Angst, cloaked in her darkened shroud, woven of table positions and embroidered with player statistics, slips once more into the heart of the ardent Socceroos supporter.
Denial is her meat, ignorance her drink.
She avoids the heavily guarded entrance of headlines and pundits, preferring the unlocked window of squad selections and away venues.
‘Tis the brave who embrace her cold touch, who can bear the soft whisperings; “Aminiiiiiiiiiiiii.” The fearful stop their ears, huddled behind papier mache shields of bravado and defiance.
She cares not, for World Cup qualifications are a favoured hunting ground and a feast awaits.
A bellow echoes off the walls of the hallway. The challenger is heavily armoured, with layers of limited imagination and wielding a vuvuzela of obfuscation.
“Ziga, Zaga, Ziga, Zaga, Oi, Oi, Oi,” he roars.
Angst pulls her cowl tighter and steps into a darkened room, reappearing in the shadows behind the dullard.
“Form, injuries, cohesion,” she whispers into his ear and steps back into the gloom.
Doubt flickers across the challenger’s plain features and rust spots appear upon his armour as the narrative takes hold. His vuvuzela drops to his side, tassles limp and lifeless.
Angst allows a tight smile of professional satisfaction to briefly soften her sharp features as she watches the narrative spread. This one will make a fine meal indeed.
A soft touch makes her start and she spins, dagger drawn. “Iran ’97, pitch conditions, referee”, she spits.
Angst finds herself staring into calm, green eyes. Raven hair pulled back in a ponytail, with laugh lines etching the corner of the eyes.
“Emotions, rollercoaster, fun,” replies the woman, her 1991 spew shirt drawing Angst closer. “Angst,” she whispers, arms reaching.
Angst hisses and pulls herself away from the impending embrace. This is a lover, there is no feed to be had here.
She pulls her cloak about her and steps back further into the shadows.
“Iraq in Tehran,” she barks from the darkness.
“March 24,” the woman huskily replies.