Alex tried to call 911 as soon as he realized the burglars were coming, but they intercepted his call. “I’m sorry,” said the passionless female voice. “The number you have dialed is no longer in service. If you think you’ve reached this recording in error–” He hung up. Now they had his address, now they knew where he lived.
He lifted aside one of the tiles in the bathroom ceiling and lifted himself through into the space, pulling a blanket up with him. There was no telling how long it would take and he wanted to be ready.
While he was waiting he dozed and dreamed of going the wrong way round a waterpark. “Please return your float to the desk,” said the announcer.
“I’m sorry,” Alex said, sheepish but unabashed. “I just wanted to ride down the waterfall.”
The burglars are there, shouting and laughing together, commenting rudely on the furniture they’re going to steal. One comes into the bathroom and starts peeing. His head is only two feet from Alex, through the ceiling, and his voice is intimate and cozy as he sings. If this were a movie, Alex would reach through the ceiling and take the burglar out, but it isn’t, and he doesn’t even think of it.