I spot her from one of my five eyes. She is scraggy with blotchy liver-spotted skin that dangles over ancient bones and ailing muscles. One of her wizened, wrinkled hands wields a tightly rolled up newspaper that she intermittently beats against her spare palm. I stop the ablution of rubbing my legs together and comprehend the diminishing distance between her and my location on the corner of a table.  With a heavy breath she arcs up her soft cudgel before bringing it down on my speck-like body: thump. She misses because I’ve skipped up into the air in defiance of her, arrogantly hovering before landing on the edge of a tatty brown sofa a couple of feet away. With a grunt she swings the cudgel round her body looking for me through her beady eyes; I’m spotted and she heads in my direction with her weapon. Again there is a swing and a miss, this time with a curse under her musty breath, forcing me to flit to a pottery figure of a dog high up on a shelf. Embarrassed, she retreats away and out of the room, defeated – her tool of death swinging limply at her side.

I go back to my cleaning, steely clinging to the unvarnished crater of a chipped Alsatian ear. She’s back but the newspaper is gone.  In its place is a milky-white plastic bottle with a large beak-like protrusion on top that coughs out a mizzle of liquid every time the handle underneath is squeezed. My body prepares for flight just as the atmosphere fills up but it’s too late and I’m rinsed with the fizzing globules whose wet weight lacquers my head, legs and abdomen. I attempt flight, resilient to the end.

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