The house, when Billy’s eyes grew used to the gathering dark, revealed itself to be alive. Papery moths peppered the walls, tessellated sweeps of soft bodies from skirting board to ceiling; the canopy bridled at Billy’s indelicate entrance.
The staircase had grown from the cellar into the rafters, winding around itself as though chasing the erratic wanders of some skittish star about the chimney tops. Billy could not distinguish snake from baluster. He climbed the ivory slabs with care, touching nothing, holding his breath lest he miss the flash of teeth, the slip of skin.
The house watched him, lazily.