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Detective for the Dead

April 1, 2010

I walked through the halls of an aged manor, feeling a little apprehensive about what I was doing. Instead of running away, something I did for many childhood years, I was playing detective for the dead.
The place was abandoned months ago and the family had never returned for their belongings. The furniture was covered with sheets. Wooden planks were nailed over the windows. The girl I was following was young, very pretty with straw hair and doomed to roam these grounds forever if I didn’t help her. We searched, but couldn’t seem to find any clues about her death. We’d covered every acre of gardens, the pond, a small part of the forest where she used to play with her sister and every room of her home.

We found a dog, half alive, sleeping on the floor. I rummaged through a cabinet and found food for him. We heard a low cry coming from a plastic bag hung from a hook on the wall.  I ripped it open and a skinny black cat fell out. I found cat food in a drawer and fed the starving creature.

When we’d reached the kitchen my feet grew heavy. I turned and noticed a large cupboard to my left. I opened it and was instantly jostled by something unseen. I became the observer and watched as another girl, wearing a blue dress pulled out a dark jacket. In the pocket I saw a shotgun. She reloaded it like a professional and placed it back. She wore a stony expression as she spoke to her sister who sat at the table eating bread, unaware of her looming future. The little girl’s straw hair was tied back with a red ribbon.

I watched them leave the kitchen and head toward the pond.

The dead girl tried to run after them, but I intervened. She sobbed as I held her and whispered, “Thank you.” As the sun grew bright behind us she faded from my arms.

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