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Rated: E · Fiction · Horror/Scary · #2063861
Kat stared down at the painting and screamed in horror! 52 Wks
The sound came from the painting! As she stared, a man mysteriously appeared on the path. Kat yanked the painting down from the wall, holding it close to her face. When she saw who the mysterious man was, she screamed….

Stanley had walked around uptown looking at various stores and shops but wasn’t having any luck finding a gift for his wife’s birthday. It was always difficult to finding Kathy, or Kat as she preferred to be called, a birthday present. It wouldn’t have been quite as difficult, Stanley often thought, if she just liked traditional birthday gifts. Not Kat, being a Halloween baby, she loved the holiday and loved most to get a tasteful, not tacky, Halloween gift.

That was the problem; stores were filled with Halloween items, but they were the typical items, what Kat called tacky, cheap junk. He supposed it would be just as difficult even if she didn’t like the Halloween theme so much, since most typical items were taken down to make room for holiday items. He was frustrated with himself most of all; the biggest problem was, he had put off shopping until the day before her birthday, again.

He had already hit the big super-centers and not found anything that appealed to him, now he was exhausted from going through all the stores uptown. He had one last stop to try, the mall. He disliked shopping at the mall just because it was always so busy. But today it seemed every store was busy with last minute shoppers looking for costumes, decorations, and of course, goodies for the trick-n-treaters.

The roads were also busy, so he decided to take the long route around town instead of driving through town. It was a lot longer drive, but with the traffic and the stoplights, it wouldn’t really take any longer. Turning left on Third Street instead of heading towards Central Avenue would be the quickest way out of town.

Turning onto Thomas Street, the traffic started to get heavier. Stanley switched to the right lane, the side Grand Mall was on. He had gone a couple blocks when he seen a van set up in the Big Jay parking lot selling art items. There were some statues set up by the road and stands with paintings by the van. An elderly woman stood behind a long folding table taking care of customers. Maybe he would find something for Kat among the various art items.

Stanley parked as close as he could and walked over to the statues. It didn’t take long to see there wasn’t anything spooky there. There were mostly animals carved out of wood, chainsaw art the sign read. He went up to the table and looked at some of the jewelry displayed in a glass covered case.

“Hi, can I help you find something?” The elderly woman, Ella her name tag indicated, had come over.

“Maybe. I’m looking for a birthday gift for my wife.”

“We have a lot of original items, all handmade. What does she like?”

“You made all of this?” Stanley was having a difficult time picturing Ella carving out a four-foot bear from a stump with a chainsaw.

Ella laughed, then said, “No, I’m no artist, unless you count stick people as art. I just sell items for other people who do have talent. They’d rather make art than stand out here and peddle it, so they give me a percentage to do that part for them.”

“Oh, I see. At least you have a nice day for being out here, sunshine and pretty warm. Kat, my wife, likes Halloween type items. Her birthday is tomorrow.”

“Her birthday’s Halloween? That must be fun. I don’t carry seasonal or holiday items, but I may have a couple things here.” She opened the case and took out a pair of bat shaped earrings and matching necklace, holding them out to Stanley. “Something like this? They are genuine silver, the studs and chain stainless steel.”

Stanley looked but didn’t take them from her. “They are nice, but no, she doesn’t like typical stuff like that. She’s more into out of the ordinary type items, not stuff that you usually associate with Halloween.”

“I see.” She put the jewelry back in the case and closed the lid but did not lock it. “I have another costumer, if you want to look some more, I’ll be right back.”

Stanley nodded as he looked over the different rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. Nothing really stood out, even though most of the items were very beautifully crafted. He worked his way down the table, looking at blown and shaped glass items. More wonderful figurines, but nothing Halloweeny, a word he coined to fit Kat’s taste in birthday gifts.

He looked around for Ella, wanting to ask if she had anything else he could look at. She had finished with the costumer and was now talking to someone in a car. He couldn’t hear what she was saying, but she was shaking her head and pointing towards the stands with paintings on them. After a few seconds, the door opened and an ancient looking woman, clad in an old-time black robe with a red satin liner got out. Under the open cloak she wore a full length black dress, her head was covered with a black scarf and on her feet she wore black boots.

