It never usually started this way.  Normally – that is, on a normal day, there would be the itching at the perfect centre of her back.  So central, in fact, that it could hardly ever be scratched without the help of a finger or foreign object.  But there was never anyone around, so the itch almost always won.  She didn’t mind though.  The itch was just the beginning, a sign that the day had started – a sign that she was still alive.  As the hours advanced, there would be plenty of other challenges to take her mind off something so trivial as a minor physical irritation.

            At least the sun was out again.  But upon walking down the garden path she was forced to squint, like a vagrant shattered from demanding loose change.  Begging for clouds won’t work, she thought.  Begging never worked these days, it was best to leave everything – and not least the weather – in the hands of others.  Surrounded by thistles and decaying refuse bags, she realised how pessimistic she had become.  It was all that aggravation caused by her occasional companions, she supposed.  Then she suddenly realised.  She was ready.  It was time.


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