Glass Enclave
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Yasmin drove erratically, the books slid and parted in the back seat. In a tree-lined street, in a part of town that was unfamiliar to Sammar, she parked. 'This is where he lives', she said, 'I've come here often with Nazim. It's good that you're with me, I can give him these faxes that came for him yesterday after he went home. He's waiting to hear any moment now from the Anti-Terrorist program. They're going to take him as a consultant'.

'We can't do that, it's not right', said Sammar, 'give them to him on Monday...' But Yasmin was already unclasping her seat-belt, switching the heating off, pulling up the hand brake. We're together', she answered, 'it's not as if either of us is on her own'.

'He might not be in anyway', Sammar went on. Yasmin was out of the car, Sammar still tied up by her seat belt. It was getting dark, the clouds were plastered purple against the sky, the sun far away.

When Rae opened the door, fur brushed against Sammar's knees. It was a large black cat which made its way indoors with them. Sammar was wary of cats. When she was young stray cats had sneaked indoors and shocked her by jumping out of cupboards or from underneath the stairs. They were savage cats, their ribs visible against matted, dirty fur. Some had a black hole instead of an eye, some had stumpy legs, amputated tails. While she screamed, they ran back and forth in the room, desperately seeking an exit. It seemed to her that they clambered the walls, clawed the paint, cried furiously like she was crying, to get out of the trap they had voluntarily entered and back to the outdoor life they knew.

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