9. When one knocks at the Devil's door
"Suzanne, I saw you that day outside of Withers' with the little girl and Sarah's daughter."
"Oh, yes. I was there, of course. That little darling needed help. She's doing just fine, no, she isn't here. She's living with Sarah's girl. She's doing fine, but I worry."
"Oh, just some things that I've heard. I hope she's not being, you know, influenced by Savannah -that's the red-haired girl - in a way she shouldn't be."
"In what way?"
"You're dragging it out of me but okay. Well, you know what they say about red-haired girls. That sometimes they're, you know, changelings."
"You don't say."
"And you've seen Thomas and Sarah, they're sweet as can be! But that girl."
"Now that you say it, I've seen her singing to herself sometimes. And unnaturally pretty! And then there's that hair! God love her for it, but where does it come from?"
"That's what I say. I asked Phillip just the other day, because I couldn't remember it, 'When did Thomas and Sarah move into the village?' and you know what he said? I kid not, 'Just a bit over sixteen years ago with their baby girl already crawling.'"
"Not at all. And you know what else? That girl has never been sick a day in her life! Never once been through for a fever, stomach ache, nothing!"
"You don't say."
"That's why I worry about the girl sometimes. Were she where I could watch her, then I just know that I'd have piece of mind. And you all could come and visit her. They don't let anyone see her, you know."
"No, they always say that Savannah had taken her somewhere. They spend all of their time together. Not even Sarah gets to see her much."
"Oh, poor Sarah!"
"That's what I say. It must be hard having a daughter like that. She and Thomas have tried, God knows they have, but with a red-haired girl there's no telling."
"You don't suppose the red-haired girl had anything funny to do with Gloria, do you?"
"I can't say, truthfully. But I can say that Sarah was Gloria's best friend and that they three would see her two, maybe three times a week."
"And everyone knows how jealous demons can be, taking something like a friendship and destroying it for no good reason."
"I know, I know. And Phillip told me that when Sarah found out about Gloria, Savannah was standing right there and didn't shed a tear. She just grabbed her mother and took her home. Probably glad to have her to herself, if you ask me."
"And Gloria was like an aunt to that child! Oh, that's unnatural!"
"That's what I say. And on the night of Gloria's funeral, do you remember seeing her there? Savannah? I didn't."
"Actually, I did see her. But you know what? She did disappear just before that demon of a fire erupted."
"And that's when Withers' wolfsbane was dug up. If you were a werewolf, wouldn't you do the same?"
"The very same. Oh, I can't believe that!"
"I try not to think it. I try to pray for it to turn out some other way in my mind, but I keep thinking of how that little girl is with her right now!"
"Shame and outrage, it is!"
"I know, I know. Try not to dwell on it, please. After all, it could just be happenstance. This is just between you and me, right?"
"Thank you," Suzanne sighed as she left.
"Do you know what I just heard from Suzanne?"
"I do love a good piece of gossip!"