Because I had done this myself, I felt confident I could walk fast enough and straight enough that I didn’t need to use the flashlight. In my back pocket, I had scissors and in the other back pocket, the small flashlight, the police officers had given me. After retrieving the other from the basement, I stood them both side by side to concur that the police were giving out thin, probably easily breakable and cheap flashlights to power us all through this arctic blackout.
“Fine. Look Genevieve,” and I flashed the light several times on the floor next to her.
We could use some enjoyment. I let her play with it for five or so minutes before petting her head and giving her a few of the treats I found tucked behind her bag of cat food.
“We will be ok.”
The backyard had no gate or fence. You could walk straight from the alleyway into the back patio and be facing the back door with no obstruction within two minutes of entering. Because it was pitch black and I didn’t have the hazy glow of light pollution to guide me, it took me five minutes. I stepped carefully. I did not mumble. You could say I tiptoed. I tiptoe often. My father always said I walk on the tips of my feet only.
“You kind of dance everywhere,” and he moved his hands in front of him, sweeping them and stepping on the tops of his feet, mimicking, what I thought, some kind of Frankenstein.
“What are you doing?”
“Dancing!”
He turned in circles and then grabbed me, bringing me into the ballet. The Allman Brothers were on. We began to twirl.
“Come on, kitten, dance with me!”
His smile bared down on me. When I felt the smooth side of the blade press my palm: cool, slick, unthinking and with just an accidental swipe, could pierce me,  I felt comfort. I thought of you.

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