The Keeper

By Sarah Langan

Some think Bedford, Maine, is cursed. Its bloody previous, unending rain, and the decay of its downtown portend a hopeless destiny. With the demise of its paper mill, Bedford's unemployed citizens quickly locate themselves with a long way an excessive amount of time to live on techniques of Susan Marley. as soon as the neighborhood good looks, she's now the neighborhood whore. Silently prowling the muddy streets, she watches eerily from the shadows, looking forward to . . . something. And haunting the sleep of each person on the town with huge visions of violence and horror.

Those who're capable will depart Bedford ahead of the darkness totally ascends. yet people who find themselves trapped here—from Susan Marley's long-suffering mom and more youthful sister to her guilt-ridden, alcoholic ex-lover to the destitute and faithless with nowhere else to go—will quickly recognize the fullest and so much bad which means of nightmare.

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He squinted his eyes. “So why do you need to work out her? ” Liz regarded out the window. The rain pounded opposed to the roof of the truck like somebody desired to be enable in. “I want to know. ” Then she sighed. “I want she didn’t hate me. We used to get alongside. once we have been little ones. I enjoyed her, I think…I nonetheless do. ” Bobby spoke softly. “She’s in poor health, Liz. no matter what else is going on, she’s ill. You didn’t do whatever incorrect. ” “I wager. Do you ever dream approximately her? ” “Yeah. They’ve been getting worse for me, too. ” She hadn’t anticipated him to claim this. This used to be Bobby, in any case. The boy whose relations performed Monopoly jointly on Sunday nights. “I didn’t comprehend you dreamed approximately her. ” “I suggestion it can disillusioned you. ” “It does, really. i feel it makes me mad at her. What do you dream? ” “I can’t relatively remember,” he stated. “All I be mindful is her, you recognize? ” She touched her throat together with her arms. “Bobby, something’s long gone unsuitable because the mill closed. are you able to consider it? ” He nodded. “Yeah. i will. ” “I’m scared. ” She felt his arm round her. “Me, too. ” “Then you suspect me? ” “Yeah, I do. it will probably now not be precisely what you're thinking that, yet i think you. ” She closed her eyes and attempted to make the lump in her throat depart. They listened to the rain patter opposed to the windshield. “I want we didn’t reside in Bedford. ” He nudged her. “Wait until eventually collage. Everything’s higher in university. you simply need to come domestic for Christmas and you'll consume pizza 3 times an afternoon. ” The lump in her throat burst and got here out as a snigger, fast via a snicker. “Gross,” he stated. “Um. at the very least I don’t devour the previous whoopee pies i locate in my glove compartment, Bobby Fullbright. ” He smiled. They either laughed a bit, and felt a few of the strain of the day liberate. “Do you continue to like me? ” she requested. “I love you. ” This was once the 1st time he had ever advised her this, and it made her think so reliable that for a second every thing was once correct with the area. “I love you, too, Bobby. ” ahead of heading to Susan’s, they made love behind his vehicle, and he had his moment fortunate of the evening whereas whispering candy nothings in a Frenchman’s accessory. The south part of city the place Susan lived stank of the mill. The wind had carried it there for nearly 100 years, and it had gotten into the dust, the bushes, the water, and the wooden of the homes. when you lived there, Liz imagined, you may most likely scrape the sulfur from your pores. They bought out of the automobile. the home used to be outdated and dilapidated. A shutter flapped within the wind, and there has been graffiti alongside the sidewalk that during the darkish she couldn't make out. She rang front bell. Bobby wrestled in useless with the umbrella, however it grew to become within out and so they either acquired rainy. “It’s okay,” he advised her whilst he observed that she used to be so nervous she used to be shaking. She nodded and twisted the knob. The door opened. They stepped right into a small vestibule on the foot of a slim, wood staircase. where stank like rotten eggs. at the hours of darkness she can make out a determine, might be somebody, sitting at the ground. “Suze? ” she requested. No resolution.

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