Stories by Mail, Day 16 – The space of settling

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Bei Tuan gently tightened her embrace, using her paws to massage Fernando’s head and torso. Since her snuggling business opened its conifer-stump doors two years ago, he’d never missed a session. “I haven’t felt this safe and comfortable since I was a cub,” he would often remark as she gathered her purse. “You have a natural gift.”

She synched her breathing with his, steering him towards a rhythm. Tension trickled out from his limbs, evaporating into thin wisps. “How much time?”, he muttered. He sounded half-asleep.

The panda glanced nonchalantly at her overhead clock. About ten minutes remained in their session, but Bei Tuan was hard-pressed to think of a reason why her client should know that. Life would reactivate soon enough. “All the time in the world,” she said softly, holding him as if she never intended to let go.


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