Sort of a murder mystery TV show or game, but real: as in, I knew what had happened last time I had murdered my husband or brother-in-law: the police or clever suited female coroner-type had tricked me my doing, er, something, with bones, and I'd therefore thought I had left tell-tale evidence at the scene, and had rushed into their trap. Well this time I decided not to fall for that, and see which way the investigation would develop if I stayed up here watching them. As it happened it made it even easier to catch me, and they came up to where I was.

My sister was among them, and though I was tremendously sad and appalled at what I had done and how she would feel, her reaction was of sadness and compassion and love towards me. Even as the police business went on round me she was holding my hand, and would be looking into my eyes had they not been downcast. I had long dark-brown hair, perfect for cascading sadly over shoulders.

'You are royalty,' I told her; a strange thing to say, and I was aware of hoping it had sounded like 'loyalty'. But once alone she explained to me that we would try again. This world-creation hadn't worked out, but we would come back and create a fresh new world, and be royalty in it. I envisaged the bays and forests.

Then in my bedroom, confined for punishment, and the curtains were skimpy and ragged, that wretched yellow cloth; had been for years and getting worse, but I could get no privacy at night. She was there with me, helping, trying to arrange them as best they would over the wide windows. Then all I was allowed to do in there was study, not pleasure, so I showed her my study things and explained something mathematical or engineering.

She was having dinner in a public place, like a restaurant or a dining car, in the room next door. Also there were our parents and her fiance and some such. The talk turned to stamps and whether some old ones they had were worth anything. Several were from Mauritius, one large orange one, and one commemorative from 1797. I went back into my bedroom to look this up (being oddly unsure whether the arrangement of this all-the-world Stanley Gibbons volume allowed British colonies beginning with M to be half way through), and the price quoted was so wide that I couldn't tell what order of magnitude it was.

Went in and tried to very discreetly hint at this, that they should put it away and (as they were on holiday) find a post office security box to put it in the very next morning. Couldn't stop them making excited squeals. Back in my bedroom a female warder what's-all-this-then'd my looking at stamp catalogues, which was not study. Then there was an embarrassing moment when I shouted some stylized phrase, something like 'Monkey go away!', to another warder when he turned up -- but he was black, so I had to explain that that was how I shouted to my cat to go away.

My sister couldn't work out which pocket she'd stuffed the most valuable one back in, and took out a few. At some point I slapped her on the left cheek, stingingly, and she flared up and slapped me back. I grabbed her chin and confronted her, but now I was begging forgiveness, sort of perhaps: partly it was 'I don't know why you put up with so much from me' and she reminding me of the love and loyalty vowed at our world-creating plan, but partly also it was 'I don't know why I like you so much... apart from the obvious reason now.' Anyway, she had that little pale purplish-blue one locked away safe in a small red metal box like an old-fashioned child's novelty piggy bank. She had a lovely, fierce face, shortish red hair straight around her.

A bookshop. Or a plaza, a shopping centre, an arcade, but I noticed the bookshop open, and thought I was allowed to go in. They had a good language department, I remembered, down the back end, but above the till I saw some academic arcana (A Student's Guide to the Germanic Languages, except that then I remembered the exact title, with a tag saying £1.16 apparently belonging to it, a price so low even for a clearance sale that I needed to ask the clerk if it was rightly attached); and also a few teach-yourself cassette series. I took down Maltese, and examined it, and there big fold-out maps of parts of Malta in it, with an almost hand-lettered feel on good paper, like from the 1930s. But this wasn't tourist Malta, not Valletta cafes, it was a couple of specific remote regions that included ancient monuments, so the lessons were about standing stones and going through fields.

A boarding-house or B&B. A Maltese couple running it. It is possible I was in Malta, having gone there through the map. A short American woman with a sneering accent, asking 'Do you feel like Arabs?', and the owner woman replying no.

How odd: many speaking parts, all female. Including me, mostly.

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