Marion remembers the way she choked when she caught sight of a pair of razorblades sitting on her son's dresser, the light sharp as it caught them and glinted on and off like twin warning beacons. Quickly, she gathered them and slipped them into the right pocket of her jeans and pressed her lips together (coral pink was today's shade of glamour).

'Just a fluke…'

It took her a few moments to extinguish the panic that seared at the insides of her throat, branding her like commercial livestock. The mark was recognizable, spelling out as if with child's blocks:

G U I L T.

With only the slightest hesitation, Marion shut the blinds and continued running her feather-duster over the desk and then the bookcase – just like she had done the day before – despite the lack of dust.

"It is our fear of death that both drives us, and traps us within ourselves."