by Lori R. Lopez
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No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any
media without written permission from the author, except
brief excerpts in critical reviews and articles.
This is a work of fiction.
Copyright © 2012 by Lori R. Lopez
Front Cover Illustration by Lori R. Lopez
THE FINAL DAY of Kat Mandou’s life commenced as tedious as most. The only thing out of the ordinary was that something peculiar seemed to be going on at the house next door.
Not that he was inclined to snoop. Quite the opposite. He preferred to ignore the world, and seldom heeded the inhabitants of the dreary olive-planked eyesore — accidentally glimpsed on occasion because they left the drapes wide like they had no secrets, no skulking chain-rattling embarrassments to hide. Kat doubted it. Everyone had a skeleton or two.
Impressions consisted of a couple always grinning at a toddler. If they were so happy, why did he hear so many blood-curdling wails? A decrepit geezer toward the rear of the abode was a permanent fixture, seated on a musty-dusty tattered-battered sort of chair. Kat wondered in an especially idle moment if the fossil might be stuffed like a museum exhibit, the victim of a mad taxidermist.