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This may come as a surprise to you, Evan, but though I write horror, I am not a brave man and my first impulse was to run screaming like a little girl. The old crone must have anticipated my reaction and held firm. I swear, Evan, I could feel the very marrow in my bones freezing!
“You be the stranger that lives in “the sleepers?” she hissed, looking hard into my eyes.
I had not yet recovered from the sight of her and stood rooted to the spot mute, unable to answer, the repugnance of her choking me with fear.
“Are ya deaf, man?” she asked pulling me down so as to shout into my ear.
“No, I am not deaf, madam, and I don’t know what you mean” I answered in an obvious panic, trying desperately to remove her bony talons from my coat.
“The Sleepers, that’s what the house be called.” She said with urgency, holding fast to my coat; ignoring my efforts to regain freedom.
“My house you mean?” I replied in confusion.
“Did they not tell ya when you took the place there be a curse on it?”
“What Curse”?  I asked. Admittedly, she had piqued my curiosity despite my fear.
“Did they tell ya nothin, sir?” she asked leaning back in astonishment.
“If what you say were true, I suppose the solicitor decided it wasn’t the sort of thing that would add value to a property.”  I replied flippantly trying to give the impression that neither she nor her questionable information caused me concern.
Clearly agitated by my remark, she let go of my arm and stepped back taking stock of me from head to toe.
“What might your name be?” She said in a firm commanding voice.
“My name is Phillip Dunston,” I answered, managing a polite, half hearted smile.
Leaning close enough to me that I could smell her foul breath she whispered,
“Yer in grave danger, sir.”
“If ya be as smart as ya look, ya’d leave before night without so much as packin’ yer bag.”
“What danger?!”  I asked, feeling a sudden chill slithering up my spine.

“Yer house was the once the church in the town of Drom Aluinn; A proper town it was too; had a general store, even a schoolhouse.”
“Was on the ruins of the church ya house be built, Mister Dunston.”

I felt the color drain my face and in an uncontrollably loud voice heard myself shouting,
“Are you trying to tell me I’m living in a haunted church, in the middle of ghost town?”

Mocking me, my disembodied question reverberated through the mountains.
 

 

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