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"B-but - where is ev-"

"I'll explain, but you need to bring me the box first," says Bina. "Pick it up. Don't look at the monster and don't drop it. OK?"

"O-OK," says Josephine, and wipes her hands on the front of her blouse. "OK."

"This is impossible," she says, grabbing the little metal box. It's only a whisper, but Bina can hear it, even all the way across the courtyard.

The morning birds were left behind, and the air hangs about them like a lead blanket.