Reflections of neon lights spangling Madeline's pale, almost white, hair.
As we crossed the river, our shared past came rolling back upon me.
Back at art school, the Ushers already stars of the scene, myself just an also-ran, but I made up the numbers at the parties they used to hold at the house of their widower father, a suburban vicar. Bluebeard's Castle & The Velvet Underground cranked up to full blast.
Loved Madeline, but never dared... not only because she was so intimidatingly, sublimely beautiful, but because there were rumours even then about the intensity of the relationship between brother and sister. Certainly neither one of them ever found a partner that anyone else ever knew about.
That one night... party at someone else's tenement flat - bed in the kitchen recess. Madeline crawling into bed in black bra and panties. Do you want to climb in? Ed (in Spiderman Y fronts!) sliding in beside her. 'Nothing' happened, barely touching, her soft pulse, dreams deep as the Clyde, the Atlantic even - that moment fresh in his head as he sat in divorce court ten years later. Most beautiful moment of his unbeautiful life.
Far end of old docks - warehouse on edge of quay, like granite bee hive. Inside, skeletons, Victorian clothes on rusty hangers like dusty angels, ragged maquettes. She pops pills, goes to bed. Ed alongside her.
Rod appears, furious. Your little bloodbath stole the show, all anyone's talking about.