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She held her breath for a moment and listened.

The rain pattered like tiny feet, as if a million little water sprites were running across the window. Occasionally she heard traffic, the sound of engines accompanied by a deep swoosh as they plunged through puddles.

Her throat was dry, her mouth full of that horrid, bitter taste that comes from sleep. She reached out, her fingers groping across the rough wooden surface of her cheap bedside table until they hit smooth plastic.

She propped herself up on one elbow and carefully unscrewed the lid of the bottle, lifting it to her lips to take a sip.

The cool liquid flowed past her lips and washed away the dry, bitter taste in a flood of summer fruits. She never kept plain water beside her bed. She hated the bland, pointless taste of it. She knew that juice was bad for her teeth, but it was a sacrifice she was willing to make.

She took another sip, then fumbled slightly as she screwed the lid back on, taking two attempts to get the top level and spinning down properly on its thread. A stray bit of plastic sticking out from the security seal scratched her thumb and she swore softly.

She returned the bottle to the table and sucked her thumb. Salty, but not coppery. No harm done.

She lay back and tugged the duvet cover back up to cover her cold shoulders, releasing a waft of fresh, floral clean laundry smell. She gripped a bit of it between the thumbs and fingers of both hands and sniffed it, smiling and relaxing.

She wriggled down into her warm, cosy bed and went back to sleep.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: An experiment in describing things without any specifically visual descriptions!)

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