A Novel Excerptby Joyce Carol Oates
I knew. As soon as I saw her bed wasn’t slept in.
I knew—something had happened.
At 4:08 a.m. that Sunday morning Arlette awakened with a start.
The strangest sensation—that something was wrong, altered. Though in the shadowy interior of her bedroom—her and Zeno’s bedroom—here was comfort, ease. Though Zeno’s deep raspy rhythmic breathing was comfort to her, and ease.
Must’ve been a dream that wakened her. A swirl of anxiety like leaves spinning in a wind tunnel. She’d been pulled along—somewhere. Waking dry-mouthed and edgy, believing that something was changed in the house or in the life of the house.
Or—one of her limbs was missing. That was the dream.