Stanley thought, “She’s dressed for a funeral or in morning.” He watched her use the door for support, then grab a gnarled walking stick topped with golden handle that looked like a serpent’s head with red eyes. She was stooped and looked to be at least a hundred years old, but she moved with ease as she went to the trunk and lifted her walking stick and mumbled something.

Whoever had driven her, she had exited the passenger side, hit the button for the trunk either at her cue with the walking stick or had heard what she had said and the trunk sprung open. She lifted the trunk up and let it spring fully open as she leaned over and reached into its depths. She came up holding a framed painting. Lifting the walking stick again, the trunk slowly closed. The driver must be watching in the mirror. It was a good thing the trunk opened and closed from inside, there was no way the wrinkled old woman could have reached high enough to close it.

She held the painting in one hand and said something to Ella. Again, Ella shook her head and pointed to the stands. She walked over to one close to the car and lifted the painting, making room for the old woman’s. She carried it over and set it on the stand, then returned to the car. Once back inside the car pulled up to the road and when an opening came, sped into traffic.

Ella looked at the painting, then turned and returned to the table where Stanley waited. “Find anything you like?”

“Sorry, no. Do you have anything else that fits the Halloween theme?”

“Not so much Halloween, but I do have a lot of autumn and harvest themed pictures.” Ella walked over to the stands displaying the paintings, some framed some not. Stanley followed her and walked along looking at beautiful harvest scenes, autumn trees with colorful leaves, various other paintings. When he passed the one the old woman had set up, it was a very dark painting of an old farmhouse set in the background, some trees and pumpkins in front and a big yellow moon rising behind the house. He couldn’t see it very well, since he was at an angle to it, so he worked through the stands until he could stand in front and see it better.

Standing right in front he could see it was quite different than he had thought at first. The painting was framed in rough cut, weathered wood almost as black as the old woman’s cloak.
The farmhouse was run down, the pumpkins were creepy looking jack-o-lanterns, there were ghost decorations hanging from the old gnarled tree, and gravestones around the house. Behind the house was an old wrought iron fence and further behind this was a creepy castle. A witch was flying in front of the full moon, and the clouds in the dark sky looked like ghosts.

The effects of the light and shadow made it look even creepier. The moon seemed to actually glow and reflect off the clouds. The windows in the house looked like there were actual lights behind them, and the jack-o-lanterns could have had real candles flickering in them. There were glowing eyes in the hollow area at the base of the old tree, and Stanley thought they blinked.

He looked away towards the road, then back at the painting. No, the glow from the carved pumpkins didn’t actually flicker, and the eyes didn’t blink, but they looked so real that after staring at it for a minute, it gave the illusion they did. Stanley reached out and put his hand in front of the painting, just to see if the light from the moon and windows would shine upon his open hand. Of course, they didn’t.

He couldn’t tell if the painting was oil or acrylic, but it seemed to have a three dimensional quality to it. He was just about to brush his fingers over the surface to see if it did raise and lower to give it this quality, but Ella grabbed his hand and shook her head. “Please, don’t touch the painting.”

He must have looked confused as he pulled his hand from hers and let it fall back to his side. “It’s just that oils and stuff from people’s fingers can get on the paintings and cause damage. Also, I’ve had artists bring in items that were pretty fresh and the paint not fully dried; touching them could ruin them.”

“Oh, that’s understandable. I didn’t even think about it, sorry. This is just the type of item that Kat would love; how much is this?” Stanley expected Ella to say some astronomical amount, considering the detail and the antique frame.

“You don’t want this, let’s look around more.”

“No, I’ve seen the rest. This is the one, it’s perfect. Did that old woman paint this?”

Ella hesitated, then looked away towards her table. No one was waiting and she turned back to Stanley, “No, she doesn’t paint. She needs the money and sells items she owns. It’s hard to know who painted this or how old it is. I really should just set it over by the van and hold it for her.”

“Well, if she needs money and wants to sell something, what’s wrong with that? I’d really like to buy this, and if it helps the gal out, great. Right?”

“Well… I just don’t know. I suppose if you really want it I could let it go for two hundred dollars.”

Stanley had hoped he could get it for a little less and tried talking her down. “I have …” He took out a wad of money and counted it, “One hundred and sixty-three bucks on me. I don’t suppose you take credit cards?”

