A sleepy quiet had settled over the house. The middle-aged couple that lived there had gone out to dinner for the night, and wouldn’t be back until much later. Inside, the rooms were empty, dark now that the sun had set and filled only with the steady hum of various electronics and appliances.
Within the walls it was just as quiet. Charlie was in the small, makeshift kitchen in the small, makeshift house built inside the back wall of the hall closet. He was reorganizing things in the cabinets, mostly leftovers from dinner that could be saved for later. Frowning, he stood up on his tiptoes and tried to slide half a walnut onto the top shelf. He couldn’t quite reach.