"Don't go out there!" she cried. He looked back over his shoulder reassuringly: "Hey. This is me," he said, shouldering his shotgun and securing the door firmly behind him. She heard him moving softly away. Minutes passed in silence. There were sounds in the distance. A scuffle. A gunshot. More silence. Footsteps returning. She moved behind the bed, wary. The door pushed slowly open and - to her relief - his familiar face appeared, spattered with blood. He smiled, reassuringly. "Hey," he said. His eyes blank. "This is me."
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In my youth, I saw them often. They came, through the trees at the foot of the garden, and gazed upon the house. Once, I saw my mother go and speak with them; an exchange of bundled items, I fancied, and then a parting. When I spoke to my mother of it, she scolded me for making wicked lies. My baby sister cried less after that. After a time they stopped coming and I came to believe it was a fiction, a dream. But lately I have seen them again, watching, always watching. My daughter cries so.