• My phone is set to silent when the message arrives. Later, when checking the time, I see it previewed on the screen. I forget all about the time.

    It begins with a line of text, but what I notice first is the emojis: three lines of identical skulls. The text (“Have you heard of the black death. This is what it dose.”) would be threatening if it weren’t for the grammar and the spelling—reminders that its author, an earnest boy with a vast imagination, is only eight.