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Chapter OneKristin Maddow pointed to the white Victorian styled mansion surrounded by massive trees on the left side of the car in White Village, New Hampshire." That's the one, Mr. Grant! I want to buy that house right there!" she declared confidently in her high- pitched voice. Grant stopped his car directly in front of the house. He looked at his clipboard, this was only house twelve, he had another twenty-eight houses on the market that he needed to sell!" Ms. Maddow, you seem so sure of your choice! Don't you want to look at-"?" Here's the money," said Kristin, cutting him off abruptly. Then she handed him a check for 500,000 dollars." Is it enough?" She pulled out her blue checkbook again, just in case. Edward Grant, the town's best realtor, had never met a more determined buyer than Kristin Maddow. Kristin's long blonde hair was wavy around her shoulders, not curly. Her bright green eyes gleamed like emeralds with excitement as she looked at the house again. Grant's brown eyes surveyed her thin, pale face, checking to see if she was playing him. He saw no signs, much to his dismay, but complete happiness as she looked at the house. He took the check and sighed with amusement as he got out of the car. Kristin followed him; her short white skirt, and a black and white rose designed top gleamed in the warm sunlight. Kristin's silver purse clung to her small, but firm wrist. Mr. Grant looked extremely professional in his gray suit. His brown hair was thinning and had some gray spots. But all things considered, he was somewhat attractive for a late sixty- year old. Kristin was as tall as Mr. Grant in her silver two-inch heels; otherwise Mr. Grant would have been taller than her.She was absolutely entranced at the houses' beauty. It had so much detail in the columns that were holding up the wide and gorgeous balcony. Kristin has majored in graphic design in college, and she loved anything that had to do with design. The mansion wasn't that big, but it wasn't too small either. It was just perfect for a thirty-five year old woman who wanted to get away from all of her family problems in New York. Kristin wasn't really paying attention to anything that Edward Grant was saying as they walked up the stone walkway to the house. Her mind was completely focused on the house. " It's so pretty. Mom would just love visiting me here when Dad and her have their fights," thought Kristin, " I wonder if Ben would let me do my work from here instead of driving all the way to Portsmouth?" Kristin was sure that the house could have Internet access, that way she could do her commercial and billboard designs whenever she felt like it. Mr. Grant's voice caught her attention then." Ms. Maddow? Were you listening to me?" he asked, his calming voice had an edge of annoyance in it now." No. I'm sorry. I was so... distracted by the beauty of the house. Could you repeat what you've said?"Mr. Grant sighed, fully annoyed now though he tried not to show it." I was explaining that this house was originally built in 1952, after a fire burned the original house down a couple of months earlier. Mr. and Mrs. William Clark originally owned it. Mrs. Clark was young; actually they both were very young. They both were only seventeen when they got married. As I was saying, Mrs. Clark, Sarah was her name, died in a freak accident after falling from the cliff right there", Mr. Grant pointed through a forest of trees behind the house." You walk two miles north and then there's the cliff. Down below it, is a raging river that empties into the ocean after, oh about twelve miles,"Mr. Grant reached the doorstep at the same time Kristin did. He opened the black and gold door for her. Inside the house was a beautiful black -ironed staircase that curled around itself till it reached the second floor. Then to the left of the staircase was a hallway that had a blood red carpet that contrasted to the black walls. The hallway had about four, five doors on either wall. To the right was a room with red walls. Several big black bookcases lined up on the walls. The room also had matching red loveseats and a mahogany antique desk in the corner. Kristin eagerly ran to the antique desk, her heels clicking on the wooden floor in the room. Mr. Grant followed her with a little less enthusiasm." Do you like it?"" It's so beautiful! How could anyone not love it?" gushed Kristin with a smile." I know someone who couldn't," growled a voice. Kristin and Mr. Grant turned to be face to face with an old man. He had on an old baseball cap, a torn up t-shirt, and jeans. For shoes he had on sneakers. The old man had hypnotic gray eyes and a scowl on his wrinkled face." Bill, I thought I told you that I was coming with a client, and that you should stay out of it until they made their decision about the house," said Mr. Grant, calmly but commandingly." Yeah, well I bet you didn't tell her everything Eddy, did ya?" said the old man, Bill with a knowing look in his eyes. Kristin felt out of place in between this conversation. The two men gave each other glaring looks. Then the old man looked at Kristin for what it seemed like the first time." Well, well, well where are my manners? I'm Bill Beckingfield, at your service if you are going to buy this house that is!"Kristin stepped towards him and put out her delicate, small hand." Kristin Maddow, and yes, I am going to buy this house".Will shook her hand with his somewhat dirty one and then stepped back. He smiled at her, with his remaining teeth." You're going to buy this house even after what Eddy here told you about this house! That takes some mighty fine courage Miss Maddow. But don't worry, I'll protect you from that sicko any day!!"Mr. Grant cleared his throat, warning Bill to stop.Kristin looked back and forth between Bill and Edward, confused. " I evidently missed something important while Ed was talking", she thought to herself, wishing that she had been paying attention now. Edward excused himself, took Kristin by the arm and led her into the foyer with the staircase. Bill laughed softly and left using the front door. The house was quiet with Bill gone now. Kristin had been enjoying looking at the huge crystal chandelier that hung from the high ceiling, when Edward started talking." Now what I was trying to tell you earlier was that when Mrs. Clark died so did her daughter, Jennifer, and her sister, Madeline in a fire that burned down the whole house. The gardener for that time thought that he saw someone throw a match into the house seconds before it caught on fire. But it was never proven that anyone was there. That's why the whole town thinks that there is a serial killer on the loose that's a descendant of whoever killed Sarah Clark in 1936. It has always been thought of as a coincidence whenever someone buys this house-", he sighed, trying to find a way to put this gently without scaring her. Edward fumbled with his briefcase as he tried to form the right words." There have been many... deaths that have happened for women who have bought this house, Miss Maddow. Now whether it's a coincidence or not, I have been asked by the police department to inform anyone about this who is interested in this house."Kristin stared at him, her eyes searching for any sign of a stupid practical joke. None whatsoever." But why just this house? Don't you think that it's strange that these murders are happening at this one house?" asked Kristin logically." I agree it is quite strange Miss Maddow, but I assure you we now have full security around the house. We also have the police number programmed into every phone if you press the number one. We can also program that into your cell phone if you chose to buy the house," said Grant.He had felt nervous about this house from the first time it got put on the market in 1964. William Clark had finally moved from the house after he had rebuilt it. Some say he went to England, others say he went to Rhode Island, where Sarah loved to go when she was alive. But there had been strange murder cases that involved the women that bought this house. Very strange cases. That's why the state asked Bill