The world is silent, just how Dawn likes it. The sundown curfew regardless of season means everyone is huddled at home by 5pm already. Offices all closed and shop windows barred. Not much gets done in the winter months these days, even the farmers need their special licenses to be out with the animals in the dark early hours of the morning. Too bright floodlights placed in every field.
Dawn has perched in the large windowsill of her third floor flat ever since she moved in. From stumbling in as the curfew alarm rings until her eyes become grainy and blurred she sits on the wide sill and watches to see what happens in the darkness.
She never sees much. The odd rebellious group of teens silently jogging through the streets, too scared to talk to each other, too afraid to even say that they’re afraid. The police go by frequently but they never see her peeking out. She leaves the lights off and curtains closed so she’s just a shadow one of many windows in her block of flats. The next building over has balconies and she knows that if she had one of those she’d be out there all night, watching and waiting.
She just wants to see Them. Just once will do. She needs something, some justification of why she has to live like this. Why people must shut themselves in every evening. Why they close their doors and windows and eyes on the moon-bright nights she remembers from her childhood.
She wraps herself in a blanket, the cold night air seeping in at the edge of the window. The heating is chuntering away behind her but the thick, standard-issue black-out curtains stop most of the heat getting to her. She occasionally sneaks a foot out under the curtain to place it on the radiator, but its uncomfortable and really only heats up her toes.
She watches every night for as long as she can. For eleven years she has sat in a window in every house or flat she’s lived in and yet she’s never seen Them. Sometimes, in the later hours, when her eyes feel scratchy and her jaw aches from yawning, she thinks maybe it’s all a trick, an elaborate lie that she can’t understand.
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