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  1. This is a continuation of Roald Dahl's short story "The Landlady."
    PART 1
    No, my dear,” she said. “Only you.”
    Billy started, sloshing tea onto his lap. This wasn’t the way a pleasantly dotty lady talked; she was completely insane. Everything clicked into place. Christopher Mulholland and Gregory Temple were still guests in this house, but they had paid for their lodgings with their lives. Billy looked at the lifeless dog lying at his feet. “I stuff all my little pets myself…” That was the fate of his predecessors. How had they died? Billy glanced at the tea in his hand. An odd feeling came over him. He forced a smile in the direction of the landlady, but he didn’t quite meet her eyes.
  2. PART 2
    “I think I’ll pop off to bed, then,” he said in an overly cheerful voice.
    “Of course, my dear,” the landlady said with a motherly smile. Billy couldn’t help but notice how her pale lips stretched unpleasantly over her slightly stained teeth. Her once gentle blue eyes now seemed to have a fire within them, but it was not a pleasant, intelligent spark; no, her eyes gleamed with incredible insanity. Billy stumbled back from her in horror. “Goodness me, are you all right?” she asked, advancing on him with the teapot still in her bony grasp.
    “Yes, yes, quite all right, yes,” he gibbered incoherently, his mind awash with fear, and perhaps something more. “I’ll just be bed, I mean to off, I mean I’ll just be off to bed.” He bolted from the living room and flew up the stairs.
  3. PART 3
    Billy shut and bolted his bedroom door. He lay on his back, breathing heavily. His vision was obstructed by swirls of black and red that took several minutes to clear. After some time, Billy’s mind calmed down, and he was able to review the past events with a cool head. How could he have thought his kind landlady was a murderer? He nearly laughed with relief. Still, Billy could not shake the eerie aura he felt when thinking of what might be on the third floor. Eventually, he decided that it would be a good idea to investigate the level above him; it would help quell his fears.
  4. PART 4
    Billy lay in bed until he heard the clock strike twelve times. He crept out of his room into the darkened hallway, his bare feet sinking into the thick carpet. The sounds in the house seemed magnified beyond belief. Clocks and their ticking deafened Billy, and each of his steps sounded like those of an elephant. The multicolored swirls once again invaded his sight, but this time it was worse than ever. Like a blind man, Billy groped his way up the staircase, clinging to the banister. As he reached the summit, his vision cleared, and he could make out a door. Billy had barely enough strength to stand, so he staggered into the door, knocking it open.
    Four glassy eyes met his. Darkness closed in.
    “You’re next, my dear.”
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March 18
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Louisa May Alcott
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Eight Cousins, Little Women


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