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It's always the same.

The phone rings.

I answer.

A man says, “Is Jim there?”

I say, “No”, and he says, “Would you make me something to eat?”

Then seven notes play on what sounds like a harpsichord, the man laughs, and I wake up in a cold, wet fear.

It comes at times of heightened stress, like when there's money troubles, or when a fever breaks.

At the beginning of a relationship.

Or at the end of one.

It comes and the fear comes with it, alone in the night and the fear flickering like the tongue of something that crawled in on its belly.

You will say, it's just a...or, it's only...or you might ask, what do you think it means, but it means nothing, and therein lies the fear. 

Untethered, in black metal space, the night at last gives way in a dark fur scuttle, like the tail of something crawling back into its hole.

Seven notes on a harpsichord.

The naked morning laughs. 

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