Someone was watching. Alison scribbled in her journal, secrets and plans. Her brother entered, without knocking, and she slapped her book closed. A sick smile came across her face, and he demanded cash for that night's beer.
On the wall beside her bed was a story: Two beautiful girls, with her brother between them. Three portraits, Alison, and Jason, and Alison reversed. And this was the story she told:
"This is how I heard the story: The twins played so nicely while they waited for their parents to get home. But they wouldn't get to go trick-or-treat that night. Or ever again. A sick smile came across her face, and this is the story she told:
"'This is how I heard the story: The twins played so nicely while they waited for their parents to get home. But they wouldn't get to go trick-or-treat that night. Or ever again.'" And that was the story she told. And that is the story she told.
"We're making a movie," he said. They were always making movies, in their secret club; she wasn't interested, she had secrets of her own.
Alison: "What kind of movie?"
Jason: "If I told you that, I'd have to kill you."
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.