Beckingfield to be the house's gardener and to be on watch for anyone suspicious. But even with Bill, the murders still kept happening. Granted, most of the people who bought the house were old ladies who had gotten enough retirement money and had lived in White Village all their lives. Some of them even remembered Sarah Clark; they claimed that they needed to live here because it would help them remember anything that happened that night. They were convinced that someone murdered her and that person was at the party that night, but it was never proven. Grant truly believed that they all were crazy, but even he felt bad when he found out that they had died under mysterious circumstances.Bill really was trying his best, but he was 80 and he wasn't that fast or strong anymore. When they first hired him, he was a fit forty-seven year old, with a remarkable resemblance to William Clark. But he denied any family relation, and some guys at work had even checked it out for themselves. But he was right; there was no relation between them. Kristin cleared her throat now, to get Grant's attention." I'm sorry Ms. Maddow, I was the one who was distracted this time," he apologized. Kristin flashed him a white set of teeth." It's fine, Edward. I just have one question for you,"" Certainly, what is it?" asked Grant, praying for it not to be how many people have died in this house. He did not want to answer that question. He; himself had lost count at twenty." Was the 500,000 enough for the first payment?"Grant looked up, taken by complete surprise." Yes, it was enough," he half whispered. Kristin Maddow smiled at him again, completely unaware or ignorant to the consequences of the choice she just made. As Grant and Kristin got in the car, Grant felt an overwhelming sick feeling pass through him as he put the lease forms in his suitcase. He knew he shouldn't have let her signed the papers without telling her the last part of the story. The part about the skeletons the others had found in the walls of the mansion. And that the others had also been put in the walls and had been gruesomely discovered one day by Bill. And he should have told her that the killer was real, not some phony kid trying to play jokes.Grant knew he should have told her that, but for some terrible reason he decided against it. Edward Grant then started up the car, dropped off Kristin at her hotel, and prayed that she would stay alive while living in that horribly messed up house....Kristin moved into her new home the following Tuesday. She brought all of her stuff from her apartment in New York and loaded it all up into her Toyota Explorer. It took her a while to drive from New York to New Hampshire, but she managed to make it. Kristin's mother, Jane had wanted to come and help her, but she had gotten sick the day before Kristin had left, so she didn't come. Edward Grant had told Kristin that he would send some moving company's men to come help her unload everything. And when Kristin pulled up to the driveway that Tuesday afternoon, there were 8 men standing outside of 3 big moving trucks talking. As soon as Kristin stopped the car, grabbed her Vera Bradley tote bag, her box of books, and got out, she formally introduced herself." Well, hi! Um, I'm Kristin and are you the guys who are supposed to help me unpack everything?"One of the men winked at her and said;" Yessiree!! Well aren't you pretty? But why in God's name did you buy this house lady?" His brown hair was cut short, and he had muddy brown eyes, and a mustache." I liked this house," replied Kristin uneasily." I didn't realize that so many people have lived in this house and never... left? "The man smiled at her." Don't worry Miss. We'll all make sure that your furniture is in the perfect position so you can beat up any intruders that come by,"Kristin smiled warily at him as she made her way up the stone walkway.She then pointed back to her car, which she had left unlocked." Okay boys, all my stuff is in there. I would like my sofa in the room with red walls, and my mirror can go in the hallway with the red carpet," she said as she ascended up the porch steps. She opened the door with her key. " My key to my own home", she thought as she walked inside. " I haven't lived by myself since Alex walked out on me". Alex had been Kristin's fiancé. Until the day of their wedding he left her standing at the altar. She had been crushed when he had said that he only wanted to get up on her and that he really had never loved her, in front of her whole family. That had happened four weeks ago. That was why she had been looking for a house that was far, far away from boyfriends who are jerks. Kristin inhaled deeply the smell of the house. It smelled like pine trees. She dropped the box right next to the door, and took everything in. The chandelier's crystals looked like they held some sort of secrets deep within the cuts of the crystal. The ironed staircase beckoned her with a warning. The circular, tall windows in the back, looking out into the forest of trees and the cliff, opened up the room, and let in the warm sun. Kristin, oddly, felt right at home in this place. She felt a connection between her and this house ever since she saw it from a distance, in Mr. Grant's car. Something in here called to her, whether for the better or worse she'll never truly know until it happens. Kristin checked her cell phone when it suddenly vibrated in the pocket of her skinny jeans." Hello?"" Kristin? Honey, you have horrible reception up there in those mountains!!! Can you hear me??? Is this darn thing even working?" yelled Jane, her mother.Kristin sighed. Her mother hated any technology; it had been such a hassle to even convince her that she should have a cell phone, never-mind buy one." Mom? I can hear you fine. Why are you calling me? No offense, but I'm kinda busy unpacking and rearranging my stuff, Mom,"There was a long pause. Kristin could just picture her Mom's long, curly blonde hair shaking as she thought of something to say. Her deep ocean blue eyes in thought. Her red lips trying to form happy words to hide her disappointment." Mom? Mom, listen I'm sorry. It's just I really love this house and I really want to go explore it,"Kristin wasn't sure that explore was the right word, but it was the first word that popped into her head that fit." Oh. I see, Kristin. I guess I was feeling a bit lonely honey, you know what I'm talking about. Don't you, sweetie?" Jane's voice broke a little at the end. Kristin gave a long sigh. They were fighting again. And this time Mom didn't have Kristin's sister, Heidi, to talk to because she had died in a car crash 7 months ago. Mom was still getting over it. But so was everyone in the family." Mom I'm sorry. Really I am. You know what, I'll call you tonight after the movers have left. How does that sound Mom?" Kristin tried to sound enthusiastic. Her mom sniffled slightly on the other end." Alright."Kristin smiled, even though her mom couldn't see it." Okay then. See you later!"" Kristin! Wait!" called Mom." What?"" I love you sweetie,"Kristin felt a pang of guilt in her heart. She paused before answering." I love you too, Mom."With that Jane ended the call, satisfied and brave enough to face her always-angry husband. Kristin on the other hand, felt worse than ever.She ascended up the staircase, her tote in one hand, and the box in the other. Upstairs the staircase extended up one more level, but on the second floor, there was a corridor on the left side, and on the right was Kristin's bedroom. The doors were gold with black roses for handles. She gently turned the rose, and the door opened, revealing a rose pink colored canopy bed. The canopy was light pink, but the sheets were white and rose pink. The pillows were a stark white color. There was a rectangular gold-framed window facing the cliff's direction. To the right of the bed, there was an ornate make-up desk and mirror, and a bathroom. Kristin set the box of books down on the nightstand next to the bed and looked around, shocked. Then she flopped down on the bed with glee. " I have got to be in a movie or some prank reality TV. Show!" she thought with