• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 02
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I’d seen her first three days before. From the top of a bus. A ripple of russet in my peripheral vision. I’d skittered down the stairs and jumped off at the next stop. Run back. All the people on the street going the other way. I’d pushed through them, careless of their feelings, all now inferior to mine. Someone might have fallen on the slushy ice, I wouldn’t have cared. I didn’t look back. I had a single desire.

I’d stood and looked into the eyes of the mannequin. Long, long and hard. She’d held my gaze. Her eyes were cold as the air near freezing in my nostrils. The people around me were melting away like the snow. That girl knew the power she had. I wanted to put my hands to the barrier between us, she was daring me. But had I done so I would have been unable to resist increasing the pressure to breaking point. And I feared the consequences. The blood I would have on my hands.

The fur so soft on her so-soft skin. Under that mammalian coat of blazing russet she had taken on the life of the beast which had first worn it. I wanted her. I burned with that desire. Desire which made it almost impossible to move. Finally I walked to the doors of the shop, the big revolving doors, all polished curves. Arrived as someone with dead eyes held up a gloved hand and forbade me entry.

The next day I returned. There was a change. The coat had slipped a little from her shoulders. Her lips were about to part. Our eyes locked. I stayed like that for as long as I could bear it. Then I leaned my burning forehead on the glass. But the person with the gloved hands approached me and indicated with a gesture that this was not permitted and that I must leave, or else.

There would be consequences. There are always consequences. I should be grateful for barriers that save me from my immoderate desires.



On the following day I stayed in my room, fearful of an inability to restrain myself.

I could not sleep. She entered my night world, the woman in the fox fur. We were, in my mind, conjoined.

And so I returned one last time to make it so. But the vitrine had been cleared, all the furs removed, the naked mannequins left lifeless. My intended was laid low with all the rest. Our eyes could no longer meet. I had been cheated. Utterly cheated.