Sunday Worst

“Benton!” cried the nanny, rushing at once to his side. The man had fallen facedown like a corpse across his breakfast, one hand in his lap and the other stretched across the table, contorted painfully as if clutching the throat of an invisible demon. A river of milk trickled off the table from his overturned glass, collecting in a puddle on the floor.

Annie leaned him back in his chair to search for a pulse. His shirt and necktie were smeared bright red with strawberry jam and bits of burnt toast, and his butter knife had cleaved a large gash across his forehead.

Aveline watched from the doorway with much disinterest and a tiny, tiny smile.

Annie was growing more frantic. Her old friend wasn’t breathing and she couldn’t find a heartbeat. “Aveline, call for help!” she shouted. But the girl simply stood and stared.

The winds started again, lower and more direct. They rattled the dishes in the pantry. This time a voice could be clearly heard, and to Nanny Annie’s horror it was coming from Benton’s throat.

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