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As Rubia sits on the bench watching the sun crest up and over the tip of the tallest tower, remembering all the perfect splinters she has removed after watching Reuben play prince of a wooden Camelot, she drops her ice cream cone on the pavement, sits there watching it melt as a line of ants enter in and out through the cone smothering the cream until it is eclipsed in a blanket of black wriggling legs, reminded of something she can’t quite put her finger on - elusive as a near-sneeze - too real to touch, too frightening to disturb lest she dislodge its terrible import.


Some splinters, she knows, are best left in the skin.

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