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He winced slightly as the trowel scraped across the surface of the brick. The sound set his teeth on edge, like fingernails on a chalkboard. He glanced over at her, but she hadn’t reacted to the noise. He turned back to his work, levelled the mortar off and placed the brick in place.

He would have liked to take his time over each brick, ensure that every one was absolutely perfectly placed, but he had to work fairly quickly. Time was of the essence. Still, he couldn’t resist checking the level of the brick he had just placed, tapping one end to perfectly level it.

Stone by stone, brick by brick, the walls rose and the house he was building for her began to take shape.

He had planned it so well. It would be perfect. Once it was finished, he would lay out a garden around it, plant it with her favourite flowers.

Not that she would see it. From inside the little windowless house, the house she would never leave, she would never see anything again.

He smiled. It was good to know that she would always be there for him.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: I have an unnerving feeling that I’ve written something like this before… I can’t find it, but with so many stories under my belt I can’t be entirely sure! Anyway, this is a story inspired by the Rammstein song, Stein Um Stein.)

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