The night was wretched. Rain clattered and wind howled. Gates banged and screeched as garbage cans blew down driveways and crashed into garage doors. Swollen black rivers rushed along gutters, roaring down through sewer grates.
Amid the clamor the crumbling old homes of the neighborhood creaked and moaned. Shingles streaming, they swam in the amber glow of the streetlights, their interiors dark and slumbering and otherwise lifeless.
Except for one house, that is. There someone lurked high above the sodden, winter-weary front lawn, peering out from beneath the paint-flecked gable and making little ovals of fog appear on the glass. An...