Olivia’s parents were killed by a drunk driver just south of town and it was her job to sell the house. Her parents had moved out of the oversized house a couple of years ago and into a resort community about two hours away. The accident that had taken their lives was bizarre, to say the least. They were taking a walk one evening and a man in a pickup truck had veered off the road and directly into them. The town sheriff said it was an accident and the driver was drunk, but Olivia thought the entire thing sounded too made up. She thought it had been planned by the husband of her friend because she had refused to become a sister wife. When Beth tried to convince Olivia that becoming a sister wife was her path to heaven, Olivia had laughed so hard that tears streamed down her face. Beth was not amused, and neither was her husband. He had wanted Olivia since she was a young girl.

But it was over and done with now. She planned to pack up her parents’ belongings and her childhood memories, sell the house as quickly as possible, and get the hell out of Horseshoe Hills once and for all.

The old house looked the same from the main road and Olivia turned onto the winding lane and drove up the hill to the house she knew well. The view from the hilltop house was fantastic and Olivia had often wondered how things had gotten so twisted in this part of the world. This parcel of paradise could have been a wonder cure for the weary, a retreat for the retired, or a honeymoon destination for the hopelessly romantic if the damned cults hadn’t claimed it. She blamed the citizens of the region just as much as she did the cult leaders. The townspeople had made their beds and now they were forced to lie in them.

Olivia picked up her father’s car at the resort community, parked it in the driveway that formed a circle, and looked up at the old, yellow Victorian house she had once called home. Unlocking the front door, she looked around, but what she saw was not what she had expected to see. The furniture had been removed and in its place were mats or pillows on the floor. Olivia wasn’t sure what they were but she knew that she had not put them there. Family photographs were gone from the walls and in their stead were poorly taken photos of a man dressed in black trousers and a laced up white shirt. He was young and had a pompous smile on his face… somewhat of a sneer. “What are you smiling at?” Olivia wanted to rip the photo off the wall, her wall, but she was curious about who had put it there. “Hello?” she called many times as she walked from room to room. She located some of her parents’ furniture in the basement and in bedrooms on the third floor. The remainder of the house appeared to be occupied, but Olivia had yet to find any human within the Victorian walls.




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