The sound of a door, the rush of fear. Like a cheetah I make it to the back of my door in less than half a second. Wait. One pause. Listen. Carefully. The door across the hall shuts. Pause. What? Why so long? Ah there it is, the key in the lock. Listen, the first step hesitant. Then back. But off again and suddenly so quick. I must be out there within three paces, otherwise it will be too late. Again. Rip the door open like a bomb, in one long stride I reach him before the noise registers in his brain. I’m in the air as he begins his startled turn. Too late, my foot connects with his back, his head lunges back as his midriff bulges forward. Down he goes. The first steps are missed but he somersaults down the rest. A heartening crack as his head connects first with a step, finally with the wall at the foot of this flight. He groans. Shit. I leap down the stairs in seconds flat and my – ohfucktoosoft – shoe slams into the side of his head scraping down his face. Not enough, I half kick half drag him round to the next flight. Down he goes. This time. Blood oozes from the side of his head then spreads out like the train of a crimson dress across the crisp virgin snow. I return to my flat. The ‘phone is off the hook, I pick it up and listen. They had no idea I was gone, we continue our conversation for half an hour and I replace the receiver. I must get on, patatas a lo pobre takes hours in the pan. For me, anyway. I sharpen my best vegetable knife and start to cut the peppers, onions and potatoes. The kitchen is hot, but I must get on, they are coming tonight. “It’ll be nice” she said. “Yes, a couple more potatoes should be enough”, I think as a drop of sweat eases from my forehead, zig-zags passed my eye and rolls down my cheek before falling to my lap. I hear a scream. “Oh dear” I mouth, sardonically.