I return to an old house I used to live in and where other people live now. I know my way along the hidden staircase and through the attics. I know the back entrances to the apartments, and I’m thinking how the students will be away for the holidays and that I can crash there for just one night in someone’s empty apartment– but once I’m inside, it all turns into a nightmare. people are home, and I’m forced into sneakiness and feel like a real trespasser– then it gets more complicated and scarier– I find that someone has been conducting experiments on animals in the basement, breeding monsters– and it becomes my mission to quarantine the place, lock all the doors from the outside– in effect trapping all the tenants inside, human and beast alike, until the authorities arrive on the scene. there is sickness and death, even amongh the people, and I have to take the part of the animals so they won’t be destroyed but instead rehabilitated, if possible. they’re ferocious ad yet victims of some dreadful custodian, who still, I know, wanders the free infrastructure of the house, the same secret back ways I use– I’m afraid of running into him, worried about the danger, but I never do.

we’re checking out the camp buildings, making sure they’re empty and clear, ticking them off one by one. then we’re working on the homework assignment we’ve been set– the instructions are confusing– there are several pages of questions we’re supposed to be writing responses to, and I finally figure out that the questions are numbered and there’s a complicated system wherein we’re supposed to write responses to so many number eights and so many number sixes and so on– an element of choice and freedom built in, but still a lot of writing to get done.

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