Junior socked Jacob, who protested. Dave stepped back and stood between them, putting an arm around each son. He looked over the wall. "No one is swimming in that pool," he said. Even in the dark, the water smelled green, and when I looked closely, it was—thick green soup. The boys moaned and my heart sank. I'd promised them a swim. I'd promised them sandwiches, cards, a fun grandfather. Where was everybody? I pressed my hands to my face.
"You don't just go in your own house?" Junior said. His voice was loud.
"Boys," Dave said very quietly. "'Member?"
I knocked, hard. I rattled the latch, and the door just opened. I could hear snoring.
Jacob said, "This one time, The Flash, you know The Flash, he ran so fast he outran himself and touched his own back. It makes no sense. So cool. One time he died, and then he outran death when death came to claim his soul. That's pretty fast. Outrun death. Gotta be pretty quick."
I smiled at Jakey. Whenever he sensed I was nervous, he introduced a superhero. I rubbed the top of his head. I stepped inside the house. Cigarette smoke, television, mustiness.
"Fred," I called out, sweetly. "It's us! We're here! Fa-red!"
Then I stopped and rubbed my hands, like I was trying to erase the knocking. I did not want to go farther.