By Janet Stewart

Everyone was there at the start of the experiment. The Chinese. The Russians. The Arabs.

Ahmed infected me with a long slow kiss. Lips of honey and pomegranates. Lingering. Tangerine breath. He protected me. Stroked my trembling thighs with his warm brown hands. Put a strawberry inside for later. “Now,” he would say as I produced it for his soft lips.

A dog growls then whimpers. I find him in the hallway licking a severed paw. I grab a piece of cloth to tie the beast to a door knob. He will taste good later. Let him die on his own. I can’t kill anymore. I go out into the street to see if it is night or day. Then I know. This is Prague. Ahmed said we would come to his favourite city to drink and listen to Dvořák. He said he would marry me and there would be no more Jihad.

The world is beautiful and dead. Ahmed is dead. The Chinese, Russians and Arabs are all dead.

Soon, I may have to cut off my breasts to make soup. I would give myself to a man for protection but there are none. There is nothing left in the world but a dying dog and a sad woman crying in the street.