Papa stood, helping my mother do the same. “Who are you?”

“Name’s not important. We need to get all of you out of here as soon as possible.” The man made a motion to the others coming down the stairs, and they moved forward. “We need to take a count of everyone here.”

One of the people, a girl who looked no older than sixteen, took out a small notepad. She walked towards me, in the back corner. Scanning her eyes across the room, she counted, whispering the numbers almost inaudibly. “Twenty-seven.”

She scribbled the number down on the notebook, and looked down at me, her face filled with pity. “Have you seen any.. odd activity going on here? Anything straying from the norm?”

It took me a while to realize she was directing the question towards me, and I looked to Papa to see if I should’ve responded. He nodded, and I started talking about Tony. His family was here, and I tried not to go into detail.

She wrote down the story.

“Twenty-seven..” she repeated quietly.

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