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A boy is throwing stones into the swamp. Some of them skip, most of them sink. He doesn’t seem to care either way. An alligator peeks at him from beneath the muck. The boy chucks a stone at it but the gator sinks below the murky water before the rock even reaches the peak of its arc. It hits a swath of Spanish moss clinging like cobwebs to the trees and lands in the swamp with a graceless plop.
“Your house is haunted,” the boy says without looking, focusing on his stones. He’s older, maybe fourteen, sullen with a mop of blonde hair hanging into his eyes. They’re blue, blue like the ocean back in California. All of the water in Louisiana is green.
“You’re not gonna stay there long,” says the boy. “No one ever does. The ghosts drive them out.”
He turns and his blue eyes flash. His fingers fall open and the stones fall to the mushy earth beneath their feet.
“Don’t look in the mirrors,” he warns; then he walks away.