Fern thought the world was empty except for himself and Bres. In the darkness, his hearing had grown better, but there wasn’t much to hear, really. Then one day, he heard a cough. At first, he thought it was Bres, but it was too high pitched. Besides, he liked to make a grand entrance with torches lit, sometimes music playing, and on one occasion a floating giant swan. He liked to be noticed. Hiding was unlike him.
“Is someone there?” he called out. Of course someone’s there, he thought. You just heard them cough. I revised my question. “Who’s there?”
“Who killed Cock Robin?” she asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Sparrow,” she called him.
“I’m not a sparrow. I’m a little boy.”
“Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails.”
“I don’t understand.”
“And that was the end of Solomon Grundy.”
He stopped trying to talk to her after that. She didn’t make any sense.
“One for sorrow, two for joy,” she started to sing. “Three for a girl, four for a boy. Five for silver, six for gold. Seven for a secret, never to be told.”
Then the dungeon once more descended into silence.