Tommy counted to ten again. He was fairly sure that if it was light outside his window then he was seven now, but he could not hear his mother moving around their apartment, so he was concerned that he might be about to break her admonition ‘not too early’.


Slowly he swung his legs out from under the covers and touched his feet down on the hard wooden floor. It was a proper June day for his birthday this year, not like the rain that would not stop all day long the year before, so the floor was not cold, it just felt solid and real – he was awake now.

He went to his bedroom door and put his ear to it; nothing. He opened the door and tiptoed over the hallway to his mother’s and did the same again; nothing. Ever so gingerly he pulled the handle down and softly pushed on the door.

As he stepped into the room he knew that something was wrong; his young mind could not process the silence and the alien odour in the air, but it knew that something was not as it should be.

Then he saw the blood.


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