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nobody else's daddy comes to the park

the heaviness of the dark

the heaviness of the dark

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fairuza balk
What do you like to do when you can't get to sleep?

it was much earlier than her bedtime at home, but still claudia felt tired. she thought she might have an iron deficieny anemia: tired blood. perhaps, the pressures of everyday stress and strain had gotten her down. maybe she was light-headed from hunger; her brain cells were being robbed of vitally needed oxygen for good growth, and ... yawn.

she shouldn't have worried. it had been an unusually busy day. a busy and unusual day. so she lay there in the great quiet of the museum next to the warm quiet of her brother and allowed the soft stillness to settle around them: a comforter of quiet. the silence seeped from their heads to their soles and into their souls. they stretched out and relaxed. instead of oxygen and stress, claudia thought now of hushed and quiet words: glide, fur, banana, peace. even the footsteps of the night watchman added only an accented quarter-note to the silence that had become a hum, a lullaby.

they lay perfectly still even long after he passed. then they whispered good night to each other and fell asleep. they were quiet sleepers and hidden by the heaviness of the dark, there were not easily discovered.

(from from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler, by elaine lobl konigsburg, published 1967)
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