disbelief. " No, Kristin, this is real, get a grip," she told herself with some mental force. She could hear the movers downstairs carrying her couch to the room with red walls and the books. She told herself to get up of her ass and get down there and help them. " Who knows Kristin," she told herself as she got up. "Maybe one of them is single?"Chapter TwoJane Maddow was thinking about her daughter, Kristin, when her husband, Kevin came barging in to the kitchen. In his rage, he knocked over Jane's purse on the granite countertop. Jane looked up, startled and calmly put her things back in her purse without talking to Kevin." JANE!!!" he yelled as he slammed an envelope on the table." Where's the damn money to pay for all this crap??"Jane looked at her husband sharply. His hair was fully gray, his green eyes filled with anger and alcohol. His prickly mustache used to comfort her, but now it didn't comfort her at all. Nothing Kevin ever did ever comforted her anymore. In his old age, Kevin Maddow had lost his unique charm and smile that had made Jane like him in the first place in college. Now Kevin had a scowl on his face at all times, and a beer bottle in one of his hands. Jane Maddow was only 52, but Kevin was now 61 and it was starting to take a toll on their marriage. It all started 7 months ago when their eldest daughter, Heidi went to Las Vegas and came back married. She swore that it was legal and that she was moving in with this alleged husband. But on the day she was supposed to meet him, he bailed on her. Heidi had been crushed. And one night she went out drinking and got into a fatal car crash, whether it was on purpose or not, they didn't know. That sparked some tension between Kevin and Jane. Then four weeks ago, Kristin had her fiancé bail on her at her wedding. Jane was somewhat surprised when Kristin had called her and said that she had found a house in New Hampshire she was buying. Jane didn't really like the thought of Kristin being a few states away from her, especially now. She didn't mind it when Heidi was in a different state, but she had always bonded a little more with Kristin than Heidi....Kevin's scream of outrage brought her back to the present situation at hand." I don't know what you want me to do about this, Kevin?" said Jane annoyed. " I didn't think we were behind on our bills,"Kevin mumbled something under his breath." I'm sure not! You never think about anything, Jane! I'm the only one with brains around here," he declared in his husky voice. Jane thought of several good comebacks for that statement, but resisted saying any out loud." I'm sure you are, Kevin," replied Jane with as much sarcasm as she could speak with without Kevin even noticing." You can bet to hell I am!" said Kevin proudly.Jane suppressed a snicker. Kevin then pointed to the envelope." You can pay for that one, and the next one too!!"" Fine," said Jane evenly. Kevin left the kitchen with a grunt of pain as he slipped on the wet tiled floor. He waved Jane away when she tried to help him to his feet." Geesh, Jane I may be old, but I'm not that old. Now get off me!!"He then left, and all was quiet. Jane was glad that this hadn't ended up in a huge escalated fight, and that she didn't end up getting scared of Kevin and calling her daughter for comfort. She was very relieved that a fight was avoided. Then Jane picked up the morning paper that was on the wooden kitchen table and began to read it, waiting anxiously until nightfall when Kristin would call her from that hellhole called New Hampshire. She came across an article that readWhite Village Murders- New Owner Moves into The Clark Mansion- How Long Will She Have?Jane almost dropped the paper. She quickly scanned the article, and to her fears found her daughters name next to the words- owner of Clark Mansion. She read the rest of the article, in horror. The article told Jane about everything, the old ladies, the skeletons, and worse of all, the serial killer that was in White Village, New Hampshire.Chapter ThreeAt six o'clock Kristin was lying down on her couch in her new home, completely exhausted. She had helped the workers place her things among the spacious mansion. She had also gotten one of their phone numbers in the process. Kristin had changed out of her short sleeved green top and had put a light blue long sleeved top. Kristin had almost drifted off to sleep, until she realized that she had to call her mother. She had nearly jumped off the couch, when Bill had stepped into the room." Hello Ms. Maddow! Wide awake are we now?" said Bill with a light-hearted chuckle. Kristin tried hard to smile at the old man, but in truth he kind of freaked her out. Bill smiled suspiciously at her." I was just going to call my Mom, and I almost forgot."" Is she worried about you? Is she one of those overprotective mothers? No offense if she is, but I can't stand mothers who are like that."" Oh," Kristin laughed in spite of herself, " Not really. I mean, she kind of is overprotective, but in a good way."Kristin's mind ventured back to the time that she had left for college and her mom had made a checklist of all things she should have packed. It was a bit overboard, but Kristin appreciated it. Somewhat...Bill had now begun to dust the bookshelves and the antique desk. Kristin sat silently while he worked, trying to think of something to say." So, Bill, how long have you worked here for?" she asked simply.Bill turned around to face her." Too long to remember clearly, Ms. Maddow," he said with a funny look on his face. He had a far-away look in his eyes, like he was remembering something tragic, or upsetting that had happened." I have lived in this town for a while, Miss. I've seen things that you couldn't possibly imagine in your dizziest daydreams. Terrible things have happened in this town!"Kristin leaned forward, interested." Like what Mr. Beckingfield?"Bill sat down on the couch, his dirt-incrusted boots leaving dirt on her nice black carpet. His gray eyes seemed to change into a lighter shade of gray while he spoke." There were grisly murders that happened in this house. It was very frightening. And, I thought I- I mean I didn't know that-, and I don't really want to talk about it now, if you don't mind Ms. Maddow," he said suddenly. He looked out into the darkness of the night through the window, a strange expression on his face. " Poor man," thought Kristin, "He must have had some gruesome encounters with those corpses that had been murdered here."" It's alright, Bill. Is it alright if I call you, Bill?"The old man smiled."Absolutely, Ms. Maddow," he said with a nod as he got up off the couch, and left the room. Kristin was then, left to her thoughts and the peace and quiet of her new home. Kristin reluctantly picked up her cell phone, that she had left on the antique table, and turned it on. She was surprised to find that she had 5 missed calls. There were all from her mother. " Oh, crap," said Kristin out-loud as she dialed her mother's phone number. A number of possibilities ran through her head. She could have fallen down the stairs, or had been shot. She ran her hand through her thin hair, a nervous habit by now. She waited, anxiously as the phone rang, and rang. Finally her mother picked up." Kristin!!!! Why weren't you answering your phone???? I read this article in the paper and- honey you're in danger!" Her mom stopped talking then." Mom, what are you talking about?" Kristin was slightly annoyed at her for calling her five times just because a news-article said she was in some sort of danger. " Didn't you read the paper today? Oh, honey there was this article about your house and- did you know that murders were committed in your house?" Her mom's voice was on the urge of absolute panic." Yes, mom. I did," said Kristin with an exasperated sigh." Now, honey I know you like living in the middle of nowhere, but if that killer comes for you-"Kristin cut her off abruptly." Mom what are you talking about? What killer?"Her mom paused for a few seconds on the other end of the line." Uh- well I, honey your father's home and, well you know how he can be when he comes home from work. I'll call you later tonight to explain