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(Author-s note: this is another sampling from twin’e’d.)

All paws on the floor, my body contorted in a semi-unnatural way. Two giggling gnomes twined around me, kin-children competitors in a game of aunt-busting Twister.

     My ass swayed with the classic action of a ready-to-pounce cat. The work of physical dynamics, the movement attempted to compensate for a pretzelised downward dog pose built on a foundation of misplaced limbs, but failed as an improvised position-stabilising damper.

     The jostling nudged my body toward the event horizon of game destiny, a sideways fall onto the colourful plastic game membrane. The more my backside wiggled and wobbled in equilibrist maintenance, the more my young competitors laughed. Their uncorked frivolity tickled a reflexive need to laugh with them, and it shook me past the point of recovery.

     Dayton and Delaney toppled with me into an entanglement of large and small bodies. They recovered first and clambered on my side. We writhed, rolled, and laughed in a moment I relished. Their ease, the genuineness of their happiness, formed things a memory never shed, even absent other markers.

     Fate conceived a different actuality. From a detonative act unseen, horror pushed a blast wave toward us. On impact, it raped my remembrance and seared the tri-cornered elements of doings, time, and place into my soul, for all the wrong damn reasons.

     Ignorant of the done deed and its consequence upon the family future, our exhausting competition concluded in back flops. In the last moments, cathedral-ceiling aimed eyes offered playful inverted perspective. Quietude recharged our spent energy.

     A low rumble emerged from background noise, ominous and closing. It didn’t build into an ear-splitting crescendo. It just funnelled through half the Doppler Effect and formed the aural charge of understated hell.