A minute later we’re back in the foyer, me watching as Charlie presses his formidable stomach against the floor. In his hand is a penshaped magnet stick, the end of which he lowers through the grate.
“I’m so sorry for this,” I say.
Charlie wiggles the stick. “Happens all the time. These grates are notorious. I think of them as monsters. They’ll eat up anything that comes their way.”
The comparison is apt. The longer I look at the heating vent, the more it resembles a dark maw just waiting to be fed.