I couldn’t see a damn thing and I couldn’t move. Whatever was on top of me had a hard time breathing, too. I worried it might die and I’d be crushed under it. After the panic left me I calmed down. I asked what it wanted.

Its weight shifted. It asked if I was afraid.


It asked why it couldn’t breathe.

I don’t know.

It asked if it was dead.

I don’t know.

It asked if I had killed Charlie.

Who is Charlie?

Its voice changed. It was a woman’s voice and it sounded like I was listening to a bad recording—something from an old home video.

And then (crying) And I put my fingers in his eyes. I pushed down and I—

The voice changed back, the ragged breathing resumed.



It asked where it was.

I couldn’t answer. I couldn’t breathe.

It asked again.

I choked.

It started crying. The woman’s voice again.

It asked for Charlie.

It asked where Charlie was.

Was he here?

Then it was gone and my chest rose sharply and I could breathe again.

I was very glad it was so dark.

I was very glad it had not seen Charlie, in the corner.