There was a package on the porch for her; he dropped it roughly and she made him leave. Inside the box was a voodoo doll, with the biggest and most beautiful heart. It's my turn to torture you, said the note attached. That was the story it told.
She pried away the vent at the baseboard, and pulled out an old wooden box. The most particular, beautiful doll. Inside was a locket, when you pulled back the head; she stuffed the note into its neck and replaced the box inside the vent. She knew all her own secrets, and stories; she hated when people told stories of their own. Alison shivered.
Ashley was looking at want ads, when her daughter came home. She wasn't yet working at the bank, and Officer Darren was a boozy, fuzzy memory. "I could be a maid for the Hacken family," she laughed, "Or a nursemaid for a dirty old man." She circled an entry for the bank teller job, as the doorbell was ringing. To work in a bank you must have a spotless record, and she hadn't done anything yet. Her story was clean.
At the door was Officer Darren. Ashley left Hanna in the kitchen and went to the door. He had the mail in his hands; he was stopping by to check on her. She was embarrassed. "We're both fine," was the story she told. He flirted, he was beautiful; she thought he'd misunderstood.
Darren: "You should watch yourself on the roads out there."
Ashley: "What are you suggesting?"
Darren: "People are unpredictable, that's all."
Ashley rolled her eyes, and came back to her daughter.
Hanna: "What was that?"
Ashley: "That was ... A horny cop. But I think he gets it. I'm sure we won't see him again."
That was the story she told. Hanna wasn't so sure. People are unpredictable.
Spencer needed the most interesting costume; she needed to know she'd tried the best. Alison came over for a private chat, even though Spencer loved her least -- Aria was done hanging out, after their yogurt date -- and this is the story she told: "I've got a friend on the election committee. I thought for sure you were a shoo-in, but... They're still counting. It's going to come down to a handful of votes."
Spencer hyperventilated. Her parents were already planning the party, they'd booked half the club.