The living room was all that the world could see of the house we lived in that was built on a hill, it was sunken lower than the other rooms, a cold, depressed place, like a grave expecting someone. No headstone or garlands, in that room of our house on a hill, and because the master chambers were lower still, not sunken but at the level of the world, we slept with death as with the living. That house—bare, if not for rare pieces of antique wood furniture, one table, varnished chairs and cupboards my folks had bought when they got married, greeted the intruder with its silence. And so it was not a bunker, never meant to be one, just a room sunk into the earth and eyeballing the neighbours with its one big pane. And perhaps that's why they came at night to disturb our sleep in such a way, like a sudden uproar during prayer time; our prayers, and three square meals a day, were all conducted in that same room of the house on a hill where we lived. In the evening, before we went to bed, the kitchen was a furnace, no mantle above the black tin stove, no portraits of sullen old relatives to eyeball us in the half light, and though we struggled with true decisions we never identified anybody with any of the killings, ever, but found ourselves in the slow flames that knots of nuggets made of us, aglow in the kitchen of the house on a hill with a sunken room, where we lived.