February 27th, 2004
The phone rang at three AM and I knew it had to be trouble. The moon was full and shining through my window; I could see a deep layer of frost on the ground, like the world had been cast in silver. The frigid house enveloped me. I picked up the receiver and mumbled
and shivered twice, hard, almost dropping the phone. It felt like ice against my face. I halfway expected it to rip away a layer of skin when I pulled it away. The moonlight stabbed into the room, pooling on the floor like blood. From the phone a ghostly voice said
Is this the morgue?
and I said
No. You must have the wrong number
and the voice said
Huh. I could have sworn this was the morgue.
I hung up and rubbed my eyes, feeling the grains of sleep jab into my skin like knives. The house was colder than ever. I wondered who had died and why it had to happen on a frosty night at three AM, when death seemed no more than an ordinary nuisance.