The door to the next bedroom was clacking back and forth in its frame held in place by the latch, the way it sometimes did when someone walked past it on too heavy a stride. For a few moments, it held quiet, then clapped dully again, as if someone were pacing in front of it. Edi lay still in her bed, blinking up at the dark ceiling and tried not to believe that it was a ghost.
She didn’t believe in ghosts, but she knew every one else in the house was asleep and had been for hours. She knew the doors and windows were locked up tight, and couldn’t believe someone would break in to walk up and down her hall and mull something over. Folk had their own halls for that.
She didn’t believe in ghosts. She only suspected them in short moments.
It took her a few minutes to remember her little brother had left his window open when he went to bed. Then she took a quick breath and forced a laugh at her own ridiculousness. The door would clatter like that for the shifting breeze easily enough.
She turned over, tucking her pillow a little more firmly around her ears to block out the sound. Shutting her eyes, she let out a long breath, ready to sink into sleep.
But just as quickly as she had remembered the open window, she remembered the large number of languages that counted breeze and breath as the same word. Breeze and breath and soul and spirit.
Edi sat up, and stared at her own tight-shut door, very awake again.
The door to her brother’s bedroom clapped in the frame.