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"There’s nothing to be afraid of, darling. It's not too far now. I have something to show you." The lady lead the child down the street filled with costumed children. The streetlights were casting a hazy yellow shadow upon the creatures, turning them into a writhing mass of sugar and heat.
The little boy walked obediently by her side, a thumb stuck in his mouth. He holds her hand tightly, afraid to be separated from her in the thick crowd. She stares down at him with a smile on her face, luscious lips outlined in wine.
They come to the end of the street now, a mansion looming before them. It was the mansion of Young Lady LaFoe, long dead and buried under the willow tree. Her sisters threw a great funeral for her, each lining up perfectly to throw a handful of dirt into her grave. They took turns, too, throwing dirt into the grave of the dead newborn that had claimed her life.
But, though they wore veils, one could have sworn that they saw each sister's pearly teeth glint underneath. The house was foreclosed the day after the funeral. It was revealed that Young Lady LaFoe was running in quite a bit of debt.
The sisters disappeared the next day. They were never seen or heard from again.
The house was a crumbling mass of stone and dirt, a relic from times long forgotten. It was a special place for the boys and girls of the street to sit in and tell scary stories, though not on Halloween.
"Watch that step, dear. We wouldn’t want you scraping yourself now, would we?" The woman tugged the child into the house, and sat him down in the dusty parlor, furniture covered in rotting once-white sheets. She grabbed a shovel from the kitchen. It was completely free of the rust and cobwebs that surrounded the pair. "Stay here now, child. It you need anything, just remember to call me. Can you say, 'Mommy'?"
"Mommy," the child repeated, sticking a different finger this time into his mouth. The woman smiled, reveling in the sound of the word. Her toes curled, bones stiffened, and her eyeballs rolled nearly to the back of her head. She comported herself and, waking the shovel, walked to the willow tree. She began to dig in front of the larger headstone, minutes turning into hours ever so slowly. All the while, the child sat in the parlor happily sucking on his fingers. He eventually fell asleep.
Once the lady had reached the rotted wooden box, she smashed it in with the shovel's end. She returned to the parlor. "Oh, what a darling," she said. She took the child in her arms, slowly, and walked to the backyard. Laying him in the grave, over the sack of bones and rotted clothes, she sang to him. And she sang and sang. All the children could hear her haunting song, carried on the wind. They followed the sound, but when they got to the backyard, it was undisturbed.
Is the reality of the world different from how we perceive and experience it in our minds? Does physical reality exist apart from the human mind?
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