18. November

I stood at the door for a moment, trying to Gather My Thoughts and figure out what to do. The door was locked, and it was a big, heavy door. I wouldn’t be able to open it. I couldn’t see inside. The Duchess had taken Jose into the house. I was all alone. My hands were cold. Granpy had made it my decision to come here or not, so all of that was My Own Fault.

I put my gloves on. My hands were still cold, but not as much. I didn’t know what else to do.

So I froze. I stood there in front of the door and stared at the dark windows and I cried. After a few minutes I thought maybe I would try to ask the old man for help, but when I turned around, he wasn’t there. I was All Alone.

It was quiet. There were no more screams and no more magazine page turns. I don’t make much noise when I cry, but even my sniffles were quiet. It made me afraid to move. It felt like if I made any noise, the whole world would break.

After a few minutes, Jose was still missing and everything was still quiet. Normally, when I panic and I can’t make a decision, I just stand still until something else happens. But this time, nothing else was happening. Nothing at all. I had to stop panicking and decide what to do.

I had to call Granpy. There was nothing else I could do. I needed help. He cold call the police or something and they could open up the house and get Jose out of there. I hoped he was okay. I wondered what the Duchess was doing to him, then I started getting all kinds of terrible ideas about what might be happening in there, so I shook my head and tried to get rid of those thoughts. I had put my phone back in my pocket before, and now I took it back out. Of course, I had to take off my gloves again, and I put them down on the big wooden spool table, and I typed in the code to unlock the phone.

Nothing happened. The screen looked normal, but when I touched it, it didn’t work. So it was broken After All. I couldn’t call for help. I couldn’t call for help, and I was All Alone. I had to go home and get Granpy. But that meant I had to leave Jose in the house. And if he came back outside, I would be gone.

So I decided I had to be quick. I put my phone away, put my gloves back on, went out the screen door, got up on the table and onto the tree, climbed over the fence, and ran straight home.


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