Stark and black, the oaks rose through the morning’s ghostly fog, Spanish moss dripping from their limbs like the hair of drowned corpses. Beneath the oaks, twelve-year-old Emmy stopped as a sound whispered along the trail before her.
“That you, Mom?”
It was just like her mom to scare her.
There wasn’t any answer and Emmy doubted it had been her mother anyway. The breeze would have brought Mom’s scent. She hitched her heavy bag higher on one thin shoulder and walked on. Nothing jumped her.
Then she was free of the oaks and stalking through a meadow toward her grandmother’s cabin. It was brighter here, the fog lifting. Her feet swished in thick, wet grass. A spider web fingered her face. She brushed it away as she knocked on Grandmother’s door.
“Come in,” a guttural voice called.
The door creaked open. Night lingered within and Emmy flicked on…
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