I live in a small town in upstate South Carolina. Nothing much happens here, so it seems with every story’s beginning. Nevertheless, it’s normal… right? I mean, the most spectacular thing that’s ever happened here was probably when there was a new stop sign put up near Deerfield, or perhaps after the Masons started up a new church. Not much I guess. My neighbourhood is pretty quiet. I guess it’s because there was no other kids around but me. I don’t really mind it though, besides, I’m a teenager now. Anyhow, enough about me.
There’s an old woman across the street from us. Her name is Susan. What a simple name, don’t you think? She’s a sweet lady though, sometimes she’ll call our home phone and happily chitchat with my mom about random things. Also, every once in a while she’ll come by and leave cookies or homemade caramels on our front porch in return for my dad mowing her lawn. We could never seem to be home when she dropped them off though. When we asked her about it, Susan would always say she’d rung the doorbell but we weren’t home. Even so, the baked goods kept coming. Until one day they just stopped. I wondered why; I really liked them. But my father continued to mow her lawn, taking over his faded green John Deere to her house so the grass wouldn’t get too tall. Figured he was doing a good deed, you know, since she was an old lady.
After a couple weeks we hadn’t heard from her. No more sweets and no more happy phone calls. The other neighbours started to get worried. One afternoon we got a call from the guy beside us; he’s Mr. Caldwell. He wanted to know if we’d heard anything from Susan.
“Usually her and my wife like to go shopping. But they haven’t been able to get together for two weeks now!” He said.
My dad was as clueless as he was. “I’m sorry, but I don’t really know. Sometimes she comes over and leaves us sweet stuff, or calls my wife and talks to her. But none of that has been happening.”
I sat at the kitchen table and picked at my food, not paying much attention to the green beans on my plate. I was too busy trying to figure out what was going on. I raised a brow and looked up to my father. “Miss Susan lives alone, right? You don’t think–”
He waved his hand at me and cut me off, turning his back away and went outside. I went over to the window and watched him cross over the road to her house, nodding before he put his cellphone into his back pocket. I saw him knock on the door several times before it opened, letting him inside. Little did I know that would be the last time I’d see him.
Hours past, but I didn’t think much about my father. I figured he and Susan were just having a nice conversation. Maybe she invited him to stay for dinner; either way I didn’t care. The sunlight soon drifted away, and day turned into night. My mother decided to call my dad and see when he was coming home. No answer.
“Hey sweetie, would you mind running over to Miss Susan’s? Tell your father he should come home now.” My mother poked her head through the door to my bedroom and smiled politely.
“Yeah, sure.” I nodded and grabbed a coat from my closet.
It was pretty dark outside, so I decided to take a flashlight. Looking back on it, I’m glad I did… I closed the front door behind me and stept across the street to Susan’s. I noticed the lights weren’t on inside the house… After knocking on the door and ringing the bell once or twice, I waited silently for someone to answer.
“Hello?” I called out. ‘She was home right? And dad was with her?’ I thought to myself.
A few minutes passed by and still no response. I hesitantly reached for the doorknob and gave it a turn. It was unlocked. I went inside and ran my hand against the walls, searching for the light switch. It felt cold in there; it made me uneasy. My heart sank when the lights didn’t turn on once I found a switch. They flickered in and out before cutting off. I sucked in my breathe and tried not to run away, my father and Susan were in there.
“Miss Susan… Dad?” My voice cracked at first, rather feeble. “You guys?”
I turned to the living room and looked up. To my dismay, a large hulking figure was swaying back and forth from the chandelier. I don’t remember much after that. Except for seeing Susan. She was smiling… What a nice old lady.
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11:46PM Late last night two bodies were found in a home off of 3-85 Northbound towards Western Pine High School. One of the bodies, 16 year old XXXX was found with a flashlight clutched tightly in hand. His arms, however were removed from his person but was laying nearby. The other, said to be a relative, was found hanging from chandelier. Both bodies organs seemed to have been removed. Some remains were found in kitchen oven and in bowls of what appeared to be dough. Police report that the house in which they were found had once belonged to Ms. Susan A. Ashworthe, who has been deceased since 2011 according to state records. Authorities are unsure why they were there. Wife and mother of the two bodies are reportedly missing.