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By Thacher E. Cleveland

Chapter One

Darren sat on the edge of his bed and he could feel the house across the street, staring back at him through the darkness.

He was 10, and things like a house weren’t supposed to scare him, but that house was different. It was the oldest house in the neighborhood, and no one, at least none of the kids he knew, ever saw the man that lived there. The closest he had ever come was a couple of months ago when he was getting ready for bed and noticed a man in a black overcoat and hat pass through the this mass of hedges in the front. All he could see from his window was the peak of the roof and the two second story windows, shuttered tight like black eyes. Everything else was blocked from view by the hedges and twin oak trees that twisted in front of everything like wooden sentinels. The entire scene made for a house that no one in the neighborhood talked about, looked at, and certainly did not go near.

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