The Infernal Bargain House

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Digital drawing. An oak tree at center whose six visible main branches spread in all directions, some dragging on the ground, some reaching upward, some reaching outward.  Diffuse patches of green in the background suggest leaves sprouting from the thinner branches.  A thin dark haze lays along the ground. A vaguely humanoid shadow floats beside the tree.

A gray shape darted past me to my right.  I turned to the ragged bushes entangled with dried weeds.  One of the stems shuddered and I heard a rustling.  But the overgrowth was too thick for me to see what was moving around in there.  Back home—my previous home—I would have guessed it was a lizard.  But here, in my new home, it could have been a rabbit.  A wild rabbit.

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Esmeralda Auricle

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Quill 157 Esmeralda Auricle Image 1 Final Alt“Your alibi checks out, Ms. Cavellero, so you’re free to go for now.  Give us a call if you remember anything.”

“I will.”  She caught her breath.  She almost asked the detective to do the same if the police found anything further in the case, but of course that wasn’t the way it worked.  She wasn’t family.

She hadn’t killed that poor young couple, but she felt responsible for their deaths.  And she knew more people would die if she didn’t help the police.  She hadn’t killed that young couple, and she didn’t know exactly who or what had.

But she knew where he lived.

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