The children put their heads upon their desks as instructed and Vons Serin pulled the silencing needle from its case. It was my duty to hold each child's head so that the needle could find a straight course through the eardrum, keeping the children safe from the diabolical and corrosive nature of the satanic mouth-weapons. The children, trained in paralysis yogas, moved very little and cried even less, which was admirable, and gave me hope for the future. Soon the needle was clotted with earwax and blood and we washed it in a drinking fountain just outside the classroom, giving us a moment to speak without fear of lip-reading.

"Will this be enough? Each sense is a doorway for the devil to enter."

"I don't know. I certainly hope so. There's only so much we can do."

We returned to the classroom to find the deaf children kicking at the misshapen body of their teacher, Mr. Davidson, which seems a fair trade to us. As the great vision tells us, all teachers must die, which is why we never explain ourselves. After about five minutes of this we pushed the children back, as Mr. Davidson was not simply a victim but also a keeper of keys.

"This is all you can do. We must now take Mr. Davidson to the graveyard."

The children, who had played endless games of Graveyard during recesses, knew the proper procedure and formed a line, two by two, behind Vons Serin and myself as we carried what was left of Mr. Davidson out the door, down the hall, across the playground and into the graveyard. With the knives given us back at the observatory we opened up his chest.

"Wipe out the blood and you'll see it in there. Lift that up a little and, right there, that's it."

Tucked beside the left kidney I saw a small steel key. I reached into the chest cavity to remove it, but it slipped from my fingers until I used my other hand to push the kidney back, which caused him to inhale sharply, and I apologized as I pulled out the key. "You, you are a key," I whispered, and put the key in my mouth to clean it. Vons Serin stared at me in disgust, having spent far too long on what should have been a simple retrieval task, and started pacing the short lap of the hallway, waiting for something terrible to happen.

Days later I saw a deer that had been shot by the edge of the highway on my way out of town and poured my blood into its mouth, blowing salt deep into its lungs, and I brought it back to life, watching it leap into the underbrush and out of sight. I donít know why I did this, or what advantage I thought it would afford me, but thatís where I was, standing in the circle of salt, when the policemen found me.

the exit is hidden within the exit