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Jelly Belly [short story excerpt]

Glinting under the glare of the softly flickering strip light, the blade taunts the very skin straining under the pressure. Years of painful self-loathing had finally come to this. A Sunday in the middle of spring in the house where it had all begun at least 34 years ago. It seemed ironic, no, hilarious that this room had barely changed since the beginning, Not strictly true – it had become crumblier – more cracked – more… dilapidated. The painted dull-yellow walls had lost their shine, and now they were peeling off revealing intricate patterns that looked like an imbalanced world map. The floor, once covered with tiles, albeit carpeted tiles, now laid cardboard-coloured bare chipboard, which soaked up the droplets falling from the bodies as they stepped out of the enamelled bathtub. When empty, the continuous tap drips had gradually worn away the section directly under the hot tap, leading to a glorious waterfall effect turning a deeper shade of green year on year. If you scratched a nail down the waterfall, you’d experience that shiver indescribable. Its replacement just doesn’t feel the same.

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