She went in and never came out.
October 2nd, 1962, Emma Sharpe and I were walking outside of her home on Norwich Street. It’d been a quiet summer and fall, and I’d had a bit of time to get to know her. She was a transplant from New London, Connecticut, and she had settled down nicely. We’d met at Butler’s Books and hit it off straight away.
The home she lived in once belonged to a member of the Black family, and he’d died badly in the garage one day in ’39. I’d found his body and gathered it up.
There wasn’t enough to fill a pillowcase.
I didn’t share that with Emma, though I did tell her about the death.
“We should go inside,” Emma declared.
She let out a sweet laugh. “The garage.”
“Another day,” I told her, glancing at the building. “It’s a bad place.”
Emma looked at me with surprise. “Are you afraid to go in?”
“Aye,” I lied. “Let’s have a cup of coffee.”
“You’re not afraid,” she stated after a moment. “I can see it in your eyes. I don’t think you’re afraid of anything.”
“There’s plenty,” I told her.
“Alright,” she said. “Coffee it is.”
Then she winked, gave me a playful kiss, and darted for the garage, laughing as she did so.
She was, I’m sorry to say, faster than me, but not faster than whatever was waiting in the garage.
Emma threw open the door, sprang into the darkness, and screamed as the door slammed closed behind her.
I put my shoulder into the door, tearing my shoulder out of the socket even as I knocked the door out of the frame.
But I was too late.
Emma was gone, and the stink of blood hung in the air.
I found the light switch and flipped it on. The garage was bare and swept clean. No sign of bird or beast. Not a speck of dust or bit of dirt.
Yet on the far wall, a message had been written in blood.
‘I wonder, will she taste as sweet as her laughter?’
I didn’t need to see the signature beneath the question.
I know my mother’s handwriting well.
In silence, I turned off the light and put my shoulder back into its socket. I left the door hanging from its broken hinge and made my way home.
I had weapons to clean and a rucksack to pack.
On the morrow, I’d hunt my mother in the Hollow.