There were six of them in all, that much I remember distinctly. I put something into their juice, a powerful poison, and six of them died, a few were only very ill. Children between the ages of perhaps three and five, a nursery class for which I had some sort of responsibility, I don’t remember exactly what, nor why I did this thing. And having done it, was found perhaps not guilty on grounds of diminished responsibility (but I was responsible for several very young children…) and therefore allowed to go free, some arrangement must have been agreed upon, or else I would not have found myself on the train travelling at a very high speed through the flat countryside north of Paris. The land and the sky a grey blur as the rain came down, silver streaks across the broad panes of rapidly moving glass. A woman began to shriek, a cry of agony, ‘Oh no, oh God no…’, Rachel crying for her children. I covered my ears but still I heard her. I went into the toilet cubicle and locked the door, crouched down on the damp blue floor put my hands over my ears shut my eyes still I could hear her terrible shriek ‘Oh no God no…’ For the thing I had done. I don’t even know why I did it. I don’t remember. Six children. My husband came in – but I thought I had locked the door? He took me by the shoulders. Get up, he said. The woman, I said. No, no, it’s nothing to do with you, he said. Nothing you’ve done.

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