since you obviously have no idea what you've gotten yourself into".Kristin heard a click, and the line went dead....Kristin had been exceedingly on edge since her Mom’s phone call last night. Her Mom had called, like she said she would and had told Kristin the appalling news. She had been shocked of course. A serial killer here up in the mountains? And who was after her, maybe not Kristin specifically, but was after someone! Kristin had been scared straight. She hadn’t left the house; she just stayed up in her room thinking. Why would someone try and kill her?Kristin had been pondering over that for a whole day now. Bill had gone out on a vacation, he was required to have one every month. So Kristin was alone in her big mansion. She had to admit that her house was a bit scary at night now that she knew the truth. Murders? She had really thought that Mr. Grant had been joking with her. She thought that that had been some folk legend that everyone in the town talked about to newcomers. You know like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. Kristin had thought that he was just playing a fun, friendly joke on her. But she was wrong. This was no joke. There really had been murders committed in this house.Kristin sat upright on her bed. Murders? The feeling of dread sank in, and she lowered herself back down onto the bed. The rose pink sheets felt soft to her touch, relaxing almost. Her mind wandered to Heidi.Her sister.Her dead sister.Kristin had been distraught when she had got the phone call from her Mother saying that Heidi had died. Kristin could remember exactly where she was when she got the news. That happened a lot when something bad happened; most people remember where they were when it happened.Kristin remembered that she was baking in her kitchen at her old apartment. The wood panels of the walls, the old stove that wouldn’t work, and the many disorganized cabinets filled with various things came back to with perfect clarity. Then she had gotten the phone call. Kristin remembered that she had dropped the pan; spilling its contents everywhere and then she had started to sob.Just remembering Heidi’s death brought tears to Kristin’s eyes. She started to cry when suddenly her door sprang open. Kristin jumped back in fright. She had become so jumpy since her mom’s phone call. The person who had opened her door wasEdward Grant.Kristin, startled, tried to smile at Edward Grant, but she was too disheveled.“ I’m sorry, did I scare you?” asked Grant as he admired her room.Kristin nodded, and then slowly got up from her bed to greet him.“ Well, Kristin I’d say you’re doing just fine here aren’t you?” said Grant as he gave her a friendly smile. She weakly smiled back, thinking about the newspaper article that had said how long she had to live.“ Mr. Grant, something has come up that I must ask you about,” replied Kristin as she fixed her hair with her hands. The warm sun filled the room, but it did not make Kristin feel any better. Edward Grant faced her, his brown eyes gleaming with suspicion. He looked around the room nervously.“ Yes, Ms. Maddow?”Kristin sighed.“ Well, it’s this house. You see, my mom called last night and she told me some frightening news,” said Kristin.Edward Grant nodded slowly; he had read yesterday’s paper with a sick feeling in stomach that Kristin would find out about the corpses and the murders. Grant waved her thoughts away with a sweeping gesture towards outside.“ Ms. Maddow I think we should continue this discussion outside, if you don’t mind,” he said with false innocence.Kristin bit her lip, knowing that he was hiding something. Kristin didn’t meet Edward’s eyes, she was thinking. Instead she quickly glanced at herself in the make up mirror beside her desk. Her hair was, perfect, flowing down her back without any frizz. Her green eyes shone brightly in the sunlight. Her white dress captured her beauty and framed her thin silhouette. Her black heels added a touch of sexiness. She looked perfect, beautiful even.The only thing wrong was her expression.It was filled with fear.Kristin tried to get her expression to be happy, but she couldn’t. She rearranged her flawless face to be smooth and expressionless. But she could still feel that the fear was still on her face.“ Sure, Mr. Grant,” replied Kristin as she leaded the way out of bedroom. She felt an odd presence as she left the room, like someone or something was watching her.Grant closed the door after her, not wanting to tell her about the corpse that was buried in the wall of her bedroom. The one that he had just seen that was buried into the wall. The one with the incredibly scarred face, with cuts and scars all over her.The one that had been the pervious owner of the Clark Mansion.Chapter FourKristin was officially creeped out. Mr. Grant had brought her into the woods without any explanation whatsoever. They were now standing by a river, which was right below a looming, and dangerously high cliff. The cliff was beautiful, but high and rocky. The forest that was back a ways was scary, even though it was day-time, it still freaked Kristin out. The looming, tall trees casted shadows all around, and the dark green grass went on for miles and seemed to go on forever.Kristin's short, white dress kept the breeze from getting her chilled. The white ruffled top of the dress with a black jacket was comfortable. Kristin looked out at the trees and hoped that they would not be walking anymore, if she had known that she would have worn flats instead of her heels.Kristin turned her attention away from the forest and concentrated on Mr. Grant. He was staring at the river's waters with a unusual expression on his face.Fear.Kristin could not think of one thing that would cause Mr. Grant to have fear on his face, except for one thing.The killer.A million thoughts rushed through Kristin's head about the killer. He could be here right now, or he could have killed Mom or Dad, or worse. Maybe the killer in White Village was the man that bailed on Heidi. But Kristin's judgement quickly took over, and she calmly thought about the rational possibilities." Maybe Mr. Grant wants me to move, so that I won't get hurt," thought Kristin as she gazed at the river. The water was, without a doubt, pretty and eye-catching. The water was flowing rapidly around the rocks that were embedded into the shore. But there was something more to it. Kristin just couldn't place her finger on it, but there was something more to that river than what met the eye. Kristin was still staring at the clear, blue waters until Edward Grant spoke." Ms. Maddow, it has come to my attention that you now know about the killer. And that the person is very much alive and here," he started nervously.Kristin's eyes left the water to bore into Mr. Grant's soul.He could have told her that the killer was ALIVE or better yet, in White Village? Kristin's opinion of Mr. Grant changed drastically right then and there. He was a threat to her, even if he had been the one to sell her the house. He was still a threat." Yes, I have found that out, Mr. Grant. I would have appreciated it if you could have told me that it was not a folk legend and that the killer was real!" Kristin's voice seemed to be shriller than normal. It was filled with dislike and a bit of fear. She immediately wondered if Bill would have told her about the killer, or would he had kept a vow of silence until her death.Mr. Grant's eyes seemed apologetic, but Kristin knew that she could not trust him anymore. He lied to her about a murderer, how could she trust him ever again!Mr. Grant cleared his throat, and fixed his red tie. His black suit made him look like someone from White Collar, Kristin observed. Kristin looked at the water again, puzzled by it's mysteries." Mr. Grant, didn't you say that someone got killed here?" said Kristin desperate to change the subject. She didn't want to argue with him today, she was still shaken from the truth.Mr. Grant looked surprised at the question.He never got asked that by anyone, but that's because most of the townspeople already know what happened to Sarah Clark. And most of them would rather not bring it up. Folklorees and ghost