She was not an inexperienced sewer but she was not a good one either; the scattered marks on pierced fingertips could certainly attest to this. Nonetheless, she posed needle in hand deciding the best approach to the task at hand. Black thread, she nodded to herself, don’t want to overdo it with the colour. She suspended the thread high above her head, the glare of the bulb outlining the barely visible strand. A gentle hum danced across her lips as she threaded the needle, already she could envision the completed project. It had been Gwen’s idea. The two were tied at the hip, as the saying goes. She excitedly pressed her finger against the prick of the needle. Repeated stabbing had made her somewhat immune to the pain of sewing.

The end of the thread traced each movement she made, chasing the needle as Jo prepared her equipment. A spare spool of black thread lay within arm’s reach of her seat stood neatly before a rusting tool box. Rogue clumps of knotted wool escaped from the hastily closed lid, their tails tangled around various screwdrivers and wrenches. Organisation was not a skill of hers but convenience was. Why buy a new box when you had a perfectly good one with available space at home? It was absolute genius, although it did require a good disinfecting before she willingly added her sewing equipment. Besides the spool she placed a pair of dainty nail scissors, and besides that a pair of rather intimidating garden shears. The shears were decaying at the handles, but still had plenty of life left in them – or at least that’s what Jo continued to tell herself. In the small space left between the scissors and the spool, she set a mug containing an odd brown liquid and rested a towel against its side.

Finally prepared, she took her seat on the table needing as much room as possible. Taking a hefty handful of material, she positioned the needle above the marked spot. Jo pressed the tip of the needle gently into the material, watching the red droplet form around it, before fully penetrating it. A fine stream of red flowed freely, lessening her grip on the needle. Worry lined her face as she momentarily grasped at the slick metal, expression only relaxing when she had successfully forced the needle out the other side. Inhaling deeply, she allowed the panic to subside and wiped both the needle and her hands on her bare chest. Gwen’s sleeping figure had not stirred at the wound, still resting peacefully under the influence of Rohypnol. It had been difficult to acquire, but worth the struggle.

Swiping the towel from the side, she dipped it into the strange brown liquid. Taking to her feet, Jo swabbed the fluid onto her right side, hoping that it would not stain as she liberally applied it.

The smile returned with sudden vigour and she lay back on the table. Taking the needle in one hand she grabbed her side with the other, pulling a chunk of the flesh towards Gwen’s body. Having learned from the first stich, she held the needle in a tight fist and drove it through the hunk of flesh at her side. She winced at the pain, folding in on herself as she ignored the warmth that slowly seeped along her back. With deep breaths and gritted teeth, she continued with the project, determined to meet its end-point.

Each stich sounded with a wet slap from the force of her hand. Sharp hitches of breath came from Gwen as her sleep became more restless, the sounds striking a discord with one another. Excitement fled into Jo’s veins as she neared the final stitch; it seemed that she would wake just in time to reveal the surprise.

Teeth bared in animalistic pride, she tore through the thread with pointed canines. A length of thread approximately one foot fell to the floor, hanging loosely between Gwen’s writhing body and her own calm figure. Groping blindly for the mug, her fingers met with the familiar ceramic allowing her to spill the soothing antiseptic on the open wounds surrounding the stitches. Soon, the towel replaced the mug and she wiped away the excess fluid, the red and brown infusing into a disgusting wasteland beneath the table.

From her hair, Jo pulled at the strand of the bow that held the hair from her face, the bow collapsing into one long strand of ribbon. Interlacing this ribbon between their stitches, she finished off with a decorative bow just over their waist.

Gwen’s body had stopped fighting, her form now flaccid. The sharp, hitches of pain had mellowed into deep, concentrated breaths that gave the impression of the struggle for air. Her hand lay limp against her side. Her eyes open and void of emotion, staring relentlessly upwards. A creeping hand belonging to Jo intertwined with her own, which did not respond.

Jo smiled, placing a delicate kiss on Gwen’s cheek. They could only get closer. They were tied at the hip. Literally.