What had started as just an uneasy feeling had lately become an unbearable sense of wrong in the house.  It had all begun when her father remarried, but like a good Christian Lizbeth had tried to turn the other check, as it were.  However, the sensation of becoming an outsider in her own home colored every encounter; making it necessary for her and Emma to find reasons to escape the house.

While it was true that it had taken a considerable amount of time; Lizbeth found her convictions crystallizing as she watched her father giving piece after piece of her and Emma’s inheritance to the step family.  Evil was afoot in their modest dwelling, and it was well beyond time that it was delt with.

Finally the perfect moment arrived, Emma was out of town planning a much needed fishing excursion for the sisters and the stifling heat had most everyone seeking the dark cool of their rooms, but not Lizbeth.  She was huddled over a flickering tallow candle in the center of the attic mechanically working her way through the sorrowful mysteries, unblinking eyes staring at the one portrait of her father’s wife she owned, silently banishing the woman and her dark presence over the house.  When the candle guttered out sending shadows into the coroners of the room Lizbeth felt a chill run through her and her breath catch.  Her body fell prone as if struck while her sight dimmed, her mouth filled with copper, and every muscle screamed in protest.

When she woke it was morning, and in the light her candle and broken rosary seemed small and childish.  She expected little to come from her misadventure, and was thus taken by surprise to find her father’s wife complaining of  being poisoned over breakfast.  Needing fresh air and enough distance from last night to really think things through she set out on a small wondering walk into town, but with each step Lizbeth felt she gained less clarity.  Before long she had circled back to the house, as she made her way back to the kitchen door a tool near the shed caught her eye and she picked it up to put in the basement. 

However, the stairs she came to first lead up rather than down and Lizbeth followed them to the guest room.  As she walked out of the room the door swung slightly on its hinge exposing a creeping stain across the floor.  Quietly she made her way down the steps and to the foot of the couch where she stood looking down on her resting father when his eyes opened, “Lizzie?” he asked, concerned.

Strangely Lizzie found that she felt nothing but the lessening of heaviness in her arms as the hatachet splashed into the bottom of the well.

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