No moon, and a heavy overcast conceals the stars. Along the street, the shapes of houses are indistinguishable, though a faint glow can be seen from two curtained windows. Across the street, pale light from a side window falls on a patch of shrubs. They seem like ghosts hovering in air. Even the outlines of the trees can barely be made out, so dark is the sky. The air is cool, still and heavy with impending rain. All is silence, except for the brief sound of a dog barking in the muffled distance. Hello, dog.