stories have filled their minds over the last few years due to some kids pranks that have involved the ghost of Sarah Clark. And now everyone in the town had been obsessed with the murder, and the news of the killer and Kristin Maddow had only brought more attention to the case. Edward Grant and his son, Michael Grant, who partially owns Grant Realtors with him, have been getting phone calls about the Clark Mansion everyday wondering if the new owner had died yet. Most of the people who called had been crazy, lonely people who swore that they were there when Sarah died. But Michael and Edward didn't believe a word any one said about the murder.Mr. Grant got his head out of his thoughts and focused on the question. He turned his gaze back to the water." Yes, I told Mrs. Clark was supposedly murdered here, remember in that story,' reminded Grant with a shaky laugh. "Remember when I told you that the killer might have been looking for revenge, no wait, I never said that!" Grant reminded himself that. He didn't tell her about the killer. He hadn't wanted to." Mr. Grant, I remember the story. I was just wondering if there was like, some sort of memorial for her. You know like a statue or something?" said Kristin, her eyes still glued to the water. She looked up at him, a smile forming on her face for some odd reason.Mr. Grant fidgeted with his coat, it was getting quite chilly. It was almost four o'clock, and the sun would be setting in about an hour. Grant only had an hour to warn her about the killer." Yes, actually. It's right over there," said Mr. Grant as he walked over to a magnificent willow tree. The tree seemed old, but in a good way. It's branches swayed gently in the wind, and the trunk stood tall and proud. Kristin walked over, mesmerized by the exotic tree." I thought that willows didn't grow in New Hampshire," whispered Kristin softly as she touched the leaves. She was strangely fascinated with the old tree.Mr. Grant shook his head. " They don't. Mr. Clark had it specifically planted here in memory of his wife,"Mr. Grant was still talking, but Kristin wasn't paying attention. She was too caught up in something peculiar that she had seen carved into the tree's trunk. Kristin moved some branches out of her way, and peered down to get a closer look at the strange carvings, when Mr. Grant grabbed her arm, causing her to jump.Kristin whirled around, mostly scared by Mr, Grant's strong hand that gripped her shoulder just so." Mr. Grant, I'm sorry I jumped. You scared me!" said Kristin as she adjusted her skirt and fixed her hair. She looked up at him, smiling.But Mr. Grant was not smiling.In fact he looked quite, serious and scary.Kristin gulped. She casually glanced back at the forest, wondering that if the need be, she could run away from him. It was about a two mile run, and Kristin wasn't used to that. In New York, she took a cab everywhere except when she had to walk to work. Kristin looked back at Mr. Grant, his expression had changed just so.Kristin could feel the panic settle in her face. Why was it that she always attracted the weirdos or the runaways?" Now, Kristin," started Mr. Grant as he stepped towards her. He was already very close to her, but now there was just enough space in between them that she would have no choice to pay attention to him. And that's how Edward Grant wanted it." I need to tell you something very serious about this killer," said Mr. Grant.Kristin didn't want to hear what he wanted to say, all she wanted to do was leave.Now....Kristin had been left alone by herself in the woods. And she was still shaking. Mr. Grant’s speech to her about the killer had been… terrifying. She couldn’t have imagined a worse fate than being killed by the killer. The things that Mr. Grant had said! And it didn’t help that he just left her there in the woods. Kristin was annoyed the most at that. He could have taken her home.But now Kristin was alone in the dark, and eerie woods near her house. The once comforting and intriguing river was now freaking her out. The trees seemed to taunt her that something bad was going to happen. Kristine didn’t feel to good about being alone.So, she took out her cell phone and shone the light in front of her path.She was still near the willow tree. Kristin shone the light on the tree, hoping to figure out which way to go.But instead she found something rather curious.Carved into the tree were words that had NOT been there when she was talking with Mr., Grant earlier. Kristin could feel her stomach drop as she read the words.K.M. YOU’RE NEXTA branch suddenly snapped.Kristin automatically twirled around to see if anyone was there. The light from her phone was dimming, and Kristin knew she had to get out of there. But still nothing was out there.Except for a book that was lying on the ground.Kristin, curious, picked it up.The cover was black and had a name carved into it in beautiful calligraphy:Sarah Clark.On the book’s cover was a post it that said:READ THIS AND YOU’LL FIND OUT WHOM THE REAL KILLER IS.Kristin was stunned. Was the killer trying to help her, or was this someone else?Unsure of who sent her the book, Kristin ran through the trees with the book and her phone, hoping to make it before someone saw her.When Kristin got to the house, the lights were on. The lights, Kristin remembered, were not on when she left the house. She had made sure to turn them off. Kristin slowly made her way to the front door.She opened it, expecting a psycho man to stab her with a knife.But to her surprise, her friend, Annie, greeted her. Kristin blinked a few times before she registered what was happening.“ SURPRISE Kristin!” shouted Annie as she smiled at her best friend.Kristin smiled meekly.“ Hi, Annie. What are you, uh, what are you doing here?” asked Kristin as she stepped into her house. Annie’s brown hair was wavy around her shoulders, and her brown eyes glimmered with excitement.“ I came to see you, of course! What kind of a friend would I be if I didn’t see you in your new house?” trilled Annie as she helped Kristin with her coat.“ What were you doing outside at this time of night anyways, Kristin?’ asked Annie as she fixed her red blouse and black skirt.Kristin knew that she would have to lie to Annie. Annie could not know about this serial killer. She would blab it to everyone in Kristin’s office at work.Kristin loved Annie as a friend, but stopped telling her things after she had told Kristin’s Mother that Kristin was hooking up with guys in New York when she was twenty-five. Kristin and Annie were partners at work, they both designed billboards and posters for different companies. Kristin and Annie got along really well, even though Annie was slightly younger than her. Annie was thirty-two and Kristin was thirty-five.Kristin was glad to be in her own home, safe and sound. But something was bugging her about that message on the tree. Annie was talking rapidly about something.Kristin tuned in to listen.“ And we could have a decorating party, or we could have a party to celebrate your new home? What do you think of that?”Annie turned her head to look at Kristin.Kristin looked at her, completely out of it.“ Hm? Sorry Ann, wasn’t listening?” she said as she sat down on the sofa. She put the book down under some scrap newspapers. Kristin found her home very comfortable, except now. She couldn’t stop picturing someone creeping into her house and hurting her. And with Bill on his vacation, no one was here to protect her. That brought a thought into Kristin’s mind.“ Annie,” started Kristin before Annie could even get a word out. “ How did you get in here?”Annie’s face went animated and excited. With absolutely no lines or wrinkles or anything on her face, Annie was a looker. She always looked stunning, even if she didn’t mean to.“ Well that’s the other surprise I was trying to tell you about that you weren’t listening about, Your caretaker, Bill, let me in. I didn’t realize that you got pampered on!”“ Bill’s back?” exclaimed Kristin. Annie nodded. Kristin realized that her statement had sounded harsh, but she was only surprised.As if on cue, Bill appeared in the living room. His baseball cap was on, and his dirty sneakers. His blue shirt and jeans looked new.