As the crowd stood in awe beneath a cascade of Chinese lanterns pulsating in the sharpest of reds, Linn lost herself to plotting and absentmindedly dislodging soil and dried blood from beneath her fingernails. Until that is, an arm slithered around her shoulder, breaking her from the trance, and buried her deep into the side of a leather jacket, thick with the musk of rain and a hint of another woman’s perfume. As Linn’s eyes rose to meet those of Zhang’s – her boyfriend, the immediate sight of them hauled her back to that fateful night when she saw them roll back in pure ecstasy through the rear window of his car…

That night, the darkest and rainiest she had ever seen, Linn was driving home alone when a sudden landslide ahead forced her into taking the backroads. It was along that deserted path where a familiar sight through the surrounding trees snatched the breath straight out of Linn’s lungs. Despite the darkness of the woodland and blur of the fogged-up window, the ruby glow of the taillights was all Linn needed to see every nibble, gasp and caress in gut-wrenching detail. As she looked on, Linn thought hard about using a rock to smash in all the windows or furiously ripping a door open and pulling the girl out, kicking and screaming. Instead, she got back in her car and continued home in darkening silence.

Back in the present… as they left Chinatown, hand in hand in seeming bliss, Linn could not stop herself watching Zhang’s walk in a macabre wait for the moment it began to falter and become unstable. Unbeknownst to him, he had spent the whole night drinking from a coke can laced with sleeping pills. When the two of them reached home, under the guise of watching the New Year’s fireworks from his hammock, Linn led a stumbling Zhang to the garden. Once there, she struck him over the head again, and again with a shovel until he was nothing more than a bloody, mangled form. She then buried him inside the hole she had spent days digging out in secret – right next to his lover.

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