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It was a cold day in Salem, Massachusetts. The mood was gloomy due to a chill and the grayness of the cloudy sky. Lightning flashed and thunder sounded in the distance. Signs leading up to a storm had shown all day yet that day no rain fell. Only puddles of yesterday’s rain remained in the muddy streets. Street lamps were dimly lit for the darkness of the day. It was as if the weather predicted the schedule of this particular Tuesday. In a cemetery behind an old church, elderly people buried their dead. Only a few people stood around Severus Dyer’s gravestone. He died at age thirty-six after a freak accident no one liked to talk about. A cold wind blew through the cemetery, and his sick mother pulled her jacket closer to her body as her graying brown hair slapped her face. The grandparents on her side, Antoinette’s side, were there, mourning more for their dying daughter. They could never approve of her marriage to the now dead, much older man. The three heirs she provided were strangers to Antoinette’s parents who begged God for forgiveness for their stupid daughter’s mistakes. Two other people stood there. Mr. Jones, a retired old man who liked to attend all of Salem’s funerals. Last was an old, widowed woman named Phila Grim.
Eventually, Antoinette’s parents convinced her to leave her son. Mr. Jones decided to leave after them and drove his pick up truck back to his hut. Phila Grim the rich widow remained, waiting for someone. Her white hair was in a tight bun and her sharp eyes were brown. She wore a purple dress, white gloves, and many jewels left by her husband Damien. Murder, but people talked about that less than freak accidents. It was the year 2981 and death was common. No one liked to think of death much. Phila Grim didn’t normally attend the funeral of strangers, but she needed to see two people she knew would turn up.
Thirty minutes Phila stood staring straight ahead until two people finally turned up. A detective from Salem and a psychologist from New York. Corvus and Eversor Dyer, Severus’s younger brothers. They had missed the funeral to avoid tension between them and what was left of their family. They agreed on this the day they discovered Severus had died. They didn’t expect to find Phila Grim awaiting their arrival. They slowed their pace upon approaching her, wondering why she was at their brother’s grave.
Without turning to look at them, Mrs. Grim said, “Hello, Detective and Dr. Dyer. I’ve been waiting for you.”
Confused and suspicious, the brothers stopped. Phila turned around slowly to them, her narrow face pale and wrinkled.
“Good evening, Mrs. Grim,” said Corvus. He put his hands in his pockets and waited for someone else to say something.
“Detective, I needed to speak with you about something,” Mrs. Grim continued. “I need you to do something for me that no one can know about. My granddaughter, Kathryn Grim, is missing. She’s…crazy. She thinks she can see things. You know the kind of things, Mr. Dyer. Premonitions. She ran away before I could get her help. I know she can’t leave Salem, but I can’t seem to find her anywhere. She would never, ever leave Salem, Detective Dyer, and I need you to find her for me. Will you?”
She didn’t seem so worried about Kathryn. Her eyes were sharp and cold and her voice was deep and she remained primp and proper. Corvus wasn’t sure what to think about Phila Grim or the case. However, there was no work for a detective anymore. No one bothered calling in cases, but preferred looking for their own people or taking justice upon themselves. So there was nothing else to do…
“Of course, Mrs. Grim,” replied Corvus. “You’ll pay of course, but I’ll try.”
A smile curved Mrs. Grim’s thin lips and she whispered, “Good. Get to work on it.”
Corvus and Eversor watched their strange neighbor-or who used to be their strange neighbor- walk off to her car. There wasn’t much time to mourn Severus, for they had worries about this new case.
But what bothered Corvus most was the suspicions of Kathryn’s insanity. All because she saw the future. Hadn’t Corvus had dreams about Severus’s accident, the night it happened?
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