I told everyone the truth about what I had seen the day the child disappeared from the park. Much like his mother, I saw him enter the slide, but never saw him emerge.
The only bit I left out is the part I hope his mother did not hear: the awful sounds of chewing and swallowing.
It’s been difficult, learning to live alone. My mother had forbidden me from learning anything that might lead to independence and departure. I was only recently allowed to boil the jug and make tea, which I excitedly did, adding just enough sedatives to seem like an accident.
There were only enough supplies for one of us to survive the winter. We were trapped, isolated in the wilderness at the edge of a harsh winter that would trap us here.
Of course, I was the one who had planned it that way.