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Camille picked her way across the floor, stepping around discarded pizza boxes and juice cartons, half empty tubes of paint and whatever other detritus lay scattered across the floor.

“Seriously, do you ever take the trash out?”

Jeremy half turned and scowled at her. “There’s that word again,” he said.

“What, ‘out’? You’re kidding me. It has not got so bad that you can’t even walk down your drive to the trash can.”

He shuddered and made no reply.

“You need help,” she said to his back. “This phobia of yours is getting out of hand.”

He waved at her dismissively. “It’s fine,” he said. “I can get everything I need over the internet.”

She folded her arms. “Oh, really? How about authenticity?”

He dropped his brush and turned. “What do you mean?”

She pointed at the canvas behind him. “You paint landscapes, but you can’t bear to set foot outside your own door. How does that work?”

“They are authentic,” he protested. “They’re authentic representations of the landscapes of my mind.”

“Landscapes which would give you the screaming heebie jeebies if you were really there,” she said, trying to find a clearer spot to stand in. “Seriously, you need help here. I’m going to enlist somebody to sort this out.”

“I don’t want a bloody psychiatrist,” he yelled.

“Woah!” She held her hands up and tried to take a step back, nearly tripping over the mess on the floor. “I didn’t mean a trick cyclist. I meant a cleaner!”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: The 3WW words this week are Enlist, Authentic and Phobia. I found this selection pretty tricky, actually; I had several ideas that could use two of the words, but couldn’t work out a way to fit the third one in.)

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