“Here’s Maggie Thatcher.” John opened one hand to reveal a stick figure drawn on the palm. He mimed throwing it in the air. “Throw her up and catch her. Roll her up and splat her.” He rubbed his hands together as though scrunching up a piece of paper, then opened his other hand, with a wild squiggle of ink on the palm. “There’s Maggie Thatcher.”
Despite how fiercely the sun shone in the sky, the chill air cut at Morven and she pulled her coat closer against the chill. They definitely stood on the cusp of winter.
That realisation brought with it another chill. Not from the weather, but from the memory of what would happen again that night. She had done well to keep it out of her mind all day, not least given how the images of it had intruded upon her dreams over the past week. Roaring flames, and rocks being fed to the fire, followed by the sight of her name fading away. Twice she had managed to awake before she caught sight of the rider, but even then the sow's grunting had followed her into the waking world.