Fiction | Children of Night

A Short Story

Francis, blind, blesses his blindness. Francis, blind, blesses...

The mantra streams for hours, seeping from some deep cavern of my brain. A poem? A song? Definitely from the peace-and-love days—sounds like Leonard Cohen or one of those flowers-in-her-hair folkies—but I can’t summon a tune and without handhelds or chips there’s no way to check the source.

Why are you holding your head? Andy signs from his corner of the garage, because it’s dusk outside and people might still be about. When daylight comes again, we’ll throw caution to the nonexistent winds and whisper. We keep the old hours—we kept them even before we went into hiding—but the rest of Greenglass obeys the mandatory reversal, and in daylight, everyone goes inside to sleep. If they can: since Climate Control locked the air systems, everyone tosses and turns. The old garage, of course, has no air system whatsoever and reaches hellish heat by mid-day. If not for the ancient oak drooping over our roof, we would have shriveled.

I don’t know, I sign back, though I do know, I know perfectly well. I’m holding my head because I have no other way to contain my rage at Francis for reminding me of blindness. When I was young and romantic and religious, I actually routed prayers through Francis, but that was long, long ago. Strange. This very morning, Andy said I’d cried out prayers in my sleep.


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About the Author

Valerie Sayers, chair of the English Department at Notre Dame, is the author of six novels, including The Powers.