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Amanda found a table in the library that was away from the other patrons. Teodor read a book on local ghost stories. Amanda had piles of books in front of her; copies of old newspapers. Gunner sat on the other side of the table with Trucker. He had a large picture book open. Trucker sounded out the words.
Teodor glanced at the boys, then at Amanda. She smiled at him.
“Have you heard this one?” Teodor asked. “There was this woman that made soap to support herself after her husband died. But she could not get enough fat from the slaughter houses. So she started to kidnap children, to get their fat.”
Amanda grimaced. “That's horrible.”
“It gets better. She dies and people figure out what she had done. But the kids still disappear and she is still seen.”
“Another Hag?” Amanda asked.
Teodor nodded. “They are everywhere.”
Amanda flipped another page. “There were a lot of murders in this town.” She rested her head on her hand. “I never knew.”
“Was that before or after the base exploded?” Teodor asked.
“Ha, ha,” Amanda said.
Teodor returned to his book. He read a few more stories. Then got Amanda's attention again. “How about this one? There was a young woman, whose husband was away, and their baby, living in a cabin way out in the woods. She heard that there was a raiding Indian party coming towards her cabin. She hid the baby underneath some bushes, then ran back to her home. She heard a noise. Thinking it was the raiding party, she killed herself. The noise was her husband.”
“Stupid girl,” Amanda said.
“She supposed to haunt the area around the cabin,” Teodor said, “But no one knows were the cabin is, at least they can't agree on where it is.”
Amanda shook her head. She closed the large book. “My eyes are starting to hurt,” She said, rubbing her forehead.
Gunner took Trucker by the hand and then wandered into the children's section. Amanda reached over the table and took Teodor's hand. “What do think of the boys?”
“Nice kids,” Teodor said, not looking up from another ghost story.
“I really like Trucker,” Amanda said, “Too bad we can't take him in.”
“Why not?” Teodor asked.
Amanda dropped his hand, “We aren't exactly set up to take in kids.”
Teodor looked up. “We will be.”
Amanda smiled. “Are you serious?”
“Well, we are living together already,” Teodor said.
“I would kiss you,” Amanda said, she nodded to a nearby table. “But that guy is staring at us.”
Teodor glanced over to the old man. “Too bad.”
Amanda opened up another large book. Teodor returned to his book on ghost stories. A few moments later, Amanda tapped on Teodor's hand.
“Ohh, this is good,” Amanda said, “Elizabeth Hannah Swift was found dead. Having taken her own life in a fit of melancholy.” She flipped the page. “Then there is this; E.H.S was visited by R.L.T and told her that he would not take her to Europe.”
Teodor shrugged. “So?”
“I know this one,” Amanda said. “This Elizabeth, was Thorson's mistress.”
Teodor shook his head, “Who?”
“Thorson, one of the guys that built this town,” Amanda waved her hands around, “This is Thorson's public library.”
“He was a big shot?” Teodor asked.
“One of the biggest,” Amanda said, “This woman went crazy. She killed her baby.”
“Was it his?”
“Some say it was, some say it wasn't,” Amanda said.
“Is she supposed to be a ghost?” Teodor asked.
“I never heard of her being a ghost,” Amanda said, “But she sounds like the perfect candidate for a Hag.”
Teodor nodded. “Yeah, she does.”
Gunner and Trucker came back to the table. Trucker opened up another book for Gunner to read. Teodor continued his reading. The old man that had been watching them walked over to their table.
“I over heard what you were talking about,” he said, “Sorry, but are you looking up local ghost legends?”
Teodor glanced at Amanda, she nodded.
“I got a good one for you,” he said, “My dad swore it was true.”
Teodor motioned to an empty seat. The old man sat down. “When my dad was younger he had to stay at the old workhouse.”
Amanda glanced at Teodor.
“It was in the last few years it was open,” the old man continued. “But he said that there was a woman only the children would see. She would walk the hallways at night, tapping on the doors of the dormitory.”
“Was it a ghost?” Amanda asked.
