The child’s room was empty.
There were several playthings, including a music box, a doll house, and a wooden horse rocking to itself in the corner.
But there was no child.
“Are you sure you heard noises?” I asked.
The plump dame in the petticoat was adamant. “Laughing. Toys moving. Children playing.”
I made my way to the dresser, gingerly stepping over a makeshift cradle. “How long have you been running the orphanage, Mrs Grenville?”
“And we’ve never had any trouble before,” she added sternly.
I ran a hand over the music box. Dust was already gathering on the lid. “And how do the children do here? I mean to say, are they content?”
“The children are always very happy,” Mrs Grenville continued. “They are never in want of anything – we make sure of it. And they all get on wonderfully with each other. But Sarah, she never played with anyone else. She was a sick child. We were afraid…”
I examined the dresser next. I could sense a strangeness in the area, but I was having trouble pinpointing it.
“But there were two voices, Mr Harding. Two. They converse with each other. Play together. Every so often I hear nursery rhymes sung in unison.”
“And Sarah is the only child who has ever died in this room?”
I took one last look around and straightened myself. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.
Being a spirit hunter was never an easy job, but I was dreading having to tell this woman what I was beginning to suspect.
(To be continued)
(Image courtesy of Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo)
Written for Sue Vincent’s Writephoto Prompt: Child