“No cards and only local checks if they are numbered over a thousand, but I prefer cash, it don’t bounce.” Ella smiled, then added, “Alright, but please, don’t touch the picture.” She took the cash from Stanley and seen the question before he asked it. “It’s just that it’s likely a very old painting, looking at the frame, and it’s best just not to touch the canvass; you understand.”

Stanley took the painting, being careful to hold it by the frame, and was surprised at how light it was. “Do you want me to wrap it in paper? To protect it and you said it’s a gift? I have a general purpose wrap over at the table.”

“No, this is fine. Um, on second thought, yeah, you can wrap it.” Stanley carried it over to the table and helped Ella wrap the painting in heavy yellow tissue paper. It seemed kind of odd how she tried her best to avoid touching the painting itself, even the frame.

“Thank you, and stop by again, I’m usually here in the afternoons, unless it’s too cold or raining.”

He smiled and nodded, “Sure, I’ll have to stop with Kat sometime. Have a nice afternoon.” He put the painting in the back seat and drove down the road towards the mall. He turned into the parking lot, picking a spot close to the Hallmark store. A few minutes later he was back with a card to go along with the gift.

As he drove home, he noticed Ella had packed up and left. It seemed kind of odd that she had packed up everything so fast. It also seemed odd that all of the stuff would even fit into her van, now that he thought about it. He looked over at the radio, it displayed 11:27 AM. He heard her words, “stop by again, I’m usually here in the afternoons, unless it’s too cold or raining.”

He turned back to watch the road and thought out loud, “I’ve driven by here hundreds of times, I’ve never seen her set up there. Strange.” Of course, stranger things were going to happen, but Stanley had no way of knowing this, yet.

He got home and carried the painting into the house, sliding it carefully behind the couch to hide it from Kat. He sat down at the desk and filled out the card, adding a short note on the blank page inside opposite the cute poem. Finished, he drew a pair of hearts with an arrow through them and signed it, “Have an Enchanted Birthday, Love Stan”.

He set the card on the table and set about baking Kat a cake. Of course, being her birthday and Halloween, it had to be Devil’s Food, her favorite. He read the directions on the box and soon had it in the oven. He had picked up two cards of candy cake decorations, one with HAPPY BIRTHDAY and flowers on it, the other filled with Halloween decorations a while ago, along with a tub of frosting. He had stashed them with the cake mix and now wet down the back of the cards and carefully peeled the decorations off and set them on a sheet of wax paper. He used some from each, having picked orange for the birthday decorations, to match the Halloween ones.

Once the cake was done and out of the oven cooling, Stan drove over to the Orient Buffet and picked up Kat’s favorite foods and drove back home. He was calling things close, he had a half hour before she would be home from work. She didn’t know he had taken the day off to set everything up and no idea he was going to spring her birthday on her tonight.

They both had taken tomorrow off to drive to Duluth for her birthday. They would sleep in, then drive to Duluth and go to a nice restaurant for lunch. After, they planned to drive over to Fairlawn Mansion, which is rumored to be haunted by a servant girl, then on to Glensheen Mansion which is also rumored to be haunted as a result of the brutal murder of Elizabeth Congdon and her nursemaid by Elizabeth’s son-in-law. They then planned to tour the haunted ship down at the harbor before picking up pizza and heading over to the hotel for a nice romantic evening, complete with double wide hot tub.

Stanley put the food in the oven on warm, then spread frosting over the cooled cake. He had just finished placing the decorations on it when he heard Kat come in the front door. He hurried and cleaned up, then went to meet her. She had already taken her jacket off and looked at him puzzled. “What are you doing home already? Don’t tell me your sick, we already reserved our room.”

He smiled at her. “Nope, I just had a bunch of stuff to do before we go, so I took the day off.”

“A bunch of stuff? I know that smile, what are you up to?”

“You’ll see soon enough. But first,” he gave her a warm embrace and kissed her lips. “let’s get you into something comfortable.”

He led her to the bedroom and stood in the door and watched her as she stripped down and put on her housecoat. “It smells really good in here; did you pick up supper? Let me guess, Oriental take-out.”

“Yep, you guessed it. It’s in the oven keeping warm. Want to help me set the table?”

She followed him to the kitchen and seen the cake and card on the table. “Stan! But my birthday’s tomorrow.” She gobbed some frosting on her finger and popped it into her mouth.
“I know, but we have a full day set for us tomorrow and I thought it would be nice to have our cake tonight after dinner. Go ahead and read your card.” He was smiling as he watched her tear open the envelope and read the card. She set it down and rushed to his waiting arms and kissed him.

