After I really heard it the first time I waited to see if it was a fluke. But after a second, again: tap-tap-tap-tap.
At night, when we’re almost asleep, we can just barely catch the scuttling sound as they hurry across the hardwood floor.
We looked at the house, a good distance away now that we were in the car, and saw he was right. The woman was standing in the doorway, not much more than a silhouette from where we sat, but definitely watching.
Maybe it was easier that way. To tell them she’d been taken.
“Help me,” a voice whispered, and I was so surprised I fell back on my butt, nearly taking the knob with me.
“Skinstealer skinstealer, come and steal my skin today. Skinstealer skinstealer, I wasn’t using it anyway.”
A man stood at her window, his eyes huge and glassy in his pale, gaunt head. He was wearing what she said looked like loose white pajamas. He stared at her, and she stared back.
If only I could go back. Tell her that the price was nice but I’d rather go to a beach, or Ireland, it doesn’t matter, anywhere but those cursed falls.
I won’t let her in. Go away, Mother.
All I could do was lay there and stare, hoping it wouldn’t take a step forward.