Home Before Dark by Charles Maclean

By Charles Maclean

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Sample text

R no, you’re late… i was on my way out templedog: I can’t stay long aj: so what else is new? td: hold on, lighting a cigarette aj: put it away td: blowing smoke in your eyes aj: i swear to cheese… get that shit away from me td: just a couple more drags and I’ll put it out ay: sure you will td: damn… hold on a sec I could hear laughter. I glanced back through the double doors into the bedroom and saw that Laura was awake. Sitting up in bed, pointing the remote at the TV. There was little danger of her coming onto the balcony, and if she did I only had to hit the minimise button and the dialogue box would vanish.

Bailey paused to let this sink in. I looked at Laura. Her face was expressionless. 'There’s a drawing of the kitchen, for example, which shows the back door standing ajar. Across the threshold lies a shadow – the windows are dark, as though the shadow has fallen over the whole house. ’ Laura bit her lower lip. She looked down at her hands. Watching her, I could tell she was struggling to keep her composure. ’ 'The drawings speak for themselves,’ Bailey said. ’ 'If that’s the case . ’ She fell silent, my poor wife.

Stepping back at last, he surveyed his work and sighed. Then, taking one of the mirrors and facing away from the canvas, he held it up to frown over his shoulder at what he’d done. “77 vero maestro”, Leonardo called it – the true master. Gives you a different perspective, a fresh eye,’ he explained as he joined us. 'The mirror doesn’t lie. ’ We shook hands. His was damp with sweat and it occurred to me that our being there together might be making Bailey nervous. This couldn’t be easy for him either.

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