“ Ms. Maddow, Ms. Rutherford,” he said politely. Annie blushed, no one had ever called her Ms, Rutherford so nicely before.“ Bill? You’re back so soon! I mean not that I’m not glad to see you, I was just surprised that you were here,” rambled Kristin foolishly. Bill smiled at her.“ Ah, well there’s something about a blizzard in Boston so my vacation was cut short. But from what I’m hearing, I’d figure you’d want me back here. Isn’t that right, Ms. Maddow?” Bill gave her an “ I know” look that bore into her soul and made her feel uncomfortable.Kristin swallowed her nervousness, and stared straight back at him.“ Yes. That’s right, Bill. I do need you around,” she said truthfully.Annie was now sitting on the couch next to Kristin, completely oblivious, whether it was intentional or not. Bill then gave her one last look, and then left.Kristin’s eyes wandered around the room, seeing shadows that she knew were parts of her imagination. Her fear of the killer was slowly creeping into her mind. But Kristin willed herself to make the shadows disappear. Finally Kristin’s eyes landed back on Annie.Annie had picked up the black book and was now flipping through it.Kristin practically jumped up, and snatched it from her.Annie looked up, startled.“ Was that yours? I’m sorry; it looked like a book that I had checked out a couple of weeks ago in the library. I thought it was the same one. But it’s not.”Kristin mumbled something unintelligibly.“ Yes it’s mine. Sorry Ann, it’s just… fragile. I don’t want you to damage it,” lied Kristin as she tucked it under the pillow of the couch. Annie looked at Kristin with a weird look on her face, but she let whatever thought crossed her mind go. Then they started a conversation about the new house. Annie said that they should have a party, and Kristin rolled her eyes in dread....“ So, it’s getting late. I should be getting back to my hotel before the crazy drunks all come out,” said Annie after a heated conversion about work.“ Hm. Guess so,” said Kristin as she looked at the clock. It was now midnight. They had managed to talk for four hours without getting bored. Kristin was glad that Annie had not brought up the book in any of the conversations. But Kristin knew that she had wanted to.Annie got up from the couch to grab her Coach handbag. Kristin sat up straight on the couch, fumbling quietly with the strange book. Kristin was glad that Annie had come to see her, but wished that she had come another day. And why she came in the middle of the night was a mystery to Kristin as well.They had successfully bitched about everyone who works at their office. It had been relieving. Then they had talked about their parents, friends, the both currently single status that they both had, and the house. Annie told Kristin that there was this cute college kid that was now working in their office, but he had a girlfriend. And Kristin didn’t really agree with the thought of running around with a college kid. She’d prefer someone close to her age, that’s single.Annie finally found her Coach handbag and her coat. Kristin got up from the couch, and straightened out her already straight, slimming dress. Annie smiled as she put on her bright red coat.“ Oh, Kris! I’ll miss you so much in New York! But this gives me an excuse to come visit you more often,” said Annie as she hugged Kristin.Kristin warmly hugged her back. Lately she felt like she had been cut off from civilization and she was glad that she got some social time with Annie. For a little while anyways.After their hug, Annie opened the door and disappeared into the night.Finally, Kristin was alone. As soon as she saw Annie’s Sudan leave, she grabbed the book and made her way up the black-ironed staircase to her room.The soft pink color of her room greeted her with familiarity and comfort. She quickly threw her heels onto the floor, and sat down on her bed. She looked over the book again. It seemed very old, but interesting. Kristin, annoyed with the Post It, threw it away in her white trash bin.She opened the book.The first page was a note:This diary belongs to Mrs. Sarah Clark or Ms. Sarah Teller, 1936.Hm, thought Kristin, this was the year she died. That brought on loads of suggestions to mind. Was the killer’s identity really in here?Suddenly, as if on cue, the lights went off in the house. Kristin screamed and dropped the book.Then Kristin heard slow, steady footsteps coming closer and closer to her door.Chapter FiveKristin didn’t move, actually she couldn’t move. Her whole body had literally gone numb from shock. So, she sat there on her bed, as the footsteps grew louder.Kristin was shaking with fear. Her instincts were screaming at her to run for her life.But then, the lights came back on.The person in the room was Bill.Kristin couldn’t have been more embarrassed. Here was Bill, and she thought that it was the killer. She should have known that Bill would have been the one to be in the house. After all, he was the caretaker. Kristin breathed a sigh of relief as Bill gave her a curious look.“ Did I scare ya, Ms. Maddow?” he asked as he checked the lights.Kristin nodded several times. Bill chuckled.“ You ever had anyone live with ya before Ms. Maddow” asked Bill. Kristin thought about that for a while. She really hadn’t. Alex had mostly been at work, and so had Kristin.“ Not really, Bill,” said Kristin as she sat up, and got up from the covers of her bed.Bill gave her a, I figured, look.“ Well it seems it’s alright now. Bloody storm came by surprise. I bet half the town is out of power,” muttered Bill to himself.“ Bill?’ called out Kristin after a thought crossed her mind.He turned.“Yes.”Suddenly Kristin felt nervous, she had no idea why but she did.“ What do you know about Sarah Clark?”The question obviously threw Bill. His expression was one of complete shock, and regret?“ Well, uh, Ms. Maddow, I know that she was a very fine lady who committed suicide in 1936.”Suicide? Kristin had been told that it was murder.“ Bill, I thought Mr. Grant said it was murder? Not suicide,” said Kristin. She felt confused.“ Ha, Grant said that! He would. That scoundrel will tell you anything to keep you from knowing the truth,” laughed Bill darkly.Kristin was even more confused.“ The truth?” she repeated with interest.Bill nodded slowly.“ Edward Grant comes from a dark family. They have been known to be involved in some serious crimes, and he’s a realtor! But anyway, it was a suicide. From what I know she jumped off of that cliff because she was desperately in love with that gardener that they had. But she knew that she could never fully love him, so she jumped. I also heard another version that her husband found about their relationship, and threatened to kill the gardener, but Sarah took her own life for his.”Kristin thought that that was incredibly sad. To die for love.Kristin nodded thoughtfully.“ Thank you, Bill,” she said implying that she wanted to be left alone.Bill took the hint and left.Then Kristin eagerly opened up Sarah’s diary:The second page read:Dear Diary, November 4th 1936I remembered when Mother told me that William Clark would make a fine husband for me, and not to worry today. But still, I did worry. What if he was grotesque or unloving? What would I do with my life then? But I am happy now. William is a handsome and generous man. I am very lucky. I must go, my daughter, Jennifer is calling.The next entry was three months after that.Dear Diary, January 21st 1936William took me to the cliff today. I must say, it really is beautiful. But the beauty was short-lived because William immediately started pestering me about my parent’s money again. Ever since they had died, he had been pestering me for the money. Since I am the first born heir, I get all of their money. And I must say, it is so much. But William wants it more than he will tell me. But I know that he will understand that this is my money, and I’m to do with it as I please. Jennifer is such a beautiful six year old. I’m so blessed to have her as my child. She is exactly like me, in looks. We both have golden hair, and blue eyes. My sister, Madeline has the same blue eyes but she has our Father’s brown hair. She is staying with us, my sister. She is such a pleasure company to keep. I am so glad that she is here. The light is dimming, so I must put this down.That was all that Kristin read before her eyes started to flutter closed. She put the book down on the floor, and tried to fall asleep.But she was haunted by what Bill had said to her. “ Bad family?’ All Kristin could think of was homicides and murders. But what did bad family mean?Kristin’s thoughts traveled to the possibilities of what Bill had said. He had said that Mr. Grant was obviously dangerous, but what else?Then Kristin thought of something in absolute dread.Was Bill suggesting that Mr. Edward Grant is the killer?...Kristin had at all cost been avoiding Mr. Grant for the whole weekend. She had managed to avoid his phone calls, which was pretty hard since he had called her everyday. Kristin knew that it wasn’t polite, but she needed time to think. Bill’s message had sunk into her head, and now she couldn’t stop cringing every time someone mentioned Mr. Grant’s name.It was now Tuesday, March 10th. Kristin had been living in her house for a week now, and she still hadn’t looked around the town. So that was Kristin’s plan for the whole day.Kristin drove all around town, searching for a Star Bucks, or a Vera Bradley Store. But, strangely, there was none of either in sight.Disappointed, Kristin walked into a shop that said: Rudy’s Coffee Shop, and prayed to God that they had a cappuccino. Kristin touched the old wooden door lightly, as if it would break. It opened, and the sweet smell of coffee swirled around her nose. Kristin smiled as she found an empty seat next to the window. She stared, bored, out of the window watching the cars pass by.“ This is very disappointing,” thought Kristin as she looked around the streets. “ Not a mall in sight in this town.”Kristin turned her attention back to the shop. The shop’s wooden walls, red curtains, and crowded tables, made Kristin feel uncomfortable. The shop was tiny, and that did not comfort her displeasure. The shop reminded Kristin of a log cabin, and Kristin was not one for the outdoors. Kristin didn’t care that she was living in New Hampshire now; it was a law to have a Star Bucks in your town right?Impatient, and running low on energy, Kristin resumed staring out the window. Suddenly a waiter came over to her, and tapped her on the shoulder. Kristin jumped, and turned to look at him. He was about twenty, brown hair, brown eyes, tall as well. He was without a doubt cute, but out of her league. Something about him was compelling and interesting. She smiled at him, wishing that she were twenty again.“ Hi,” he said. “ What can I get you today?”Not even thinking about it, Kristin replied, “ A cappuccino, please.”The guy gave her a look, and fiddled with his paper.“ We don’t have that,” he said, obviously confused. Kristin groaned, annoyed that outdoors people had never had a cappuccino.“ Then a coffee,” snapped Kristin. The guy mumbled something and then left.Kristin then pulled out her purse, and set it on the table. She reached in it, and pulled out the diary. Kristin had been too jittery from Bill’s accusation to read the diary, so she hadn’t since. Kristin opened it and began reading.Dear Diary, January 30th 1936Madeline has become increasingly useful to me. She has watched Jennifer countless times over the few days she has been here, which I am grateful of. William wants to go to Rhode Island, just him and I. But I do not agree with that. I do not want to be near him at all now. He has gotten, how do I word this, Scary. He has said unimaginable things that have shaken me to my very core. I honestly do not know what to do. I have spoken to Madeline about this several times, but she says it is because of the alcohol. I am beginning to believe that it really is. What else would explain his behavior? So that seems to be the most reasonable answer at this point. Oh Diary, why must I endure such trifles? Am I cursed? No, even I know I am not cursed. But something about Will is scaring me. Today we were in the garden, and the gardener had the nerve to call me Sarah, instead of Mrs. Clark. William was outraged that he had such nerve, but I thought it was sweet.He is a sweet boy, with that brown hair with eyes to match. He is strong too, but he is vulnerable as all children are. Jennifer gets along fine with him. Diary, I have such a bad feeling about William. Tomorrow I will visit Doctor Henry Grant, and see if he can help me.Kristin was annoyed when the waiter almost tripped over her Coach bag; which was on the floor. She was even more annoyed when the waiter put her coffee right next to her book, spilling some of it on the fragile pages. Kristin snatched the diary, and tried to get the coffee off of it with her jean jacket.“ I’m so sorry, Miss,” sputtered the waiter. Kristin didn’t feel like being nice today, so she just glared at him. She was pretty sure that he cringed at her stare.After he cleaned up the mess, he left Kristin to herself, after much glaring on her part. “ Doctor Henry Grant,” mused Kristin as she sipped on her coffee. “ I’ll look him up as soon as I get home.” Kristin looked at her mug, which was steaming hot. It was white, but it had a familiar saying on it.The mug’s inscription was;White Village, New Hampshire. Home of the Infamous and Deadly Clark Mansion.Enter it if you dare!Kristin thought that the inscription was cute, but it was the picture that intrigued her the most. The picture was of the Clark Mansion, but the willow tree that was near the river was in front of the house. The willow had something engraved in it; Sarah’s death wasn’t an accident. Come find out what happened.Kristin mulled over the two different opinions she had gotten about Sarah’s death. One said that it was murder, the other suicide. Well, which one was right? Kristin could only think of one way to answer that question, go to the local library and find out herself. But first, Kristin wanted to finish her coffee. Kristin stared out the window, and sipped on her coffee.The town itself was small; only 300 people lived there. But they had lots of those homemade, self-sufficient stores that Kristin and her friends used to call, Consignment Shops, back in New York. Here in White Village, everyone knew everyone. It was quite creepy, at least Kristin thought it was. Back in New York, no one on the streets even knew who she was, nevertheless knew that she had just moved here. No one in New York had time to know who his or her neighbors were, Kristin didn’t even know who her neighbor was in New York. She didn’t really like the thought of knowing her neighbors, what if they were weird?Finally Kristin finished her coffee, and got ready to leave for the library when a voice startled her.“ Sarah Clark huh?”Kristin whirled around, and shut the diary closed. The voice belonged to her waiter. Kristin tried to keep the annoyance out of her face.“ Yes, “ she replied testy.“ You know she’s famous around here. Her house isn’t that far from here. Some chick bought it a week ago. My Dad sold her the house. He says she’s real pretty, but real stupid to buy that house,” said the kid with a laugh.Kristin wasn’t amused. She bit her lip, and rearranged her face to look composed.“ Yes well, that stupid chick would be me, actually,” said Kristin with a sharp edge to her voice.The kid’s face dropped.“ Really?” he asked with shock. Kristin nodded. The kid ran his hands through his tousled brown hair.“ Oh man, you must think I’m such an ass,” he said, as he looked her over. Kristin felt self-conscious, and fidgeted with her jean jacket. Her white heels were bothering her feet, and her black skirt was an appropriate length. Lastly she had thrown on a white top with ruffles. Kristin could tell that he thought she looked like some sort of zebra.“ What’s your name?” asked Kristin as she put the diary into her Coach bag.“ Michael, Michael Grant,” he stuttered.Kristin nodded.“ I’m Kristin,” she said as she got up to leave. She was halfway to the door when Michael stopped her.“ Hey wait. Um, I’m really sorry for that stupid comment about you. I was just trying to be social.”