What if you had only one view –– one view forever? Would you want to watch the sea? A river, constant and ever-changing? A city street from up above? An open field?
He struggled to inch himself up the slope of pillows. His pajamas made a reciprocal slide downward, and when he finished yanking them back into place, his breath sounded harsh in that cool room. It was ridiculous how many pillows and things shared the bed. A bed-tray with a cup and a bell, two novels and a dictionary, a plastic bag of cut-up vegetables in case he got hungry. He couldn't remember the last time he was hungry.
He counted the ticking of the clock and let the perspiration evaporate until his breathing calmed. Later, when he'd managed the slope –– and without losing anything overboard, which was a blessing –– he allowed himself to look out the window. The wind was blowing. He could hear it now that its bounding progress up the hill made sense of the sound. White clouds rolled above the bright timothy. A bird crossed the little slice of blue sky. Time for the hay to come in. Another bird flew by.
When it moved, the field rippled like the fur of some giant animal. When it moved, the earth mounded and fell as if an enormous mole was working its way through the fields.
She held perfectly still, her feet drawn up from the floor to keep the sound of her pulse from echoing through the foundation of the house. She closed her eyes for a moment, but the images came back as vividly as ever. The monster under the ground had eaten everyone. She had seen it, and she knew that it eat her too, but a stubborn flicker of hope kept her frozen in place, surrounded by stone and glass with her feet pulled up and the sound of her heartbeat pounding in her ears.
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