Luft? Well someone has to be called that, I guess, the reticent little girl thought to herself as she swung back and forth, her pink-ribboned baby-blonde pig-tails bounding around her soft-skinned face on the creaky garden swing. The thin-bladed grass was only a year-or-so old, a virginal green. Her father had laid it himself. Her father whom she could see through the living-room window, watching a sports game, every now and then their gazes would meet and they would exchange smiles – until he went through into the kitchen and opened the back door. ‘Is Daddy’s little princess going to come inside now. It’s going to rain soon,’ he said, looking up at the fast-moving scattering of grey cloud. Luft shook her head. ‘Well, ten minutes angel, then inside ok? Daddy has to make a call and then it’s inside.’ Luft nodded and her father smiled again, affectionately scrunching his face up behind fashionable round spectacles before closing the cloudy-glass door behind him. With her father out of sight, Luft jumped from the swing to the ground and walked over to the new pine-coloured garden shed. She reached up and took the unlocked padlock from the door which fell open. Mister Frisky lay in a basket on the floor. Luft lifted the cat from underneath, struggling to keep hold of its heavy body as she left the shed and walked across the lawn towards her secret hideaway. She removed the loosened fence slat with her foot and squeezed through with the animal still in her grasp. As they got into the woodland behind the house, Luft put Mister Frisky down and he lay in the leaves, motionless, with the kind of clenched-eye choked expression one would expect from an animal with a shoelace tied tight around its neck. The fluid her father had lit the barbeque with was already there waiting.

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