The old woman was hunched and gnarled, like the limb of an ancient oak tree that had gained the ability to walk about of its own accord. The giant bag that was thrown over her stooped and knotty shoulder emitted faint squeals and whimpers. Its bulging contents appeared to be moving. Tommy wanted to pull the blanket up over his head and block from view this strange figure that stood just beyond the warm glow of his ceramic cowboy lamp, but he couldn't. He couldn't tear his eyes away from the bag and a little rent in its side, through which poked a child's finger and a small mouth. These lips were carefully shaping the word, "Run." The sack's contents writhed again and another mouth appeared at the hole (Tommy knew this was a different mouth, because the first had been missing its front teeth), and this mouth, too, whispered, "Run." The old woman cackled and took a step forward. "Oh no," she said, "it's far too late for that."