There is one other thing I can't help but notice, as his face is turned slightly away from me. I don't want to see it, but it's there, and it confirms what I have already unwillingly accepted -- that among all the things in the world that can never be known, Laurent Jammet's fate is not one of them. This is no accident, nor is it self-destruction. He has been scalped.
At length, although it is probably only a few seconds later, I pull the door closed behind me, and when I can't see him anymore, I feel better. Although for the rest of that day, and for days after, my right hand aches from the violence with which I gripped the door frame, as though I had been trying to knead the wood between my fingers, like dough.
Copyright © 2006 by Stef Penney. All rights reserved.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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