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A child was born in the old mansion by the sea and in time, she grew quickly into a young lady. I did the best I could…giving her a happy and loving childhood but there were challenges nonetheless. The maid, Susan, returned to me from the beyond nearly a decade ago. We were frightened of her skeletal form at first but she proved herself to be loyal and eventually she became the keeper of our house. We sustained ourselves by growing our own food and we raised honeybees. And oddly enough, the utilities were paid every month. I assumed that it was Hannah doing so…out of guilt. As hard as it was, I finally found it in myself to forgive her. If I’d been in her place, I would’ve done the same thing…maybe.

I’ve mentored my girl in right and wrong. I’ve taught her morals and manners, and everything I remembered from my own upbringing. And yet I still worried…what kind of woman would she become? Living as a recluse in this damned house, never meeting another soul besides myself and the bony maid. Would she really spend the rest of her life trapped like me? I wanted better for her than I was given. She meant the world to me. My angel, my flower child, the light of my life…Melinda.

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