As the thing’s face inches closer to hers, she’s convinced she only has seconds to live. Not knowing what to do, she pulls her knees up to her chin, shuts her eyes, and wills herself back to the safety of the fairground. Chanting the musical words she heard in that other place, the horrors that surround her diminish enough for her to try and mentally wriggle away to safety. It’s mere folly, though, as just when her breathing begins to settle, the skeletal hand reaches out for another touch. Stroking the flesh of her neck, it lingers upon her throat, and for one terrible moment, she thinks it means to strangle the life out of her. If it wanted to, it certainly could. She’s small enough. And terrified enough. Instead, it grips her chin and holds her gaze. She can’t see its features, but she knows it’s there, and as it towers over her, she feels more naked than she’s ever felt in her life. In one exquisitely painful moment, she bites her tongue hard enough to draw blood, but then, as the blood dribbles down her chin, a lone flash of lightning illuminates the apartment. The thing before her is revealed. It’s no monster. No demon from the bowels of hell. It’s her father. Wrapping her arms around his legs as he staggers before her with his wet hair sticking to his forehead, she lets out a cry as if she were an animal caught in a trap.