“You are the best, Stan. Thank you.”

They set the table and he started taking food cartons form the oven and setting them on the table as she opened and peered into each one. “What a terrific guy I have, all my favorites.”

They sat and enjoyed a wide variety of Oriental cuisine. After, they enjoyed cake and ice cream before Stan cleaned up while she got comfortable on the couch. He had put in a DVD of the Nightmare Before Christmas and they snuggled through the movie. Once the movie was over, Kat took a hot bath. Stanley used the time to take out her present and set it out where she would see it. Then, he went in and washed her back and rinsed it down for her.

“So, is all this for my birthday or just to make sure you get a little tonight and tomorrow night?” She giggled as he helped her towel off.

“Uh, maybe it’s both.” He held her housecoat for her while she slipped her arms in. “Anything else that could clinch the deal?”

“Nope, I think you already made sure I’d be putty in your hands.” He pulled her close and kissed her deep and full.

“Well, there is one more thing, come on.” He led her to the living room. She seen the wrapped painting right away and laughed as she grabbed it and started ripping the paper off. “Careful, it’s pretty old and fragile. Ella said to only hold the frame to prevent damaging it.”

Kat was holding the painting, “It’s beautiful—I love it! Whose Ella?”

She looked over at Stanley then back to the painting. “The lady who sold it; she was selling art in a parking lot. All originals and hand painted.”

Kat was fully absorbed in the odd painting and Stanley didn’t’ think she’d even heard him. Then she set it down and walked over to the fireplace and took down the painting of two deer by a creek and smiled at him. “Ella huh? Well I’m glad she was set up today. I think it will be perfect right here for now. What do you think?”

“Well, it’s kind of an odd painting, but it’s your birthday and it is Halloween tomorrow, so yeah, that’s perfect.”

He carried the painting by the frame over and carefully hung it on the hook. He still thought it looked like the light came right out of the painting. “So you like it?”

“Oh Stan, it’s the bestest present ever. Well besides my sweet husband-man.” She turned to him and they kissed again. “Come on, I have something for you.” With a sly smile she took his hand and led him off to the bedroom.

An hour later Stanley came out and locked the front door, then checked the back door. He turned off the kitchen light, left the bathroom light on and then went to the living room. He flipped the switch by the door and the room went dark, illuminated dimly by the light from the bathroom. When he turned to go back to bed he seen the painting. He gasped as he seen the lights in the house, the moon, and the jack-o-lanterns, as well as the eyes in the tree still glowing in the dimly lit room. He walked over to the painting as they slowly faded and then went dark.

In a hushed tone he explained to himself, “Just some glow in the dark paint, that’s why the lights look so real.” He wasn’t quite convinced though. Gently he reached up and felt the painting. It was smooth, just the slight texture of the brush under his fingers. He removed his fingers and went back to the bedroom to tell Kat the picture glowed. He stood in the doorway listening to her soft, slow breathing and realized she was already sound asleep. “In the morning,.” he told himself, then gently slid into bed and snuggled up to her.

He fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, but woke sometime in the deep of the night. He got up, went to the bathroom, then to the kitchen for a little drink of water. He set the glass down by the sink and headed back to bed. He stopped for a second to look at the painting, but it was just a dark painting hanging above the fireplace in a dark living room. He returned to bed and fell back to sleep.

He was having a strange dream, Ella and the old woman in black were both in it. She was talking to Ella and the old woman lifted her walking stick up and started chanting. “No, Mother. Don’t do it.” Ella had called the old woman Mother.

Now, seeing them together and up close, they did look a lot alike. Stanley wondered what Mother was doing that Ella wanted her to stop. He couldn’t move from in front of them, and he couldn’t speak or he would have asked.

Mother lowered the walking stick and looked at Ella. “I want to finish my painting. I have everything in it, see here I am at the gate watching as you fly home on your broom. See the souls of our family floating among the clouds, and there’s Uncle Vlad hiding in the old tree.” Now Mother was holding the painting up for Ella to see. She pointed as she spoke and even though Stanley should have been looking at the back of the painting, he could see where she pointed and what she pointed to.

