It was a new year, or the eve of one. It was a night powdered with firecracker smoke. You were a child who'd already learned not to be afraid of a world whose spirits could be called by the sounds of simple invocation. Which is to say, Come here; or Here she is. Here I am. There's no need for a hundred-year gift, or an animal sacrifice after weeks of having penned its bleating in the outhouse. A glittering ribbon of flies, the only witnesses every time someone pulled on a cord to flood the room with light. What isn't visible goes as an echo of tiny wings; hovers over every lip glossed with water.