Chloe sucked in air, made a dash for the light. Mark would be back soon and she'd already registered her mistake: his face was full of hives.
"I've been waiting so long my hair has gone," she said. "It's turning to rust and I'd like you to understand why."
Mark was ablaze. None of this was his fault. Chloe wasn't expecting a new beginning but she reacted badly, pretending that she understood only a kind of meta-nominal ratcheting which cursed them both into a stunned silence.
Mark was sucking at his remaining fingers, eager for Marrow. "I'm only going to say this," he began, before trailing off into a dead-eyed neuro-linguistic stasis. "I...I can't seem to get words out anymore, it's like..."
Chloe was easily impressed with red corduroy, but this time she wasn't being fooled. "With you it's all about me," she said, her mouth full of ulcers. "But with me, it's all about medical dictionaries. We differ, Mark, I'll give you that but how we differ I'm not sure we can agree."
Mark pulled off his last limb, prepared to through it overboard. His hair was blonde now, as if he'd understood his Norse credentials just a generation too late.
Chloe watched the limb fly over the sea and waited for the gulls.