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An old grey-skinned woman sits beneath a gnarled tree, nestled between two craggy roots. The woman has a shar-pei face, and her sparse white hair is long and unbound. She is knitting. Multicoloured balls of yarn surround her. Her hands are almost still. The needles are a wooden blur. She stops knitting, and her left hand snaps up a pair of scissors. The scissors glint, although there is no sun, and I see a pair of green eyes reflected in them. I see the woman’s fingers; they are unblemished, younger than the rest of her body. The nails are crimson and sharp. The woman cackles, and cuts down the middle of the rows she has just knit. Everything unravels.
I jolt awake and take a deep, gasping breath.
“Are you okay?” Tia is beside me. I can’t see her face in the dark.