When I walk in the neon-noir streets of my feline city, I never turn at the noises that dog my steps. I never turn because I don’t want to see them. I pretend not to hear them. They’re everywhere, and they think they can beat me. Creep upon me in an unguarded moment and quell me. They’ve been with me, after me, for as long as I can remember. I grew up with the fear of them enveloping me, and rode into adulthood with them riding pillion behind me. They were my many selves, my other selves, and I ruthlessly and relentlessly eluded their grasp. One slip, and they would overwhelm me, and I would never be myself again. Armoured by my watchfulness, I flitted through the city, never stopping, ever on the move, ever one step ahead of them.
And then one day I saw her, and my world stopped. Just for a second. And in that second, the dry dust and dead leaves and shreds of fairy wings caught up with me, and I was lost, lost forever.