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Nobody had seen Barbara for two days. Juliette wouldn’t stop wailing. Mother was distraught. Peter was cowering.

‘Go to your room Peter!’ shouted father, cuffing him brutally.

They searched. Juliette wept with joy when they found her; Barbara was alive! Father, however, had nagging doubts and locked Peter in his room for a week.

Twenty years later, Peter and Juliette sat over cocktails.

‘That wasn’t Barbara,’ Peter said, suddenly.

‘I’m sorry?’

‘In the vivarium; that wasn’t Barbara. I killed Barbara. With a twig.’ He smiled. ‘That was some other woodlouse.’

Juliette shuddered. ‘And father?’

‘What, you think I killed him too…?’



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