They watched each other through the open wedge of door and jamb, both seeing the end. I’ll do it, he said already lowering the knife, I’ll fucking do it, but the heat was gone. His threats condensed, wavered and dissipated, only as real now as the breathy steam their shouts had purged into the chill winter air. I’m tired, she said, do it or don’t but be done with it. And the knife clattered with a shrill tinny trill upon the blackened white and unfeeling linoleum. Silence then, tears after that, and finally an end to all that was.

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