LOOP

  She knew she was controlling, wanting to know what was going on, anytime, anywhere.  Now the job was done, her lakeside getaway beckoned. She tidied her desk and ran, with careless abandon. But instead of the car park, she's back in her office. Damn, she thought, back in the loop.

RELIEVED

  He hit the ground, running. It was quite a jump from a fast moving train and landing at such pace could've been fatal but he was alive and free at the mouth of the mountain tunnel. He felt relieved. Prematurely, as it happened, he was hit by an oncoming train.

UNIFORM

  The commander knew the value of uniform and uniformity. Parade drill was the backbone of discipline and order because he wrote the handbook and was a stickler for appearance. But when one soldier stumbled out of rank before a skip and a step, he smiled, thinking, we need him, too.

IMAGINARY

  He was tired of the repetition, the daily slog, the inevitability of it all. Even when something different happened - a change in the weather, a new person in the neighbourhood, even a sudden and common threat. It didn't matter because he knew already, none of it's real, it's all imaginary.

TRACE

Roger the Cat was a highly skilled forensic analyst and moved about in tiny blue plastic bootees, examining, observing, collating and calculating. A tall human committed this crime, he concluded, with facial hair and dirty fingernails. His work done, Roger left, but not before leaving a tiny trace of himself.