It is Friday night... and I've never seen him like this before. He's sitting at his usual place across from me, except, this time,
there are two dull salt stains on the desk between us.

I don't understand what this is. And I don't like it. He stumbles over to the phone and I search through data structure after data structure for what this means, what warrants this illogical behavior, when I can get my man back. I see Rylena looking worried but daring not to get involved... maybe we shouldn't bicker if we still don't understand. He's muttering on the phone still, I whisper, "Have you seen this before?"
Rylena unclenches her eyes, her expression softens, and for a moment, I've never hated her.
"Once. Last May."
The Others step inside The Room and he tries at a smile.
I might not complain about anything tonight... I feel changed, or sick, or sideways. If he doesn't let me sleep soon... I might pull the plug myself.

The salt stains stare at me, unwelcome, unheard of, disgraceful, and somehow lovely.

Michael Costagliola

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