Dear Wigleaf,

Last spring we had raccoons in our walls. Our cat noticed them first—she'd stop sleeping or chasing my shoelaces and stare at the ceiling or sniff at an electrical outlet and I'd think, Something will die in there. But nothing died. But something gave birth. There were these tiny raccoons then, tearing around the ceiling, and when their feet sounded overhead I couldn't help but think of gnomes.

Our neighbor had them worse than us. She said they'd built a nest over her bedroom. She worked sometimes from home and said that during a teleconference, the raccoons had fought loudly enough that the tiny people inside her computer asked what the noises were about. Well, I said, on the fire escape. We were lit up on gin and renter's frustration. Someone downstairs parked and yelled up to ask if we'd got fleas yet, which we had.

I thought, It's okay. We dosed the cat and washed everything and poisoned our couches and the fleas went away. I forgot about the raccoons unless they fought and then sometimes I forgot about them while they fought, until one night they spoke to me, a rapid chatter above the room where I type, and I thought, Enough.

Tim Dicks

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Read TD's story, "Ha Ha Ha."

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