The child rested between sheets of flannel, in the dark, still pervious to the screams and thumps and thuds from the rooms below. A light glowed from the hallway and seeped in the crack between the door and its jamb and she focused on the light line, her fists sweaty by her sides. A darkness moved in front of the light. Her heart fluttered. The end of the bed depressed and creaked. The child sat up, peering into the dark. A cold hand found hers.
The sounds below faded away.
The light from the door seam expanded, filling the air, and it was blistering summer. The roads were narrow and the buildings tall. As woman she walked on cobbles, past hawkers of leather and red-faced tourists, beggars and running children, following an imaginary string that spooled out through the teeming city and led until it diminished at a vast piazza. In the middle of the square was a statue of a man on a horse, far larger than life. She walked and stood below and in front of it, and there was the figure again. She reached up and touched the hoof of horse and it was cold.
The people in the square quieted and stilled and it was night. They looked at each other shellshocked at the news they shared. Some tapped their disbelief on keys and glass surfaces, but most shuffled through the square, trying to commune with the others who had come out of their homes, but having nothing left to say out loud.
She sat below the statue, cross-legged and her back bent over, a cup of coins in front of her. She barely looked up now, but when the square went completely silent, she did.
The figure stood over her and held out its hand.
"It doesn't end, does it?" she asked.
The figure shook its head.
She reached out and touched its fingers and felt warmth. She gripped strongly and was pulled up and found her frail body in a comforting embrace. All the sounds came back, all the light she had ever witnessed, all at once and for the last time.
Note this is another song substitution.