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Word Count: 2,442
My Lovers Lover by Maggie OFarrellShe steps from the taxi pushing at the metal weight of the door clutching cigarettes change and the thorned stems of roses Sarah says something to her over the taxi roof and she half turns Shes aware too late of her foot catching on the granite curve of the kerb and the next moment she is airborne falling upwards Lily sees the world swivel on its axis her hair lighter than her flowing past her face her fingers shedding roses and spinning discs of coins As she arches through space she sees walking along the pavement towards her a man It seems odd somehow that he should be alone because he strikes her in that split-second shutter-snap moment as the kind of person who is rarely without others He walks with a peculiar emphasis as if trying to leave an imprint of himself on the air Then concrete and grit smack against her body and the skin is flayed from her hands At the touch of fingers tight as ivy on her sleeve she looks up His eyes are a surprising unambiguous blue The flowers are crushed beneath her seeping yellow pigment into her clothes He is helping her upright speaking to her asking her you all right are you hurt Her hands feel scalded raw and when she looks at them she sees beads of blood springing from the skin in neat rows Then Sarah has made it round from the other side of the taxi and is holding her arm pressing tissues to her grazes thanking the man When Lily looks round hes vanished My God Sarah says peering at her Are you OKYeah she says laughing now embarrassed Im fine Dont know what happened there And they walk through the night air towards the party A repetitive thrumming pulse of music is stretching at the walls of the building Inside the rooms and corridors are
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