For Dave and Karen. Yes, there will be more.

It's just so dark.

No matter which way she goes, she can't see a thing. Inky blackness covers her vision, and she can't find a way out.

She turns in a circle. The dark moves with her.

She shakes her head from side to side. The dark moves with her.

She backs up. The dark moves with her.

There's nothing else for it. Letting out a yowl of frustration, she shoots forward at a breakneck pace, stumbles into a wall, and then into what she thinks is a chair.

And then into something warm and solid.

Not completely solid. A little squishy, really.


She cowers, tries to make herself as small as possible. It's just so dark.

"What are you-"

And then the darkness lifts and she can see again.

She blinks in the bright light, stares up at her savior.

The broad one.

Reaching toward her with strong hands, the broad one raises her in his arms, cuddles her to his chest, making soft soothing sounds and gently stroking her back.

A wide thumb rubs up the ridge of her nose, and her eyes fall shut of their own accord. Leaning into the touch, she presses her face against the smooth palm, listens to the deep voice.

"You're okay now. It's okay."


The broad one laughs, leaning over to scoop her tormentor off the floor and set the contraption on the table. He hits a button and the whole thing lights up. She can see now the holes through which she could have escaped. She'd only been batting at a strap hanging down from the thing where it had hung off the desk. But then it had fallen on her, quite unexpectedly.

And she couldn't figure out how to get it off of her. Terrifying.

Her attention is drawn away when the broad one bends his head toward her, rubs his dry nose against her wet one. She really has no idea why he always does that.

"Really, Minnie," he says, flicking one ear with his finger. "If you wanted to play laser tag with me, all you had to do was ask."