A hint of movement, somewhere in the darkness nearby. Mom shook her head, eyes wide. “Don’t make a sound. They’ll hear us.”
Glass tinkled outside.
“I’ll look,” I whispered.
I moved over to the boarded-up window, peeked through a crack. The street was dead. Ghostly silent. Cars lay haphazardly across the street like discarded toys. But the night was empty.
There was a crash below us! Wood splintering!
Mom’s voice, a terrified hiss: “Quickly! Get back here!”
I fumbled with the tape, pressed it over the crack. The darkness became complete.
Crouching low, trying to be silent, I tried to work my way back to Mom. The darkness smothered me. My fingertips traced the dusty concrete.
A sound. Scraping.
I found Mom’s hand. Outstretched on the floor. Limp.
Again, the sound—of breathing.
Very slowly, I reached into my pocket and drew the last match we had. I struck it against the wall.
For a moment, many eyes hovered around me, shining like empty glasses.
Then the match went out.