There’s no safety in the depths of his voice, although he’s saying things that ought to make me feel…secure. I’m just moving along beside him, hoping that we’ll get to someplace with more people. And maybe lights. At least he hasn’t tried to take my hand again. The street is quieter than I’ve ever heard it. Where is everybody? There’s a lot of weird purple cloud over by the playground. First it dazzles, then it dances, then it dies.
Oh shit, he’s slowing down.
‘Mervyn, why are we slowing down, we gotta hurry up or they’ll leave without us!’
We stop. He looks forward at the purple cloud and then he turns his big round body and looks down at me for a long, long time.
‘Mervyn…’ my voice is tinier than it should be. I’m starting to edge away a little. I’ve known Mervyn all my life, but he’s acting too funny for comfort. And his voice…
‘Listen to me’ He says and he leans close. His big right hand move up, so slowly, and starts towards my shoulder, as if he’s going to try to hold me. I’m moving away more quickly now, you see. In fact, I’m setting myself to run. I don’t want to turn my back to him though. The Mervyn I know is big and slow and can’t move fast. But this, this is something very different and I know it’s time to get away. I back over pebbles and other shit in my way and run backwards, watching him with his hands still outstretched, the purple light from the playground pulsing over his right shoulder, growing darker, then lighter to a purple that looks like old sick.

‘Melissa!!!’ I hear him rumble. Then louder – how can he be louder when I’m running away, so fast, so fast, my feet carried by terror.

‘Melissa, it is my belief that we’re all crazy now!

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