He wondered about that, and mumbled in his restless sleep, “I’ll have to look at the back in the morning when I show Kat the eyes glow.” He thought he was awake and standing in front of the fireplace, looking at the painting, but the sound of Mother’s crackling voice drew him back into the dream.

“Ella, I’ve worked on this painting for over a century, it’s time to finish it. Each item was selected and cast into the painting to create our perfect world. When I die, and soon I will, I’ll become the witch by the gate looking out upon this world from within. When your time comes, you will join me, flying through the skies, just as you are in the painting. Then, Ella we’ll live there forever.” Mother’s cackling laughter filled the night. “For us to live within the painting we each need a mortal’s soul to give us life upon the canvas. He is mine!” Again Stanley heard her mad laughter and to his surprise, Ella began to laugh a cackling laugh of her own as she pointed at him from within the painting!

Mother was also inside the painting, standing by her dilapidated gate. It was like Stanley was looking through a window instead of the framed image he had purchased for Kat. He watched, helpless, as Mother again lifted her walking stick and began to chant. The eyes in the serpent head began to glow brighter and brighter and a foul stench came to Stanley’s nostrils. He didn’t want to reach out to the painting, but he didn’t have a choice, his hand just came up and touched the smooth surface.

Then the leaves upon the ground inside the image began to swirl and dance in the foul smelling wind and Stanley stepped through the painting and was standing in front of Mother. “What have you done!” Stanley was finally able to speak and to move.

“I’ve stolen your soul. When the sun rises there,” Mother pointed at the painting of Stan and Kat’s living room as viewed from above the fireplace, “it’s done.”

Stanley turned fully around and tried to run to the picture hanging in the air at the end of the path. At first he couldn’t get his legs to move, then slowly they started stepping along the path. The painting was so far away, and he couldn’t muster more than a slow, stumbling pace. He no longer had on his silk pajamas he had worn to bed, but was instead dressed in a course pull-over shirt that looked like burlap. His britches were the same material, and he had ill fitted and worn boots on his feet, and an itchy, course, wool cape hung on his shoulders. He reached up and felt a tight fitting cap of the same itchy wool on his matted hair.

He had to reach the painting and jump through to his own living room before it got light, but he just couldn’t move fast sleepwalking like this; he needed to wake up. He was almost to the old house when he noticed the picture had changed. He could see the living room window and it was beginning to lighten. It was predawn and time was almost up. Stanley knew he would never reach the painting at the end of the path before the sun rose.

Kat woke and rolled over, reached out and flung her arm over Stanley, but it landed on the cold sheet. She opened her eyes to see an empty spot where he should have been. She rolled over and looked at the alarm clock, almost six. It would be light soon and the window showed the sun was almost ready to break the horizon, turning the few clouds in the eastern sky a crimson red, like blood.

She had planned to sleep in, but evidently Stanley had gotten up already. Was he making her breakfast in bed? It was Halloween and her birthday. She sat up and stretched her hands over her head. “Stan, are you coming back to bed?” No answer.

She got up and walked groggily to the bathroom. Empty. She sat down and relieved her night filled bladder, then washed her hands and splashed a little water on her face to wash the sleep away; she dried her face and hands and headed for the kitchen since that was the only room with a light on. She sniffed as she walked, trying to detect the aroma of breakfast cooking. “Stan, do you have coffee made?”

Still no answer. The kitchen was empty; Stan wasn’t in the house. She returned to the living room and plopped down on the couch. He must have gone to get some blueberry bagels for her birthday. “Will you get us coffee or not?” She wondered out loud. She decided to make a pot just in case he didn’t pick any up.

After the coffee was finished she poured a cup and laced it with a heaping spoonful of creamer and a generous squirt of honey, then returned to the living room. It was odd that Stanley hadn’t come back yet and she was getting worried. She sipped on the sweet beverage and thought about what he might be up to. Speaking out loud she worked her way through the puzzle. “He knows I love blueberry bagels and we’re out, so it would make sense for him to run to the bakery. But, that’s only a few blocks from here, he should be back. Even if he went to the coffee house for specialty coffee for my birthday, he knows I like the pumpkin latte, he should be back.”

She carried her cup of steaming coffee to the window and looked out. The truck was still parked in the drive right beside her car. “He wouldn’t have walked, he’s not that ambitious, so where are you Stan?” Kat was very worried about him. She paced back and forth trying to think where he may have gone this early.

