Harry MacDonald had seen plenty of skulls - arsing about with some poor sod or other's skull is what pays Harry's rent - but until the day of his official thirty-ninth birthday (actually, Harry was knocking on forty), which was also the day he met Shnade again, he had never noticed the shape of his own skull-to-be; and until the night of that same day, he had never seen a living skull being crunched deliberately, wetly inwards. Perhaps it all happened because Harry had got lost in his work for too long. Or perhaps because Shnade had got lost doing nothing for too long. Or perhaps because all of us, Harry and Shnade included, are lost full stop. She's not really Shnade, of course. Shnade was what we heard, and is what we called her, and is what she will be, to me any rate, for as long as I have. When Shnade swung round, I saw her dress flick along with the movement of her hips and brush Harry's thigh. It was a light, small, flimsy dress of reddish cotton; she wore it over some kind of black, shiny, strappy, swimsuitish thing. You could see this big tattoo of a lizard that ran right from her shoulder to her wrist. And you could tell that when her dress swished across the thigh of Harry's jeans, it felt to him like it was made of chain-mail. And I think, looking back, we all knew, right then, that Harry was fucked.