How It Began

How It Began

I had a feeling there was no use in responding to Miss Evangeline, because she was what my father used to call, “wound up.” She wanted me to listen, so that’s what I did.

Without warning, she grabbed my arm. I jumped. She whispered, “Shh. What was that? Did you hear anything, Nettie?”

Her grip was so tight, my wrist hurt. Fear shone from her wide, blue eyes.

“No,” I said, lowering my voice too. The hand that gripped me shook. My mouth went suddenly dry at the abrupt change in her manner.

“You go peek around that corner and I’ll look in the pantry.” She pointed toward the hall.

Torn between feeling silly and being afraid of what I might find, I did as Miss Evangeline ordered. I saw nothing but the area we had just walked down to get to the kitchen. Something, however, felt different. Maybe it was Miss Evangeline’s terror that had communicated itself to me, but I had a feeling of menace, and I shivered, as if a cold breeze had passed through. Was that a muffled sound of some sort? Holding my breath, I listened. A footstep? A creaking floorboard? Had someone been listening to our conversation? A cold prickle of fear ran down my spine as I returned to the table.

Miss Evangeline closed the pantry door and sat down again. “Well?” she asked.

I shook my head. “Nothing.”

“This house is so old that a few family ghosts may linger, you know. They are friendly, nothing to be afraid of, but real people—well, that’s something else! Maybe I’m just an old woman who is getting confused with age, Nettie, but I don’t think so. You see, I’m pretty sure somebody is trying to kill me.”

Manos Mysteries

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