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"The hell with her!" she hissed bitterly. Then she turned abruptly and left the house. In the solitude of her beloved Cradle Valley, she gave in to her pain and anger. She didn't go home until late in the evening with her head held high. She was feeling better, and she vowed that nothing and no one would ever break her. She was strong and she would show everyone her strength!

She seemed completely absent-minded, and while she still went about her duties conscientiously, it was done in a rather mechanical way. Grief ruled her existence, and the pain was so deep that even her work, which had meant everything to her for the last few years, did not bring any distraction. She would lie awake for hours at night, and when she finally fell into a restless sleep at dawn she would have bad nightmares.




Laura tossed and turned in her bed for half the night. Something was wrong! It was extremely unusual that Carolyn wasn't home on Sunday night. Besides... the atmosphere outside the house... downright spooky it had been. Yes, that was exactly what she had felt. She blamed herself for not getting to the bottom of the matter further. That scraping noise and the flickering light..



 After crying herself out in her friend's arms, she never spoke about the incident again. But Laura felt that this terrible experience had broken Carolyn's heart. From that day on she changed, and there was a strain on her mouth that was unacceptably bitter for her young age.



"Why don't you love me, Mum?" she asked in a sad voice. "How did you come up with such an absurd idea, Lynn? Of course I love you," Debbie replied, horrified, even glancing at her. “But you love Carina a lot more than me. I can feel that very clearly. You always stand by her, no matter what she does! You always have an excuse for her behavior while constantly criticizing me. Carina is mean to me and you blame me." "That's not true at all!" exclaimed the mother indignantly. What are you accusing me of here? Carina is sometimes a bit thoughtless, not as reasonable as you." "But why are you always scolding me and never Carina, when I'm more reasonable and not so thoughtless? I don't understand!" Carolyn insisted desperately, her eyes filling with tears.







 Carolyn could still feel the relief she felt in the dream. She felt incredibly light and carefree like never before in her life, freed from a heavy burden! But then she was wracked with remorse and self-dread. It wasn't her! She would never be able... Oh my god no...this had been nothing more than a dream, a disturbing horrible nightmare brought on by ugly thoughts of revenge that she had to shake off at once!!