Candice hung up the phone and sat and listened to herself breathe. She got up and went into the bedroom and lay down next to the baby. He looked faded. His skin looked old. She felt his forehead. Still cool. His breathing was regular. She forced herself to close her eyes and pulled the blankets up around the two of them.
When she opened her eyes, it was to the smell of food. Someone was in the kitchen cooking something that smelled good. She slipped out from beneath the blankets and crept out of the room.
Jonathan was in the kitchen cooking something that smelled good. He smiled at her. I didnít want to wake you. You two looked so peaceful, I didnít want to wake you.
Did you come home from work early? She peered out the window, and saw it was growing dark. The sun was beginning to set. We slept all day.
You were up all night. Jonathan pulled two plates down from the cupboard. Poor thing. He must have been exhausted.
And then they were running. Through the walls came the shrieking piercing screaming screaming, and they were running and running to stop the scream. They pushed open the bedroom door and stopped. The scream stopped. Time stopped.
He couldnít brush them off, said Candice from far, far away. Heís just a baby. They ate right through him, and he didnít know to brush them away. And then she was quiet. Jonathan was quiet. Nobody moved.
submitted at 4:00am
14 February 2010