The corridor was short and narrow with only one door on each side. The door on the left stood open, the one on the right was pulled shut. Maybe, we thought, if we kept that one closed up tight, it would dilute the potency of the punch. Maybe if we kept the key turned in the lock, it would lessen the tearing, it would keep the stabbing light, flesh wounds only, it wouldn’t reach our vital organs, it would somehow not be so final, so fatal.
But to no avail, the door was no match; from the other side, her open handbag, her charging phone, her knitted cardigan worn just that evening, pushed long tentacles through the gaps between the concrete wall and the wooden door.
Their long smokey fingers were frighteningly sad and real and merciless. Slowly they drifted through the house, now and again surprising us from a different angle. Each time they wrapped around our hearts, we were freshly bewildered. They pressed and pressed and pressed till our bodies were dried out and brittle. They squeezed every last drop and left us wrung out, creased and twisted in a miserable heap on the floor.