A life flashes before her eyes. Hers?
“You mind the light, children.”
Sitting around the roaring bonfire, the Junker children listen in wonder as the old woman speaks.
Mama Payton takes a bite out of her meal. “’Cos the dark’s no place for little folk. ‘Cos when the world changed, the night changed with it. Now there’s things out there, things you’ll never see, never hear, ‘til you’re in their teeth.” She pauses, chewing. “And worse.”
The children shiver. “What could be worse?”
“The witch,” says Mama. “The witch of the wastes.”
The fire roars, inside and out.