It was the First Oscillator of Spring. I held my breath, dropped it and picked it up again. I wiped the mud off it and bundled it up in an old plastic bag for Later.
Later came through the trees and out into the clearing.
“You’re late, Later,” I said.
“You think you are so fucking funny, don’t you?”
“Well, you certainly fuck funny,” she said. “Sometimes I wish I’d kept those photographs. It took ages for that rash to fade.”
I felt myself blush. The blush faded, but I carried on feeling myself. I enjoyed it. I smiled, remembering the photographs, and how they had burnt. I never told Later, but I still, occasionally, had the twinges in my lower back. Those wooden wings had been so heavy, and it had taken several days to remove the splinters.
I turned to watch Later. She was almost completely naked. Only the leather underwear remained – and the harness, of course. I gulped.
She looked up at me. “I see you’re feeling yourself again.” She sighed.
I let my hands drop to my sides.
“Get ’em off then,” she said. “We might as well get this over with. I want my breakfast.”