“ Social? You call insulting people being social?” snapped Kristin.Michael nodded sheepishly.“ I don’t get out much. My dad has been home-schooling me since kindergarten, and I work for his business. This is my first real job actually,” he said, beaming with pride.Kristin rolled her eyes.“ You really think I’m stupid don’t you?” she said as she pushed by him to get to the door.“ Actually I’m serious,” replied Michael.Kristin whirled around again.“ You poor thing,” she said pitifully. “ Where’s the library in this town?” she asked as she looked around the crowded streets. She couldn’t see any building that would resemble a library.“ Actually it’s right next to my house. If you can wait five minutes I can lead the way in my car,” offered Michael. Kristin chewed on her bottom lip, thinking about it.“ Fine, but no funny business! And no more insulting comments!”Michael laughed at her, and she sat back down.He leaned towards her.“ How about another coffee?” he asked sweetly.Kristin couldn’t help but smile.“ Just don’t spill it again, and maybe I’ll tip you,” she said with a laugh.“ Fine, but you have to tell me all about your book on Sarah Clark, and your house. I heard that there are ghosts, and strange things in that house.”Kristin felt her stomach drop, but she hid her fear with a smile.“ Oh yes,” she said.“ Strange things happen in my house.”Chapter SixMichael was almost done cleaning up the shop, and Kristin was getting a bit impatient. She had wanted to leave ten minutes ago, but had been persuaded to stay since she didn’t know where the library was. The shop was now almost empty, except for Kristin, Michael, and the manager who’s name was Rudy.Rudy had gone out of his way to greet Kristin, and had happily told her the whole history of the town, starting from 1647. It would have been more fun to watch paint dry. It had taken up only six minutes, but that was enough. Then Rudy had left Kristin alone, and she began to second think taking up on Michael’s offer. “ Is it really safe to have him lead the way to the library,” thought Kristin. “ He could take me to an old abandoned warehouse for all I could know!”Finally Michael was done with cleaning.“ You ready?” he asked, chipper.Kristin groaned a bit.“ Always was,” she replied tartly. Kristin had woken up in a bad mood and it had lingered in her. She hated being sour and mean, but she needed to be. She was too irritated to be happy.Michael led the way to his car, and Kristin followed.She looked around at the streets filled with happy, carefree people and immediately was envious. She had a serial killer to worry about that might just be her realtor! Kristin felt chilled by the blast of cold, and crisp wind that went through her jean jacket, and she shivered. Michael noticed.“ You cold?” he said as he walked along the sidewalk, close to the edge. Kristin could barely see him because of the sun’s glare, but she put her hand over her face to help.“ Freezing,” she replied as she shivered again. “ How do you people live with all of this…cold?”Michael smiled. “ You need to like it here to really appreciate living here, and that includes the weather.”Kristin wasn’t impressed, event though she thought that Michael Grant was sweet, she still had her doubts. She still had her doubts about Edward Grant as well.“ Okay so here’s my car, and you can just follow me,” said Michael as he opened the door to his red truck.Kristin’s car, a blue Toyota Explorer, was conveniently parked right next to his truck. She got into the car, and blasted any radio station she had on to try and distract herself. Then she followed Michael along a winding long road that looked deserted. Kristin had to admit she had a bad feeling about this, but she needed to get to the library.After about seven minutes on the road, they stopped at a granite building with Roman columns in the front and a huge archway that was covered with vines.“ Now this,” thought Kristin as she got out of the car, “ This is a library.”The building was moderately big, with arched glass windows along each wall and everything was beautiful. Kristin couldn’t help but be in awe.“ Pretty cool, huh?” said Michael as he snuck up on her, causing her to jump back in fright. He laughed and made his way past her to the wooden doorway. Kristin followed after a moment with her Coach bag in her hand.The inside of the library was gorgeous, and not to mention warm. The carousel lamps were placed along the walls, along with regular lights. The silver granite brought a sense of comfort, and the wooden shelves were packed with an array of books.Michael came over to her after she had stood there in awe for a moment.“ Hey,” he said, “ I’m going to go look at some files for my Dad. Nyila’s over there, and she’ll help you.” He pointed to a slim, young woman that was working at the front desk. Then he just disappeared without another word.“ Okay,” said Kristin, more to herself than to Michael, as she sauntered over to Nyila. Kristin felt a bit intimidated by her looks, but she knew that this was the library, what players would go looking here? Nyila looked up from her massive stack of papers scattered all over her granite desk.“ Hello, how can I help you?” she asked confidently. Her gray eyes glanced at Kristin’s face, and seemed to take something into account.“ Hi, I’m looking for any books on Sarah Clark or the Clark family,” Kristin answered. Nyila bit her lip, obviously thinking. Kristin gave her the once over glance, and assessed that she had to be at least twenty-nine or less. Her thick mane of black hair was un-frizzed, and was shiny. Kristin envied Nyila’s small lips, and her cute white laced top with a black skirt.Finally Nyila’s face lit up.“ I have just the book,” she exclaimed as she made her way from behind the desk and started walking to the Non-Fiction section of the library. Kristin trudged along, still feeling annoyed. Nyila led her to the back section of the Non-Fiction area near a corner.While Nyila was looking for the book, Kristin looked around the huge library. The wooden shelves were filled to the brim with books. “ Geesh, even thought this is a small town, they still have lots of books,” thought Kristin as she peered at the shelves. The library was so huge, and it smelled like books, which had an indescribable smell but everyone knew what books smelled like. In a word, the library was…cozy. If a library could be cozy…“ Aha!” exclaimed Nyila, “ I found it!”Kristin’s eyes flickered back to Nyila’s face. Nyila held in her hands a black book that looked just like Sarah’s diary.Kristin could feel the blood drain from her face as she looked at the book.Nyila handed it to her, unaware of her frightened expression.“ So this book is a copy of Sarah Clark’s diary which was made by her husband, William. He said that he made it to keep her memory alive, even though some speculate that he wanted everyone to believe that nothing bad was going on between them. But nevertheless it got published, and sold over 20 million copies. It’s kinda of what she wrote but with input from her husband claiming what is false or true. It’s very different from most memorial books, but then again the Clarks were very unusual,” she said with an edge to her voice.Kristin could feel herself relax, so her diary was the real thing.“ Okay then, thank you very much,’ she said as she turned back to start walking to the front desk.“ Wait,” called out Nyila. Kristin turned and Nyila motioned for her to come closer. Kristin walked back towards her, and glanced at herself in the huge glass window that was behind Nyila, and was bringing in streams of sunlight to the dark library. She breathed a sigh of relief; she didn’t look frightened at all.“ If you want to know more about Sarah Clark, well, my grandfather was the gardener that attended to the Clark’s mansion when Sarah died,” said Nyila quietly. Kristin could tell that Nyila was anxious and nervous about telling her this.“ Actually,” started Kristin before Nyila could get another word out, “ That would be fantastic if you could.”Nyila seemed a bit startled and surprised at her reaction.“ Really?” she inquired.K

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