Every now and again the security light in the yard outside flicked on, but there was never anything there. It did it all the time. Her dad said it was the branches of next door's tree getting in the way, so he'd cut them right back, but the light still came on. It only took a cat, he said. The light flooded the yard and when it did Jess couldn't see herself in the glass any more, only the bin and the washing line, and the high back wall with the door that opened onto the alley where the garages were.
It was an unforgiving light.
The colours it made were too bright, the shadows too black - as sharp-edged as any razor. It looked all wrong - like a photograph of the yard, not the real thing. It hung there for a moment behind the patio doors, all bright and sharp, then the light would go out with a little pik noise. Everything would fade into darkness, and there would be her reflection again in the black mirror, cloth and scissors in hand, staring back at her as she looked out.
That light made the house feel even more empty. Made her feel even more alone.