In this installment, Leah, Jeff and Bobby continue their interaction with the neighbor woman who is not quite what she seems....
They’re fake, I thought. They have to be.
She pivoted to drop candy into the bags held by Leah and Bobby. I noticed that her hand brushed Bobby’s. I saw Bobby stare back at the woman with wide-eyed amazement, then repulsion and fear. The woman shot a smile back at him. It might have been a private joke passed between the two of them. But Bobby turned away quickly, barely murmuring his thanks.
I stole a glance inside the house, which looked mostly normal, except for some atmospheric Halloween lighting. (This, of course, was nothing out of the ordinary.) My attention was drawn to something small and black that was walking jerkily past the woman’s feet in the foyer.
The black cat walked like a robot, with stiff joints. The cat was no robot, though. Its black fur was genuine—and matted with blood.
“Hit by a car,” the woman said in response to my unstated question.
Leah saw the cat, too, now, and she gasped aloud....