Lying in bed the sound of the telephone rings in her thighs. ‘It’s him again, I just know it’. Her fantasy drives false thoughts. There is no telephone. There is no him. Her chin lifts as she places four fingers in her mouth.

There’s a knock at the door, she wants to ignore it, but it’s already moved her from hind brain to frontal lobe.

‘What is it? Fuck.’ Kate trolleys out of bed. She races on dirty knickers and yesterday’s dress. The knock gets louder. She combs her hands through her hair as she calls ‘I’m coming’. She pauses at the door, straightens her back and takes a breath out onto her wrist. Her breath smells like her vagina. ‘Fuck’. She says.

Kate opens the door. ‘Hello Sir. Can you give me a minute?’ The man nods. She closes the door behind her and bolts to the bathroom basin. After a ten second scrub she takes a swig of mouth wash then coughs it out. Her eyes water.

Standing on the front porch the man in the black suit hasn’t moved. His eyes are focused on Kate’s front door. The door opens.

‘I’m sorry Sir.’

‘You’re not ready Katherine.’

‘Please Sir, I am. I really am.’

The man repeats, ‘You are not ready.’

Kate holds the man’s gaze just long enough for him to know that she is serious. The man standing before her has perfectly bare feet with fine black hairs at the base of his toes.

***

You are my age. Today you are lying in bed pondering the identity of the man at the door. He is tall and he is wearing a black hat. He has an Irish accent. No it is French. No it is Russian. His lips are wet and his tie is straight. His fingers are long. He has fine black hairs at the base of his toes.

***

‘What is my mission Sir?’

The man stands silent, he holds Kate’s gaze. After precisely 45 seconds, he says, ‘You’re to leave this planet immediately. Your identity has been compromised.’

‘My identity has been compromised? Compromised by whom?’

‘Your identity has been compromised by the Reader.’

‘Are you saying that the Author is dead?’

Kate grabs the man’s tie and pulls him in towards her, ‘Is the Author dead?’

***

You are my age. You want to cum. You want a brain-splitting orgasm. You imagine a man with long fingers at the door. He has a Russian accent. No it is French. No it is Irish. He is wearing a black suit with perfectly bare feet. Fine black hairs at the base of his toes.

***

‘What is my mission Sir?’

The man in the black suit steps towards Kate. He takes hold of her chin, turns her head to the side and draws his lips to her ears, ‘Your mission is to turn around, go back inside and take your underwear off immediately.’

Kate grabs the man’s hand. She pulls it to her crotch, ‘Does the Author want submission?’

The man in the suit slowly draws his hand away. ‘The Author is dead. Turn around, go inside and take your underwear off.’

***

You are my age. You are lying in bed. You’re wet, but not convinced. There’s a stack of dirty plates on the floor. You close your eyes. You pinch your nipple with your left index finger and thumb. The base of the right middle finger presses onto your clitoris. You imagine the man at the door. He has an Irish accent. No it is Russian. No it is Irish. It is 1925. No it’s 1960. He is smoking a cigarette. No it’s a cigar. No it’s a cigarette.

***

‘What is my mission Sir?’

The man draws the cigarette away from his lips and places it between Kate’s. ‘You’re to return to Ireland immediately, your mission has been compromised’

‘Does the the Reader know?’

‘Not yet’

***

You are my age. You are lying in bed. You sigh. You yell. The yelling doesn’t help.

You imagine the man at the door. He is a Jehovah’s witness. He has a French accent. You lick your middle finger.

***

The door is open.

‘I have no shoes mademoiselle.’

There are fine black hairs on his perfectly bare feet.

He finishes with two words.

‘Convert me.’

***

You are my age. You are French. No you’re Irish. No you’re Russian. You’re lying on your back. The man at the door is a figment. You imagine a woman. She has big breasts. You think of your mother. Then you think of your father. Then you think of the Author. You decide he is a man. He is French. No he is Russian. He is wearing a black suit. He is lying in bed with no shoes on. He has fine black hairs at the base of his toes. You enter the room. The door bell rings.

***

Kate opens the door.

She scans the man from his black hat

down to his bare feet.

***

You start by sucking the Author’s toes. You are my age. You look at the Author’s thighs. You are French. You say you don’t believe a word of it. You are Irish. You say you want to be unbuckled. You are Russian. You remove yesterday’s underwear. You are pinched. You pinch at nipples. Your hair is pulled. You pull on hair. You bite your lips. You’re bitten. You scratch into skin. You’re scratched. You are pinned to the bed penetrating. You penetrate. Face-to-face. You are face-to-face. Cover-to-cover. You are cover-to-cover. You finish. You’re finished.

***

Kate opens the door.

The man in the black suit has the

Author’s head in his hands.