She stopped by the coffee table and picked up her cell phone. First she looked to see if he had sent a text for her; nothing. She tapped the screen and voice dialed, “Stan mobile.” The phone dialed his cell and she waited for him to pick up. In the distance she could hear his phone tone go off.

At first she thought it was coming from the bedroom, but when she got to the door it was more faint. Then it stopped. She tapped redial and walked to the kitchen. Again, it was his tone but very faint. She started walking back towards the bedroom and stopped by the fireplace. It sounded the loudest here, but had stopped again. She tapped the screen again and waited for the tone. It was right here, she turned and looked to see if it was on the mantle over the fireplace, maybe turned way down. No phone. She followed the faint sound and realized it was coming from inside the picture. She stared in disbelief, there was another figure in the painting that wasn’t there last night.

She grabbed the painting off the wall and set it on the coffee table, almost knocking her cup off, then flipped the light on. It was getting pretty light out, the sun would break the horizon any second but it was too dark to see clearly inside the dusky living room. Now with the light on, she could see much better. There was now a man standing on the path coming from the castle, almost to the run-down house. She leaned over the painting to see better.

As the window grew lighter, it became more and more difficult for Stan to move his legs. He was still a long way away from the hanging painting of their living room, but he still could see Kat moving around the room. All at once he was holding his cell phone and it was ringing, but he was powerless to answer it; he was frozen in place, He watched in horror as the clouds turned blood red and Kat stared into the picture at him. He watched helplessly as she took the painting down and then vanished. Soon the light came on and blinded Stanley for a minute, by the time his eyes adjusted he seen Kat leaning over him. He heard her scream but could not answer back. He couldn’t warn her not to touch the canvas, either.

Kat stared in horror at the image of Stan inside the painting and could not stop from screaming out his name. Even as her scream died, she seen his eyes move and then blink. Was she imagining it or was he trying to move his mouth. At first she thought he was chewing something, then it hit, he was trying to tell her something. “No, it can’t be,” she said to herself as she reached down and touched his image on the painting with the tip of her index finger.

Again his eyes moved back and forth, alarm showing on his face. Kat felt tears roll down her cheeks and watched as they splattered upon the painted canvas and turned to raindrops that hit upon the dirt path Stan stood on. “Noooo!”

Kat leaned over and leaned on the painting, seeing but not believing.

Stan watched in horror as Kat reached down and poked her finger into the painting. He wanted to scream for her to get away but he couldn’t move anything more than his eyes. He moved them back and forth and blinked them hoping she would see and understand.

He would have sighed, if able, when she removed her hand. He felt tears building in his own eyes as she started to cry, but his tears were as frozen in his eyes as he was frozen inside the painting. As her tears landed on the canvas, it began to rain inside the painting and big drops landed upon the dirt path he stood on. Then she leaned over and put her palms down on the canvas, but to Stanley, they came right into the painting.

Helpless, he watched as Kat fell inside with him, landing on the path at his feet. She got to her knees, looking up at him and as she spoke his name the sun broke the horizon.

The realtor walked through the empty house showing the prospective buyers around. They stopped at the fireplace and looked at the painting hanging there. “What a bizarre painting.”

“Yes, it is. I don’t understand why it was left behind when the estate was settled. Everything else was removed but they left that painting.”

“What happened, did they die or something?”

“No one knows, they just vanished a year ago on Halloween. The authorities looked for them for about six months but there was no sign of foul play, nothing was gone, and both vehicles were in the driveway. It was like they just vanished into thin air.”

“Well, if we buy the place, that things going up in the attic, it’s creepy.”

A week later, the new owners started moving in. They spent the better part of the day unpacking and setting things up. As the sun began to set the woman looked at the painting. “Can you take this down and stick it in the attic? I don’t want to leave it up, it gives me the creeps.”

“Yeah, I’ll stick it up there right now, before it gets any darker, there’s no light up there.” He took the painting down and carried it by the frame up the steps to the dusty little attic and set it down on an old crate just as the sun dipped below the horizon. He turned and left right before Stan and Kat ran out of the house in the painting, they started waving their arms and yelling, but it was too late. Not only did he not see them, he didn’t see the witch walking down the path, and he didn’t see the witch flying over on the broom.

He didn’t see them, but Kat and Stan did; they ran back into the house and slammed the door. They knew, witches feast on fear….
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