We stood in a circle of make-believe stones, waiting for the man we built from mud and twigs to rise. He’d turn us into zombies, replace tooth fairies with shrunken heads. We’d find fingers in gumbo soup. We called it a day. We found the man of mud and twigs in our basements, our closets, in pictures from geography textbooks–he walked right out of the page and shrunk himself to fit our idea of him as portable and lonely. One by one, our teachers disappeared. Our dreams turned to rancid butter. We hunted the darkness in packs of scavenger sevens. Telephone wires spilled dead voices. We whispered the names of ghost towns to our sickly grandmothers. They crossed themselves and died. When the great blizzard finally hit, we locked ourselves in our rooms. We grew bigger than our own shadows.