The worst part was suddenly realizing that I knew one of the people pounding against the walls of the house, that he’d been there the whole time but I hadn’t recognized him. It was like those drawings that are either a portrait of an old woman or the profile of a young one, both at the same time, one hiding within the other; we’d killed enough of them or driven them away that we could almost relax, and looking out it wasn’t just one of them anymore but Derek, and that was the worst, because of course it couldn’t matter that it was Derek, if he got in I’d have to put him down like any of the rest of them.

That was when I stopped thinking that we’d make it through, somehow, and then things would go back to normal, when it stopped being how we could survive and became how long. It didn’t matter if we drove them off, if we killed all of them and managed to carve ourselves out some kind of safety; in the end we’d join them and someone else would have to drive us away. I thought about just opening the door and walking out until they covered me over, but I didn’t. I don’t know why I didn’t, except that life is sweet, even when there’s no hope or savor in it.