Somewhere in this house a child is laughing. Footsteps run down the hall above me then stop. Then start again followed by the laughter. I don’t know who she is, only that she will not leave. I have asked her to go many times. I’ve tried to be reasonable. I’ve asked her what she wants but it’s as if she doesn’t hear me at all. She only stops and looks, then smiles and runs away and up the stairs to resume her game. I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid that she will never leave. This used to be a peaceful house. She doesn’t care about that. She wants only to play and to laugh and to torment me. There are times when I wish that I wasn’t quite so dead.