Josh is a mind reader, because his mouth is then down and on him in less than a second.

Grant clenches and unclenches his hands, letting out a single grunt as he tries to writhe in his seat. He can’t move far; he’s being kept firmly in place by Josh’s forearm pressing hard into his thighs to keep him in place. Josh’s tongue swirls over his head, and he takes a moment to grin up at Grant, before sucking him down again. Grant lets out a grunt in response not having any words left in him.

He watches Josh bob his head up and down, feels himself building, wonders at his luck, and then comes with a soft huff of a groan, closing his eyes to the parking lot they’re idling the engine in since Toby had insisted he wouldn’t be long enough for them to have to pay to park.

Josh sucks him dry, roughly wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as he sits back up, and then reaches over to re-button Grant, who feels like he might not even be able to drive.

When Toby returns to the car, he has to search for it, surprised that they’ve pulled into a space instead of idling by the side. He ducks to peer inside and finds Grant snoring softly in the front seat, and Josh curled against the window with his eyes closed and a smile on his face.

Josh cracks one eye open as though he feels Toby watching, and his face morphs into a smug smile, seconds before he realizes he’s doing it. When his cheeks light up with blush, Toby snorts, thinking his brother still see him as a kid, and doesn’t know exactly what him and Grant would usually be doing if he wasn’t staying with them. He yanks the car door open hard enough to startle Grant awake, grins at him when he looks around, and stretches out on the back seat with a long suffering sigh.

No Way Out

The key turns in the lock of the front door and even from all the way up here, through wood, metal and plasterboard, it revs the engine of your heart, pounding it into fearful fight or flight life.

The duvet, moments ago warm and faking safety, now feels part clammy with fear and part shackled prison.

You’ve timed it. From key in door to foot in bedroom doorway takes around four minutes. So you have four minutes to go over your options.

One, lay there, pretend you are asleep. Sometimes that works.

Two, spring into elated partner-mode and greet them mid-stair, praying for a happy mood.

Three, just pray. To what, to who, you’re not quite sure anymore.

Four, check out. Go numb, passive, submissive, limp. You once learned in a talk on car accidents in school that you should never tense for impact. It only causes more damage.

Time does that cruel dance it often does where four minutes feels like both four seconds and four years simultaneously.

You’ve had time to go over your options and now you go over your whys.

Why is this happening?

When did everything go so wrong?

What did I do wrong?

Will tonight be the night that I…

A dry swallow is followed by a forced, shallow breath, and you screw your eyes up, wishing yourself away, anywhere, any other life.

Your mind races back to earlier, sunnier days when touch meant love, not bruises, and looks of promises for later meant cries of wanting, not of hurting.

When did it all go wrong?

When did you go wrong?

Memories of the way your left eye teared up and swelled, your cheekbone reverberating painful shoots up through your skull and down through your teeth. Of the agony of straightening up from the cramping bruising of your stomach and the Tim Burton-style rainbow of black, blue and yellow that you inspected later, wincing as the arnica you dabbed on got into your broken nail beds. Of how you should probably get that damp patch under the window at the bottom of the stairs checked; it’s funny what you notice when you’re winded, on your back, after falling down a full flight of stairs.

This is your fault.

You did this.

You made this happen.

There is no other way.

Memories of the vicious words in your ear reminding you to keep silent. Of pointed remarks in front of neighbours and possessive ones under the gaze of the A&E nurse. And your fake smile. Spread so wide you felt your cheeks might split open. Which they have done, from time to time.

No way out.

From the pillow through half-hooded eyes you watch as the handle on the door slowly lowers and the bottom of the door skims in deceptive gentleness against the soft carpet beneath it.

You hold your breath.

Please.

Let it be a good mood night.

(Originally on Inkiit and Tumblr)

Nothing More

It’s the wind. It’s the extractor fan rattling, a stiff breeze coming in through the closed front door. The cold whisper over your shoulders nothing more than a blast of cold air.

It’s the building. It’s the neighbours shuffling furniture, the brickwork expanding in the sun’s heat, poor workmanship that’s led to uneven, creaky floors. The knock on the desk beside you nothing more than its wood settling.

It’s you. Your overactive imagination sees shadows when there are none. Your irrational thought that’s conjuring disembodied sighs. And that prickling feeling over your skin is only because you’re overthinking. This feeling of not being alone nothing more than a trick of the mind.

But what if it is something more?

Who would you tell? Who would listen? Who wouldn’t scoff at the ideas that put an extra beat in your heart?

Out of the corner of your eye, the curtain twitches, a faint shimmer beside it looks like a person’s silhouette, and it feels as though it’s turning to you, and watching, just as hard as you’re watching back.

It’s your imagination. Nothing more than a trick of the light and an overactive mind. Nothing more than that.