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So sudden you didn’t have time to put your hair on. So loud your eardrums hurt. Who are these people who have stormed into your kitchen? Why does the woman loot your cupboards, the man produce a knife?

The woman’s voice reminds you of your daughter’s, but your daughter is five and cuts her doll’s hair. You bought it yesterday, it cost half your wage, so you tear it out of her small hands (polyester flying), shut the door, and weep.

The man sinks his knife into a chocolate cake that has materialised on stained oilcloth — next to dirty glasses, a bunch of wilted fuchsias, your teeth you just realise you forgot to put in.

The cake bleeds, and you think of the river of blood you and your twin sister swam in. It was summer, it was yesterday, the two of you barely born, inseparable, immortal.

Łukasz Drobnik’s writing has been published in Atticus Review, Pithead Chapel, Quarterly West, Lighthouse, Foglifter, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. He is the author of Nocturine forthcoming from Fathom Books. Find him on Twitter @drobnik, or at

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