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love · page one

She has to find it under her pillow.

Either it had always been there or it appeared about the time she turned three years old. Gudrun couldn’t remember anything before that age and she was sceptical of anyone who said they could. Her first memory of it has it sitting on her bedside table. It was about the size of the circle her index finger made in contact with her thumb. That’s not a definite size because you’d have to know the size of her hands, aged four, but it’s a pretty good general relative sort of size. She won’t pretend to be precise. People do that all the time, say stuff with such confidence and certainty when it’s not at all justified.

It was a dull, nondescript colour with a slightly wrinkled surface and reminded her now of a piece of plasticine that’s gone the colour it does when all the brights have mixed. It had what looked like the faint impression of finger prints on its surface. So how did Gudrun know it wasn’t an old bit of plasticine? If she held it in her hand, she could detect a slight movement within it, close to a pulse. If she put it to her lips she could feel a faint, barely perceptible heat radiating from it and anyway, it didn’t smell like plasticine. It had no odour at all.

From that time on she kept it under her pillow at night and in her pocket during the day. It might seem strange but she didn’t question it or even think about it for many many years. She asked no one about it and told no one about it. She just assumed everyone had one and it was so ubiquitous it didn’t require mentioning.

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