Two short stories: a crime writer on a train journey ponders the death of her characters; and a man trawls his girlfriend's apartment looking for hidden fragments which might reveal her deepest secrets.
In 'Dreams of Dead Women's Handbags', crime writer Susan Vigo ponders death as she travels by train to give a reading of her latest book; specifically, the kind of death awaiting the characters of her next heavily-anticipated novel. But an unpleasant encounter with a fellow passenger sparks a chain of recollections which throws our author's obsession with the macabre into a shocking light.
In 'Other People's Bathrobes', Adam is frustrated by his borderline-anorexic girlfriend, and finds himself obsessively reliving childhood memories of tinned soup and spaghetti at inappropriate moments. A compulsive thief by nature, when Barbara goes out to work Adam trawls her apartment looking for hidden fragments which might reveal her deepest secrets. However, when he finds remnants from Barbara's unhappy childhood, it is Adam who undergoes an unexpected transformation.
Part of the Storycuts series, these two stories were previously published in the collection The Atmospheric Railway.