With a start Allen opened his eyes. In knowing fear he glanced to the barely curtained window, acknowledging the stale morning light that filtered through. Choking back tears he waited the brief few seconds for the alarm to go off and dragged himself to the bathroom. Standing under the dribbling shower he glanced across to the mirror that served as the cabinet door. And not for the first time he considered the sharp clinical cure of the razor blades within, the treatment that seemed so definite, so clean - yet the one that he had somehow resisted all this time. As the water strengthened and heated up, hiding his duvet creased reflection under a blur of fog the image again tempted him...water mixing with the pure red of blood, spiralling lazily down the plug hole.

Robert Allen