Trev woke. He showered. Shaved. Ate breakfast. Returning to the restroom, he spend the rest of the morning puking his guts out. When there was nothing left to vomit, he worked his abs until they ached with dry heaves. His throat burned with his own acid. He tried to blow his nose. The smell refused eviction.

“You okay in there,” asked Mairi as she banged on the door in her silk robe and bare feet. She wore nothing underneath. Her red hair, like the rest of her, looked pert.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” His response seemed oddly strained.

“Trev? Open the door.”

“I said I’m fine. Please leave me alone.”

Mairi quietly leaned forward. Putting her ear to the door she heard nothing but her own breathing. “Trev? Oh my Janus!” She felt it first. Something warm, slippery yet sticky, not water, thicker yet thinner it felt at the same time. There was a moment, a gap, between the scarlet ribbon slipping under the door and between her toes and the recognition of something terribly wrong. The gap was less than a second but seemed long enough for a thousand thoughts to race through her mind.

Trev coughed, a cough deep, a cough sounding more like gurgling than the dry heaves of a moment before. The sound of Mairi’s voice seemed distant, reminding him of his mother calling his name at the pool as he swam underwater. He didn’t want to come up. He was in another world now. Land and sea. How could one understand the other? And so he floated on waves of consciousness untouched, feeling a gentle pulling as if the hands of Janussaries (Hynerian angels) were carrying him away.

Mairi pounded on the door. “Open the door. Now!”

She couldn’t touch him now. He was in the water. She wouldn’t follow him into the deep. He felt warm. Hues faded to pastels and sound lost all range of high and low. He was in the flow now and the flow would take him wherever the flow went.

Mairi’s heart raced. Taking a step back, she hurled herself against the door, her feet bloody with the life of Trev, cells dying in step with hope. Images of stains filled her mind. Stains of the body, stains of the mind, stains of the soul. Janus she hated stains. Her small lithe body was as feather pounding rock against the door. Falling to her knees in step with tears down her cheeks she began to sob as mothers sob for children, her head heavy in her hands as if guilt were lead. In anguish she cocked her head to bang the object of resistance and fell forward as the door swished open and where there was one bloody body upon the cold stone floor, now there were two.