Admin Challenge Winner Patt O’Neil 7/29/2018

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“Have you ever been to the Morgan house before?” Jake Jones, the younger of the two deputy sheriffs approaching the quiet house, shook his head in response to the question. Deputy Tom Kahne slowly mounted the steps of the front porch, his eyes swept from side to side as he surveyed the scene. A child’s doll on the un-swept floor, a bowl filled with balls of yarn and an unfinished project rested on the lone chair, were the only signs of habitation. “You think something’s wrong, Tom?” “What–no, it’s just too quiet, that’s all. Mary Morgan’s got a little girl, that’s her doll there.” “Maybe they’re just not home, it would explain the lack of noise,” Jake offered. “According to the neighbor who called, no one’s seen either Mary or her daughter for near on a week. That’s why we’re here.” Tom pulled open the fragile looking screen door and rapped on the one underneath. “Mary? Mary Morgan? It’s Tom Kahne. I’m here with my deputy to see if everything is all right.” With the only answer being more silence, Tom tried the door knob and found it unlocked. “We going in?” asked a cautious Jake. Wordlessly, Tom nodded and motioned for Jake to stay close as he pushed open the door with a creak. The light in the house was dim, the shades on the windows all pulled down. With caution, they walked into the foyer, the house as still on the inside as it was on the out. They turned to look down the hallway to the kitchen, but the light from the now open front door caught on something on the stairwell. “Mary… Mary–Holy Mother of God–it’s Mary!” Both deputies stood at the base of the stairwell looking up at the desiccated remains of a woman hanging several feet off the floor, her lower body rested against the banister. “How long do you think she’s been there?” Jake asked with reverence. “I don’t know, but we need to find her little girl. I think her name was, is, is Julie.” “You said was, Tom, do you think she is dead, too.” “I don’t know, Jake, we just have to hope…” Before Tom could finish his plea, a small figure peered from behind the corpse, hidden by the woman’s skirt, She clasped the cold flesh and skeletal flesh of her mother’s hand. It was Julie Morgan.

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