Christine told Steve she didn’t feel comfortable in the house.
“We’re new to it. Takes time.”
“No, it’s different. I can’t say why.” It was summer, and warm, but she crawled under the covers.
Hank rang the bell, 6-pack in hand. “I’m the neighbor. Welcome.”
They sat on the porch and uncapped the beer. After three Steve felt comfortable with Hank. He asked, “The house was cheap. There something I don’t know?”
“It has a troubled history. In a small town like this, everyone knows.”
“The last owner spent 5 years in prison. Unintentional homicide. He wasn’t a drinker, but left a picnic with one too many. Pure bad luck. His wife kept the house, waited patiently, and finally he came back. But he told me the house never felt right after. Couldn’t sleep. Bumped into things. Like a stranger’s house.”
“And people think it’s cursed because…?”
From the upstairs window he saw Hank’s daughter. Twenty-two, bikini, tanning. It wasn’t sexual. Five years ago, there were twinges of that, and guilt over eyeing the girl he watched grow up.
But now he just kept seeing the girl he killed. Same age. She had friends, constantly on the phone. Pretty. Fun.
Sees her every day.
The closet pole was sturdy. His belt smooth. He left a note so his wife wouldn’t have to find him.
In the morning Christine got a dress from the closet. Felt cold. “I’m going to change in the bathroom. Just… I don’t know.”