My sweetheart saw a child’s face in the train window. I paid the man to let us off. The milkbar in the town was open, the shopkeep had hair like straw and didn’t give us our money back for the drink machine. We sat at the bar at the inn and my sweetheart looked pale. Did you see the girl? she asked, and I shook my head. She was getting worse. We slept on top of the sheets. In the morning my sweetheart touched my face. It is smoother, she said. I didn’t believe her—I had slept badly, a strange suction noise coming from the bathroom—but I noticed she, too, looked smoother, as though sloughed by a pumice stone.
We should be getting on to mum and dad’s place, I told her. It was in the next town. But she frowned. Not yet, she said, I want to see her one more time. She went off to walk the quiet streets and I was left alone with my oddly smooth hands. In the driveways of the houses were parked vintage cars. I had misplaced my phone.
That night we made love like teenagers.
By the time we got to mum and dad’s we had shrunk down to half-size, and we walked hand in hand, smiling, with sugar floss for thoughts.