“This is the cornerstone,” he said. “Every other stone depends on this one.”


“Did you make that drawing?”


“His name is Naram-Sin,” he told me. “He was the first human being who was also a god.”


“Like Jesus?”


He nodded. “He called himself Ruler of the Four Corners.”


“What are they?”


“The book doesn’t say.” He reached down and rubbed some dirt on his hands. “It’s not real yet. You have to use your imagination.”


I rubbed some dirt on my hands and squinted. I saw a whole army of bricks, one on top of another, blocking out all the neighbors on all sides, and I made the wall go up even higher, until it was taller than the roof, taller than the trees. But then a car pulled up out front at the curb. It honked twice. Sergeant Defenbargh and I walked around to the driveway. Mom didn’t get out of the car. She didn’t even look over at me.


I had a lot of words in my mouth, but I couldn’t make any of them come out. I didn’t even say goodbye to Sergeant Defenbargh. Instead I just put my head down and got into the front seat. I knew mom was livid, because it was the same look she had on her face sometimes when she would say, “I-am-livid,” taking a pause before each word.