Sit, think. Come on now. Knit my fingers into knots, teeth press sharply into lips. I can feel you; I know you’re in there. Press a little harder. Push my fingers through my temples, force the point. I heard you last night, scratching round and scraping out. You kept me up half the night with your sickly wriggle and your girly giggle. Foot tapping, knees shaking. Where? No, not fair. Place a block of cheese on the keyboard, lean forward mouth open. Come on. Come out and play.

Prick my fingers, pull my hair, poke my eyes out with pointed sticks. I’m going crazy and it’s all your fault. I know you’re in there. Inside of my head worn down and round like an ice rink. All night long rats are skating on my cerebellum, around and around, razor sharp skates slicing and whirling. The things they say, oh! The lies, the terrible lies. They whisper and snicker and mutter and snigger. Lies, such horrible lies.

Sounds echo and jar inside my abused skull. I race up the absurdly jagged steps, the never ending stairs, through tiny creaking doors long since forgotten. A glimpse of rough grey fur, the skitter of filthy nails on concrete, just up ahead. Behind, below, then ahead. Who’s chasing who?

Round the corner, under, over, under, further under. Catch you by the tail. (I could be the farmer’s wife I’ll cut off your tail with a carving knife) Grip hard, both hands hanging on to your scaly appendage. Feel your wiry muscles tense and contract, no doubt your lips are curled up over yellowed teeth. We take off, you and I, helter skelter, slamming into walls, falling through holes in my head. Eyelids half closed, knuckles whitened and holding fast, ankles scraping over splintered floorboards. You show no signs of slowing.

Sometimes I can’t even breathe


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