The old man nodded, “A nun or something like that, she had hung herself after she killed a kid there.”
“That's creepy,” Amanda said.
“My dad said one night she was tapping on his dorm's door. An older boy, who didn't believe the stories opened the door. He was pulled into the hallway and was never seen again.”
The old man got up from the table, “I never liked going to the place, after my dad told me that story.”
“Did you ever find out who she was?” Teodor asked.
The old man shook his head. After he had left, Amanda flipped through the old newspapers.
“Here it is,” She said. “This article is about a school teacher, not a nun, who was found guilty murder. Her name was Clara Williams. She killed four children while she taught at the workhouse.”
“Why did she do that?” Teodor asked.
Amanda read the article, “It doesn't say. I doubt it would have anyway. They didn't report things like that in the early 1900's.”
Trucker came over to Teodor. “When do we get our ice cream?” He asked.
“I could do for a break,” Amanda said.
“Okay, clean up and we will go,” Teodor said, ruffling Trucker's hair.
The ice cream place was only a few blocks away from the library. The chrome counter snaked through the place. There were a couple of tables, but most people sat on the stools at the counter. Trucker climbed up on on the stools and started to spin around. Teodor put his hand on Trucker's shoulder to stop his spinning.
Teodor and Amanda ordered plain vanilla cones. The boys shared a banana split. The waitress was very talkative. Since they were the only ones at the shop, they were a captive audience.
After the boys had finished two bananas splits, they left. Heading back to the Pit. It was late afternoon, the sun had warmed up the air a little. People were still bundled in their winter jackets, but the fronts were opened. Hats and gloves were off. Some of the snow melted. There was too much snow for the little thaw, most of it was going to stay on the ground.
Dogs barked in the distance. Teodor paused. The dog gossipers were busy. They had sighted the silver knife carrying young man. He was coming towards them. Teodor spun around looking for the young man.
He walked toward them on the opposite side of the street. The young man had not seen them. Teodor growled. Gunner and Amanda turned to look.
“Shit,” Gunner said, “That's TJ.”
“You know him?” Teodor asked.
“He's the one that stabbed me,” Teodor said.
Gunner grabbed Teodor's arm. “Then don't let him see you.”
They ducked into the nearest shop, an electronics store. Teodor stood by the window display watching TJ walk by. The clerk walked up to Amanda.
“How can I help you good folks today?” He asked.
“Radios,” Amanda said. “I want to get these two boys here their own radios.”
“Come this way,” the Salesman said.
Teodor stayed by the window display until TJ walked past. TJ walked down the street. He stopped in front of a door next to a business and went inside. Teodor turned around.
Amanda had picked out two small transistor radios for Trucker and Gunner. After the clerk made the sale, they left the store.
“Where's he go?” Amanda asked.
“Just ahead,” Teodor said.
He crossed the street. Amanda grabbed Trucker's hand and ran to keep up with Teodor. Gunner followed close. The door that TJ used was next to a Chinese take out restaurant. The letters on the door were faded and peeling off; ROB RT BRA D INVES IGAT ON.
Teodor tried the door. It was locked.
“Lets go before he sees you again,” Amanda said, in Teodor's ear.
Teodor lowered his shoulders. “You're right.”
Amanda put her arm around Teodor. “We'll get him.”
Teodor shook off her arm. He started to walk down the street.
“What is it?” Amanda asked.
Teodor took some deep breaths. He picked up his pace.
Gunner caught up with him. “Hey.”
“I hate this,” Teodor said.
“That TJ stabbed you?” Gunner asked.
Teodor spun around and jabbed his finger in the air. “That I cannot just go in there and knock some heads together and get answers.”
Amanda caught up with Teodor. “Teodor, Not here!”
Teodor growled. Gunner stepped back.
“Teodor,” Amanda said. “You are scaring Trucker.”
Teodor looked down at Trucker. He stared at Teodor with wide eyes. Teodor closed his eyes and sighed. “Let's go back to the Pit.”