“What does he want?” they asked each other.
They fed him and changed him. He screamed. They rocked him and sang to him. He kept screaming. He screamed for days, pausing only for brief naps.
They took turns finding excuses to leave for an hour or so. I’ll pick up dinner, they’d say. Or walk the dog (who, by the way, cowered in the basement during the screaming).
When they couldn’t take it anymore, they screamed.
Then he stopped.