by Phillip Cogger

I prized the lid off and began slapping paint on the wall, not caring if it spilled on the skirting board. The dog appeared in the doorway and stared at me. I put my brush down, tottered over and patted him on the head and stroked his chin like he was a cat. He offered a paw and I accepted. We began to dance, stepping over tins and brushes, enacting the Twist from the sixties, working a reverse chronology of popular dance: the Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango, the Charleston and the Lindy Hop. I swung my right leg up in a swift hoorah, accidentally kicking him into a paint tray. He yelped up and walked out the room dripping red. Days later he ruined me at chess and we swore to give each other space.



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