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Andrea tripped over the lucky pocketbook before silently flicking on the kitchen light and looking around. She was pleased Robbie was delighted about the driving test. Yet the house felt distant to her and he even more so.


A smudge-dimmed crystal on windowpanes – the earth through Arctic moulds was turning itself on. Sssnoring. Suddenly interrupted, a bin lorry crunching harsh boxes and glass. Robbie gargled into life turning to his mobile phone, futurist bright. Then everywhere was bright and shimmering up Robbie’s eyeline and he needed a wash and a bowl of something. These embers of winter inspired him – having to struggle to wake seemed to spark him, the battle manifested itself inside him, and he wanted to beat the frosts and achieve. Yet mornings held a gloopy mass without Andrea, he stuck to the bed as though it were a sheet of glue. His skin turned frosty changing from a ragged shirt into some version of ‘English’ daywear. Tripping all the way to his rented car, with is hand he sucked the platitudinal strip into his jacket pocket but it fell to the floor and it required a second pluck.

His vehicle took on the form of a giant glacier mint; just sat there on a Northern drive. Then driving. Pathways re-trodden, familiar buildings solemn, statues peering down along the route. Colours victorious to the senses – emeralds, violets, the ones changing shapes and shades. They made Robbie feel really romantic yet he didn’t know what to do with those feelings. He wanted it to be Christmas so those sensations would have something to bounce off. The lucky pocketbook perched on the front passenger seat and fluttered like a nice dream or perfect memory. Robbie sang along to the latest heart-wrenching sing-a-long by the latest melancholic post-punk-pop indie band, which was playing on the radio. Were those sentiments real, he thought. Are they only sentiments because I think they are? Did the band write those words for me? With mad eyes he continued to get deep with the falsetto and every verse brought in the odd percentage of daylight. He rattled past more monuments, the affirming brickwork proof of the pudding.

And all of the time Robbie was not really watching: instead using just the memory version of this familiar landscape. The music almost silent now – the flicker of heard voices. That’s when he decided to take a grab at the pocketbook, a tiny little peek. The silliest of motions at the silliest of times. And when the car took a slight jolt what he didn’t see was the articulated lorry about to smash into him and cut the rental vehicle to pieces.

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