The baby in the crib started to moan and thrash about as the temperature in the room dropped dramatically. The narrow lips of the dark shape at the newly opened door twisted into something that passed as a smile, an action which transformed her ugly face into a picture of pure evil and malevolence.
The cat slunk into the room and headed straight for the crib. It wrapped its furry body around the child’s sleeping face, effectively cutting off her air supply. The malicious smile of the phantom stretched so wide it seemed her face might split in half.
The woman staggered through the dark streets of the town. It had been raining and the bottom of her long, dark dress dragged in the mud. She clutched the heavy carpetbag she carried as if its contents were extremely precious to her.
As her destination drew closer the woman’s actions became furtive and suspicious. She approached the railings of the River Thames, peering all around with short, sharp looks like a bird approaching a morsel of food. This spot near a weir at Caversham Lock was secluded she knew, since she had been here several times before. Nonetheless, it was best to make sure. Satisfied that she was alone, she shoved the bag through the railings. A splash announced the bag’s meeting with the water.
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